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11/16/2008

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Prokofy Neva

Wow, Dreamland Citizens chat is now filled with irate people being forcibly relocated. Some of them who have complained have been given shittier deals. Those who are suckups and praise ACS for their wonderful understanding angels get better deals.

It's so disgusting how people behave in SL. Are they this sychophantic in RL? Here people come on the chat and say "I wuz robbed," if their land was swiped and they got no compensation, obviously because they didn't like what was happening and got their land sezied didn't pay tier and wait meekly to be moved to something crappier, or stopped paying and started protesting when the move WAS to something crappier. Or they describe how they've been moved to something shitter.

So various girls come on and say "Oh, but I was moved to a less laggy place and it was so wonderful hUGGZZZZZ to angelz" blah blah. Bleh, disgusting.

Elanthius Flagstaff

Unfortunately this seems to be standard operating procedure even for "respectable" landlords these days. The last couple of months have seen mass forced migrations as full sims empty. Now we're seeing the opposite with people being shuffled off of their OpenSpaces and back onto full sims. Frankly I'm surprised people put up with it. I suppose they get away with it because churn in SL is so high there's always a new renter coming along who doesn't know the history.

I agree that moving people around like this is a terrible way to do business. I think if I ever was force moved (not that I've ever rented to be honest) I would just quit right away. You have to punish these people for their bad decisions and the only way to do it is by refusing to buy their products.

Ann Otoole

"Are they this sychophantic in RL?"

In a word: Yes.

And with the depression setting in you can be certain who will get to keep their jobs: The fucktards that get where they are by way of being an ass suckling. So expect things to fall apart as the people that keep things working get laid off.

Desmond Shang

I won't be so quick to criticise Anshe for inelegant moves at this time, just because of the scale of operations she's dealing with.

I'm taking care of about 2 dozen people and trying to do right by them on openspaces, or if they want to consolidate, or whatever (it looks like Caledon might not change much, if at all, and we might even grow in size a little). Even so, with only two dozen people to deal with, I've already put in maybe 80 hours into the issue trying to see what each person wants to do, explore options, consider contingencies, talk to Linden Research and so forth. Incidentally, I think the forums are utterly ineffective for communication with Linden Research these days. Email and phonecall, and maybe showing up on the doorstep are your only chance.

As such I just can't even imagine a scenario that could be sorted out elegantly, considering the size of Anshe's estate. Maaaybe it could, depending how much authority the angels have, and how much profit margin they are willing to work with. That's what saved Caledon for the most part - I was able to eat a bit of margin. Between that, and boosting my tier reserves to accommodate the new numbers, I'm looking at only at about a 10% income loss, a 10,000 USD hit and 3 solid work-weeks of effort straightening it all out for 2009. Can you feel my happiness as I write this?

Now consider Anshe's estate. It's clearly a for-profit operation, doesn't have 100% occupancy and had dozens upon dozens of openspaces. There won't be much time at all to turn that ship around. Having worked with Caledon and its residents who are willing to sacrifice and help far beyond the call of duty, with only 20 openspaces - I know for a fact that there is no way Dreamland will be able to sort things out to everyone's satisfaction in time.

Some of the Dreamland rules and practises mystify me, but, hey, it's Anshe's estate. She's got people to manage the area - which sounds logical until it becomes clear how many regional managers tend to take off, set up their own business and take all the residents with them. How she prevents that from happening, I don't know.

Prokofy Neva

Oh, bullshit, Desmond, don't be ridiculous. There's a simple solution: first try to get rid of the yellow by ZERO sales, and get people to increase tier with larger parcels. That wasn't tried. That would have been better to do than consolidate land you couldn't sell for $2/m or more. It's a market where agents charge $0 or $1 at the most. So that should have been tried, and opened up to all existing customers.

Only after that didn't work, and it would work in parts, should you be consolidating. And it costs NOTHING to turn on the fucking terraform for a day to let people put their parcels back the way they were, if you are too cheap to put it back yourself.

Having observed you in action in Caledon, I can only say you WAY OVERDO IT with the customer communications. I think it's frankly too much wear and tear to expect you to roleplay Guv'nah, too. Obviously you enjoy it, or you wouldn't do it, but it's a recipe for burnout. It's important to think up rules that will work for the system and enforce them fairly.

And look at Anshe's estate, please. Her problem isn't just the openspaces, which she quickly wrapped up when people left them, bundled back 4 to the pack into private islands, and hustled out the door with $195 tier, which is what she had, on those OS she was gouging $85 for all this time, while only paying $50 herself. She had lots of private island sims going yellow that people left simply because her prices are too high. She didn't get people leaving her islands for her openspaces; she got them leaving for *other people's* openspaces or even the mainland. And she did nothing about it. Her website is absolutely moribund and has been for a year.

Of course they could do better than they are doing with a, a willingness not to gouge prices at the top, b, flexibility on things like parcelling and terraforming that they turned off (um, do YOU do that???), and c) reconstruction of the terraforming if they weren't willing to turn it on (which is just plain retarded at a time like this; what you might lose in some special landscaping here and there you more than make up with in customer good will.

There are actually too many people who respond too quickly, ironically as it sounds. She has a system with an open group that the residents join and it's like the old Linden instant Help line, anyone IMing that group is instantly waited on by an "angel," low-paid part-time workers. Hey, you get what you pay for. Nobody waits more than a minute for service. The frustrating thing is that this angel staff is unable to make decisions or handle any matters like a problem in billing. That queues up to just one or two people for the entire system, precisely because this is run as a totalitarian shop where no one is empowered to make decisions.

The huge turnover in staff lets you know how that system works. She DOES NOT prevent that from happening because that is EXACTLY what has happened to her over and over again because she has low-paid people in a rigid totalitarian order with no enablement for decision-making, and frankly, they're the kind of people unable to make decisions.

M2life

I think that after all the ACS hasn't the most expensive prices for tiers: between April 2007 and August 2008 I paid monthly to Dirk Talamasca 28$USD for 4096m2 at one of his islands... :-)

Gigs

I've been bribing my tenants to move lately. I'm going to take a huge loss when I lose grandfathering on openspaces because I'm not forcing people to move.

I'm only going to be able to convert 4 of my 12 grandfathered openspaces back to a grandfathered full island it looks like.

It sucks but I'm not going to pull the rug out from under people. You call my prices gouging, but my tenants are getting a way higher level of service than from ACS.

Prokofy Neva

Anshe will charge $34,000 a month now, about $125 US, for the OS homestead sims starting in January, which is a markup of $30 from $95. If you buy the sim and pay tier directly to Linden, it would cost you $95. I simply think that's too much of a gouge. It's not worth it.

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