I hate wagging the finger at Rodvik, I really do. But there are times when it has to be done; and this is one of them.
As has been the talk of Twitter, Malevay, the creators of Meeroos recently came under a form of attack: one day old avatar accounts with names closely approximating the official “Meeroo Resident” asset management account started to be used in attempts to cash-in on the Meeroo success – right under Malvay’s own noses. You can read about the situation in detail here.
As a result, the Malevay raised a series of tickets against the culprit accounts – and to cut a long story short, someone at LL’s Customer Support reacted in a totally lackadaisical and inexcusable manner and simply banned all account names looking like “Meeroo Resident” without thought or consideration as to the possible consequences. The result: the official Meeroo asset management account also got banned, with potentially serious repercussions for all involved.
How this came about is unclear, but what is apparent is that it smacks of sloppy enforcement and LL’s Customer Services end, and a lack of checks and balances to prevent avoidable mistakes occurring when dealing with people’s accounts. As Crap Mariner points out, are LL’s Customer Services incapable of carrying out the most rudimentary of checks on accounts prior to blocking them?
Insult was added to injury when the account was apparently reinstated on the QT without the account holder receiving any communication from Customer Services. They simply found out when they another periodic attempt to log-in to the account and see if it was there.
Now, this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened; numerous people have reported they’ve experienced their accounts being suspended without warning, only to be subsequently reinstated equally without notification, for no readily apparent reasons.
Back when the new “communications platform” was launched, people – like Darrius Gothly – who accidentally violated the community standards for the platform were horrified to find members of the Customer Services team were publicly chastising them and using screen captures that clearly showed personal information – although why the heck Customer Services should need to capture screenshots was, and remains, a mystery. At the time, Amanda Linden tried to excuse the situation as “working out the kinks” in the new system. And explanation which, frankly, floated on the sea of scrutiny about as well a brick on the Atlantic.
This most recent incident involving Meeroos has many questions around it; to be fair, a lot of them are unrelated to LL’s Customer Service operations per se. However, it is and will be the actions on the part of LL’s Customer Services that will continue to receive a lot of attention – and a lot of criticism – both for the original account blocking error and the manner in which it was silently reinstated.
Had this been a one-off situation, people might be a little more forgiving, but it is not, as pointed out above. Rodvik identified customer services as being one of the Achilles’ Heels of Second Life. This situation with Meeroos demonstrates that this is very much still the case, and that it really is about time LL were seen to be tackling the problems, rather than people being left feeling they’re still only talking about tackling them.