Now covers SL Grid status checks and new ATM first click strategies
ATM failures happen and everyone will tell you to make sure the ATM fully rezzes before using it. But then it still fails! I decided to take a more proactive approach to cashing out at the ATM and avoiding failures if I can. So far it has worked for me and perhaps it will work for you as well.
There is a lot of information here, but this is not a long process. When I do every test listed below and get a successful ATM payment, it takes no more than 5 minutes. Compared to the time spent posting an ATM fail ticket, that's a bargain!
Check Second Life Grid Status. A recent Second Life grid problem caused a large number of ATM payment failures across 2 days. It is a good practice to check the grid status before rezzing expensive no copy items, making inworld purchases and, as we have discovered, trying to cash out at the ATM! You can check grid status at https://status.secondlifegrid.net/. Unscheduled Maintenance is their code name for something's broken and you should wait for an all clear before trying the ATM if you want to avoid a possible payment failure.
Do NOT TP directly to the ATM. Why? Because I can't really assess if the Business Park sim is functioning properly if I just drop in front of the ATM and start clicking! I like to TP in at Snuffles HQ. I take a moment to make sure I have my LGH group tag on and then I walk to the ATM hut. The time it takes me to walk allows the sim to load my avatar information. Avatar control information is passed from sim to sim as one moves in SL. If sim processing is over-burdened, your information may take a minute or so to catch up with you. One very good reason NOT to TP directly to the ATM and start clicking!
Walk, Run, Twist and Turn. I want to get to the ATM hut in one piece without rubber-banding or losing control of my avatar and/or walking through walls. If I have problems moving or things just seem painfully slow, I leave and come back at another time. Degraded performance of the sim's physics engine, that controls movement and collisions, is one of the first indicators that a sim may be running low on resources to function properly and in need of a restart.
Click a scrap coin for luck. On my way to the ATM hut, I stop at the first scrap coin I find and click it. When it starts counting down, I watch to see if there are delays between seconds. I've heard coin hunters complain in group chat about coins at BP taking 10-15 minutes to complete their countdown. If the coin seems to take too long to count, I will consider coming back at another time to cash out. This is a test of the sim's script memory and processing. With the recent addition of dozens of snuffles rezzing crafting material at BP, the sim is now more likely to suffer lag. It is my strongest suggestion that you DO NOT TP directly to the ATM and skip these important sim testing steps!
Knock, knock, who's there? If there are people in the ATM hut when I get there, I step back and try to figure out what they are doing. The last thing I want to do is click the ATM at the same time that someone else does. Most people are there to cash out and only stay for a minute or so. Once in awhile there is a sleeper. The important thing is to avoid having more than one person clicking the ATM at the same time.
Wait for the ATM to load. After I see the ATM clearly, I still double check it by hovering my mouse cursor over it. The ATM name or owner's name will appear in the info popup. If it says No Name, I roll my mouse off the ATM, count to 10 and try again. (Note: if your viewer does not show info popups, you will need to turn them on for this step to work.)
Click the ATM. ONE TIME ONLY! I click carefully and deliberately so I don't second guess myself if it was a good click or not. Then I wait for the menu. If the menu takes more than a couple seconds to appear, I click Ignore, hover my mouse again to make sure I get the proper popup and click again. I expect the menu to appear immediately before moving to the next step. If the menu still takes too long, I will leave Business Park and come back later.
Click the Withdraw button. ONE TIME ONLY! And then wait. One of three things will happen. One, I get paid. Yay! Two, I get a message from the ATM that it paid me but then says the transaction failed. Booo! In this case I will open a ticket as described in the blog by Ulrich Nansen “ATM fail How to proceed”. And the third thing that might happen is NOTHING!?!? Oh dear!
Do NOT re-click the ATM if nothing happens after clicking the Withdraw button. I believe this is where people create problems for themselves. They re-click the ATM thinking that they waited long enough and create a second pending withdraw request that interferes with the first one. They end up getting a message from the ATM that their account is at zero balance. Instead, I step away from the ATM. I usually walk into the street while I try to sort things out. There are three possibilities: One, I actually did get paid but the message telling me got eaten by lag. Two, the first withdraw request never got processed and my lindens are still sitting in my LGH account. Three, I do in fact have a failed transaction. What I need to do now is figure out which one it is.
Check to see if the lindens went into my Second Life account. The viewer does not always update the current L$ amount, especially on a busy sim. Try clicking on the L$ display to force a refresh. If that doesn't work, I log into my Second Life account and check my L$ Transaction History. If the lindens are not there, I move on to the next step.
Check my LGH balance. I collect another coin. Or I make a cast at one of the buoys. Then I check the chat spam to see if my earnings are still sitting in my LGH account. If they are there, I will either head back to the ATM to try again or perhaps fish a little more before trying to cash out again.
An ATM payment failure is not the end of the world. I know LGH staff will process my ticket and make me whole, so no worries there. If this step-by-step process seems a little over the top, please understand that I am an aggressive fisher doing over 400 casts per day. And I am strictly inworld funded using no real life money in SL for over 11 years now. So doing everything I can to avoid a payment failure is worth my time. If you have had more than one ATM mishap then you may find it worth your time as well!
Happy Fishing & Hunting!