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Land has disappeared

Irene Arkright

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Hello everybody

I wonder if anybody can help. I owned (at least I thought I owned) a plot of land on a private island. I paid my monthly teir this week and now I find I cant teleport there and it doesnt appear on the map. The landowner is (strangely enough) not replying to my messages and nor is his 'Customer Services' manager.

So...questions. I paid thru paypal, can I get my money back? And what has happened to my stuff? I had about 650 prims on my plot, some very valuable stuff. Is there a way of getting it back?

Any help, gratefully received


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It is possible that the sim is only offline temporarily and you may just need to wait.

In the area of subscription services, any part of the use of a subscription counts as having received the subscription though you did not have access for the entire month, you may not be able to win a charge back though you should make sure you cancel it if it is recurring.

Fortunately, you paid through PayPal and not lindens, as such you have full recourse as a charge back if you had not received your purchase.  Partial compensation on unused subscription, which this is, are hard to win.

You would need to contact PayPal and file through their online system as a dispute.  It can take up to 30 days to get your refund as they have to notify the merchant first to allow for a response.

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You may still be able to contact the actual owner of "your" land to find out what happened, but it's possible he just took off with your money. When you "buy" land from the owner of a private island, what you're usually really doing is leasing it, but without the RL protections of a legal contract.

The truth is that none of us really own land in SL. Linden Lab owns the servers that create our virtual land. When we pay for premium membership and tier, they let us use part of this virtual land as if we own it, even though we're actually renting it from them. We can resell this land to other users, but they'll have to keep paying for their premium membership & tier to use the land. We can also rent or lease or rent it to other users, but then we'll still have to keep paying for out premium membership & tier fees.

When you rent a home or land in SL, you probably know the person who owns the land could kick you out or stop paying their tier or premium membership fees to LL. If this happens, you don't have much recourse to try to get back the money you gave them. Unfortunately many land owners in SL give potential tenants the illusion that they're selling them land, when they're actually just leasing it to them. Linden Lab always owns all of the land. The rest of us are either renting it from them or subleasing it from someone else who is paying tier to Linden Lab. If the person you rent or lease land from defaults on their payments to LL, you're unfortunately out of luck. If they take your money and run, you're also pretty much out of luck.

The best you can do is report them to Linden Lab with an Abuse Report, but that doesn't usually result in you getting any of your money back.

(Edit to add)

My response assumes the worst case scenario. The 2 above seem like they may be more helpful. I hope you're able to resolve your problem

 to your satisfaction.


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Hello all.

Firstly, thank you everybody who responded to this thread so far, handling a situation like this is made so much easier when there are people to offer you such helpful advice.

I have been in touch with Lindens who have confirmed the island is offline and have let me back in to collect my stuff...what a relief!

The owner of the land and his team are refusing to acknowledge any of my messages and so I have opened a dispute case at Paypal, who have been really helpful so far as have my credit card company.

So, I am very glad to have got my stuff back, even if my marketplace shop is offline and I am out of pocket.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good luck with Paypal...when I disputed something there, they simply froze it all, indefinitely. I finally had to just eat the cost. I hate Paypal for this and other reasons.


This happens all too often in SL. Whether on purpose, bad planning, or misfortune, landlords stop paying their bills or even sell their land out from under tenants. The tenants have to eat the cost, and Linden Lab will typically not intervene.

I am very glad for your sake the Lab let you collect your belongings at least.

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