Here's the letter:
Dear Linden Lab,
I just wanted to communicate some of my latest observations in a civil, calm, and detailed way to you. For this reason I am writing this open letter to you.
First off, a few thanks. Thank you for innovating and putting together Second Life. Thank you for taking the recent steps to make the experience better by improving stability, uptime and performance metrics. Thanks for doing a good job maintaining fairly good communications with your user base.
Now that's out of the way, here begins the more critical part of my letter. I have been in SL since August 2004. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly and I really do not want to talk about incidences past. So I am going to dive into the current issue at hand.
As some of us estate owners have gotten a rude awakening lately when we tried to chat in Concierge Group and were not able to bring it up because Linden Lab had decided to take it away without making so much as an announcement. Since then the Concierge Group has been brought back with some threatening statements and warnings from Linden Lab telling us to pretty much behave and mind our language within the chat.
I resent this tone and treatment from Linden Lab. The Concierge Group was intended to be a hotline, a place where estate owners could interface with a Linden rep on call monitoring this chatline. The truth of it is, the only time I have ever seen a Linden on this chat line was back last year when 20 of them showed up randomly as a joke -- yes a joke. In the last 2-3 years the Concierge members, that is your paying customers, have been taking care of each other: providing moral support, technical support, banning information for griefers, spreading news about problematic situations, showing up to each other's sims to help trouble shoot. Through this same time frame I only saw a Linden show up to a sim once due to Concierge chat request.
So is it really surprising that the participants of this group have in time developed shall we say a certain disdain, lack of respect and or dislike for Linden Lab employees? I think not. You promise terms to a relationship and then you do not honor the terms of the relationship, more than likely you will face these very same reactions. It is undeniable that your support team was completely absent from the Concierge Chat in the last few years well except for monitoring dirty language and promptly banning estate owners.... an agility you have not been able to show for even the most serious griefers to attack the grid.
You keep telling us that the problem is with us. I beg to differ. The problem is with you and with your company culture. You see I am not convinced that Linden Lab realizes that it is a business -- with paying customers. Never before in the history of commerce have the paying customers been the ones to get this kind of tone and treatment from the company at hand. Sometimes people get rowdy and silly on chat, this is the internet culture; This does not mean we're a bunch of kids. If your phone line kept going down every other day would you be kind and calm when you call the phone company? What makes you think that you're different than the phone company? Perhaps because you deliver a service that's "cool"?
I got a notice from the Concierge Coffee Group this morning saying that after an estate owner said "Fuck you linden lab" in the Concierge Coffee Group (where we were told to have our free for all conversations), several Lindens got upset and left the group and that we should never act like that again.
Repeat after me *pointing to myself* "CUSTOMER", *pointing to you* "service provider". Let's do it again: *pointing to me* "CUSTOMER paying you hundreds of dollars*, *pointing to you* "Employee and Service Provider". Please get this right in your head.
Your customers can say "Fuck you", you have to keep smiling and do your job that is: a. calm them down b. gather information c. attempt to fix the problem d. document and escalate the issues if not resolvable by you. You may want to take some notes while you're reading this as it seems to be completely unclear to you what you are to SL and what you do in it. Lindens can not leave the Concierge Chatline, you can't. This is your job. If you don't like it please join the unemployment line at your city.
Do you think I behave like this when an instructor comes to my desk driven mad by technology malfunctioning and their deadline approaching shouting expletives, making threats? Do I shut my door and lock them out? No, I calm them down, try to make them understand what's going on, document their problem and contact authorities that can resolves the issue. This is called Tech Support. Please continue taking notes.
I am not a big player in SL but a fair amount of my creations litter the grid. I have no intention of leaving SL nor do many of us in the Concierge Group so I am not going to deliver the usual threats about leaving SL and rallying other people to do the same thing. No. We are not going anywhere. Many content creators and I are here to stay and you're going to shape up if it is the last plywood cube we rez.
Get your act together, start treating us with respect so that you may get the respect you seem to be so desperately craving.