Regarding complaints about Firestorm and its support

We get a fair number of people complaining in our inworld support groups about Firestorm. Some people seem to think that this means that their problems are because of the viewer. In some cases people complain from frustration and while we can understand that, it does not help and disrupts the chat which can cause people to not get answers. However some seem to only want to complain rather than get help. To anyone who fits in the latter category I have one thing to say. No one is forced to use Firestorm. You have  other viewers available to you, not only Linden Lab’s official viewer but any of the other TPVs (Third Party Viewers) and I wish you all the best while using them.

If you’re still reading this now perhaps you would really like some help rather than just want to complain. If so then please read on.

Others complain about the support that they receive, on our JIRA, our Wiki and in our official support groups inworld. Let’s talk about the JIRA first. We often get a backlog, especially right after we have a release,  in there and it may take time to get your issue looked at. Sorry to be so blunt about it but that’s just the way it is. In some cases it takes time for us to figure out just what is going on in your case, and there are some cases where we never can. Differences in computer hardware, operating systems as well as other applications that you have installed that may interfere with the viewer can cause this. Then there are those that complain that the Wiki is too complicated and hard to understand. To you I say come out to some of our inworld classes, we go through a large number of the preferences, menus and features explaining what they mean and do. There is an open question and answer session after our classes when you can ask questions, we will do the best we can to help you  understand things and in some cases we can even help you out with issues you may be having. Incidentally we also have some video tutorials up on YouTube, you can find a link to them on the Wiki or in the content menu in the viewer.

That brings us to our support groups. Chat lag is alive and well as anyone who is a regular in there should know. Add people who only want to complain into the mix and it can get very frustrating, for the support team as well as the users asking for help. Please do not come in and do nothing but complain, all that does is make things worse for everyone. State your question as clearly as you can in a single post and watch for suggestions or questions that may help us figure things out and come up with an answer. If you really want a simple way to look for solutions try the troubleshooting page on our Wiki. Common problems that we see, and a few not so common ones as well, are almost always on that page. You can access this page through the help menu at the top of your screen, just click on Troubleshooting. If neither the wiki or the group  can help you out I’d suggest dropping by to one of our classes. You might learn something there that helps, and if not ask after the class. Our teachers will do the best they can to try come up with a solution

One more thing I want to point out is this. All of the people on the team do what we do for free. No one from the team makes any money from our work either making, testing or supporting the users. We all do this because we want to improve peoples experience in Second Life. If you simply want to complain do it some place else and let us help those who really want help.


14 thoughts on “Regarding complaints about Firestorm and its support

  1. I try to go Ed’s classes every few months, and I have never NOT learned something new! The classes last one hour, and as Ed said he stays after to answer any and all questions people may have. The classes are free and open to all, and Ed won’t take tips. If you have questions and have not attended a class shame on you! Get with the Program! @_@ p.s.Thanks Ed, you’re The Man! : )

    • Just to be clear these are team classes, not mine and I am not the only teacher, There are presently 5 of us teaching classes. The other teachers deserve credit too. We do this as a team not individuals.

  2. I am really enjoying my firestorm and they’re happy with the support that the entire team by users in us 5 stars for Firestorm Viewer

  3. Maybe we shouldn’t refer to those that are unhappy with the tp fails and region issues as complainers. But look more to it as constructive thoughts 😉 Some of us have been here 10 yrs and have seen many viewers come and go , some of us are very successful rl business owners who have real life experience. Either way – a complaint doesn’t mean we wish you ill will , however we the users do have opinions , and maybe egos should be set aside at times to listen to those who have used your services for sometime. It seems today business is so busy worrying about themselves they don’t actually listen to the users of their products. I understand this is free – I understand that its not working properly , from what I have surveyed some are having great experiences while as , still a large amount are not. I’m not one who needs classes on how to use a viewer , I’m quite competent in that area I create , and knowledgeable enough to know my internet speed is great – this is not rocket science. I just simply think we had something that wasn’t broken and was a great experience created by this team. Bigger is not always better – this is true in the real world as well as virtually. I also realise that no one is forced to used this service, but someone who is saddened by the experience after having such a great one, takes me back to the good ole days of teleport fails – I just thought we had come much further than that after 10 yrs.

    So now if we can set egos aside instead of sending people to pages like this would – and actually help those who are upset would be a definite asset to the team. Pages like this would only deter others to other viewers – which I would hope you wouldn’t want – I’d like to think you’d prefer to fix the viewer.

    • Millie, I think the biggest issue we as supporters, and I think I can speak for those who are asking for help, experience is that complaints regardless of their usefulness serve no purpose in the support group. There is nothing we in the support group can do to make the viewer better, all we can do is help users try to resolve issues with the viewer as it is shipped. When someone comes into the group and just vents, that takes time and focus away from those that need help and always generates friction that doesn’t help anyone. As a business owner, I’m sure you would agree that if your receptionist had to listen to a dissatisfied customer vent about a product would make for a very uncomfortable lobby for any others there, not to mention the receptionist. The parking valet can’t do anything about the food in the restaurant, yet you seem to suggest they should hear the complaints anyway because there may be something of value in the complaint. Neither the receptionist nor the parking attendant can do anything about the complaints, so even if the complaint is a suggestion in disguise, it is being given to the wrong person. In the same way, the support group is there to help users with Firestorm usage; we can’t help someone who wants to rant, constructive or otherwise.

      We do have avenues for those who just don’t like that their cheese has been moved; Ed and Jessica will listen to angry users. We have a ticketing/tracking system for all improvement suggestions/requests and bug reports. The support group simply isn’t the place for non-support rants or feature requests or bug reports because there is absolutely nothing we on the support team can do other than point them in the proper direction.

      • What about the many who will not use the support group because it seems every time they ask a question they are bombarded with evil attitude and snot from “helpers” who treat them as idiots for daring ask a question?

        I have seen some of the rudest people who claim to be there to “help”. They treat everybody who asks a question, (except their pets of course), as if they have no business being there. These are legit questions not complaints, but that doesn’t stop your group staff from unloading on them. Saw somebody calling themselves “BIOS” or something like that who is truly a rude bitch and needs to be anywhere but that group.

        We know that Firestorm is a tall order. We know that given all the differently configured computers it is expected to run on, coding it is a challenge. We know the kicky little tricks LL seems to be constantly playing with the platform doesn’t help either. And the FS programming team is owed many kudos that the viewer works as well as it does, given these circumstances.

        But if would be nice if you’d clean the support helper’s group of all the smug, rude, snide, self serving, foul tempered, ego trippers and get some people in there who can stay cool and do their damned job in a helpful, professional manner.

        • Hi Aruba,

          Thanks for the kudos to the development team! They definitely deserve it!

          As I believe you know, I’m the lead of the English language Firestorm support team. To address your main complaint: A lot of different personalities make up our support team, not to mention the Firestorm Support English group on the whole. Some team members are exceedingly polite, while others are more abrasive and direct in their style. And we welcome all styles because they serve different purposes and because all members of the team are strong in their different ways.

          When discussions become tense and heated in the main group, or when people are already upset because they’re experiencing problems they don’t know how to fix, what is meant merely as directness from the support team member’s end can come to be perceived as rudeness from the perspective of those seeking help.

          When rudeness becomes unambiguous, complaints should be directed to me (and complaints about me should be directed to Ed). Complaints about team members are dealt with internally, so although I’ll send you an acknowledgement that I received it, you usually won’t receive any additional feedback about it. I’ll point out, though, that I look at the incident as a whole and not just what the mod did. This means, for instance, that if it escalated because the complainant was themselves rude or uncooperative to suggestions, it will be taken into account against the mod’s reaction; if the mod’s rudeness came out of nowhere, that is a different matter.

          When non-moderators such as the individual you mentioned are rude, meanwhile, they are subject to moderation themselves, and the ways we go about that are up to the mods’ discretion. So sometimes you’ll see us wrist-slap in the group itself, and other times you won’t because it’s been taken to IM. We have no responsibility, however, for anything that takes place in private IM between two non-mods.

          I hope this gives you more of an idea of how our team regards and handles rudeness. Thanks for your comment.


  4. The classes sound interesting. Do you have to be in-word to attend? I would be good to know that.
    As of right now I cannot log in, so anything helpful in-world is not available.
    I have over 8 years, and have been with Phoenix-then-Firestorm since the Emerald funeral.
    It just drives me CRAZY when i cannot log in!!!!! Granted, this is a new problem and may resolve at any moment. I rarely ask for help, and admire those of you who are there for us.

  5. One suggestion to those posting a question to the support group: If your question takes more than a simple sentence, type it out in notepad or something, read it over for typos and to see if it really explains the problem. Can it be stated more simply? Once you are satisfied copy and paste it into group chat.

  6. I’ve never failed to get a question answered when I’ve had to ask one in support. Considering none of the other viewers (including LL’s) have any real time in world support. I’d say they deserve tons of thanks for providing that. The classes and tutorials are also very well done.

    • While there isn’t a dedicated team for other viewers, and I wholeheartedly commend the Firestorm team for what they do (it’s my primary viewer and I help beta test) it’s wrong to say other viewers don’t provide inworld support.
      Remember, no TPV developer makes money from this and some are one man operations. Therefore it’s a far different situation, yet even so, some provide forums, some have IRC real time help and some respond inworld directly or through emails.
      Also just about every TPV has a group you can join to ask for help from other users.
      They all do a great job.

  7. FS viewer is without any doubt the best ever out of all the ones on the market.. I have several times asked question in the support group and always, yes always been treated with respect and seriousness. Not once since FS day one have i had any virutal or reality experience of a negative nature related to any issue within the domains of FS.
    FS is much more than a superb viewer.. it is designed (IMO) to suit much personal individualization and specialization of interacting within the virtual world.
    Yes more improvement can always be made (coloured folders) .-) but its present stability and computational speed is excellent and my general impression of the people, the tectnical Firesstormers and creators behind the stage is that they labor with love, light and life.

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