How (Not) To Resolve A Customer Service Issue

March 14, 2011 by
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life 

This post is a follow-on to my previous post “Linden Lab Violates User’s Privacy!” A lot has happened in the day since I first posted on this issue, but nothing has been done. And yes, there is a massive difference between those two.

(Note: There are updates to this Blog. Read more to learn what.)

Amanda Linden Replies

Scylla Rhiadra posted on the new Lithium-based Second Life Forums about this issue under the topic heading “User IP Addresses Displayed in Screenshots Posted Online by Moderators“. Shortly after posting, the topic started attracting a lot of attention. Finally the head of the Community Platform group within Linden Lab, Amanda Linden, posted this reply:

There are a number of problems with this reply (as pointed out both on the SL Forums and on the SLU Forums), but from my perspective there are two very major ones.

The Privacy Breach Is Still There

The image posted by Genn Moderator showing my Avatar Name and IP Address, which is really the meat of the Privacy Breach issue, is still present on the public website where it was first posted. In the time since my prior post, I have learned that the site is really a “bandwidth leech” using the resources of ImageShack to store and display uploaded screen cap images. As long as that image is still publicly visible, this matter will not be resolved. But has Linden Lab or Amanda Linden expressed any interest in removing those images? Nope.

NOTE: As of just now it appears the image with my Avatar name and IP Address has been removed. It’s been replaced by some sort of dancing cat stuffed toy animation. Weird! But hey .. it’s gone. Score One for Linden Lab!

The Biased Moderators Are Still There

The Mod that started this whole fiasco and has been cited as the most obviously biased, Genn Moderator, is still employed by Linden Lab and still working as a Mod for the Forums. Not only has Genn opened Linden Lab to serious legal liability by his/her violation of their own documented privacy policies, but he/she has also shown absolutely no skill or understanding of how to properly moderate a public forum. The bias demonstrated by Genn’s actions are so blatant that a very large number of people have left the SL Forums completely and headed over to SLU. I find it much easier to chastise myself and execute a self-STFU when I’m the only voice shouting, but in this case I am not. Coming right on the heels (or more like the shoulders) of the zFire Xue / RedZone fiasco, the fact that Linden Lab has violated the same privacy requirements is absolutely inexcusable.

How Not To Contact Your Customer

Linden Lab has my complete contact details. They have my real name, my email address, my home phone number and a few other financially related details. I’ve got no issues there, after all I did voluntarily provide those to them. So how come the only way to get any response from them is via Twitter? TWITTER? Oh yeah, that’s conducive to a REAL deep and meaningful conversation.

This morning I wrote another Email to Rod Humble (AKA Rodvik Linden) the CEO of Linden Lab. I also sent a Notecard to his Second Life Avatar with the exact same text. Both contained my real name and my phone number and an expression of my desire to get this resolved. Have I gotten any reply yet? Nope. But I did get this from Amanda Linden on Twitter:

That takes care of the problem going forward .. PROVIDED that the mods remember to log out, retrieve the offending message, screenshot it and post it again on a public website and THEN log back in to edit/moderate the message. Oh yeah .. good solution .. NOT! How long before basic human nature and their demonstrated bias kicks in and they just go ahead and post full details again. Are we responsible for checking everything they do? With this solution, we sure have to because I have zero faith they’ll get it right every time from now on.

My Tweet Back to Amanda

Twitter is fine for short comments, quips and “I just burped” blah .. but for resolving a serious and potentially criminal breach of privacy issue? Not so much. Nonetheless, I replied to Amanda with this:

Then followed it up shortly thereafter with this:

And that’s pretty much the end of the conversation with Amanda about this issue. Clearly she and Linden Lab feels they have resolved it satisfactorily.

FFS Take This Seriously!

Frankly I just don’t get it. For some insane reason, the employees of Linden Lab seem to think their customers are idiots or fictional cartoon characters .. or worse. It’s as if we don’t really exist and thus they have no reason to exercise due care and respect in performing their jobs. Well I’m here to tell you folks, that ain’t so.

I would have thought that the lawsuits and legal expenses that Linden Lab has had to pay for would by now convince them that we “Avatars” are very real, and sometimes we are VERY pissed off. If they would just use the Golden Rule when interacting with us, it would make a world of difference. But until then … I guess I’m gonna be adding one more legal expense to their bottom line.

Oh, and you Venture Capital Investors in Linden Lab? Are you sure you don’t want to whisper in Rod’s ear to maybe help NOT run up more legal bills?

And as I’m Writing This …

I just got an Email notice from Twitter that Rodvik sent a DM (Direct Message) to me. Here’s his response:


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