Monday, July 23, 2012

Store Owner Ethics or Lack Thereof

Originally I blew this off and wasn't going to say anything other then to a few close friends. But then Stacia Zabaleta (my SL partner) told me she started getting them too. What did her and I both get you ask?...... SPAM!!!

Let me start off by saying as an SL content creator it is my deepest desire to get my products noticed by as many people as possible. As store owners we try all kinds of marketing strategies from mailing lists, groups, greeters, posters, notecards and many many more. But where exactly is the line separating us from store owners with ethics who are trying to sell our wares, to store owners without ethics who will resort to spamming to get what we want? Keep reading.....

The vendor system I personal use is CasperVend. In my opinion Casper is the best vendor system in Second Life but I'm sure others have their preferences as well. Casper offers some incredible features like single prim multi-function vendors and Lucky Prize Chairs. Another great feature of Casper is the ability to send anyone who has purchased from you updates via the Casper website. It truly is a great system but unfortunately some users abuse the system to spam constant daily advertisements.

The Casper websites update section states "This system is not intended to be used for broadcasting marketing messages, it is intended for product updates. If you choose to send marketing messages without first establishing an agreement with the recipients, you could be in violation of the grid terms of service." You can't miss this either. it's not like it's some hidden clause on the Update page of Casper that vendors "accidentally" overlook. It's as plain as the nose on your face..... yet.... some vendors ignore it.

Now why am I writing this? Well a few months back I visited a store called NOYA and made some purchases. Really good product and I was and am happy with what I purchased. But then I started getting advertisements regularly and in increasing intervals. Now when this happens my normal routine is to contact the seller and politely ask them to remove me from the list I never joined. And 99.9% of the time they are understanding and remove me with little to zero attitude...... but not NOYA. But we'll get to that in a moment.....

I also started getting advertisement spam from LAPARIE who I discovered is another name brand of NOYA under an alt. I sent LAPARIE a message asking the same thing but never got a response and continued to get spam on a consistent basis.

So back to NOYA. When I contacted NOYA she claimed I apparently "enjoyed" the gifts she sent via the mailing list and that I am a customer. Well... yeah... I was a customer of a few items however I usually turn down group gifts I never signed up for. But that's not the point now is it? When I said to her "I don't know if I accepted the gifts or not but I only like getting mail from groups I actually join thanks :)" and yes I put a smiley face on it.... her response was a single word. That word.... was "muted"

I was shocked to say the least but I assumed that maybe she took me off her lists. I was wrong. I continued to get spam messages from both NOYA and LAPARIE. So I did what any smart person SHOULD do when being harassed. No... I didn't visit her store and spam yell at everyone about her nasty ethics nor did I resort to fighting fire with fire by spamming her alts and bots. No.... instead... I started documenting every single advertisement in notecard form and reporting each incident to Linden Labs. After a few weeks of this I muted her and her alt LAPARIE. I could have muted them from the start...... but the reports just had to be made.

The sad thing about this is I will NEVER shop at her store again. I am quite the shopaholic and when I become loyal to a store I practically buy out their entire inventory. But my Linden dollars will not be going into her pockets. Nor will I recommend her store to any of my friends or group members. Does she care? Probably not..... but with the hundreds of high quality clothing stores out there I have plenty to choose from.

The moral of the story is..... good ethics equal loyal customers. Bad ethics equal bad reviews from bloggers like me ;)

1 comment:

Amethest Peck said...

I get the very same thing from her! I thought it was just a part of being in some of the groups i am in...never even thought that i was being spammed. Thank you for this post! I will mute her as well!