October 2, 2010

How not to treat a customer in Second Life

Warning -- this is a rant about something that happened to me in Second Life today.

Does "aDiva" mean arrogance or are you simply a Paine?

I don't like writing blog posts like this because it can come across as petty sniping. However, I'm soooo annoyed with how I was treated by well-known designer, AnneJoy Paine (aDiva couture), that I had to say something.

First, to be clear, AnneJoy is a very good designer. I have bought several of her outfits AND even paid the $250L to belong to her group. I also blogged about one of her outfits that I won last year during Halloween (read Blood Red Bitch). So this is in no way any dissing of her design skills. Rather, it's how she treats a customer who dares to question her in any way.

Today, AnneJoy sent out a group gift -- a cute mini-dress with matching garter stockings called "Virtue & Vice". Here's the outfit as it comes from the box. As you can see, the stockings end well above the ankle. Normally, when I see garter belts and stockings, I think stilettos or pumps. Which made me wonder, hmm, how should you wear this?

Running through my inventory, I tried almost every boot imaginable. All the ankle boots were too short and showed the skin. All the calf boots just looked clunky.

So, being curious, I went into the aDiva couture Grou Chat and asked a simple question...here it is from my chat log:
[2010/10/02 15:24]  Snickers Snook: Hi the new group gift is yummy but the stockings end above the ankle. Any suggestions for how to wear them? The outfit doesn't look right with boots. ^_^
A few suggestions popped up on boots which were fine when AnneJoy herself jumped into the conversation with a small wall of text about how boots would be great and that's what I should do. So then I said....
[2010/10/02 15:29]  Snickers Snook: ahh well when I see garter stockings, I always think and feel heels ;)
At this point, the conversation took a weird turn with Anne telling me I need to learn about the difficulties of SL and their "templates". Here's the rest of the chat log (for the record, I moved a couple of lines around that were chat delayed on my end).
[2010/10/02 15:30]  AnneJoy Paine: and learn about the difficulties of sl and their templates ;)))
[2010/10/02 15:31]  Snickers Snook: Well since a stocking layer wasn't included, you could combine the undie and stocking for one continuous set right?
[2010/10/02 15:30]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)
[2010/10/02 15:30]  AnneJoy Paine: i would suggest
[2010/10/02 15:30]  AnneJoy Paine: then
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: and you can complain
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: as you prefer
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: yes
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)
[2010/10/02 15:31]  Snickers Snook: just a suggestion not a complaint Anne
[2010/10/02 15:31]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)))
[2010/10/02 15:32]  AnneJoy Paine: i thnk you should start design yourself
[2010/10/02 15:32]  AnneJoy Paine: to make things like you want them
[2010/10/02 15:32]  AnneJoy Paine: or pay for a gift
[2010/10/02 15:32]  Snickers Snook: and I also blog about fashion
[2010/10/02 15:32]  Snickers Snook: including your items now & then
[2010/10/02 15:32]  Snickers Snook: but I will find something that looks cute in my inventory :)
[2010/10/02 15:32]  Snickers Snook: and I've always been very favorable toward them
[2010/10/02 15:33]  Snickers Snook: (And yes Anne, I have designed fashion items too)
[2010/10/02 15:33]  AnneJoy Paine: i am pretty sure there are lots of designs which are better then mine ;) just try them
[2010/10/02 15:33]  Snickers Snook: sigh
[2010/10/02 15:33]  Snickers Snook: ok
[2010/10/02 15:33]  Snickers Snook: I know when I've hit a sore spot here
[2010/10/02 15:34]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)
[2010/10/02 15:36]  Snickers Snook: For crying out loud, I made one little comment suggestion -- I've bought many aDiva items full price.
[2010/10/02 15:36]  AnneJoy Paine: snickers
[2010/10/02 15:36]  AnneJoy Paine: ;)
[2010/10/02 15:36]  Snickers Snook: forget it
[2010/10/02 15:39]  AnneJoy Paine: yes and save some space for upgrowing designers like Snickers ;)))

Kicked out of the aDiva couture group

Right when I said "forget it", AnneJoy kicked me out her group but chat continued to run and I picked up the one last snarky line from her. In between all of this were comments from group members varying from "you're wonderful Anne" to a couple that told Anne to lighten up. I also got two private IMs both saying they thought Anne had gone over the top and one saying I was wrong to criticize a freebie. However, when I told them I had been booted from the group, all expressed outrage. Remember, you have to pay $250L to belong to aDiva couture in the first place.

So here's the real issue. Does a pixel clothing designer really believe she is so good that she can never take a customer comment without acting like she's been personally insulted? Or is it insecurity? I have dealt with many designers and yes, I design clothes too. Virtually ALL of them treat customer comments as valuable feedback -- in fact I can't remember EVER having a response like this from any other creator. They either take the time to explain why they did something the way they did or the tell me it was a good idea or suggestion. But not AnneJoy. Sad because her designs are generally quite good.

Now as to the stockings, YES, you can connect the garter portion to the foot by using the underwear layer and the socks layers together. I've done it myself and I have several pairs of pixel pantyhose. :) Even if my design was a freebie, I think I would still make it versatile enough to allow for boots OR heels.

Oh and I finally found some boots in my inventory that looked "right" with the outfit so to be 100% fair, here's the end result. Pretty cute huh?

P.S. If you think I was wrong here, let me know. I welcome honest criticism. :)


  1. Some designers are great...and some are so full of themselves they've lost sight of customer service, and the fact that WE make them who they are by purchasing their designs. I think she at least ought to refund your 250L, since she kicked you out...and how rude is kicking you out in the first place. aDiva...seems to sum it up well.

  2. They say that if you give good service your customer will tell 3 friends and if you give poor service they will tell 9. Your story is proof of this.

    Every customer is, potentially, a repeat customer, and therefore worth thousands or tens of thousands of L$ in the course of your business life.

    I could not, with good conscience charge anyone money to be on my mailing list, that seems to me a scam.

    I personally believe my freebies should be the best I can make, not rejects. For any product to go out into the world with my name on it, it has to be v good...my name will be on that product forever.

    These are just basic common sense rules for anyone in business, in any world.

    You are 100% right Snickers and some people need to pull their socks up, or in this case, down.

  3. Thanks for the comments sororNishi and Anonymous. I really don't need or want the $250L back. The maybe three previous group gifts I've gotten from her store are certainly worth the $250L. It's more the principle of the thing. :(

    An added note. The chat in AnneJoy's group tends to be very sycophantic -- I normally had it muted or would ignore it. This was the one and only time I'd ever really participated and my interest was "what shoes can I wear with this".

  4. @Anonymous ...Yup!

    sororNishi said it best I think. Consider *this* to be her entire comment copy/pasted.

    Personally I think 250L$ is a cheap price to learn about someones business ethics.
    Years ago I worked for a person in Los Angles who's business ethic was, "There are 10 million people in LA, I'll never live long enough to screw all of them".

  5. Hi Snickers,

    Ok. I'll say it. I think you were wrong. Not evil or horrible or a terrible person by any means, and I do think AnneJoy could have handled it better (for the record I do *not* know her, at all, so this is not me sticking up for a friend.). But I'll say it- I think you were wrong.

    I think you're welcome to question or complain (and I think from Anne's perspective it *was* a complaint) about someone's design as much as you like. That being said, I do think it's in poor taste to do it in their group(though I don't understand a $250L entry fee, but that's another topic) and I think it's in especially poor taste to do it over a freebie. Please bear in mind that for a good designer, as you say she is, to create a freebie takes *no less time* than it does to create an outfit set for sale. It is *extremely* frustrating and disheartening (as well as frankly infuriating) when you go through that effort and you get complaints in return.

    When you create a design, it's as you intended it to be. I don't think "what kind of shoes would you recommend" is a problem. I think where it went wrong is the "well when I see stockings w/garters I automatically think regular heels". I'd be willing to bet that at that point her thought was something along the lines of "Well, Im not you, it's my design and not yours, and you got it for free- why are you bitching here?"

    I don't think it's ego, and I don't think it's insecurity. It's *FRUSTRATION*. The number of people who feel entitled to have something for nothing, and to not only have that, but *exactly what they want* for the low, low price of free gets wearing on you when you deal with it ten times a day, *usually* from people who never have any real intention of buying *ANYTHING* full price but only stick around for freebies and discounts.

    So while I do think that she could have handled it better, I know exactly where she's coming from on this.

    But I still don't get the whole $250L thing.


  6. Ahh but you see I've many things from her full price so it's not like I'm simply taking advantage of freebies. As a creator myself, I understand complaints all too well. But, just because something is free doesn't mean it can't be improved or that there is simply no room for criticism ever -- not that I really thought I was being all that critical. I even started out saying it was a "yummy" outfit.

    BTW, here are most of my items in SL:


    Anyway, I'll keep your thoughts in mind next time the situation comes up.

  7. That's why I said "usually". But I note you said this:

    But, just because something is free doesn't mean it can't be improved or that there is simply no room for criticism ever -- not that I really thought I was being all that critical.

    I think though that the place to discuss that is *not* (emphatically not) in their group, and Im not even sure that it should even be done over a freebie at all. If you think it can be improved, then improve it! Go make one you like more- that's the nature of how the market works. Build a better mousetrap and all that. But offering unsolicited advice (note- had you not added your PS to your post I would not have commented) is still rude, especially I think under those circumstances.

    (but why is she charging $250L? I still don't get it.)

  8. While I do think there may have been argumentative points as the chat continued, you started off with a compliment, and an inquiry which was perfectly appropriate. It's her comments I find bizarre.

    First, the continued use of ":)" symbols, which to me come off as blunt sarcasm: "I'm tagging on this smile emote so it doesn't cross your mind that I'm hissing 'bitchbitchbitch' under my breath, you psychotic clown". I loathe people who use this technique, because it always comes off for what it is--pure, undiluted contempt.

    But second, her complaints on the lower body templates for SL. They're ludicrous, and surreal. If she has problems with the template, then it's on her as a designer to do better.

    The standard stocking form is split into three parts because of mesh construction: the hip-to-ankle segment, the ankle and upper foot, and finally the sole of the foot. Both the sole of the foot and the ankle/upper foot sections map left to right, like the upper arms on the upper template. This is a fact of SLife.

    Hip-to-ankle, how'ver, can be patterned with the same fabric, or two different fabrics, that will then line up (or not) with the chosen fabric for the upper foot and the sole.

    What all this means--though I'm fairly sure you know--is that there is a fairly visible line at the ankle. Everyone knows about it, but it can be worked around. The big problems only show up on patterns that don't stretch well, or striped, and even that can be overcome with an efficnent avatar display program.

  9. You might be interested in knowing that this woman has been accused by various top designers of being a thief (some well documented ) . Google her some time.

  10. Thanks for the tip Anonymous. I found a number of references to AnneJoy Paine including DMCA actions against her by Nicky Ree (I love Nicky Ree's formals and her Sally top is the one I wear all the time) and Blaze Columbia.

    Blaze Columbia vs. AnneJoy Paine

    Nicky Ree vs. AnneJoy Paine

    There are others but the copying of other's work looks pretty heavy handed. Apparently Linden Lab had AnneJoy remove a number of her Nicky Ree knock-offs. I don't know what happened to her copies of Blaze's though.

  11. I wonder if AnneJoy ever created anything that wasn't copied.

  12. Miss Paine is a v nasty person. She is arrogant and most of her group members a bunch of butt kissers. I left the group cause the group chat was more than i could bear.

  13. It is indeed true, Annejoy Paine who owns aDiva has been caught on many ocassions copying others work.It is well documented and if you go to the relevant pages it does show you the actual proof with the templates etc. She uses copybots and copies prim items also, i know this because one of her staff told me and they had been taking screenshots and logging all the proof.There is actually an ongoing case involving her right now (the relevant people are collating the proof everyday).If you notice alot of her items are not on sale permanently, this is because it takes Linden Labs time to build up a case against her and before you know it the item has gone and nothing can be done.She is not talented at all, talented people do not copy others designs, she doesnt even draw the textures.She is making money out of other peoples work and has done so for many years........she was closed down for this in the early days (when she was known as Diva) of course she came back with a different name. If i was you i would go to the original place to buy the items because they are usually about half the price she charges! Stop giving the cheats your money xx


All thoughts are welcome.