Click to see more posts by TD GoodliffeDowngrading SL ALT account from Premium to Basic, one down, one left

Today my Alt avatar visited the Second Life Upgrade/Downgrade your membership page.

Upgrade/Downgrade your membership

My second life alt avatar account has been downgradedI changed from ‘Premium – Annual’ to a ‘Basic Account’ and waved goodbye to L$500 weekly stipends.

Update credit card info to downgrade account? Huh?
No, wait. It told me that I needed to update my credit card information first? WTF? So I did that and of course like too many other things Linden Lab does, it gave me an error message saying that I needed to update my credit card info. Argh.

I waited awhile and it didn’t change from “update pending” so I deleted the credit card info and tried PayPal instead. That worked right away and I was met with the following exit interview Downgrade Survey:

Downgrade Survey form

Not a smooth way out for my alt, but I made sure to let them know why.

Sell your land before downgrading
Last week I sold off the 512m land owned for L$5,120 and have joined with my alt the majority of homeless SL residents with Basic Accounts (as soon as the account screen allows me to cancel) once again.

via Second Life Upgrade/Downgrade your Membership page (emphasis mine):

If you choose to downgrade from Premium to a Basic membership, all Premium benefits will be lost, and re-upgrading to Premium at a later date will gain whatever premium account benefits are in effect at the time the account is upgraded. Original Premium benefits will not be restored.

Can you see any tears in my expression to the right? I still have one premium account left that is grandfathered in with the L$500 weekly stipends and was renewed at the beginning of this month. Since our VTOR group voted to allow PayPal payments for splitting earnings from this blog there isn’t as much need for me to have two premium accounts any more.

The Economy Stats for December 2007 show 1.1+ million total member logins in the last 60 days. I’m not sure how that compares to a year ago but I’d guess it is down considering the SL buzz has waned considerably. Why? One only needs to visit blog.secondlife.com and see all the problems. Suggestion for 2008: mix in a lot more positive messages instead of “problem, problem, problem” stuff.

I Twittered this morning wondering who else had downgraded their accounts and received the following replies from injenuity and wmacphail:

Who else that follows me on Twitter is downgrading their SL accounts

Who else reading VTOR has downgraded their SL accounts recently? I’m thinking the losses to Second Life are greater than the gains in membership numbers, but haven’t seen a report in awhile to confirm. Didn’t I read somewhere that LL wasn’t publishing the premium membership numbers any more? If not, this suggests SL has reached the plateau of the membership mountain and is on a downward spiral.

January 31st, 2008 • TD Goodliffe • Avatars, Second Life, Virtual Life 5 Comments »

5 Responses

  1. 1 Hal:

    If you have a premium account that you renew annually and that pays L$500 per week stipend – you’re making a (small) profit every year. Why do you think Linden reduced the stipend to $300?

    You just cancelled an account that was actually making you (a little) bit of money every year and in the process entitled you to own mainland, if u choose.

    If you’re not using or enjoying it then i guess it makes sense to close it…

    …actually no, it still doesn’t make any sense… :)

  2. 2 TD Goodliffe:

    Hal – I know very well it was making a small profit (see my past posts here on this) but that profit is entirely based on future speculation that the L$ won’t change in value. Being that Linden Lab is fixing their market it probably won’t. At the same time I’d rather invest my $72 elsewhere and am fairly certain I’ll make more than a few dollars a year after fees ;)

    In case you didn’t miss, I still have another account making L$500 a week and that was renewed last month. The big problem for me is Linden Lab is not moving fast enough. They had all the buzz and squandered the opportunities.

    They need web on a prim, they need to open source the server software. By closing our premium accounts maybe they’ll get the message.

    Then again, maybe not.

  3. 3 hiro market:

    Well they recently reported a slight rise in premiums for December (figures are still published), and their maxiumum concurrency figures seem to be drifting upwards pretty consistently (they were stuck at around 57,000 for a while, but have broken the record two weeks in succession now at 63,000+ and 57,000 is starting to look normal for mid week). And while they did seem pretty stuck technologically in the middle of last year in recent months we’ve had Windlight, Havok4 and now Mono into public beta. Mono in particular promises a lot as scripts are running 200 – 300 x faster (yes, really – it’s theoretically 700x, but in practise somewhat less). And HTML on a prim is rumoured for release by the end of the quarter.
    To be honest like you I was real skeptical about SL for much of last year, but in retrospect I think it was simply the phenominal increase in growth in the first half that did for for them. Since September of so when that slowed down and they go a breathing space they do seem to have got it together, and compared to There and the like are streets ahead. Also with IBM and LL taking about the Open Sim project like it’s a done deal the future is looking pretty bright.

  4. 4 Hal:

    I did notice that you’d kept one (profitable) premium account TD, but in the true spirit of blog forums, i thought i’d make my sarcastic post anyway, sorry! Good that u kept one foot still on the mainland with us other optimists! :)

    I wish Linden would listen to their paying customers instead of chasing signups. I doubt that premium accounts being cancelled is enough. At the moment there’s so much theft of original content being allowed to happen there will soon be little reason to login to SL anyway. Then LL might wake up and do something. If you want to see how this might play out – have a look at the music industry, what’s left of it.

    Web on a prim is going to be interesting. I can think of many great uses for it – but unfortunately far more bad uses for it (web advertising all over SL, anyone?) but maybe that’s just the way my head works…

  5. 5 Diox:

    I also just downgraded my account, haven’t been on much lately as rl is getting more interesting anyway, also the td’s where a bummer too.

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