Q: Who would be daft enough to have a business model in which your customers can’t pay you? A: Oh those crazy kooky Lindens!

Update (3rd March 11): I had a follow up “How Did We Do?” questionnaire from the Lab asking me to rate their recent help. I shit ye not. Also, despite a general email about local payments systems now being in place, I still can’t register my card for the same reasons I ranted about below. LL for the win!

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Righto, first off let me say that I may well be wrong about this but if I am I’m buggered if I can see how. Still, I could be and if I am I shall offer my apologies to the good old Lab right now. Somehow I doubt anyone there will give a shit one way or the other.

When I first created an avatar in Nov 2006 I waited a few weeks before putting any actual real money into the game, but when I decided the time had come I slapped in my credit card with the greatest of ease and have had no problems whatsoever since. I even added the same card to Ryne when I created him in 07. Since those days I haven’t created another avatar… or rather, hadn’t. I created Ya (Steal Head) late last year and have just created Bryce last week. The noticeable difference between the first two and these new ones is that I can’t connect my credit card to them.

Can’t do it.

Simply won’t work.

Ohhhh I’ve put in a ticket of course. No answer so far. I’ve also gone  on as HBA and used Live Help twice (he’s my one and only Premium account, the others are freebies) and can honestly say that whilst perfectly friendly, the helpers were fuck all use. They seem to think that all I have to do is log into my new av’s account and use the link lin the Billing Information Section.

THERE IS NO FUCKING LINK!

I have lost count how many times I’ve explained that to them. Sure in HBA & Ryne, the Billing Information link allows me to delete or update my card or PayPal information, but in both of my new av’s accounts there is no such detail – no links. None. Nada. FUCK ALL! This is what I see in the Billing Information section of both Ya & Bryce:

Now, you tell me where I can put my card or paypal details in there.

One help tech told me I had to try buying something in-world to ‘kick start’ the system into recognising me. Seriously, what the fuck? Still, I’m game for a laugh (normally – in this case I really am not, I rather suspect I’m quite the fucking opposite in fact) so I popped inworld as both Bryce and Ya and clicked on the Buy L$ button. A dialogue box popped up to tell me I could not do such an act and I should click its helpful link to buy some externally. The link took me (via one of the interminable and seemingly random log in screens) to my SL account page. Upon logging in I was shown the Buy L$ option on the Linden Exchange page. I typed in the amount of L$s I wanted and clicked buy – the system whisked me off to an external provider of payment management:

First off there is no PayPal section. Odd as I had just changed both HBA & Ryne to PayPal from my card in their SL account areas and successfully tested that both could buy L$ in-world from my PayPal. Still, no hardship as I could add my card here, test it in-world and then change over to PayPal as I had done for HBA & Ryne. Happy days.

Regular readers may guess that this seemingly happy ending is about to be flushed down the crapper like a week-dead goldfish. Well done you. Gold star.

Despite entering my card details 100% correctly, this service would not progress any further and instead asked me to correct the errors indicated by its handy red error icon. There was no fucking error icon showing. I know this because I then went and entered incorrect data to test it and POOF! the error icon appeared next to that data as promised. Back to correct information and no with NO errors showing I could not progress due to these fucking error fucking icons. Fuckers!

My last life line was the Toll Free UK helpline number! I could just speak to a human being and they would fix this mini-cluster fuck for me! Yay! Humans FTW! I love people, me!

More gold stars, anyone?

The Toll Free number (someone should tell the Lab that we in the UK do not use the term Toll Free and beyond reminding us of dialogue from US TV imports and films, it is meaningless) took me to a recorded message stating that the number was no longer being used and would I be interested in renting it from the owner. No. No I would fucking not. I would be interested in throttling some fucker with it and shoving it up their arse for all to see, but renting it, alas, was not foremost on my mind if I was being honest.

So there it is. My ticket went in two days ago and will no doubt rot like an unflushed week-dead goldfish until I get a useless answer that tells me to “Try the Billing Information section of your account page”.

Amazing. I can not give the Lab my money. I can not link my two new avs to a payment method and let my hard-earned wonga fall into their eager little hands. They must be so tit-deep in wonga that they just don’t need any more – I can only imagine their bog rolls are glued strips of $100 bills and they each ride to meetings on the back of gold unicorns whilst drinking tea made from water strained from their own personal clouds shipped in from Nepal. That’s fine, really it is, but if they could just see their way to making things in SL free so my new avs can actually buy stuff that’d be swell. In the absence of that happening (I realise it will have to percolate through the Love Machine for a few years first) how about you let me give you my card or paypal details for I can send you some new bog roll, eh?

I ask you,  is this a way to run a fucking ballroom?

Fuck me.

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14 comments

  1. I hear your frustration. No answer to the overall problem, but have found that (just for addressing “so my new avs can actually buy stuff”) I’ve sent lindens from a main avatar to alts before. Can at least get you some money to them to start working.

    Good luck with the rest!

    1. Hi and TY – yup, that’s what I’ve been doing in the end but if *I* can’t pay with my new Avs, can other people? Are the Lab simply missing out on money this way? If they are, that strikes me as a fucking insane way to run a business…

  2. BTW – Did anyone mention that they won’t accept Paypal any more for new European accounts? That was announced back in Dec 10 although my existing avies seem still able to use it

  3. Back in Dec it wasn’t listed as ‘temporary’ so this looks more hopeful, I’ve been waiting for payments to be blocked!

    http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Local_Payments_FAQ#How_do_I_access_the_new_local_payments_system.3F

    Note: Residents outside the US that already have billing relationships with Linden Lab using PayPal will continue to be able to use that payment method. For Residents outside the US that wish to change their payment method and begin using the local payments system, or that are creating new accounts, PayPal is temporarily unavailable as a payment method, but we are working to enable it. All Residents will continue to be able to cash out using PayPal.

    1. Well that certainly explains why I can’t use PP (although not why PP can’t be used!). I’ll just keep trying the CC system until it accepts my card details – although I’m not sure I trust the company behind the cock up that is the CC system. I’d rather pay for thing with Google – them I trust!

  4. I’ve had trouble setting up credit card payments before for an alt. Eventually I got it set up, but the problems seem familiar. I agree it’s a problem that the Lab doesn’t seem set up to take our money. (I’ve also had problems getting them to sell me L$, which is a similar oddity.)

  5. My newest alt had the same lack of options yesterday but today has the expected choices. Perhaps it was their website overhaul. Maybe one day they’ll stop overhauling it very five minutes.

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