Billing Emails to Basic Accounts

Between November 21 and 25, we erroneously charged membership fees to a group of free, Basic accounts. Of course, Basic accounts are not subject to membership or VAT fees. If you received such a notification and had not taken the steps to upgrade to premium, your account will be restored to regular basic status, with no balance due, if it has not already. If a payment method on file was charged as a result of this error, a full refund has already been processed and will be crediting shortly. On behalf of Linden Lab, I would like to extend my sincerest regrets for this error.

If you have any other questions regarding your account, please contact our billing support group via the Second Life support portal on our website.

About jplinden

Financial Services Manager, Linden Lab
This entry was posted in -Miscellaneous, Announcements & News, Bugs & Fixes, Customer Service. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Billing Emails to Basic Accounts

  1. That’s just terrible.

  2. Berry Steinhoff says:

    “Of course, Basic accounts are not subject to membership or VAT fees.”

    Should I be paying Island tier fees then?

  3. Berry Steinhoff says:

    “Of course, Basic accounts are not subject to membership or VAT fees.”

    Should I be paying European VAT on Island tier fees then?

  4. Rhaorth Antonelli says:

    to #2 island tier fees are not membership fees and I am sure they mean VAT as applied to membership fees

    oopsie well at least they caught it quickly and are fixing the booboo

    no one is perfect, not even Linden Lab 🙂

  5. Rhaorth Antonelli says:

    to #2 and #3 (same person, since we can not edit posts)
    Yes you should be paying VAT on island tier fees, if you are required to pay VAT. The island tier fees are separate from membership fees, and the VAT fee they are speaking of is as applied to membership fees.

    Do they have to spell it out in detail?
    I thought it was pretty clear they were talking about basic membership and premium membership, not island tiers

  6. Berry Steinhoff says:

    @4.

    “Of course, Basic accounts are not subject to membership or VAT fees.”

    I am a basic account holder. I own Sims. I’m reading this as basic account holders being exempt from both membership fees and VAT. That includes the VAT Linden are kindly hitting me each month for my Island tier fees.

  7. Ree Indigo says:

    Sneaky, sneaky LL. Can’t get me to pay voluntarily, so you try an “accidental billing” … I see how you are. And my stance remains the same: I’ll pay for it … when it’s worth paying for!

  8. casteylan says:

    This is not a resolved issue. It happened to me last week, I got the email this morning apologising and saying my account was reinstated. Then 2 hours later LLs tried AGAIN and now my account is blocked again. So it was not resolved by Nov 25th, it’s still an issue as of Nov 29. I am SO glad I do not have payment info on file. God only knows how much money you’d have sneaked off me without me knowing.

  9. Dorie Bernstein says:

    Good grief, Ree Indigo. Mistakes happen. They have fixed the error. AND they even blogged about it instead of just communicating in private with the affected individuals.

  10. Judi Newall says:

    @6 They are not SUBJECT to those charges, if you choose to buy from a third party that is your choice and not LL’s concern!

    I wasn’t involved in this but I do appreciate the recent very open blog communications. When things go wrong it’s a big help to at least know why.

  11. I think they mean VAT on membership fees that basics don’t pay. NOT VAT on any fees.

    I would also like to clarify that SL accounts paying tier to private estate owners are not subject to VAT on those payments where the private estate owner does not live in a country where VAT applies.

    Is the above correct? Lindens?

  12. casteylan says:

    PS: Free accounts don’t get access to Billing Support via the portal. I tried that this morning and got an automated email saying that my support ticket would be ignored because it was in the wrong category.

  13. casteylan says:

    @Dirie, no they have not fixed the error yet. It happened again today and my account is still blocked.

  14. Berry Steinhoff says:

    @11.

    Last post from me. Thank you for your polite reply. It seems a puzzling statement from Linden. Since basic accounts are free, VAT cannot be applied to zero, as much as I’m sure Linden would like to.

    Having said that, I do see your point. Perhaps it’s glaringly obvious to others and I’m not firing on all cylinders today. Apologies.

  15. Walker Moore says:

    How many basic accounts were charged exactly?
    Were they of a particular age?

    Anybody with alts with payment info on file should be concerned about this and checking their bank/credit card statements.

    Many overseas users will get a currency conversion charge slapped on as a result of this mistake. That’s generally between $1 and $2 dollars, but sometimes more.

    Will you be refunding any banking fees charged as a result of your error, Linden Lab?

  16. Pingback: Basic Account residents - check your credit card statement

  17. Ree Indigo says:

    @ Berry (and the rest of y’all)

    Would you shut up about VAT already? It’s LL’s position to have to charge it. It’s your government’s fault it has to be charged. Seems to me that you’re bitching at the wrong place.

    Yell at LL to fix things they CAN fix, rather than harping endelessly on some European tax that you didn’t vote for or support and bringing up VAT in every single blog entry.

  18. Rockefeller says:

    Isnt it funny, when things like happen its always to their advantage.

  19. Darius Lehane says:

    Fix the XML-RPC server please.

  20. Taff Nouvelle says:

    @17,
    You obviously do not pay VAT.

  21. Ree Indigo says:

    No, Taff, I’m an American. My government doesn’t shaft me with things like that. So I don’t have to pout at people who are required to charge it.

  22. Dirk Felix says:

    Cool, so billing, customer service and the environment are all really ALPHA and not ready for prime time. Who came up with this brilliant business plan? 😉

  23. Burgess Miles says:

    God I’m tired off this!!! Make the system (SL) work allready!!!!

  24. Taff Nouvelle says:

    @21
    In that case Ree, it does not affect you so please keep your comments to yourself.
    Thank you.

  25. Ree Indigo says:

    And since it’s off topic, keep YOUR comments to yourself. This was a post about accidental billing, not European taxation.

  26. Tracey Humphreys says:

    Ree Indigo Says: ‘No, Taff, I’m an American. My government doesn’t shaft me with things like that.’
    Is that why the USA has such a wonderful health care system?

  27. Anny Helsinki says:

    “””#Ree Indigo Says:
    November 29th, 2007 at 11:55 AM PST

    @ Berry (and the rest of y’all)

    Would you shut up about VAT already?”””

    Shut up yourself!

    dont tell anybody in the blog to shut up.

    all posters have same rights to post here.

  28. Bobo Decosta says:

    @ Ree Indigo

    At least my money doesn’t go to a war my government can’t win :p

  29. Roo Dassin says:

    Walker Moore Says:
    November 29th, 2007 at 11:48 AM PST

    How many basic accounts were charged exactly?
    Were they of a particular age?

    Anybody with alts with payment info on file should be concerned about this and checking their bank/credit card statements.

    Many overseas users will get a currency conversion charge slapped on as a result of this mistake. That’s generally between $1 and $2 dollars, but sometimes more.

    Will you be refunding any banking fees charged as a result of your error, Linden Lab?

    I agree! Whats the answer Lindens?

  30. IntLibber Brautigan says:

    #28: your right, your money goes to support a welfare state that is unsustainable and headed toward national bankruptcy, of course the US isn’t in much better shape either, but we dont tax people to death, and, btw the social welfare states you enjoy have been subsidized by US taxpayers for decades paying for your costs of defense, so a please and thank you are appropriate here…

  31. Redmoonblade says:

    LOL Secondlife.

  32. Sunni Jewell says:

    OMG! Could we please not turn this into another “my country is better than your country” blog? I’m an American….we have our problems, and plenty of taxes. I’m married to an Englishman, and they have plenty of taxes and their problems. Can we just leave it at that, and talk about the topic, please?

  33. Kira says:

    OMG Stop it! jeez Do you all not realize this petty international bickering only serves to widen the rift. I am sick of this childish banter everytime i come to the boards. I wonder why there are no new people to meet and it is becuse of this crap right here.
    Americans do you not realize that other countrys who havent met Americans before are judging ALL of us based on news , movies and your snide comments? I for one enjoy meeting people from around the world I had no idea about VAT before all this. It is just one of the many great things about SL being able to learn about other cultures.
    LL SHAME on you for letting this kind of flaming horse crap go on , on your blogs Just makes a flames and rants board so everyone can go there and get all this out of there system and the rest of us can go back to coming here to find out real information.

  34. Tracey Humphreys says:

    You are lucky, Bobo (28), I’m UK, we pay VAT, AND we pay to support senseless War For Oil

  35. Leeloo Nykvist says:

    Funny how many european people here (if they are complaining about needing to pay VAT, they must be european) don’t seem to know anything about how VAT works, even though they pay VAT on everything…

  36. Tracey Humphreys says:

    Leeloo said ‘european people here… …don’t seem to know anything about how VAT works, even though they pay VAT on everything…’
    Perhaps you are right… I thought in the UK I DIDN’T pay VAT on food, books, newspapers… But I pay VAT on food? Wow! I bow to your superior knowledge.

  37. PostBab says:

    Ree may be an Ugly American, but he has a point: if you are upset about VAT, take it to your government(s). There is little that Linden Labs can do about it – they are required by the EU to charge VAT when providing electronic services in the EU.
    See: http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l31044.htm

  38. Walker Moore says:

    Can we have the General Discussion forum back please so we don’t have to suffer all this off-topic BS on the blog? I want to read on-topic comments relating to the actual blog entry here, not a bunch of flag-waving tards initiating flamewars about stuff that would be more appropriately said elsewhere. It’s bad enough that you limit each post to 100 comments (if you remember to turn them off in time), never mind that most of those comments are being stolen by people who clearly have zero respect for both the system and other users.

    Yeah, I’m having a bad day. (-_-),,|,

    But seriously. =/

  39. shockwave yareach says:

    Well, that’s one way to stop people from complaining about the lousy way LL is running its show…

    BTW: LL, this is an excellent way to get me to pull my account data from you, go back to Basic and change my card number. You would not do business with any company that took money from you whenever they felt like. Don’t expect any different reaction from us. You’ve fixed the problem, you say. That’s great. But many of us are losing what little faith we have that your computer accumen extends beyond hitting the power button.

  40. Bryon Ruxton says:

    For the European folks, just to mention that for the moment the addition of VAT still makes your tier fees lower than for US Residents with the Euro at ~1.5 Dollars.
    Please take this current competitive advantage into consideration before advocating unfairness.

  41. Clang Bailey says:

    Apparently, judging from some of the responses, here, paranoia runs high in SL.

  42. chica alegre que le gusta pasarla bien y conpartir con genteentretenida e inteligente

  43. Rhaorth Antonelli says:

    To #2
    “I am a basic account holder. I own Sims. I’m reading this as basic account holders being exempt from both membership fees and VAT. That includes the VAT Linden are kindly hitting me each month for my Island tier fees”

    If you are paying LL for anything, and you live in a location that VAT is charged to purchases, then yes you have to pay VAT. (It doesn’t matter if your account is premium or basic, island billing tier fees is separate from account level billing)
    The announcement was referring to the cost of premium accounts and VAT charges related to that. No where in the blog post, did it say anything about island fees and such.

    NOW, if you are not paying LL for any services then LL should not be charging you anything (including VAT). Now, if you bought an island from another resident, and it all got transfered to you, then yes you will pay VAT on the monthly tier you pay to Linden Lab, because, you are paying it to Linden Lab.

    If you pay tier to another resident, that is between you and them.

    I hope this helps clear it up a bit.

    To the rest of you, all I can say is… WOW!

    To the lindens, I am surprised you have let the comments on this blog post get as bad as they did.

    Have a great weekend everyone!!

  44. Ron Crimson says:

    So, when is Windlight ready for prime time?

    😉

  45. Tracey Humphreys says:

    Hi Ron,
    Windlight is ready NOW as far as I am concerned.
    All I’ve used since it appeared. MAGIC! I LOVE it! Thank you lovely Lindens!

    I think there may be issues with the Mac version’s frame rate, which may be why it isn’t prime time yet.

  46. kenny Stringer says:

    Is Fee going up then ????

  47. Hewitt Huet says:

    Next time around, can you NOT bill us folks with premium accounts? We want parity with the no payment info people!!! XD

  48. U M says:

    @38 if people are junking up the blog with useless off topic messages you have a point. But if your refering to those post on the blog with thier views of the blog topic andpost more then 2 more remarks. This is not stealing replies for all the others. How many users do we have on sl (x) of millions? And so how do you propose that we “SHARE” this blog posting idea with only 100 or so post? Its not possible. Do you remember when they allowed 500 messages per blog topic? People were complaining that it took forever to read the blog of that topic.

    As for fees going up they did say 2008 in this case ( 2008 feb tiers ) were going up.

  49. Ron Crimson says:

    Tracey @45, my question was meant as a subtle joke… an attempt to get the topic away from VAT and all that sh…tuff. 😉

    Ohyes, I love WindLight too, but it does still have issues (broken particles for one thing)… but I know glorious times are upon us, for we shall soon hold the ultimate viewer in our hands… Windlight and Havok4 all rolled into one release viewer 😀

  50. Silvie Messmer says:

    great job that one… a friend of mine was accidentially billed in this process and was refunded later for the fee itself but not the VAT

  51. simba fuhr says:

    *sighs*
    Stop the basic account programm and all is ok, we have lags because too many users, too many data in the database.
    Campers, bots, all these can stopped when the basic account will no longer exists.
    Well, when you dont want to stop the basic, please make a one time registration fee. This will stop the most griefers too !!

    Linden, basic accounts are good, sure, but look at the grid, its not stable enough to let all these people be online.
    And we, we payed customers have the problems then, our business breaks. I lost customers in the last days, nothing works in SL !

    So, listen to me, no, listen to us, reduce the accounts, create a one time registration fee !!

  52. Tegg B says:

    Taff Nouvelle Says:

    November 29th, 2007 at 12:04 PM PST
    @17,
    You obviously do not pay VAT.

    You obviously don’t have GST, deserts and funnel web spiders 😛

  53. Melody Marlin says:

    @Byron – no it doesn’t, we still pay the exact same US$ amount. The fact that the dollar has plummeted means our currency goes further but we’re still paying the same amount. You just have to work a few hours extra per month to cover the same expense. Please don’t confuse the strength of local economies with amount paid. A few years ago, a stronger dollar sold for 1.80/UK£. It’s currently 2.06/UK£. So I currently get approximately 14% more value for my £. Yet we pay 17.5% VAT that you don’t, so hmm seems we’re still ‘paying more’ than you even given your own terms, which still doesn’t make that metric viable.

  54. Janie Matahari says:

    “some” is ALOT OF PEOPLE

    when i hear from two diff sources that this is happening to them, then i suspect its pretty much everyone

    I also heard that some accounts were disabled because people DID NOT pay.

    I also heard that there was no reason why the accounts were disabled.

    can you please fully address your actions in attempting to clean out the alts? I think you are discriminating against free acounts.

    this is bad for business, VERY bad! >(

  55. Pingback: The Grid Live » Second Life News for November 30, 2007

  56. Belos Seiling says:

    Why not transform all types of tiers into membership fees of different degree, thus making it possible again for non-US citiziens to economically compete on equal terms.
    Instead of increasing and charging Land maintenance fee based on area owned,
    the membership fee could be increased with the same base of increament as for land ownership.
    Likely this a too easy way out for the Lindens, but I needed to get this ide out anyway.
    Why make things simple and easy when there are thousands of ways to complicate them?

Comments are closed.