Miss Ophelia's Metaverse Manners: How to Deal with Entitled SL Customers -- And Avoid Being One Yourself!
Iris Ophelia's ongoing take on etiquette & ethics in virtual spaces
Earlier this month I posted a rant about the attitude of entitlement that's seeped in to SL's fashion world. It started a lot of discussion, and raised quite a few questions worthy of answers from Miss Metaverse Manners. This week, I'm answering the three most common questions that came up, starting with...
I released something for a daily deal type of event so theday after I set the price up to a normal price like everything else in my store. Later that day a customer started harassing me in IMs and calling me greedy. Should I have waited longer to set the price, was this person just a bitch, how do I handle this?
An event with a specific day in its name takes place on that specific day, it shouldn't be hard to understand. No one should expect an item set out at a discount for Supahfly Saturday or whatever to still be there on Sunday. I'll admit that I often shop these events late and I greatly appreciate when some designers choose to leave the item out longer, but I certainly don't take it for granted or begrudge a designer who has removed the item or reset the price. Your customer was 100% in the wrong on this one, both in what they expected and how they approached you.
When a customer approaches you about an issue like this, it's best to apologize and politely remind them that the sale price was only for that day. If the customer is being gracious about it, it would be nice of you to give it to them for the discount price as a one-time act of goodwill, but sometimes this can cause other problems down the line (as you'll read in a later question,) so don't feel like it's an obligation. If the customer is being abusive, keep your cool and just close the window. If they threaten you or make a scene at your shop, then don't feel bad about muting and banning them as well. Remember, it's your store and your choice.
Keep reading for more!
Hey Iris. I'm a fashion blogger and am part of a large bloggers group which designers use to send review copies. Lately the items sent have sucked and there's been nothing worth reviewing. Do I have any right to complain?
Honestly no, I don't think you have a right to complain. I was in this situation recently myself, and do you know what I did? I left the group. I found that I was getting spammed with releases that were of little interest to me, so I left the group. In a large group like that designers aren't picking items to suit individual bloggers' tastes or sending items to bloggers that they specifically enjoy or respect, so many items won't be to your liking. If you want "good" things to review, you need to approach designers yourself. Plan what you want to write about the product and approach them with your ideas and a link to your blog. Show them that you're willing to work to earn that review copy, and not just expect the next amazing thing to fall into your lap.
I have a customer that always asks me to recolor my limited releases for her. I did it a couple times to be nice, but she asks me to recolor more and more now and I think I opened a Pandora's box because she takes it as a given that she can have anything in any color. PLEASE HELP!
- Milked dry
Oh boy, I'll admit I'm sympathetic to both sides of this issue. I won't say I've never turned my puppy-dog eyes on a designer in a moment of shallow desperation, but you've got to respect a designer's time and not make that kind of behaviour a routine. You have to put your foot down gently on this. Tell her that you're getting busier and you won't be able to keep recoloring things for her all the time. If she's a nice person and you feel a little badly about it, it would be sweet to offer to recolor one more thing for her, either a current release or one in the future, but once again you shouldn't feel obliged to do this. Either way, let her down easy and try your best to end it on a positive note. She is a loyal customer, even if she's also a royal pain!
Submit your virtual etiquette dilemmas to ophelia.iris [at] gmail [dot] com, or submit anonymously to the Metaverse Manners Formspring. Be sure to include a pseudonym (i.e. "WTF from the Welcome Area") so you know when I'm addressing your query!
Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.