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Author Topic: All sorts of awesome: The Ocean Marketing customer service debacle  (Read 3446 times)
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Lee
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« on: December 27, 2011, 12:22:41 PM »

Good morning, while you were sleeping an internet war started (well at least a very one sided one). The marketing company(?) for Avenger Controllers probably said more than he should have. Penny Arcade published the emails and Reddit and Twitter took over.

To sum it up a customer asked when his preorder for the PS3 controllers will be filled, the marketing company was very short with him. Customer lets PA, among others, know about it. PA throws their weight behind it. Hours of holiday work boredom solved for the day.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 12:32:18 PM by Lee » Logged
Mithridates
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 12:42:58 PM »

Holey moley, what a giant douche.
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 01:29:24 PM »

He pissed the two gamers on the whole net he shouldn't haved pissed on. Nice move for the kid. This is better than calling the Better Business Bureau.
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 02:46:27 PM »

I love how the asshat throws easily googled names around like they are his best friends.  For someone whos so totally connected and internet savvy, you would think he would know by now that these things can take a life of their own on the internet and much larger entities have been crushed by things like this.  It would be quite amusing if this guy gets blasted into bankruptcy for his antics.
The funny thing is all he had to do is treat his pre-paying customers with a modicum of respect and communicate with the people he took money from.  Now hes on a very slippery slope.
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 03:09:23 PM »

Quote
From: Mike Krahulik
To: Ocean Marketing
Dec 26, 2011 at 9:40 PM

I do run Pax, but I also run a website called penny arcade. Itís kinda popular.

From: Ocean Marketing
To: Mike Krahulik
Dec 26, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Love penny Arcade !!

From: Mike Krahulik
To: Ocean Marketing
Dec 26, 2011 at 9:42 PM

Iím glad you like it! You will be on it tomorrow:)

From: Ocean Marketing
To: Mike Krahulik
Dec 26, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Great !! Love PR

The sad thing is the douche is actually right about this last part. Forgot who said "There is no such thing as bad publicity" or something like that.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 04:11:22 PM »

Quote from: Jag on December 27, 2011, 03:09:23 PM

The sad thing is the douche is actually right about this last part. Forgot who said "There is no such thing as bad publicity" or something like that.


This might be true as far as raising brand awareness -- I'd never heard of the "Avenger controller" before this thread -- but I can't imagine what this thing would need to do before I'd buy something from a company that acts this way.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 04:36:44 PM »

Interesting that Penny Arcade won't load this morning. Can't imagine that this would hammer them any more than usual.
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 04:41:37 PM »

They do have trouble with server loads every Christmas season, but usually it's just the forums that have trouble (and those are running fine right now).  So yeah, maybe it is related to this event?  Twitter certainly seems to be all atwit with discussion about it.
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Mr. Fed
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 05:44:40 PM »

Paul Christoforo is in a world of internet hurt now.

I wrote a post about him and the traffic from Google searches for his name alone is huge.
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 07:23:23 PM »

THIS HAS MADE MY MORNING.
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Harkonis
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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 07:31:47 PM »

Isn't the title of this thread backwards?  This sounds like a smear campaign being run BY Penny Arcade, not against them.
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2011, 07:36:21 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on December 27, 2011, 07:31:47 PM

Isn't the title of this thread backwards?  This sounds like a smear campaign being run BY Penny Arcade, not against them.

If you read that oceanic guys rantings, he threatens he has 125 PR people that will go to the internet and attack penny arcade, blah blah blah..  I cannot remember all the details..

Whew, still haven't actually been able to get to the PA website..
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2011, 07:36:46 PM »

He deleted @oceanmarketting [sic] and moved it to @oceanstratagy [sic]

Wow.
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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2011, 07:37:46 PM »

I love me some stratagy controllllars
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Morgul
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2011, 07:53:07 PM »

Seems like /guildchat of some WOW uber guild leader or something, heh..

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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2011, 03:22:28 AM »

Quote
I just wanted to post an update with some of the stuff that has happened over on my end with regards to all this Ocean Marketing stuff.

Around midnight last night Paul sent me a mail saying that I could expect to hear from their attorneys. As of right now that still has not happened and honestly I don.t expect it will. Our attorneys (who are real people with an office and everything) are ready should it get to that point though.

At 7:12am this morning I got another mail from Paul. It was one line and simply said:

.You have the power Mike Please make it stop.

The reality is that once I had posted the emails I didn.t have the power anymore. The Internet had it now and nothing I said or did was going to change that.

An hour later I got a more complete apology:

Hey Mike,

 I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed I didn.t know how big your site was and I really didn.t believe you ran Pax , So for what.s its worth I am very sorry. Your post has obviously made my life very difficult and I have not slept yet dealing with all the spam and personal information intrusion as well as my family being smeared on the internet.

 If you can please accept my apology and anything you can do to help if not me my son and wife please do. I have apologized to Dave and apologized to you what else can I do please tell me so I can make things good. I obviously care or I would not be emailing you.

I think there is a big difference between being sorry and being sorry you got caught. 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 that.s why I have no sympathy here. Someday every bully meets and even bigger bully and maybe that.s me in this case.  It.s the same thing that happened with Jack Thompson. It might not always make the most business sense and it is a policy that has caused us some legal problems, but I really don.t give a shit about that. When these assholes threaten me or Penny Arcade I just laugh. I will personally burn everything I.ve made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames.

-Gabe out

It's not like Mike could stop the landslide of opinion that falls upon a person acting like a douche when it goes public. There really isn't a valve that any one person holds. I have a problem with the personal intrusion stuff though - people go WAY too far.
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2011, 03:27:27 AM »

Kotaku has some more stuff. Depending on what we define as "personal intrusion" - if Paul is complaining about people finding out he may be on 'roids due to internet posts, then, yeah. That ain't personal info.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2011, 04:30:41 AM »

Oh man, that apology is priceless.  So much for the "no such thing as bad publicity" thing for him.
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2011, 04:51:29 AM »

I've never seen an internet meme created right before my eyes.  It's quite fascinating, really.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2011, 05:11:14 AM »

The Internet brings the funny.  Wil Wheaton pointed me at this one.  It's full of adult language.

Oh, and from the mouth of the man himself, the Avenger controller mod "snaps on your XBox".
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 05:22:49 AM by Isgrimnur » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2011, 05:39:55 AM »

I love me a good public shaming.
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Lee
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« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2011, 05:41:17 AM »

Quote from: Morgul on December 27, 2011, 07:36:21 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on December 27, 2011, 07:31:47 PM

Isn't the title of this thread backwards?  This sounds like a smear campaign being run BY Penny Arcade, not against them.

If you read that oceanic guys rantings, he threatens he has 125 PR people that will go to the internet and attack penny arcade, blah blah blah..  I cannot remember all the details..

Whew, still haven't actually been able to get to the PA website..

Yep and Gabe finished his post with "I canít wait for the Penny Arcade smear campaign!"
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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2011, 08:18:12 AM »

The Kotaku pieces on this say Christoforo and his "marketing company" were dropped today by the manufacturer/whatever behind the Avenger controller.  For obvious reasons.  A guy like that needs to find another way to make a living. But what is also interesting is that the former marketing firm behind the product were contacted and indicated they walked away from the account some months ago because 1) the product delays were severe and they were sick of being the frontline for that and 2) Christoforo had come in and they didn't like him and warned the manufacturers owners he was a mistake.  So it sounds like the company behind the product deserves a share of the blame here.
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« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2011, 09:01:38 AM »

It's quite incredible to see how much force the Fifth Estate (the Blogosphere) can bring to bear in some cases, and this time it was also entirely justified. This guy not only fucked up initially, but he even managed to fuck up his apology by making it crystal clear that it was only because of Penny Arcade's power he was apologizing, not because he was truly sorry. A lesson in humility was very much required here.
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2011, 03:28:55 PM »

Playing devil's advocate though, how far should this go?  Should this guy have death threats made against his children and (as some are calling for) any future chance of employment destroyed because he screwed up?
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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2011, 03:44:37 PM »

Yeah, as fun as it is to see an asshole get what's coming to him, geek vigilante justice en masse isn't really the way things should be resolved.

Then again, from what people are digging up on the guy he does seem to be an asshole to the nth degree.  It's hard to separate fact from fiction, but it does seem to be the case that being a dick during customer service is just the smallest tip of the iceberg.

Also:
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« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2011, 03:49:47 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on December 28, 2011, 03:28:55 PM

Playing devil's advocate though, how far should this go?  Should this guy have death threats made against his children and (as some are calling for) any future chance of employment destroyed because he screwed up?

Death threats are over the line regardless.  But should he be blackballed from his chosen career field?  That's the choice of those who may wish to hire him.  If I were working in Marketing, I wouldn't want him mopping the floors in my building. 

Maybe his choice of career would be better suited for personal trainer, where hurling derogatory insults at your clients is normal.  Or maybe go do voice work in the next GTA as Brucie's son.
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« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2011, 03:56:04 PM »

Don't get me wrong, I think he's definitely not cut out for the field of marketing.  But some folks seem to be saying that he should NEVER work again in any capacity.  I just thought that was too extreme.  Everyone makes mistakes and if I was forced to pay forever for even one of the many stupid things I've done in the past...well...that would suck.  

edit:  although now that I think about it, I can't think of even one person who's been the object of one of these internet campaigns that hasn't eventually been forgotten.  I should probably take solace in the fact that the internet's collective memory is capable of only holding two or three memes at a time and has to discard previous ones in favor of any new ones.   icon_wink
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« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2011, 04:08:01 PM »

Wait, who were we talking about again?
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« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2011, 04:11:44 PM »

Quote from: Purge on December 28, 2011, 04:08:01 PM

Wait, who were we talking about again?



Ted Knight
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« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2011, 04:13:09 PM »

Having him be completely ruined and living in a refrigerator box under the overpass would be extreme.  But I'm sure there are many career fields that he could explore where the HR department still doesn't know how to use Google.
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« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2011, 04:13:15 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on December 28, 2011, 03:56:04 PM

Don't get me wrong, I think he's definitely not cut out for the field of marketing.  But some folks seem to be saying that he should NEVER work again in any capacity.  I just thought that was too extreme.  Everyone makes mistakes and if I was forced to pay forever for even one of the many stupid things I've done in the past...well...that would suck.  

edit:  although now that I think about it, I can't think of even one person who's been the object of one of these internet campaigns that hasn't eventually been forgotten.  I should probably take solace in the fact that the internet's collective memory is capable of only holding two or three memes at a time and has to discard previous ones in favor of any new ones.   icon_wink

A few thoughts:

1.  Someone who makes just one mistake -- unless it's a truly spectacular one, involving epic asshattery -- isn't going to go viral.

2.  The guy's own words are what is making this go viral -- that and the fact that they are directed to multiple people over multiple communications.  That, and the fact that he posed as someone else, and plagiarized his own site, and that he's supposed to be a marketer.

3.  People have been complaining for a century that modern life is too anonymous.  The nerd-smackdown phenomenon simply reminds us that, if you act like a sufficiently awful douchebag, circumstances may return you to the functional equivalent of a 19th-century small town, where everybody knows you are a douchebag.  

4.  If you owned a business -- or if someone you loved owned a business -- or if you worked for a business -- wouldn't you absolutely, 100% want to know that your prospective marketeer acts like this if you were considering hiring them?  
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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2011, 04:15:10 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on December 28, 2011, 03:28:55 PM

Playing devil's advocate though, how far should this go?  Should this guy have death threats made against his children and (as some are calling for) any future chance of employment destroyed because he screwed up?


I would say future employment dealing with customers / PR should be destroyed.   He needs to work behind the scenes, hanging drywall or something maybe.  
If he works in a restaurant, he should be in the back doing the dishes, not dealing with the customers.

Death threats on kids of course is not ok, and he should try to prosecute any that he can.  

Kids are probably embarrassed to go to school now that the whole internet knows their dad is a class A asshole.
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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2011, 04:26:14 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on December 28, 2011, 03:56:04 PM

Everyone makes mistakes and if I was forced to pay forever for even one of the many stupid things I've done in the past...well...that would suck.  

It's not like this is a one time event for the guy, though.  Evidence has turned up of him being a customer service asshole for months, and not just with this one guy. 

And then outside of customer service, the guy seems to be a real piece of work. 
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« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2011, 04:27:57 PM »

Reminds me of the Douglas Adams' Frogstar Total Perpective Vortex.
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2011, 05:23:41 PM »

The business owner made some mistakes.  From what I've read about him, the guy is an art teacher selling a product he made for disabled kids.  He doesn't seem to know much about running a business.  I think he just learned that.

Unfortunately, the asshole he hired to do his PR may have sunk his business (which really does seem like a worthwhile endeavor), and will end up walking away with nobody the wiser.   People will remember the controller, not the soon-to-be-changed name of the marketing business run by this con man.
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2011, 05:30:59 PM »

I could see myself buying it in spite of Paul - now that he's not getting any money for it (given that he's fired). Hell, perhaps the next Childs play that will be my donation.

Lastly, I feel bad for his son. School is brutal WITHOUT a vocal Internet pointing out how (one of) your genetic sources is seriously flawed.
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« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2011, 07:08:27 PM »

From my noodling around thanks to Google - I came across this his new Twitter account: (yes he spelled it wrong):
http://twitter.com/oceanstretagy and it looks like he hasn't learned. He is calling out all gamers and people who are attacking him. He even slammed 4Chan in one of his tweets with: 4chan? So a bunch of 11 year olds that can't do shit are going to follow my tweets. OH GOD, WHAT WILL I DO???? Probably not the smartest thing he could have done at this point....

Here's the thread from Kotaku where he is caught mascarading as someone else via email: http://kotaku.com/5871400/cut-paul-oceanmarketting-christoforo-a-breakhe-probably-just-has-roid-rage

This is going very very badly for him.

Biggest loser will be the product though - I saw the original video on CNN a while back and was amazed by what this teacher was able to envision. Such a shame.
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« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2011, 07:10:00 PM »

That's pretty clearly a fake twitter account, yo.
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« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2011, 07:11:49 PM »

Quote from: gellar on December 28, 2011, 07:10:00 PM

That's pretty clearly a fake twitter account, yo.

street gellar is probably right.  the misspelled account name is usually a good clue when it comes so close on the heels of such an event.
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