There’s certainly a chance you can sort it out, but you’ve got to approach it the right way. Most folks don’t do any of the things that will get them through the process successfully.
(Due to the large volume of specific queries, I’ve written a guide on how to get your account unbanned from Second Life. For more general advice, read on…)
Firstly, be civil and polite, and be prepared to answer any questions. If you’re calling the virtual environment operator, they’re going to want to verify that you actually are the account-holder.
Whether you’re talking to someone who owns a little parcel of land in Second Life, or whether you’re talking to Blizzard or Linden Lab, do not let the conversation start like this:
Support rep: “Hello, this is Pat MacGroin. How can I help you?”
You: “You stupid f*****g sacks of s****t you %*@#*$!!”
This will not help you get you unbanned. It might make you feel better for about five seconds. Barely.
Support reps have very limited powers of discretion. They can’t exceed their job parameters, but generally they’re not obligated to make things easy if you’re rude. If you are rude and abusive, nobody in support, or their manager, or their manager’s manager is going to give you the time of day, let alone sort out your account problem. You’re just not worth it to the organization to keep as a customer, if you take this approach. They would rather lose you as a customer forever than have you yelling at their staff over the phone.
Secondly, if you did do something wrong, ‘fess up. Come clean. Apologize.
If you were banned from a service or a parcel with good reason, apologize. Say you’re sorry. Actually mean it. It doesn’t matter if the reason you were banned isn’t something you thought you should be banned for, if you did it, say sorry. Eat crow for 30 seconds, and just don’t do whatever it is again – because if you’re asking someone to unban you, you really don’t want to get banned for the same thing again down the track.
Lots of folks are happy to give you a second chance. Hardly anyone will be willing to give you a third chance.
Don’t argue rules. If you did whatever it was, don’t try to argue that the rule shouldn’t apply to you. Or that it’s a dumb rule. The person you’re talking to is the only person who can organize your being unbanned. You are a unique and special snowflake, but so are seven billion other people. Don’t expect or demand an exception.
Remember you’re trying to assure them that you’re actually an okay person, and that you’ve learned your lesson and you won’t be costing them time or money dealing with a future infraction or ban. If you can’t convince them of that, you’re just not going to get unbanned.
Likewise, don’t argue that your brother, your friend, or your cat was using your account when you set fire to that cathedral, spray-painted crude slogans on newbies, or ran naked in circles singing songs about goblins.
The most common thing reps hear when someone’s asking to be unbanned are:
- You &%&*@#! You’re like some *&%&% dictator abusing your %*&@ power!
- It never happened.
- I didn’t do it. Someone else did it using my account.
- It shouldn’t be wrong.
- It shouldn’t apply to me.
If you try any of these strategies, you’re screwed from the get-go.
Be courteous. Be civil. Be polite and helpful. Apologize for causing problems. Assure them it won’t happen again. And make sure it doesn’t, because if they lift your ban, you aren’t going to get another chance if you mess up later.
It’s possible that you didn’t do anything wrong. Everyone makes mistakes but the onus of proof is on you. Have any documentation handy. Emails, transaction records, dates and times of events and conversations. They might help. If they don’t or you don’t have them, then ask if there is some other way things can be solved. There might be.
Lastly, there may be nothing the rep can do to help you. Some organizations have a policy of not unbanning people. Some have policies about not unbanning specific offenses. Almost all of them have policies about not unbanning rude and abusive people. And whatever the policy is, the computer system may not let them unban you if it would violate policy.
So, whatever the reason, if the rep says they can’t do it, that’s probably very likely because they can’t. No amount of verbal abuse on your part will make the computer system change to allow them to do something their managers have decided that they’re not allowed to.
If they do have options available (maybe their team-leader or supervisor has the authority), then they’ll try to arrange this for you – but only if they believe you and like you. Call them useless and demand to speak to their supervisor, and this is what happens:
Pat: “Boss. Line 37 wants to talk to you about getting unbanned.”
Supervisor: “Hmm. What do you think, Pat?”
Pat: “Well, he just told me to stuff my head up a pig’s ****.”
At this point the supervisor is going to tell Pat to tell you that she’s left the building, or in a meeting, or unexpectedly dead of Myxomatosis. If you’re very unlucky, they will agree to speak to you personally. And you won’t enjoy it.
At the end of the day, you’re someone who maybe misinterpreted, or misunderstood, or was a bit too short-tempered or whatever. You screwed up. Make sure the person knows that you know, be as nice and polite about it as you can be, make a good impression, and you maximize your chances of getting off the ban-list.
And heaven help you, if you turn right around and make the same mistake again.