Better Business Bureau gives failing grade to Linden Lab

The company responsible for Second Life, the once-fashionable-now-beleaguered virtual realm, has gotten an F from a Bay Area branch of the Better Business Bureau. In its writeup, the BBB cited the number of complaints filed against business, the business' failure to respond to complaints, and the length of time the business has taken to resolve complaint(s).

According to the BBB, Linden has received 43 complaints in the past three years, 25 of them closed in the last 12 months (and 31 in all). Ten were administratively closed by the BBB, and 2 went unaddressed by Linden.

It should in fairness be noted that Linden, which turns ten this year, is a corporate entity responsible for managing the underpinning economic system and technology for a virtual space utilized by people who desperately want to believe that they are "living" in a "land" of crypto-anarcho-democracy where people can turn into bunnies. In other words, they've got a lot of people who like to complain about how Second Life works, and experienced observers suspect the stats reflect that to some extent.


The BBB's roster of received complaints includes 15 in which Linden solved the problem with no acknowledgment by the complaining customer, 8 in which the BBB determined that the company tried to resolve the complaint but the customer wasn't satisfied, and 2 in which the BBB itself decided that the complaint was not addressable. (The latter two categories make up the "administratively closed" group mentioned above.)

Details of the BBB's report card, including the nature of the various complaints, can be read on the organization's site. In a statement to Betanews, Linden acknowledged the ranking, but characterized the situation as having changed for the better over time.

"Our Better Business Bureau rating reflects that much earlier in the company's history, [when] our responses to BBB complaints were sometimes not as prompt as we'd have liked. We regret that," said a representative for the company. "However, since that early 'start-up' period, we've implemented outstanding customer support processes, and a very prompt pipeline with the BBB. We have only received a handful of complaints from the BBB over the past year, and we've resolved these promptly and appropriately.

"Our customer support functions are global, 24/7, highly professional and well trained. While the BBB's ratings are important (and we work closely with the BBB), in this case, the rating simply does not reflect where we are from a customer service perspective."

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