an open letter

an open letter to Mija Perfferle and the Vendors at Stonehaven

You recently approached me to say you and at least one other vendor felt betrayed because there have been times the forced landing point has been turned off so all visitors to Stonehaven haven’t been forced to walk by your shops on the way to the teleport.  I want to be very clear that I want the vendors here to do well.  Your shop rentals help pay a portion of the tier here on Stonehaven Island.  SH has always operated at a loss, but the income from rentals has kept the cash outflow to a bearable level.  I don’t say this out of any desire for pity; I chose to take this burden on myself and I continue to do so willingly.  I just want you to know I’m not feasting on caviar and champagne at your expense.

The thought that some of you may feel I have been less than honorable in my dealings with you quite frankly bothers me.  Deeply.  I’ve always tried to do my best to be fair and honest in all my dealings with you.  Thats why I’ve decided  I will refund all remaining rent in cash/Lindens, including the 30 day extension you have just received as a gift from me.  I feel wrong taking money from anyone who feels I am not dealing fairly and honorably with them and cannot continue to do business with them in all good conscience.

I also hearby extend this offer to all Stonehaven Vendors.  If you feel I have not dealt fairly, honestly and honorably with you, I want to make things right.  I will refund all your remaining rent in cash/Lindens, including the 30 day extension you just received as a gift from me.  Any prims left in your shop area will be returned immediately upon sending this refund.

In the interest of transparency, I will send this letter as a group notice to the Vendors and post it publicly on my blog.  Honor means something to me and I cannot let this stand.

Dirk Massiel

Edit: 1/12 – Found out the second party who felt betrayed was Anne Karas.  Refunded all rent plus the 30 day gift and was told she will post in all blogs and tell all friends not to have dealings with me.  Nothing like gratitude.  Maybe if I just GAVE her the sim?

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5 Comments on “an open letter”

  1. I feel more should be said to the vendors who have made such complaints for I feel such negativity is unfounded and uncalled for.

    Ask yourself a few questions:

    When you feel like buying something in Second Life do you not go to a mall/store looking to either browse randomly or in search of a specific item?

    If you answered yes why is it that you feel you are losing business because people who don’t feel like shopping at all aren’t being forced to view your products? After all if they wanted to buy something from you they’d actively go to the mall. Which means that the only people who don’t buy from you are the ones who DON’T WANT TO BUY FROM YOU whether they’re forced to see your shop or not!

    If you’ve felt a bit of a crunch this last month you’re not alone, my profits got cut in half if not more. But guess what, that doesn’t have anything to do with the lose of forced TP landing spot. That’s because it was December and Christmas time and New Years and just because you may obsess over the profits in a video game to the point where you are on on said holidays does not mean the majority is and their lack of being around (thus not buying) is to blame for your lower or lacking profit not anything that Dirk does to his sim.

    If people want to buy from you they’ll go to you if there’s a forced TP or not.

    Dirk, you’re doing a good job and I for one am sticking with you. Try to not let these whiners get you down. There will always be people who just aren’t satisfied with the amount you roll over.

  2. Freya Says:

    It seems to me that your response was a bit… off. The changing of a TP point in a mall causes significant upset of sales, and that’s doubly true in a dungeon/free sex location. In my experience, visitors rarely go hunting for malls in locations like that. While operating at a loss is unfortunate, you’re only likely to make things worse by alienating those helping to pay your bills. Refunding is a fine idea for anyone who has become unhappy as a result of the changes you made to the TP point, but the best solution (and one causing least lost revenue) would be just to move the TP point back. I don’t really know the background to why the TP point moved (it wasn’t covered in the blog post) but it seems like moving it back wouldn’t be so much of a hassle, and would instantly solve the issue here.

    • stonehavenjanitor Says:

      I did turn the forced landing point back on. However, anyone who feels I “betrayed” them, I cannot in all good conscience take their money. If I felt someone had “betrayed” me, I certainly wouldn’t do business with them. Words have meaning and that one is pretty strong. I don’t want to be connected with any hint of anything improper. Also, I didn’t mention it previously, but there was talk of “demanding” a refund from me.

      As to why it was turned off, because it broke force TP toys, and no matter what anybody may think or want, this is a play sim supported by a mall, not a mall that has a play sim. It was turned off experimentally in the hope that it would not significantly impact sales. Lylani is right – forcing someone to land near a shop will not make them buy if they don’t want to. All it does is piss them off. (and have I been hearing about it since the forced landing point was turned back on!) SHOPPING is listed in caps, top row, on every TP stand. I built and installed an advertising kiosk outside the cage room and invited vendors to submit textures to place in it. If someone sees an interesting ad, they can touch it and go straight to that shop. I’ve gone out of my way to make people aware of shopping in Stonehaven. If I had my way the shopping would be on the ground, but Psi forbade that. I’ve said this until I’m blue in the face, but I’ll say it one more time — I Want the vendors to Do Well.

      In any case, a full refund, 30 days rent for free and still neither party is happy. I’ve offered the same to all the other vendors. I’m not trying to alienate anyone — I’m doing this to KEEP THEM HAPPY. I honestly don’t know what more I could have done. I think I’ve been very generous. Maybe you’d be happy if I just fell on my sword?

    • Walter Balazic Says:

      Well I don’t know about everyone else but I can tell you this (and I’m sorry if I go off on a tirade here but this is a shame)..

      1 – Moving the TP spot did absolutely nothing to effect my sales. ZERO. There’s a perfectly good GIGANTIC spinning sign by the cageroom that has the vendor’s logos on it and a direct TP to the mall. So to say that people don’t know there’s a shopping area there is outlandish.

      2 – SH Mall isn’t a supermarket where picking up a pack of gum while your standing waiting for checkout occurs. Nobody is “impulse buying” on their way to play down on the sim. If your whole marketing plan is someone tripping over one of your items and thinking “oh I’ll buy this”, then you may want to re-evaluate that stratagy.

      3 – I have plenty of vendors around, and Damsel comes to mind directly. When people TP to Bondage Ranch, they don’t TP into Damsel mall, and then have to TP out to the Ranch. Why does Dirk have to do that when nobody else does it? HoV doesn’t, Damsel doesn’t, yet nobody complains about that.

      4 – This I can say for an absolute fact. Dirk’s prices are more than fair, he does everything in his power to promote the vendors there. He runs the BEST BDSM RP sim in SL, and that alone brings traffic. The fact that people point the finger at TP landing spots etc. for lack of sales obviously don’t watch the news or are independently wealthy because EVERYONE IS BROKE!! Want to know why sales are down? It’s after Christmas, and the economy all over STINKS… It’s not the TP zone, it isn’t the mall, it isn’t SL or adult this or that… Nobody has any money!!

      5 – The fact that Dirk even has to deal with this because people want to make him feel “guilty” for their own lack of sales because he turned off a forced landing spot into his PlaySim (which he maintains out of the goodness of his heart for everyone with his time, money and effort) is an absolute disgrace. Some of you have been friends with this man forever and know him to be of the HIGHEST moral fiber, and definitely on of the kindest nicest people you’d ever want to meet. Anyone that feels the need to beat up on someone like this who would give you the shirt right off his back should be ashamed.


      • Amara Quandry Says:

        First of all, I want to pat Dirk on the back. Offering a free month in the SH mall shows us all just how dedicated he is to his vendors, and to SH itself. Frankly, if more malls, and more vendor locations took as good care of their renters as Dirk does it would be far easier to run a business in SL.

        That said, lets take a real long look at the problems that the SH vendors are complaining about shall we. Your sales have gone down. Well, news flash for you, EVERYONE’S sales have dropped off. It might be the fact that everyone has just spent all their money on Christmas, or it could be that the economy is bad world wide. It may even be that consumers in SL are aware of issues such as the Mono bug, and the coming script caps and are just watching what they buy. Yet not one of these factors comes to mind, it’s far easier after all to sick your finger out at dirk and place the blame on something that none of us had in the first place. In all the time I’ve been at SH, 90% of it has been spent without a forced TP point in the mall. The simple fact of the matter is that if people want to shop at the SH mall they will, if they don’t want to, they will not. Instead, lets take a long look at our shops, and how WE as vendors do business. Maybe, and this is just a shot in the dark here, if we did something people wanted to buy, then we’d make sales. But no, god forbid we build things that our clients want, because clearly we know best. Well the reality is that your clients, the ones not shopping at your vendor locations, are not spending money on the same old thing because they don’t want to waste the little they do have to spend. So just maybe, as a few of us seem to have figured out, if we meet the demands of our clients, offer a service and a product they want, they might buy something. But again, for some of us, that’s far to much work.

        Dirk, I personally applaud what you’ve done, and you have my full support. I have very much enjoyed not only your friendship, but the ability to do business with you at your mall, and look forward to doing both for a very long time still.

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