Maybe they should follow the IMVU model. Apple babies it’s developers. They should be attacking them and blaming them for things, not making it easy for them. Apple should institute the three strike rule and if three bugs are found in developers apps then they should be banned for LIFE!
Apple should allow the things they don’t want to go through so that afterwards they can attack the programmer for doing it. Apple should make vague rules and change them as they go, and enforce them without any recourse or appeal process. Think how much more money Apple could make if they charged the programmer 100% of the sales for any programs sold that had bugs in them!
Maybe even better, if they find a programmer with bugs in his or her programs they should ban that programmer and still sell all of that programmers other programs and keep all of the funds for themselves! Since they’re making so much money from users complaining about anything they should also allow users to file totally anonymous complaints against their programmers and assume they are guilty until proven innocent, because the more programmers they ban the more money they make!
I was going to add a developer section to the website. Unfortunately the most important advice I have for you if you’re interested in developing is to use other accounts so that when you do get attacked (which with IMVU seems to be just a matter of time) they can’t steal as much from you.
Unfortunately in IMVU the more items you have made, the more at risk you are for getting complaints about things that might or might not even have been objectionable. Someone can just get mad at you because of some honest misunderstanding or a bad breakup and all of a sudden you are getting complaint after complaint and getting kicked out of the system you were trying to support.
Apple supports it’s customers and especially it’s developers way too much. It should do anything and everything to enforce its morals regardless of how much it hurts it’s supporters and its community. It’s all about money to IMVU and that’s how they make money (in the short run). Sure in the long run it hurts their community much more than it benefits them but new tech companies don’t make money because of the size of their user base or community, it’s just short term revenue. Oh wait tech companies do make much more from the size of their user base just than the actual revenues, at least the smart ones do.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, but like I said at the end, thanks for NOTHING! Because you and IMVU clearly don’t care about your customers or your community. I guess what they say about absolute power corrupting absolutely, is true here as well. Oh that’s not totally true. Thank you for giving me permission to post the video.
Kaitlyn: I don’t mean the text
Kaitlyn: I mean the full video
Direct link for the original higher quality and more readable bubbles: https://imvutips.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/hour-long-discussion-with-jeff-director-of-customer-service-at-imvu-2014-07-29.wmv
Unfortunately nobody’s “Judgement” is perfect and I understand that. You yourself said it’s an “inexact science.” The problem is that you don’t have any way to deal with this gray area other than attacking the customer until you beat them into submission and force them to not only follow the Minimum Coverage Guidelines, (MCG) but your “judgement” which you can’t define or test for. The regular customer service reps don’t even want to admit it’s a “judgement call” and that isn’t mentioned in the Terms of Service or the messages when you take down a profile pic. You only quote the MCG and Terms of Service even though you can’t tell if the picture follows it or not.
Yes people do like IMVU, but eventually everyone hates the company that enforces rules but doesn’t follow them, and acts like GOD. A real customer service rep would have apologized and diffused the situation, not attacked and insisted the customer was wrong with form letters. I love the people in here, I like the system, but I HATE the company and their (your) GOD complex, and your consistent approach of just attacking the customer and acting like there is no gray area, but they’re just wrong. You say it’s an “inexact science” in your first messageyet you don’t have any way to appeal this mysterious “judgement” or “inexact science” and don’t have any way to allow for mistakes or anything in the gray area, other than attacking the customer and saying they’re wrong until they go away. And you wonder why people don’t like imvu customer service or the company?
I thought as the Head of Customer Service at IMVU you’d be more than a robot, simply saying the customer is wrong, the customer is wrong, the customer is wrong. You disappoint me and only reinforce why I hate the company. Maybe that’s a good thing because there has to be some place for people to voice their frustration about IMVU. Like I said “Thanks for NOTHING!”
I filed a complaint about ongoing HARASSMENT in IMVU which their terms of service says specifically is not allowed. I filed it on June 30th, and since then I’ve called twice and used the Live Chat (which seems even more ineffective) and every time they promise to “escalate” it and I’ll get an answer within 24 hours. 18 days later, I’m still waiting for their first response. They haven’t even sent me their dumb form letter saying how sorry they are that I feel this way. Not a word for two and a half weeks.
I understand outsourcing your customer service, but you would think harassment would be one of the higher priorities, and yet despite repeated calls and chats they can’t even be bothered to reply let alone solve anything. IMVU’s a great system, but the company behind it is killing it, not to mention attacking their own customers. They’re quick to crucify their customers and slower than slow to respond to help them.
A good friend of mine was recently banned for life, lost all his credits and everything without warning or appeal for IMVU’s own mistake. I’ve known him for probably close to two years, and he was a decent guy not looking for trouble. His crime was being intimate with someone that said they were 22 and had AP. It turned out that the girl had lied and was 16, and her mother threw a fit. IMVU rather than fix the system and require real age verification, they attacked their customer and said it was his fault and suspended him without any recourse, without any appeal at all.
I don’t talk much or get close to anyone without AP, or even anyone that shows 21 or less in most cases. I’ve taken flack for that and people aren’t happy if I don’t feel comfortable in talking to them, but AP is supposed to be there to protect everyone (adults as much as minors). If someone gets AP and shows that they’re older, unless you have a real reason to contrary you have to be able to rely on that. And if that turns out to be a minor that’s IMVU’s FAULT for giving them AP (which is supposed to be a pass to the adult side) and shouldn’t be yours.
Unfortunately IMVU makes a lot of money off of minors in that gray area, and then even make money by banning their users, which is SICK. They could clearly fix the system and make it safer and prevent minors from getting AP if they wanted to, but they make money from it and therefore won’t. Instead they attack and blame their user who was trusting them steal everything he had without fixing anything. This is just one more example of why I say eventually you’ll HATE IMVU. IMVU Customer Service is worse than just bad, they attacks and retaliates against their own customers for complaining. It’s sad but it’s true.
I filed a complaint at IMVU because the angel profile wasn’t AP and they took it down. The rep responded with an arrogant YES IT IS AP and I got two more anonymous complaints. Each time I put it back up. Hanna was apparently away for a couple days and when she got back, she responded to my ticket and I got a fourth complaint. A couple days later, I write back and suddenly get the fifth “anonymous” complaint.
I’ve had a lot of sexier profile pics since I started here and in three years only got a couple complaints. Now nine days I have FIVE complaints about one of the least offensive pictures I’ve used. I haven’t had any issues with people, I’m about to get married in here. Things have never been better. The only issue I’ve had has been with Hanna in IMVU Customer Service. And every time I add to the complaint ticket or get a response I get another complaint.
Does this prove it’s from IMVU, I don’t know. IMVU is the most closed, anti customer organization I’ve ever dealt with. They don’t tell you what was wrong, who said it was wrong, or give you any appeal process. And it seems like if you do say anything to them, you mysteriously keep getting attacked. I wouldn’t assume it’s all IMVU reps or their policy, but I guess we’ll find out based on how they respond. If they bury it, and insist it has to remain “anonymous” there’s probably a reason for that and it’s probably either sanctioned or part of their policy or so prevalent that they don’t want to admit it. If that’s not the company attitude they will open up and be more forthcoming.
If the company does show the details of the complaints I won’t do anything to that person and promise to respond respectfully and in love. My family name is LYN which means Love Your Neighbor, and I’ll respond as such. But to do this to one of their biggest supporters is just stupid beyond measure. I’m boycotting the company, not buying any more credits for myself or friends and adding to the complaint section of the website as much as possible in the mean time.
The only reason I’m in IMVU is the people, and my friends. Otherwise I would already be in 2nd Life!
I don’t work for IMVU (that’s never been more obvious!), I just made this website because I LOVE IT. I’ve had 193,465 hits on my website, given out 6,805 gifts and spent over $8,000 in the past two years on credits directly at IMVU (not counting resellers). I’m head over heels in love and getting married in a couple weeks in here! I’m nothing if not one of their very biggest supporters anywhere and it breaks my heart to say anything bad about any of it. But the bad guy isn’t the one pointing out the problems, it’s the people that ignore them.
I don’t know how else to say it but, I have never seen a corporation so determined to attack and hurt their customers. I understand the need for rules and the need to enforce them. I understand being spread thin and needing to handle support as efficiently as possible, but after the conversation (I’m not sure the Live Help is really a live person or can be called a conversation) I had today with Matt, I considered a number of options but decided it was long past time to make a section of the website for IMVU Complaints. I Love the people here more than I can possibly explain, and I love the system. And there are probably some good people in the corporation, but the corporate attitude is extremely antagonistic toward their customers.
I guess the down side of it being so good is that they end up feeling like they can do absolutely anything at all to even their best users and act like they can never leave. Well they can and even if it’s growing it’s not growing like it could if they were doing it not right, but just less vindictively.
I’m making a place for users to complain anonymously and to talk about the IMVU issues not because I hate them or am trying to hurt them, but because I care, even though they don’t seem to. Maybe they’ll reach out and try to improve things. Unfortunately there’s probably an even greater probability that this will piss them off and paint a target on my back. If that’s the case, the gloves really come off and the whole website becomes this section and I’ll be free to post even more things.
Just the fact that there are complaints does NOT mean that it’s bad. Take anything you read online with a grain of salt, even this. Look at this just as an outlet for venting. I’ll start out a little and just so you know, the next couple posts may be complaint related items as well.
Dear IMVU Customer Service,
If you have having trouble reading this message you can also see it online at https://imvutips.com/2014/06/16/angel-under-arrrest-but-for-what/ (btw I’ve had over 60,000 users on my website and 100,000 page views in the past year!)
About 2 hours ago you took down my profile picture stating that it was reported by an IMVU user as violating the IMVU Terms of Service. I’ve put it back up and linked to it here for you. http://wp.me/a1YXed-24J It’s a picture of an ANGEL!
I really want to know what is it in the profile picture you took down that violates the terms of service. Is it the halo or light around the head of the ANGEL or is it just that a Satanist doesn’t like angel pictures? Before this one I had a picture of my fiancé and I kissing that had no body parts in it at all. Both would clearly be considered GA by any human being actually looking at them. I’m making this ticket public and will post your answer too. Sometimes I just think it takes some attention before a problem gets fixed.
I’ve pointed this out before because Imvu trains their users to hate them with non specific violations of vague rules but this is just such an obvious case of the system being screwed up. I’m honestly not trying to attack you, I want the system to be successful and grow. I want everyone here to enjoy it safely. I don’t want IMVU to get a bad reputation either. I understand the importance of guidelines and of enforcing them. What I don’t understand is how you expect users to modify their behavior when you give such intentionally vague messages. It’s like getting a ticket without saying what they did wrong or even where you broke it, just you did “SOMETHING” wrong. Sometimes maybe it’s obvious but this clearly shows the ridiculousness of the system.
Their response (and an enlarged picture of the profile)
Thank you for contacting IMVU!
We apologize for any inconvenience. We understand your concern and we will be glad to look into this.
Please be advised that the reported photo violated the Minimum Coverage Guidelines (MCG). It is because of what the avatar is wearing. It is a see-through top that shows the breast part if you look at it more closely. For information about MCG violation, go to: http://www.imvu.com/catalog/web_info.php?topic=mature_content_policy
We would like to inform you that all the reports submitted to us are being carefully reviewed and investigated by the proper department before it reaches a verdict. We do not tolerate nor give courtesies to any users found in breach of IMVU’s Terms of Service. We also have violations for those users who are inappropriately flagging other users and we are more than willing to take it against them if found guilty.
Due to privacy and safety issues, we cannot disclose any information about the said reports (name of reporter, copy of flagged photo etc). We appreciate your understanding regarding this matter.
Should you have any other concerns, feel free to visit our Knowledge Base to find answers to most of your important IMVU questions. Just go to http://www.imvu.com/help or click on the Help link located on the upper-right corner of the IMVU webpage and 3D chat client. For anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.
Customer Care and Education
I realize that’s a canned answer designed to hopefully just get people to go away. But this is being shown publicly. So please take at least a few seconds to look at it before you just spew incorrect answers, because I’m not trying to make you look bad.
I’m including a blown up image of the profile picture to make it easier for you to see. Please look closely because there’s clearly no transparency or anything showing WHAT SO EVER!
Further, it was FLAGGED AGAIN! So this issue is clearly relevant. IMVU said TWICE that they agree with someone that this picture is inappropriate and we all really want you or a supervisor to explain why you flagged this picture, not once but TWICE!
If you want to hide behind anonymity then you have to provide some review which imvu clearly isn’t doing. You can’t simply allow people to anonymously take down other people’s pictures for NO REASON! Maybe we should complain about a default picture and see if you take that down!
So again, please explain what is in appropriate about this picture!
6/17/14 9:15pm Update. They didn’t answer the customer service ticket, but they did take down the profile picture for a THIRD TIME within 48 HOURS!
Added to the Customer Service Ticket:
12 minutes ago IMVU claimed my profile picture was inappropriate for a THIRD TIME! I replaced it again and will keep on replacing it until you provide a satisfactory answer. I’ve enlarged the image to show you as clearly as possible that there’s absolutely no nipple visible at all.
You clearly think something is wrong though or you wouldn’t have removed the same picture three times in 48 hours! So I’m simply asking you WHY?!
6/18/14 It’s been two days since the canned response so I used the live chat and they said they would escalate it and someone would get back to me today. That was this morning and it’s 11pm and of course nothing. I understand having limited resources and will be patient. At least it wasn’t taken down again today.
I talk a lot about the good things in IMVU but what are the downsides? First and foremost, the biggest downside for many people is that it sucks up so much time. It’s a great feeling and a lot of fun when it’s going well and it’s easy to let that suck up more time then you probably should.
The next downside is probably more painful. That’s the intensity, especially when things go wrong. Things happen very fast in here, and when they go wrong it can often be even faster and more intense then real life.
Another thing you have to watch out for is assuming this is more than it really is. This isn’t real life and although it’s exciting to imagine it as real it’s a danger and not something to be tried lightly. I think there’s also a danger, especially for young people to take the things and lessons and attitudes from here and let them spill over into their real life.
No discussion of the downside could be complete without talking about the Darkside. IMVU Definitely has a dark side. There are a lot of really bad people and anonymity seems to empower them. There are child molesters and people that you would never want your children anywhere near. The freedom here is fun but it can also be dangerous if you aren’t careful too. The corporate attitude also tends to be anti user at times.
All that being said it can definitely be the most exciting and amazing thing ever. So watch out for the downsides but go for it.
If you have a child or dog and you punish it without without explaining what you are punishing if for with unspecific rules and do it inconsistently, they can’t improve and will only grow to hate or resent you.
If a teacher graded your paper and didn’t mark what was wrong but just said something was wrong so you fail, how would you know and do any better next time? Sure sometimes you may know what it is. But their rules are intentionally vague and they don’t tell you what you did wrong on purpose so you can’t dispute anything.
To make it worse, imagine if you were failed out of the course if you got three things wrong. They don’t tell you what was wrong, just that you failed. That’s pretty much what they do. They are the judge, jury, and executioner and they don’t even have the courage to tell you which vague rule you broke. Oh and of course there’s no appeal process.
They can and do, absolutely anything they want to, to anyone they want at any time. And if you are banned, they don’t give you your credits back, they just keep them, essentially giving themselves an incentive to ban their users.
It’s the most insane process I think they could possibly come up with. I understand the need for rules and the need to enforce the rules. But this insane way of enforcing non specific rules it’s as if they are trying to intentionally alienate and destroy their users. You are presumed to be guilty and there’s no way to know what violated the rules let alone any way to appeal it. I worry because I don’t think any business or organization can last with this attitude. Even if they don’t go under someone has to be able to do a better job and pass them.
I don’t say this because I’m upset at IMVU. On the contrary, I say this because I love this place and it hurts me to see practices that are hurting it especially when they are done by the people in charge. Make sure you backup your friends and contacts and keep an open mind to other programs too. To me this is the biggest weakness and drawback to the overall good IMVU system.
I tend to see part of my role here with this blog as showing how much fun IMVU can be, so this isn’t really an easy thing to write about. I love IMVU and do NOT want to complain. I don’t think I’ve ever complained about IMVU publicly before and I’m not doing it now to bash anyone. I admit that there are a lot of bad things about users here. The anonymity that protects people also allows them to be the rudest jerks too. But you can steer away from and avoid them. I’m talking now about the worst thing about the company IMVU itself. If you don’t know it already I don’t work for or represent IMVU at all. I don’t think they even care what I say or do here at all. I’ve been blessed in here with the most amazing friends and have more fun than anyone could ever deserve to have. But unfortunately it’s so fun that people tend to become addicted to it and that leads to a feeling in the corporation that they can do ANYTHING they want to, to their users.
Let me explain my experience with the Daily Outfit Challenge. Unfortunately it seems to be run with the same attitude that the whole company seems to have, earning it the popular nickname IMFU! I saw that the challenge yesterday was “What’s your super power?” and while I have several fun super hero outfits I came up with a cool idea (in the picture below). I made a custom sign, (I don’t dev very much so it took some time but I got it to work) and bought another new outfit. I spent a fair amount of time on it and read and followed ALL the rules. I should also mention that I entered one other time, over a year ago and it was disqualified for some reason that time too, so I tried very hard to make sure I followed all the rules. Unfortunately with IMFU you can honestly follow the rules and still get screwed.
I got the following response:
“Hello, your outfit Super Mom Power title or description contained either your avatar name, or a word/phrase which has been in several of your past outfits. Please remember that this challenge is anonymous. Feel free to enter for tomorrow’s theme!”
My title and description were both “Super Mom Power” so the only word not in the name of the contest is “Mom” which obviously isn’t in my name or at all unique to me. I only talk about my real life with close friends and don’t have “kids” in here. The rules (http://www.imvu.com/outfits/contest/enter_outfit.php) specifically say to be creative (5. Outfits named ‘My outfit’ will be rejected. Be creative!) and also not to be off topic.
If by “your past outfits” they mean my previous entries I clearly have absolutely none! At first I guessed maybe they just don’t want people to use themes that have been done recently and Mothers Day was a couple weeks ago. But the leader as I write this is named “Nature Superpower” and looks like it could have been an entry for the challenge just YESTERDAY, “Secret Garden”. Several entries are called Wind Power or are about Flying, though three days before Mothers Day the challenge was “Riding the Wind”. There are a lot of other entries that could fit into challenges earlier this month.
There’s nothing unique to me about the word MOM! I’ve never even entered before! And there’s no rule that says you can’t use a theme or word that was done recently. But even if there was a problem with the title, they could have changed it! Instead they just boot you with no honest or clear explanation. I talked to a couple other friends and it turns out a number of people have entered and been disqualified and just given up.
The point here isn’t that there shouldn’t be rules. And I don’t honestly care about the results of the contest at all. I was only doing because I was proud of being a Mom. I’m not attacking or even mentioning the person that threw me out. The point here is that the contest is administered the same way the whole company seems to be run.
If you want to act like God, you have to treat people more like God would, not like a natzi or dictator would. Unilaterally throwing people out for breaking unwritten rules or things they just didn’t do is wrong. And I’m not just talking about a stupid outfit contest, I’m talking about a very pervasive attitude in all of IMVU. Anyone that’s been here for a while knows exactly what I mean.
To me this is IMVU’s biggest weakness. I understand the need for balance and I want the system to be workable. But you can’t cross over into main stream and build this into what it ultimately could be, if you just keep screwing your customers, without an open accountable system.
I love the IMVU Corporation, but I do NOT work for them and have to be honest. I’ve never seen a company that seems to care less about it’s customer at times. I’m not trashing them, but my personal experience with them has been less than perfect. It seems to me, like they tend to act like they’re god and the customer is never right. Their toll-free (in the US) telephone number is: 866-761-0975. The only local number I could find is 650-646-3244. They want you to open a trouble ticket for things rather than talking on the phone but if you’re able to talk on the phone that seems to work much better in my experience than trouble tickets, although if it’s not a billing issue they try to push you to just a trouble ticket.
I have found that if you politely and patiently persist and refuse to give up, they sometimes relent because I think they may get graded by the amount of calls they handle. So if you take forever they might feel more pressure to resolve it for you. This may not be easy if you’re outside of the US, but you might be able to use Skype or a service like that to access their toll free number and call them inexpensively. Unfortunately it’s never easy to deal with them and they act a little like a monopoly so good luck with any issue.