Customer Service Saves Database!

Friday, December 28, 2007 Friday, December 28, 2007

Did you know that customer service can fix database problems? I do! How do I know this? Because I have to use that technique at least once a week.

Here's the scenario: customer arrives at my store, browses and selects an item for purchase. They click on it to pay. Lindens are transferred from their account to mine. However... the item somehow doesn't get transferred to their inventory. This is a database problem. It's a Linden Lab problem.

But at the moment of purchase, it's MY problem.

Typically, the customer gives me a shout and asks what to do. I check my transaction log to ensure they actually did purchase something, and if they did I simply toss them another copy. Sometimes I give them a bonus to make up for their trouble. Everybody's happy.

Not so typical is the maniacal customer who explodes all over you, such as happened this week at Electric Pixels. I am certain that most shop owners have identical scenarios occurring at their locations too. But this one was just crazy.

Taking a cue from Sarah Nerd's frequent conversational posts, I reproduce the sequence of events here (which took place by email on my side as you will see). I defy anyone to read this and understand what is going on. This has to be more than a simple language translation issue. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, but otherwise is intact:


[12:06] Unruly Customer: hi
Unruly Customer has offered to become your friend in Second Life. Log in to accept or decline the offer.
[12:10] Unruly Customer: Face I bought an effect of green thy $ 99L and I did not get the goods. I receive you is safado sacana.
[12:46] Unruly Customer: hei
[12:51] Arminasx Saiman: Hi - got your message. I have a record of your transaction 999999999 today at 12:00:03 SLT MultiBalls Personal for L$99 and no other transactions. Did you receive MultiBalls? I have no record of you buying any Green effects. Let me know what happens and we will fix it.
[12:53] Unruly Customer: I just more expensive to buy, my many friends bought a little now. I am not lying, help me
[12:54] Unruly Customer: I will face gives me the product
[12:55] Unruly Customer: I bought, I will report this abuse
[12:58] Unruly Customer: Porra because you merdas these green? I bought this porra and caralho not received, I want to receive you received rather the dollar.
[12:59] Unruly Customer: Poxa you face is a sacana even me wrong
[13:00] Unruly Customer: I bought this shit, and not received, boy I can return my money one of the effect that I bought.
[13:03] Unruly Customer: I shit game, and give the goods safado
[13:04] Unruly Customer: I shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safadoI shit game, and give the goods safado
[13:05] Unruly Customer: Pilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleadingPilantra misleading
[13:07] Arminasx Saiman: I do not want you mad at me - I just do not yet know what happened. I always fix up problems for my customers - and I have to do this every week for someone because Linden Lab's database is not reliable. Often things are not delivered when bought. By the way, I am not online until several hours from now. but when i come on, I will fix things for you.
[13:10] Unruly Customer: Then please give me my goods, I am stating
[13:10] Unruly Customer: Then please give me my goods, I am statingThen please give me my goods, I am statingThen please give me my goods, I am stating
[13:12] Unruly Customer: I will have to wait, my friends, XXX, YYY, ZZZ bought effects a few minutes and all received, but I did not get that.
[13:14] I will give you the goods, BUT I AM NOT ONLINE NOW! I can only do this later today. And you must tell me EXACTLY which effect you purchased that you did not receive. I have many GREEN effects. WHICH ONE????
[13:16] Unruly Customer: You can just see how we buy ai effects, more myself I have not received
[13:16] Arminasx Saiman: This is what I have recorded in transactions today: XXX buys Sunballs Gang for L99; ZZZ buys MultiStreaks Personal for L99; Unruly Customer buys MultiBalls Personal for L99. Did you receive MultiBalls?
[13:17] Unruly Customer: I will tell you what is now Wait a moment
[13:19] Unruly Customer: multiballs personal
[13:19] Unruly Customer: This is exactly the multiballs personal, which was 99 lindens
[13:20] Arminasx Saiman: OK - then it is no problem. I will give you a fresh new copy of Multiballs when I am back online in a couple of hours. I am at RL work right now and cannot get online. Is that OK?
[13:23] Unruly Customer: Rightly, my name is Unruly Customer, I bought the effect multiballs personal and not received in my inventory
Unruly Customer has offered to become your friend in Second Life. Log in to accept or decline the offer.
[13:24] Arminasx Saiman: Yes, I will give you a good copy of MultiBalls in about 2 hours or so. Undelivered items happens to a customer at least once a week - the Linden database system is not reliable. This week it seems to be your turn! Don't worry - I will fix it.
Even more confusing to me is the fact that the MultiBalls product is NOT green.

Later that evening I met "Unruly Customer" in person at the store and gave him not only a new copy of the missing item but also an extra bonus item too, in hopes of making him happy. Nope. He accepted the items and swiftly disappeared into the aether without even a thank you or a goodbye. Sigh, another week of SL business completed.

2 comments:

Peter Stindberg said...

One option for delivery is to use your SLX/OnRez account and send the merchandise as gift to the recipient. Since you are the recipient of the money, you do not lose anything except the commission at SLX.

Also a scripter like you should be able to create a box that listens to email commands and sends inventory to whoever gets specified in the subject. The basic framework of this should take no longer than an hour of coding.

Being sort of a specialist for languages (/me snickers) I can confirm that the conversation attributes to approximately 50% bad automatic translation. It does not seem Babbler though (especially since this does not work for IM's anyways). I assume it's off-world translation. Though tools like Babbler and suchlike are a great help (if you know its limitations and understand how it works), language barriers are one of the imminent problems on the rise in SL, and will lead to more segregation than we have already.

ArminasX Saiman said...

I suspected a translation incident was underway as the conversation proceeded due to the awkward grammar. Nevertheless, you can clearly detect the vile tone seeping through the bad translation. Why aren't people nicer?

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