Magnus Brody

MAGNUS BRODY - Thane of Urquhart

Married to Bondette Body, Countess of Urquhart

Winner of the 2015 and 2016 AVI CHOICE AWARD: Favorite Spoken Word / Performer / Actor Male.
Nominated for the 2016 AVI CHOICE AWARD for ARTS in 3 categories: Favorite Spoken Word / Performer / Actor Male, Favourite Formal DJ and Favourite Radio DJ.

I live in Brody Castle (designed to look like the rl Brodie Castle) and present every Sunday:

Sundays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm SLT:
Grand Highland Classical Ball, Caledonian Ballroom, Brody Castle

I sponsor the adjacent Urquhart, a residential area, on the banks of Loch Ness with lovely cottages for rent.

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Brody's Best
Viewer: NiranV Dean's Viewer
Places: I co-own the Highlands of Scotland, 3 sims comprising of Inverness, Urquhart and Beauly
Music: Skye Galaxy, Zachh Cale, Anidi Huet and Phemie Alcott
Marketplace: Luna Fatale Creations, Sweetbay Designs, Carbon Philter and Novatech
Stand-up Comedy: A Little Bit Kinky with Magnus Brody, Magnus Brody at Lauren and Friends Live and Magnus Brody Brainiac Jokes

Highlands of Scotland Calendar

Sunday, 8 May 2011

SL Billing Frustration

Some time ago, I think late last year, Linden Lab stopped all non-US using PayPal, introducing the second life cashier, but only for new non-US customers, and this left me unable to pay the Lab at all.

When the Lab introduced the SL Cashier, they did not "update" my account and so I continued to have the two original choices of payment method: Visa/MasterCard or PayPal.  I have a preloaded MasterCard, which I specifically bought to use online and this has been accepted everywhere, except SL.  No payments are accepted by SL when I try to use this card, and of course, if I try to use PayPal its also not accepted because I am not resident in the US.

At this point I developed my own workaround: I made an alt and, as a new, Non-US customer, I hoped I would be able to use the SL Cashier.  It worked, I now had a choice of payment methods, including Click and Buy, Visa/MasterCard and Solo/Maestro.

I was pleased to see Maestro was accepted, this being one of the most common charge cards issued with a UK current account.  I have been able to make payments for the last 6 months, using my Maestro card, buying lindens, then logging-in with my alt to transfer the cash to my main, until yesterday.

The payment options, under the Second Life Cashier, have now been reduced to Visa/MasterCard or Click and Buy.  Once again, I'm stuck and unable to use my MasterCard.

I read up on this Click and Buy, a little wary of using a service I have never heard of, but checking the internet doesn't bring up anything worrying, apart from the odd moan.  I registered with them, verified my Maestro card, using their process which is similar to PayPal verification of a card, and returned to my alt account page to purchase US$50 worth of lindens.

The transaction seemed to go through, but the lindens did not show-up on the account screen.  I checked to see if perhaps a US$ credit was made to my alt's account, but - nothing, only a "transaction pending" listed in the account's transactions.

I checked Click and Buy, which confirms the transaction is complete.  I check my bank account online and the US$50 has been deducted from my balance, or approx GBP£30.

I log-in again to my alt account and still nothing.

In the end, I had to phone billing, who were only able to raise a support ticket which will not be looked at until tomorrow, at the earliest and, from recent experience, I know it will be a miracle if the ticket is looked at in the next two months.

So, I'm not pleased, not only do the Lab seem to want to make it as difficult as possible to pay them anything, if you're non-US, but now US$50 is floating about somewhere, gone from my bank account, but not available for me to use in SL.  I want to use it now, that's why I attempted to buy Lindens.

Now, what am I supposed to do until the matter is resolved?


  1. Thankfully the problem resolved itself about two hours later but, the submitted ticket remains new and unread, so I am unsure if any action was needed to sort out this one payment or not.

    It doesn't sort out the main problem of how difficult it can be for non-US residents to be billed and/or how difficult it is to purchase Lindens.

    An example, a few months back, from the time the Lab decided to stop using PayPal, caused me to be suspended for non-payment. Did I receive an email from LL telling me the billing arrangement (PayPal) which I'd had in place for four years was no longer acceptable as payment? No. Did I receive any guidance or advice from the lab about changing to another payment method? No. Was I suspended for non-payment? Yes, despite having sufficient funds available, the Lab chose not to use the payment method they'd used for four years; not really my definition of non-payment. I know this happened to many others too and I'm sure none of them even received an email explaining that the Lab's decision to stop using PayPal was the reason for the payment problem; I didn't. Instead I spent a very frustrating time trying to re-add PayPal and not knowing why it kept failing: no warning screens, nothing. A simple email to all customers affected (and they know which country I live in because they manage to charge UK VAT without problem) would have been best, or even some sort of warning on the account screen, "PayPal no longer accepted from non-US, see wiki article blah blah blah".

    Clearly the types of acceptable payment methods (for non-US) have changed again recently, i.e. they have been reduced. Have any non-US been emailed by the lab? I am guessing not.

    If my phone company irl, cancelled my usual way of paying them, without informing me, then suspended my service for non-payment because they refused to use a payment method they had previously used for years, I'd expect some compensation for their error.

    Any company which expects its customers to jump through hoops to pay them, is expecting too much loyalty. I remain because I love sl, but I am sure others have just given-up in frustration. To me, it's somewhat akin to shopping in the supermarket, then a fit, young cashier says, "ah, but you can only leave with your shopping today if you pay me; and to pay me, you're going to have to catch me first". Would I be tempted to switch supermarket to one which makes it easier for me to give them my money? Yes, I'm just too old to chase young supermarket cashiers, in fact I don't even flirt with them anymore because there's nothing sadder than some middle-aged guy, thinking he's great, having some young woman be polite because she has to as part of her job.

  2. Is there a reason why you can't put a regular Master or Visa Card issued by a bank on your SL account?

    The Lindens don't accept those pre-paid cards you buy in drug stores, not sure why. Maybe because they can be emptied out, but then still put into the account to accept charges -- and then there's nothing to cover the charges. Or maybe they are too easily stolen.

    I don't like putting a live credit or debit card online either. I prefer using PayPal, which often has troubles in SL payments even if you are in the US. But at the end of the day, that is what works, a regular, normal credit or debit card attached to a bank.

    So could you explain why you don't use that?

  3. Hello Prok, what a surprise to see your comment here.

    To answer your points:

    "Is there a reason why you can't put a regular Master or Visa Card issued by a bank on your SL account?" Yes there is: several years ago, when I lived in London, I had mail stolen by a neighbour (as did other nearby neighbours). The person used the details they gathered to apply for credit, including credit cards, in the names of the persons' details they had stolen. It took me a long time to sort out, as I had to prove fraud, for every type of credit (loans, cards etc) this person had applied for in my name. Now, my bank issued credit card has a spending limit on it, which I don't want to run the risk of someone else gaining access to, so I don't use my card online.

    "The Lindens don't accept those pre-paid cards you buy in drug stores, not sure why." The prepaid card I have is also issued by my bank, not a pharmacy, and I feel safer using this online as it is never topped-up with an amount I couldn't afford to lose, as I wait for things to be sorted out. The Lab is the only organisation I have yet to encounter who have not accepted this card as payment.

    "I don't like putting a live credit or debit card online either. I prefer using PayPal, which often has troubles in SL payments even if you are in the US." On that we agree, however my point is, it is LL who have stopped accepting PayPal payments from non-US customers, after I had used PayPal to pay the Lab for about 4 years. Now, non-US customers, use something called the SL Cashier (if they have a newer account, because the Lab has not updated older residents' accounts yet). On my main, I still have the old choice of credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or PayPal; any attempt to use the latter results in errors, so I am left with the choice of visa or mastercard only. On a newer alt I can use the SL Cashier, but the payment options have been reduced to visa, mastercard or click and buy. A few weeks ago, the options also included payment by Maestro; which is the most popular bank debit card in the UK, directly connected to a current account.

    Another reason for me not being happy to use a credit card, is it costs so much more than using PayPal or Maestro. A credit card company would charge me an exchange rate (in their favour and profit) and then apply an extra charge of about 3% as it's a foreign exchange transaction. Effectively it makes every US$50 I top-up, actually cost me nearer to US$60.