This is my friend, Lexi Morgan.
Lexi has been in Second Life since 2004, as you can see. Although she’d added her partner’s last name to her display name, if you look her up in search, she is still Lexi Morgan. There might be 10,000 other Lexis out there, but as far as Second Life is concerned, she has always been the only Lexi Morgan. At least…she was.
This is Lexi Morgan #2. Her username is beth36. If you don’t have display names turned on in your viewer [a lot of us do not], she looks like beth36. But she’s walking around with Lexi Morgan proudly as her display name. Even worse, when you go to look for Lexi Morgan in search…
When display names were first introduced, MANY people were upset. The content creators – you know, the people who make us look good and generally pay a lot in fees every month for sims and marketplace and uploads? – were especially worried. What would keep someone from using their name? Would that be possible? WHY would it be possible? But they were assured that no, that wouldn’t happen. Linden Lab would help protect them, protect all of us with legacy names.
Turns out? Not so much.
When Lexi was notified by someone that another account was using her name [she’d gone to search for Lexi and that is what popped up], Lexi was, rightfully, very upset. She filed an abuse report, and this morning she contacted Linden Lab. After all, they had promised this sort of thing would not happen, and unlike in the real world where several people could have your name, it was always a bonus in SL that our names were OURS. So she did what any of us would have done and called Linden Lab. And that’s where things really went wrong.
Lexi spoke with someone at Linden Lab who told her – get ready for this – to just keep filing abuse reports until it was fixed.
Now she has to take time out of her day to just keep filing abuse reports, when one has already been filed, when it would be easier for the person she spoke with to fix it right then and there? Where is the protection that was promised when Linden Lab decided to charge ahead with the ridiculous AOL-esque usernames and display names? [Don’t get me started on what I think about the username thing. But you can vote in this JIRA if you feel the way I do.] Shouldn’t there be some kind of customer service for someone who has been using a service for over 7 years? Just keep filing abuse reports? That’s IT?
When Lexi told the person at Linden Lab that she was under the impression this sort of thing was never to happen, the person replied, “Yeah, I can see how that would cause a problem for you.” Lexi also asked what would happen if this account never logged in again, and was told “You should AR separately with those concerns and be as specific as possible.” Because calling and telling them isn’t specific or good enough?
Nice customer service, Linden Lab.
So now the real Lexi Morgan has to waste her time filing abuse reports and hoping that her customers read far enough to contact her and not Beth36 if they need customer service. Beth36 can wander around happily with a name that is not hers over her head. And Linden Lab proved, once again, that they truly do not always listen to their customers.
Edit 8/26/2011: Lexi confirmed yesterday that after approximately 25 Abuse Reports, phone calls, etc, that the name was finally changed. Beth36 is now Beth Morgan. Oh, and she’s no longer an out of work exotic dancer, just in case you were worried about that. :-p