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#1
Old 12-29-2011, 07:25 AM
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Ocean Marketing vs Penny arcade, seen this?

How many lessons can be learned from this amusing trainwreck? Lessons about the importance of good customer service, to be sure. About the power of the internet in exposing your (you hoped it was private) idiocy, sure. And, oh yeah, don't bring a butterknife to a gunfight...

http://ibtimes.com/articles/2735...nny-arcade.htm
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
#2
Old 12-29-2011, 08:02 AM
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On the one hand I hate Internet dogpiles where a disproportionate and hate-filled response can be generated with minimal effort, often for petty reasons.

On the other hand, wow, did that guy ever ask for it. What kind of marketing person pours that much abuse onto a customer IN WRITING, especially one who is clearly in the right and trying to maintain a constructive dialogue? I know customers can often be massive assholes but nothing "Dave" sent remotely warranted the pompous spew that was returned unto him.

Of course, the hidden downside is that every gamer and their Aibo will now be sending Gabe and Mike their consumer-based grievances to fix. No good deed goes unpunished.
#3
Old 12-29-2011, 08:08 AM
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I gotta say one thing I don't like about this whole thing is that evidently the guy's family has been getting harassing messages over this as well, which is very much over the line (then again, the internet is full of assholes it seems).

Also, the controller itself (well, the controller-adapter thing) has been hit with lots of 1-star reviews online by folks lashing back over the whole thing, and it's debatable how many of the reviews are by people who have actually ever purchased or held the product in question.
#4
Old 12-29-2011, 08:14 AM
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Another lesson

Many people who are enraged by internet bullies...
respond by becoming internet bullies...
(Dave-with-a-V goes out of his way to stress in one of his emails that he doesn't want the manufacturer hurt, he thinks it is a great product)
#5
Old 12-29-2011, 08:18 AM
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Didn't anybody ever tell Mr. Christoforo about The First Rule Of Holes?

When you're in one, stop digging.

I sincerely hope that he's a stellar cello player or fry cook, because lordy he sucks at marketing.
#6
Old 12-29-2011, 08:19 AM
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I particularly enjoyed the way d-bag Paul so quickly resorted to implications that he was a dangerous person to mess with, and how grossly he appeared to misinterpret who he was dealing with. He explicitly accuses the customer, Dave, of being a child, but Dave's language and grammar are not those of a child. He accuses Mike of being an imposter. Paul seems like a person who would be better suited to working in the mafia. Maybe the best part is that d-bag's title is public relations representative.
#7
Old 12-29-2011, 08:23 AM
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I like how the very first line of the guy's apology is "I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed I didn't know how big your site was". Translation: I thought you were someone I could be obnoxious to without consequences and I'm real sorry about that.
I'm not a huge fan of Krahulik but I'll agree with him on that part: there's a big difference between being sorry about something you did and being sorry you got caught.

Also, seriously, who the fuck in the gaming industry doesn't know who the guys behind PAX are or how huge Penny Arcade is ? It's like the guy is trying to be useless at his job in each and every way/
#8
Old 12-29-2011, 08:24 AM
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Maybe he goes to the Jayne Cobb School of Public Relations?

But yeah, another lesson learned: You will be held responsible for the people you choose to represent you to the public. Let's say you produce a great product, and hire an epic douchebag to do your customer service. Guess how people will perceive you? Electronic Arts doesn't have the reputation it has because of poor games.

Mind you, this was with a product that had been experiencing delivery delays of a month or more, so PR was not the company's only problem here.
#9
Old 12-29-2011, 08:37 AM
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I note from here that Ocean Marketing appears to be guilty of plagiarism as well.

Quote:
Update 1: It seems the plot has thickened a bit further. Apparently, as pointed out by @williambgoss on twitter, Ocean Marketing has been lifting articles from across the web for their blog with little to no attribution of sources whatsoever. An article published on Forbes is clearly posted wholesale on the Ocean Marketing blog with no sourcing roughly two weeks after initially hitting the web. Moreover, the same is done with a BizReport article, appearing as Ocean Marketing's "original work" no less than two days later.

As if the plagiarism couldn't be bad enough, it raises additional questions about what Ocean Marketing really is and who exactly they represent as a PR firm. If their About Us page, which is also plagiarized, claiming, "We tell it like it is -- our open book approach is based on honesty, integrity and a straightforward expertise that will drive the best possible new potential clients to your website", proves any less true than it already has, it could be exceedingly damaging for any company working with OM. It was also recently brought to light that Ocean Marketing's Services page is also plagiarized from Virtual Social Media. Thus, it seems just about everything from Ocean Marketing is lifted from somewhere else online - but primarily seop.
#10
Old 12-29-2011, 08:37 AM
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I've been trying to find some readership numbers for Penny Arcade. The most recent I can find are from a USA Today article from April 2010 which claimed 3.5 million worldwide readers, skewing heavily to serious gamers. That's a hell of a demographic to piss off when you're trying to promote N-controllers.
#11
Old 12-29-2011, 08:45 AM
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I've been keeping up with it. The amazon ratings are kind of instructive, I think. When I first saw them there was something like 12 positive reviews and 260 negative.

Now it looks like some people are putting forth positive reviews (it's up to 53). There are 300 one star reviews, most of them seem to be a direct result of this fiasco.
#12
Old 12-29-2011, 09:32 AM
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Bit of a tempest in a teapot, honestly, but it's certainly legit to complain about missed delivery deadlines and lack of communication of same, especially for a pre-paid item. The contempt for customers oozing from the vendor's replies beggars belief.

If nothing else, though, that idiot from Ocean Marketing needs to be worked over with a baseball bat until he learns how to use punctuation. Jiminy Christmas, wading through that wall of illiterate text made my head hurt.
#13
Old 12-29-2011, 09:47 AM
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This YouTube parody of the situation is pretty funny.
#14
Old 12-29-2011, 10:02 AM
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that's funny. And of course it's a tempest in a teapot, spun out of control with the rapidity only this modern age can support. That You-Tube video got put up what, one day later? Wonder how today's gonna go.
#15
Old 12-29-2011, 10:20 AM
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I'm amazed by the fact that this guy (who seems borderline illiterate) even got this job. How many qualified marketing people are jobless, while this moron has clients?
#16
Old 12-29-2011, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
I note from here that Ocean Marketing appears to be guilty of plagiarism as well.
Check out the sheer flood of updates on this page. This story is way more complicated than I would have expected.
#17
Old 12-29-2011, 10:43 AM
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1-up was reporting this story too.
#18
Old 12-29-2011, 10:58 AM
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Yes, the guy was a dick in that email chain. But did PA really need to make this public? They barred him from PAX, and they could have contacted the company and forwarded them the emails, which would probably have gotten him fired.

This whole situation feels like a bunch of internet geeks who got bullied at school are now gleefully taking the opportunity to be the bullies themselves. And that's not right.
#19
Old 12-29-2011, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
Check out the sheer flood of updates on this page. This story is way more complicated than I would have expected.
You're not wrong. I noted this, by the way:

Update 24:
Quote:
Paul and his girlfriend's facebook accounts were found and posted online, I let him know his girlfriend's account was viewable and he got her to make it private for now.
Update 26:
Quote:
ďI just hope that people will have the common decency to leave his wife and child out of all this. They didnít send those emails, Paul did.Ē
He's got a wife and child AND a girlfriend?
#20
Old 12-29-2011, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra_nz View Post
Yes, the guy was a dick in that email chain. But did PA really need to make this public? They barred him from PAX, and they could have contacted the company and forwarded them the emails, which would probably have gotten him fired.

This whole situation feels like a bunch of internet geeks who got bullied at school are now gleefully taking the opportunity to be the bullies themselves. And that's not right.
I guess the juicy part is how Paul drop the name of some editors of prominent web sites and that backfires dramatically.
#21
Old 12-29-2011, 11:32 AM
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Update: Ocean Marketing dropped.
#22
Old 12-29-2011, 11:34 AM
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To carry the story further, here is an interview with the PR rep.

What a massive douche... he really doesn't seem to get that whatever you think about a customer you don't talk to them in such a manner. This is why websites like notalwaysright.com exist, to blow off steam! Not that I think the customer was being nasty (from what I can see he wasn't), I'm just saying that even if they are you don't respond to them like that.

And yes, people trying to get at his wife and saying stuff about his kid are douches as well, but that's the internet for you. People often say stuff online they'd never say in person because they feel safe behind their keyboards and screens.

And for the record, if I ever met him I would tell him to his face he behaved like a ass, and furthermore I'm peeved that he is perpetuating the stereotype that all marketing and pr people are like this.
#23
Old 12-29-2011, 11:35 AM
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Yeah, he kinda misapplies the 'the most important part is who you know". Apparently it's even more important who you are.
#24
Old 12-29-2011, 11:45 AM
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Threats and messages to his family are unfair, but otherwise, this guy deserved what he got. He was unhelpful, abusive, rude, and tried to be a big shot. And this still probably wouldn't have happened if he hadn't topped all that by pulling the "yeah, I'm being a dick, but what are you going to do about it?" card. Based on his comments to MSNBC, he still thinks this is mostly everyone else's fault.
#25
Old 12-29-2011, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
Threats and messages to his family are unfair, but otherwise, this guy deserved what he got. He was unhelpful, abusive, rude, and tried to be a big shot. And this still probably wouldn't have happened if he hadn't topped all that by pulling the "yeah, I'm being a dick, but what are you going to do about it?" card. Based on his comments to MSNBC, he still thinks this is mostly everyone else's fault.
Is there any evidence that threats to the sack of shit's family were actually made? Seems to me that such would have been turned over to the police.
#26
Old 12-29-2011, 11:51 AM
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Guy looks and sounds exactly like the stereotypical Boston Masshole. How can one (really, very lovely) city be so chock full of insufferable douchebags?
#27
Old 12-29-2011, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Is there any evidence that threats to the sack of shit's family were actually made?
Not that I know of. If he's being emailed by thousands of people (which is likely) I don't have a problem believing that a few people have gone too far or just used this as a socially acceptable excuse to be horrible, since that's fundamentally the same thing he was doing to Dave.
#28
Old 12-29-2011, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra_nz View Post
This whole situation feels like a bunch of internet geeks who got bullied at school are now gleefully taking the opportunity to be the bullies themselves. And that's not right.
The guy from PA pretty much admitted straight-up that this is what it is, and that he's just fine with that.
#29
Old 12-29-2011, 12:42 PM
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I think the essential difference is the 'deservingness' of it. This is the internet equivilent of the asshole driver getting pulled over by the State Trooper who is, just this once, right there to administer appropriate consequences. I'm sure, BTW, we all agree that threatening the douche or his family is out of bounds. Confronting him about his behavior, though, seems well within the white lines.
#30
Old 12-29-2011, 01:41 PM
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I love that you can tell this stuff on his website is plagiarized because it's not misspelled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Is there any evidence that threats to the sack of shit's family were actually made? Seems to me that such would have been turned over to the police.
I've got $20 that says at most his wife got a Twitter message about how her husband's an asshole.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 12-29-2011 at 01:43 PM.
#31
Old 12-29-2011, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mycroft Holmes View Post
I'm amazed by the fact that this guy (who seems borderline illiterate) even got this job. How many qualified marketing people are jobless, while this moron has clients?
I came in here to say exactly this. You'd think that one advantage of the current job market would be that people who manage to get jobs are, y'know, competent at whatever the job is.

Last edited by LeeshaJoy; 12-29-2011 at 02:08 PM.
#32
Old 12-29-2011, 02:13 PM
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The fact that he got the job kind of proves that whatever else he is, he is also a qualified marketing person, if you think about it.
#33
Old 12-29-2011, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra_nz View Post
This whole situation feels like a bunch of internet geeks who got bullied at school are now gleefully taking the opportunity to be the bullies themselves. And that's not right.
To be fair,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Krahulik
I have a real problem with bullies. I spent my childhood moving from school to school and I got made fun of everyplace I landed. I feel like Paul is a bully and maybe thatís why I have no sympathy here. Someday every bully meets and even bigger bully and maybe thatís me in this case.
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#34
Old 12-29-2011, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
The fact that he got the job kind of proves that whatever else he is, he is also a qualified marketing person, if you think about it.
Well I'd never heard of Ocean Marketing before, and likely never would have, but now I have so... "any press" right?
#35
Old 12-29-2011, 03:09 PM
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My favorite part of this - after the part where he doesn't know who Mike Krahulik is despite bragging about his presence at Pax East - is how the dude's first twitter handle was @OceanMarketting, and when he changed it in an attempt to duck all this, he picked @OceanStratagy.

Also, don't miss the part where Christoforo tries to impersonate a different marketer who used to work for NControl - only to accidentally out himself as a steroid user:

http://kotaku.com/5871400/cut-paul-o...-has-roid-rage
#36
Old 12-29-2011, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sandra_nz View Post
Yes, the guy was a dick in that email chain. But did PA really need to make this public? They barred him from PAX, and they could have contacted the company and forwarded them the emails, which would probably have gotten him fired.
Meh. So he quietly loses a single contract. Not really very satisfying.

Really, an "A" grade dickhead like that deserves to be publicly humiliated and assured of never being a point-of-contact with the public for any company, anywhere, ever again.

That guy should be earning minimum wage at Target - not out on the floor, but hidden away in the back with a ball-gag under a leather mask to protect people from gazing upon his terrible backpfeifengesicht.
#37
Old 12-29-2011, 03:14 PM
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Also also - the current PA comic on the situation:
http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/12/28
#38
Old 12-29-2011, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ducca View Post
This YouTube parody of the situation is pretty funny.
Ha, that's hilarious. "I know the yellow power ranger and Richard Nixon". Namedropping bragging prick got what he deserved.
#39
Old 12-29-2011, 03:56 PM
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"Are you guys going to be at NAMBLA this year?"
#40
Old 12-29-2011, 04:55 PM
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"You sound like a goddamned milk baby right now."
#41
Old 12-29-2011, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra_nz View Post
Yes, the guy was a dick in that email chain. But did PA really need to make this public? They barred him from PAX, and they could have contacted the company and forwarded them the emails, which would probably have gotten him fired.
I'd say he blew his chance to keep this out of the public around the point that he threatened to sic his 125-man PR team on smearing and destroying Penny Arcade. Moral of the story; don't let your mouth write a check your ass can't cash.
#42
Old 12-29-2011, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Merneith View Post
Also also - the current PA comic on the situation:
http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/12/28
Bah, this shit is interrupting Semen Week.
#43
Old 12-29-2011, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
I'd say he blew his chance to keep this out of the public around the point that he threatened to sic his 125-man PR team on smearing and destroying Penny Arcade. Moral of the story; don't let your mouth write a check your ass can't cash.
The Penny Arcade guys are not people I'd care to mess with, and not just because I find them entertaining. They've managed to build a multi-million dollar charity and two major conventions with their fandom. They stumbled into a substantial amount of power--power that they have, thus far, used mostly for good.

And yeah, I count this case as good.
#44
Old 12-29-2011, 06:33 PM
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Everyone should know of how influent the Penny Arcade guys are on the internet. Well, Mike, anyway.

This guy got what was coming to him, and every statement I've seen from him since has only further convinced me of that fact.
#45
Old 12-29-2011, 06:54 PM
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I absolutely love Gabe's Grinch-face in that strip...
#46
Old 12-29-2011, 09:17 PM
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That is a whole lotta stupid to be contained in one human.
#47
Old 12-29-2011, 10:26 PM
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I want to say at the outset that the customer was absolutely in the right. But with that said, why do people bother trotting out the whole "you've had my money interest-free" argument? Someone holding your $100 for 2 months has basically robbed you of zero dollars of interest. Doesn't make it right, of course, and it certainly robs you of liquidity, but the way people swing the interest stick makes it sound like they have secret savings accounts with 10% yields.
#48
Old 12-30-2011, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ReticulatingSplines View Post
But with that said, why do people bother trotting out the whole "you've had my money interest-free" argument? Someone holding your $100 for 2 months has basically robbed you of zero dollars of interest.
I don't think it's so much that people feel they are out the whatever the interest would be calculated at, but more this is a large part of the rationale behind the idea that you aren't supposed to charge the customer until the product actually ships.

You don't want to allow companies to take 5,000 orders and then use the money to manufacture or secure the product. "Hang on... it's coming... Just a couple months..."

Last edited by Larry Mudd; 12-30-2011 at 12:20 AM.
#49
Old 12-30-2011, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Merneith View Post
Also also - the current PA comic on the situation:
http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/12/28
I really hope that PATV got footage for a Fourth Panel on that one.
#50
Old 12-30-2011, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Larry Mudd View Post
You don't want to allow companies to take 5,000 orders and then use the money to manufacture or secure the product.
Sure you do. This is precisely how Kickstarter works. It just needs to be apparent to the "investors" what the setup is, and what the risks are.
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