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45 days later and my missing content is still MIA

Sweet Primrose
Selectively Vacuous
Join date: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 375
01-10-2007 14:20
I am writing, once more, about my missing inventory (rt.lindenlab.com #515988) from the patch that occurred at the beginning of December. I followed all your suggestions about how to recover my inventory. I submitted multiple emails and bug reports as intructed. I entered my case on the blogs that asked for that information. I requested help on Live Help (when it was called that) and sent multiple IMs to the two Linden staff (Kona and Beast) who I was told by other Lindens here on this forum to contact as they specifically deal with inventory recovery. Those IMs were ignored and neither of them replied to any of my IMs, ever.

Four weeks (12/28/06) after my intitial request for help recovering my inventory, I received the following email from Martin Linden:

"We do perform a "cleanup" once a week that can return some items that vanished to limbo. If that doesn't turn up the errant items, then they are irretrievably gone.

If that is the case, we won't be able to replace them. We won't be able to compensate you for any inworld items you may have lost. The best recommendation I can make in such a case would be to contact the creator(s) of your missing object(s) and see if they can provide a replacement."

You can see from the time frame that all the encouragement for me to continue to seek aid in recovering my missing inventory was either a gross and repeated error OR an outright deception, since, according to Martin Linden in that email, after that "once a week" cleanup fails to recover missing items, "then they are irretrievably gone."

Yet the following week, January 3rd 2007, I received this encouraging email from Pierre-Luc Linden, who indicates that my missing inventory still will be recovered:

"Since your issue requires extended research and greater means i have forwarded it to the appropriated department for an eventual solution/recovery.

Regards and thanks for your patience,

Pierre-Luc Linden"

This set of emails, and the fact I have waited patiently (and in vain) now some 45 days for the recovery of my missing inventory, raises some questions that we customers of Linden Labs' services would like answered:

(1) Since LL is a data storage/manipulation service (specifically not a content provider according to the TOS), why does it not protect data more aggressively? And when it fails to protect data, as in this and surely tens of thousands of similar cases, how can LL be so casual about the loss of that data? The entire premise of SL is to provide a place in which people can exchange, commercially if they desire, virtual content they have created. LL's role is to store and retrieve that virtual content on demand. Failure to do so undermines LL's entire purpose, and certainly erodes the viability of the service as a "second life" or the next generation WWW.

(2) If Martin Linden's claim in that email is true (that if the one-week recovery sweep does not retrieve missing inventory then that inventory is gone forever...and that only "some" of the missing inventory is recoverable this way), then all your customers who have experienced such losses would like very much to know why we are encouraged weeks and months after the loss to continue to make emails to support for assistance? Why was I told here on this forum to IM Beast and Kona Linden (the "recovery specialists";) if, in fact, recovery is really impossible? What does a recovery specialist do, if not specialize in recovery? And why was that email followed up by Pierre-Luc's much more encouraging email (the only Linden from Live Help ever to express any sort of non-canned concern throughout this unhappy experience). Do I believe Martin's email, or do I believe all the other Linden staff here on this PR forum and on the blog and in that second email, who encourage us, your customers, to be patient and wait for the specialist staff to do their thing and retrieve that data which your system lost?

(3) Why does LL continue to tell me to contact the creator of my missing content, when I have said, in EVERY ONE OF MY COMMUNICATIONS, that the creator has not replied to any of my requests for help? How can I as a customer feel that LL's support staff understands my issue and what I have done so far about it if they continually suggest I do things I have already explained I have done?

(4) Since your data service erased my content seemingly forever, why don't YOU contact the creator of my missing content, YOU provide her with the complete record of my transactions with her vendor machine (as stated by me many times before, I had only been in this game three weeks when this whole thing happened....), YOU encourage her to reimburse me for having to buy those missing animations/dances/poses a second time, and if she declines, YOU YOURSELF, as the party who failed to live up to its obligation, reimburse me. EVEN FROM A PURELY PUBLIC RELATIONS STANDPOINT, providing this reimbursement of my loss is the right thing to do. As it stands, my impression of LL is very negative. As such, I have actively and aggressively discouraged real life friends from even visiting SL. I have cancelled my plans to become a premium member.

Yes, I still want my missing inventory recovered or my replacement expenses reimbursed. Don't ask me to list it all out AGAIN, since you can look yourself through any of the previous THREE emails, FOUR threads in this forum, numberous blogs and so forth.... I even helped you at the top, with my email case number.

But beyond recovery of my inventory, I think this thread represents the concern of many of your customers, perhaps numbering in the tens of thousands. And surely anyone who sells or buys anything in SL has a strong interest in the integrity of our inventories. I think we deserve a detailed reply to each of the questions above. We need a clear description of your recovery procedures. If Martin's claim is false, explain what steps are being taken to educate your support staff. If his claim is true, explain, first, why you tell us here to contact X,Y,Z long after there is no hope of recovery, and second, why you will not do better than that one-time, generic recovery pass which, even when it works, only recovers "some" missing inventory.

Many of us are confused by LL's role in this world. You seem to store and recover our inventories, yet you refuse to stand behind the quality of your service or take responsibility when it goes south. If you aren't responsible for the storage and retrieval of our content, who is? And in that case, what precisely IS your function? And do we really need you, if you have none? And are you really willing to kill the goose that lays the golden egg?

We would like more from your answer than a perky, "aww, darn, doncha just hate that?" deflective PR move. We would, in fact, like to be taken seriously.

It's hard to be sweet when you feel ignored and deceived.

Sweet Primrose
Chadrick Linden
****** Lab Monkey
Join date: 3 Oct 2006
Posts: 51
01-11-2007 16:44
I've forwarded your request onto the bug Department.