When in doubt: ask the Designer

In RL when I shop and sometimes there is a problem with my order, this is what I do: I contact customer service, or go back to the store (depending on the situation) and make sure that I do indeed get what I paid for.

Most people can relate to that experience and maybe have done the same thing. However, what is a mystery to me, is that sort of thing does not seem to happen very much in SL. Has everyone bought into the ex- CEO Philip Linden’s protestations that linden dollars are “fake money” and have no intrinsic value inside or outside of SL? That is hard for me to believe. If you buy or sell lindens, you have to access you RL money at some point.

Based on that, what you purchase inside Second Life has value, and if you have a problem with your purchase, wouldn’t you do what you for sure would do in the RL situation mentioned above? So:

Why are consumers afraid to contact the designers/content creators?


One thing to keep in mind is that we are all human beings behind our avatars. And as such, we make mistakes. Here is something that happened to me. I had some of my items for sale in a friend’s store. As it turned out, I had put the wrong design inside one of the boxes out on display.

I was finally told of my error by a person who had bought the design, expecting it to look like the box picture, and was surprised to find out that it was a whole different design. This person was making sure to get what she paid for. I had no problem getting her the correct design, and with the new information I was also able to fix the sales box.

I then looked back over my account history and found out that well over 15 people had purchased the same item and had not contacted me about the mistake I had made.  I contacted each of the people, and gave them the design they had originally paid for.

It is still a mystery to me why only 1 out of about 20 people bothered to contact me. Do people just buy things in SL, and if they are not what they thought they were – they just shrug and move on?  If so, why? Curious.

Not to mention if the first person who had purchased the fubared item had contacted me, I would have been able to correct the error and 20 other people would not have had to pay for something they did not want.


I will say this: If you contact the person who made the item/design/build or whatever it is you have purchased and have issues or questions about ~ it helps everyone.

You get your problem resolved. The designer is made aware of the issue. Other consumers coming along behind you benefit. Win-Win-Win situation.

For Consumers. What NOT To Do: Complain about the item to your friends, groups, blogs etc when you have not even contacted the creator to give them a chance to resolve the issue. Do NOT be rude when contacting the creator. That is simple manners and I cannot figure out how being rude would be helpful.

For Designers/Creators. What NOT To Do: Have poor customer service skills. If/When someone contacts you with an issue (hopefully politely) hear them out and do what you can resolve the issue. If someone does contact you in a rude manner; handle it as you see fit. I really cannot say what to do in that situation.

I am aware that there are bad apples in every bunch, but I think that if we all can stop for a moment, and conduct ourselves as we would in similar RL situations. For example, I am pretty sure that the majority of us would not scream at the person behind the Nordstrom’s customer service counter when going into the store to return an item or get a refund  or whatever.


And remember: When in Doubt, Ask The Designer. Not your best friend, or a fellow fashionista~ talk directly to the content creator. I for one would rather know sooner than later if there is something wrong with anything I have created.

My IMs go directly to my email so none are lost. You can contact me here on my blog, you can leave me a message via my in-store Assistant. I am not a scary person, and if you approach me like the adults we are all supposed to be, I have no problem working hard to resolve whatever issue you may have. I am allergic to drama so try not to bring any nearby ;)

See you in world!


4 responses to “When in doubt: ask the Designer

  1. Yes, I agree – I for one am happy when I am notified of a mistake with any of my vendors, and usually try to refund or gift the customer who let me know with something.

    One thing that I think some SL™ customers can’t seem to understand though, is how the permissions system does not always allow us to do business as we would in RL. I sell all my items mod / copy, as that is what I prefer when I buy things, so I do not do refunds or exchanges except if someone accidentally bought 2 of the same thing.
    I had an absolute NIGHTMARE customer last week who would not accept this, and wanted a pair of different wings because she decided she didn’t like the ones she bought (and that looked just like the product photo) or had accidentally bought a totally different pair. Hard to tell which thing actually happened because the story seemed to change and the two vendors are not even near each other in my store. I politely told her that my items are all mod / copy, no transfer, and that does not allow exchanges or refunds. She immediately said that she would throw them away then, and tell all her friends who have land not to do business with me and that she would never buy from me again, and how she spends a lot of money in SL™ and would have spent more money in my store but now she won’t (even though she refused to buy the pair of wings she really wanted for only $100L!)
    I did try to make my policies more clear and post it in more places after that, taking what lessons I could from the experience, but really, some people can be just plain rude;/
    Honesty and politeness go a long way, and had she been either of those things, she would not now be banned from my store;P

  2. I’ll bet I know why those 19 people didn’t contact you. They’re like me – they buy stuff and buy stuff, and only rarely unbox items. Isn’t that sad? I have so much stuff that I’ve never even unboxed, much less worn. So, it’s either that, or they’re too shy to contact you, or they don’t think it’s worth the trouble coz it’s “just lindens.”

  3. I can’t say why people didn’t contact you. I can say that I always contact the owner / designer if I see any kind of problem. Not as a complaint, but so that they will know.

    As a content creator (mini style) I know that things can go wrong. Sometimes it is “us” and often times it is SL putting back an old vendor in place of one we have changed permissions or items in, reverting that last prim to one that doesn’t match the rest in a skirt, the list can go on. There is no way for designers to fix what is wrong unless they know. Most that I know of are happy to know. Now and then, they just don’t care. But it is up to the people that find a problem to report it, certainly not complain about it. If the designer won’t fix it? Well then they have something to complain about, but not before :D

    And re the buying of items. I have always marked the permission right on the description of the items so it is very obvious. I have never had a complaint, but in my mind it is the responsibility of the person buying to agree with the permissions of what they are buying. It is the responsibility of the designer to make those permissions known. I sell all my items as no transfer simply because they seem to get lost in the database less often. :D And I personally like to buy things I can make into outfits many, many times.

    I doubt seriously the quietness had anything to do with you personally. Best of success to you!

  4. If you want to see a reader’s feedback :) , I rate this article for 4/5. Decent info, but I have to go to that damn google to find the missed parts. Thank you, anyway!

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