A week or so ago, Hamlet Au posted an account of how an avatar called Nexus Burbclave was starting a new project to highlight beautiful builds on the mainland. I read up about his Mainland Renaissance Project and, as Designing Worlds was playing a show about the mainland – Riding the Trails, Riding the Rails, which will be broadcast on November 7th, I decided to contact Nexus and see if he would be interested in appearing on the show.
And something odd happened.
When I searched for Nexus Burbclave, there was no avatar with that name.
Well, unusual name. I checked the spelling again from his blog – but still no joy. I wondered if he posted under one name and had an active avatar under another name – which would be a little strange. It seemed to be the only explanation – at least, it did until I received an email in response to the one I posted on his blog.
Because Nexus Burbclave was indeed his avatar name. The reason I couldn’t find him was that his avatar account has been closed by Linden Lab because of a billing problem – one that he has been desperately trying to resolve ever since he learned about it.
In fact, not only has he been locked out – his girlfriend has too, because she surfs from the same household and thus has the same IP account.
It all stems from a failure to make an automatic debit payment of $10 in June – although his account has been working perfectly ever since and he had no notice that anything was wrong with his account – in fact, his tier and membership payments, apart from the one in June, went through perfectly. For the last week and a half, ever since he learned about the problem, Nexus has been trying to rectify the error, but with no success – in fact, it’s been six days since he supplied all the information that was required – and his account is still in limbo. You can read all the details here: Is Linden Lab about to kill Nexus Burbclave?
This is someone who loves Second Life and is working to make it better. We’d love to have him on the show … the Renaissance Project is very exciting and supportive of the neglected mainland. But in three days time, on October 26th, as Nexus himself says he faces losing, “my account, my land, my creations, and a part of my virtual identity altogether.”
LL billing is a mess. I know they’re anecdotal, but you constantly hear stories like this. They’re either freezing out a lot of residents, or at the very least they’re creating a climate of fear where whatever you do in this world can be taken away without a moment’s notice and with no redress.
On the incoming side, my students type in perfectly good credit card numbers, yet half of them can’t get payment information to work.
As far as I know, Amazon never has this problem… Ebay never has this problem… why is billing with LL such a mess? For new people like students it’s one more reason not to get involved with this world – for users like Nexus it’s a reason not to invest too heavily.
Shouldn’t billing be the easy part?
I had been considering going premium again, despite knowing two people who lost their accounts because of “billing errors”. Hearing this, I see the problem is far more widespread than I had thought and, quite frankly, I’m not willing to risk my inventory for the minimal benefits of premium.
Thank you so much for adding your voice to this issue. I had initially hoped to get this quietly handled behind the scenes, but since this is getting down to the wire, I felt it was time to take this public.
I will never make the mistake of having a premium account again it took me more than six months to get my name back.
I hope it does some good, Nexus.
Even if there’s only a 1% chance f this ever happening to me, it still means that all my efforts, my work, portfolio, my cash is in the hands of a faulty system. It’s like a form of Russian Roulette that I am paying good money for.
I would not take these kinds of risks with any other system.
No wonder I moved grids is it?
This same crap happened to me while I was in Afghanistan. LL deleted my charter lifetime account because of a $34.00 bill that somehow failed to catch up to me. When I got back and tried to take care of it I had three barely understandable customer service people promising three different things, but the only promise that should have mattered was the one promising to fully restore my account now that the billing issue had been cleared up. I still think they ought to do that.
Lending my voice to those who will never have a premium account, for precisely this reason.
BTW, “Nexus Burbclave” — a truly great avatar name! 🙂
Nickola, Simeon, David, Rowan, uggh — that’s so crazy — it’s almost like beating the crap out of your best customers and wondering why they don’t come back… oh wait… it IS beating the crap out of your best customers! 😦
Soror — oh gawd, I’m so out of the loop! Did you leave SL? 😦
Where did you go? I had a region in InWorldz for 4 months… the 45,000 megaprims was fantastic, but it ran very poorly for me… it was hard to do even simple building…
Anyway, wherever you are, hope you’re doing fabulously. I’ve only seen a little of your work, and it’s amazing. You have to give me the extended tour sometime! In the world of your choice, of course!
Just got some good news. The issue has been resolved, and I’ll be able to return in-world. The process was nail-biting but it looks like it has a happy ending.
Vaneeesa, thank you for the props on the avatar name. I’m glad I’ll be holding onto it.
That’s great news, Nexus! We’ll be contacting you about the Designing Worlds show now!
Glad to hear that YOU , Nexus are back. Just to tell that we have had the same problem , 3 month in a row now, owning half a sim on mainland, surfing the same Ip, And jet even if there where money on our bank accounts, the day they billed us some glitch appeared and .. poff No accounts.. we even had total lockout.. where I even if I do not own anything and had paid my fee´s wasn´t allowed in.
I would say that they have serious glitches…