Recently I convinced Second Life® entrepreneur Peter Stindberg (Web) to convert his free resident account to a premium account with the argument that such a move would provide more paths for recourse if the account was suspended by the Governance Team (AKA GTeam; Web). So I was rather surprised to see Luc Aubret, Creative Director aubreTEC Labs (SLurl), Tweet that his account was suspended without any contact from the Lab for allegedly impersonating a Linden. “I was never contacted in any way and asked about the infraction,” he blogged (Web), and added that “If you’re going to issue a warning, fine, but suspension or banning without so much as providing the accused with an opportunity to speak in their defense.”
Luc is listed as the owner of the group that has the deed to his land in Everlite and his profile shows Payment Information on File, so I imagine he has a Premium account. That leaves the question as to why he was not contacted but I believe it shows that his status as a Premium member prevented may have protected him from an outright cancellation. I’m not sure if that would have been the punishment for his alleged crime so I could be wrong about the protection.
But back to the question and adding to it … Luc is a prominent member of the business community, well-known by those in the virtual armaments and gadgets trade, so wouldn’t a courtesy be a consideration in this instance? Or added detailed notes on his account so the Help Team could actually help when he contacted them? The lack of contact leads me to assume that either the GTeam rushed this one or they have the ability to check any and all chat/IM records grid-wide to investigate issues. If the former assumption is true, then shame on the process and the infrastructure behind it. Such a thing should not happen. Conversely, if we the latter assumption is correct then contact should have been made or records should be available to the Help Team. I have seen or used several different customer account management products and such ability to manage accounts is available.
As Linden Labs® becomes more old-school business and less cutting edge upstart perhaps it needs to learn some lessons about customer service. Or better yet, blaze a trail to improve on customer service. My dealings with the Lab have always been quick, efficient, and have left me with a good feeling, contrary to the frequent reports I hear of residents in Luc’s situation. Let’s hope this is really just an aberration.