February 11, 2012

The customer, your enemy?

Posted in Second Life at 2:32 am by SarahAndrea Royce

When I buy something on the marketplace, I often write reviews with my honest opinion, because I think, that is what reviews are for.

Understandably, if a review is bad, the sellers am usually not happy about it. But for some, there is never anything they did wrong. Its their product, you, customer, have to be happy that the product is sold as it is at all!

I had one person who actually said she would write an (abuse, I think) report. OK, that was after I was calling her dim for the way she acted. In that particular case, it was a very cheap product (5 L$) which still was useless to me because it looked not anywhere near what the product description (and photo) promised, was set to full bright and concluded with the remark that, because its nomod, its completly useless for me. Well, she wrote in the product description that she does not want bad reviews because of the permissions. Yet the product was a texture on a typical 12 (actually 6) faces sculpt, often used for plants, and I think I have seen a fullperm version of this sculpt for free, so the no mod was completly unneccasary, there was simply no added value for it.

This is how it is marketed, and this is how it looks rezzed:

Bad roses

Click on it and set it to the highest resolution to see how badly the texture was cut and espacially how the “vase” is a bad joke. The marketplace picture is not the actual product, its just the texture, and the color of the background hides the ugly steps the borders make when shown against any other background.

The cheap price was no excuse for me, simply because you can get a lot of high quality flowers for that price, often intended as teaser for the higher priced products (and that worked often enough with me 😉  ) and, because of the price, I did not give her the worst possible notes.

Not even that, and she wants authorities to hunt me.

The other, very, very bad clash I had a while ago with the seller (he is not really the creator) of the F/O WINDY 2011

If you click on the link, you can see that the car has no reviews. That is simply because he made a new entry for it. The point is, the car is not bad for the 1000 L$ it is seen here. But it was marketed as a promo price and that the car later on will cost 4999L$. Inworld it had exactly that pricetag. And that puts it into premium range. Yet the car is not premium at all and even caused fatal scripting errors, when using the passenger seat.
passenger seat with animations doesn't work
Than there are JPEG compression fragments in the texture, on a level that would suggest an inexperienced builder.
JPEG Compression fragments
The script did not let me adjust the driving position (via menu) and the animations where not well made.
No chance of setting drivers seat position
And finally the camera position while driving was not really fixed and because I had custom cameraangles it was not driveable like that.
I wrote all that in my review, even missing something very relevant. The car is said to have 51 prims in the ad, yet it is a mesh car, and it has a serverweigh of 436(!) prims.

Pretty soon after it he contacted me. After a very violent opening he said that he would solve my problems, if I would delete the bad review (blackmailing? Nice, isn’t it?) I played along. So he gave me the newest version without the passenger seat problem, which he said was a bug of Second Life. I’m a software developer, if a software missbehaves because a 3rd party framework has a problem, no one will take that as an excuse, you have to make a workaround, which was obviously possible, as the newer version did not have this problem. Then we discussed the seating  problem, and he advised me how I can manually set the coordinates in the script, acting as if that was a feature I have overlooked. And quite naturally, the rest of my problems with the car he couldn’t fix. I pretty much learned that everything was done by someone else, the script was originally for drag-racers and if a I have a problem with the texture I should go and confront the designer. Nothing was his fault. And while he complained that he paid 50000 L$ for the script, he also said that he had sold 300 copies of the car (and noone ever complained!) so thats 300000 L$ already.

He finally muted me, because he didn’t like the fact that I tried to tell him how he could avoid those problems in the future. I didn’t delete the review, but made an comment on the review, telling what happened, he made a comment where he said that he just gave me an hour of personal support and how ungreatfull I am. Sell an appropriate peace of work, and you will not have to give support. If it is true, and no one ever complained, how many users never got their scripts fixed?

As the car, months later, is still sold at 1000l$ so the “later 4999L$, get one now” was a lie, too. The extremly high landimpact suggests its a little edited import of a “free” model from the internet.

Still, this guy feels perfectly entitled to virtually yell at unsatisfied customers.

No, I will not stop to write honest reviews, and when sellers react like this, I know which shops to avoid.


1 Comment »

  1. Well… the plain, sad truth is just that many creators have an enormous fear aboud bad reviews at all. Why? Because it means less sales in the end and therefore less profit!

    This behaviour which you have described is just so plain typical for all platforms, where customers are able to do reviews. Just have a look at good, old eBay – some merchants are even suing their customers over bad reviews nowadays which they dislike and don´t agree to!

    Another example are platforms, on which restaurants are being rated, like Qype or Google Places. Just take a look at this article which leaves no doubt at all how critical bad reviews are nowadays to companies/restaurants: http://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2012/01/16/schlechte-bewertung-auf-lieferdienst-pizza-backer-entfuhrt-kunden/

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