In November, the Lab commenced e-mail users meeting certain criteria to submit tax documentation to the Lab. The requests were met with a certain amount of confusion, which the Lab attempted to clarify later that month via a blog post on the matter.
On Tuesday January 14th 2014, the Lab issued a new blog post indicating that they would once more be contacting users who again meet certain criteria with a request they provide required account documentation required by the Lab to fulfil its legal obligations.
The blog post, which appeared in the Commerce section of the SL blog (and thus avoided appearing on users’ dashboards), reads in full:
In addition to required tax documentation (which we blogged about in November 2013), US law separately requires that institutions such as Linden Lab obtain, verify, and record information confirming the identification of account holders who submit a certain volume and/or amount of Process Credit Requests.
We have recently begun emailing users who need to submit this information. If you receive such a notice from us, you will need to follow the instructions and provide the required documentation within thirty (30) days.
These emails are being sent through our Support system. If you are among those individuals who need to provide this information, you can verify the request in your Case History in the Support Portal and reply to the Case if you have any related questions.
There has already been some consternation on Plurk on the matter of required documentation, noticeably among merchants requesting to upgrade the Business Level of their account, only to find their ability to cash-out frozen while they supply the required information and who have yet to receive any e-mail from the Lab forewarning them of these requirements. While perhaps a matter of unfortunate timing on terms of such requests being made and e-mail being sent out, it does also perhaps suggest that (again) the Lab need to rethink their approach to handling what might be regarded as critical communications with their users.
This could be handled simply by the Lab ensuring such announcements appear on the dashboard of people’s accounts (regardless as to how widely or not LL believe the dashboard might be used) and, given they have an “official” presence on both Plurk and Twitter, actually Plurked and Tweeted, particularly given the information given in such blog posts is of far more import to people than pointers to the Pic of the Day, at least until the supporting e-mail arrives in their in-box.