I have been a user on IMVU for almost four years now. Four years of my money and time have gone into this site and I am absolutely appalled by the blatant and constant disregard for their customers and community.
Time and time again, IMVU have ignored the wishes and concerns of their users by forcing through changes, removing popular functions and squeezing it's famed developer community for every penny they can get.
The first thing I would like to highlight is the abhorrent lack of customer services that this site provides to the users there. It a common experience for people to receive inadequate, to down right off-topic responses to complaints and help tickets that are filed. I have only ever filed a couple of tickets, which were with regards to their previewer (a developer tool used to create custom content). The responses were not only unhelpful, but also ill-explained and resolved none of the issues I had raised with them. I know of dozens of users who have had many more ill-dealings with their customer service. To put it concisely; there is no customer service on imvu. Only customer's frustrations.
The second thing is the peer review system IMVU implemented a couple of years back. Not only does this system allow for users to pass through inappropriate content at their discretion, it also takes forever for a developer to submit through to the catalogue system. This measure is entirely insufficient and it is frequent for adult rated content to leak though to the minors on the site.
The third is the 'dev tokens', promo credits system and increased profit margins that were forced onto the developer community. Promo credits cannot be used on-site in the same way as bought credits. They have no value anywhere other than in the custom created content catalogue. These credits then are converted into DEV tokens. They only account for a very small portion of the original spenditure with promo creds and are used when submitting products to the catalogue. So in other words, the content creator is loosing out on a lot of credits. IMVU also increased the percentage of profit they took from the items which drove catalogue prices and derivation costs up significantly.
The fourth is the introduction of the 5k credit transfer limit. Now this was introduced (without prior consent or consultation of the community) in order to increase security levels. Of course, this sounds all well and good, but it posed a massive problem to a forum section called the GASR (Graphic Arts Services and Requests). This forum is a place for the artists in the community to advertise their services and take requests and commissions for artwork and DP's (default pictures, which are profile pictures). Obviously, with levels of popularity and different measures of talent, there were prices varying from a couple of hundred credits, to over 10k in credits. Those who had prices for items costing over the 5k then faced the problem that people could no longer purchase their items. This affected custom home and product page layout designers and coders, custom 3D meshers, custom catalogue requests and graphic artists. This credit limit also effected user-created contest groups and pages which offered prizes for winning. IMVU clearly didn't consider anyone's opinions or the consequences of their actions when implementing this new security measure which received an uproar from it's users.
Then there was the Top Modelz game fiasco in which IMVU actually promoted art theft with a slogan that actually stated within it... 'steal the best pictures', again bringing outcry and anger from it's community. They had also submitted every user into this game without prior notification or consent. The game was rife with adult rated pictures and content which were on full view to the minors in the community (the age limit being a mere 13 years old).
The popular voice chat feature which had recently been added was then removed from public rooms without notification and again, without consulting community opinion. This leaving frequent chatters to mourn it's loss after only a few months of it's introduction.
Then the command *saveOutfit command was removed in a recent (and faulty) update to the IMVU client (the interactive, 3D chatting program imvu bleats on about so much). This command was popular amongst outfit contesters (a daily outfit challenge run each day by IMVU in which users create pictures with catalogue items to fit a specific theme) and is a requirement in user-created contest groups. It instead replaced it with the glitchy and controversial 'change outfit' feature, which actually allows users to change their picture in an 'entry is final' contest. This action was taken despite petitions to keep the function. As was done in several instances stated above.
Child safety is also VERY questionable, as with the instances aforementioned, they have also got very slack age verification measures which allow users younger than 13 to access it's site and there are ways that these underage users can purchase something called an Access Pass, which provides access to adult rated content such as nude avatars, flaccid genitalia, sexual action poses and furniture, alcohol, cigarettes and gore products.
Occasion after occasion, IMVU have proven that the value profit margins more than customer satisfaction. They have, at every turn, made life more difficult for the talented developer base that have made the company what it is today, the dedicated, the loyal and the longtime users that have poured countless hours and cash into it's depths and shirked on it's responsibility to those in it's community who require it's assistance with issues and providing sufficient security to the vunerable younger users who are at risk of being exposed to adult-rated content and predatory users.
If it weren't for the amazing community of users on this site, the extensive and high quality catalogue of developer products and some redeeming chat features that are available, this site would be a memory of my long distant past. IMVU would do well to appreciate their users, to value opinion and build relationships within the community, because without them, this site would be nothing.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking