The Avenger was met with much anticipation, due to some amazing pre-release reviews on technology blogs like Engadget.
Unfortunately, due to manufacturing delays, N-Control missed the November 8th ship date and did not communicate this to any of their customers; many of which had actually pre-paid the $50 for the promised pre-Christmas delivery. As the holidays approached, pre-order customer Dave, sent an email to Ocean Marketing, the third party contractor in charge of marketing the controller.
The string of emails which followed, has severely damaged the reputation of Ocean Marketing, it’s representative Paul Christoforo; and left N-Control in a spin cycle of PR.
Penny Arcade – Just Wow!. (n.d.)
Dave’s emails started as simple, polite information gathering. However, after several cryptic and uninformative replies back, Dave asks if he should cancel his (now extremely delayed) order, and reorder to get the new discount for late shipments.
Christoforo begins his assault…
“…no one is allowed to cancel and re order if we catch anyone doing it we will simply just cancel your order all together and you can buy it retail somewhere else.”
“Feel free to cancel we need the units were back ordered 11,000 units so your 2 will be gone fast. Maybe I’ll put them on eBay for 150.00 myself.”
At this point, Dave is quite frustrated and decides to copy his responses to a few industry news sites, as well as Mike Krahulik, who runs a blog called Penny Arcade, and the Penny Arcade expo (PAX)
The reaction from Christoforo is negativity worthy of Axl Rose circa “Get in the Ring.”
“…you look like a complete moron swearing and sending your customer service complaints to a magazine as if they will post it or even pay attention…”
“…you think you speak for billions son your just a kid you speak for yourself no one cares what you think that’s why were growing and moving 20-50 thousand controllers a month.”
“See you at CES , E3 , Pax East ….? Oh wait you have to ask mom and pa dukes your not an industry professional and you have no money on snap you just got told.”
This them brings Krahulik (the producer of PAX) to step in.
To: Dave, Ocean Marketing Dec 26, 2011 at 8:45 PM
“…this is unbelievable. Dave, if this guy has a booth at Pax east we will cancel it.”
This was only the beginning of a swift decline for both N-Control and Christoforo’s Ocean Marketing.
During the social media/internet melee that in sued, Christoforo’s Twitter and Youtube accounts were bombarded with tweets, likes, dislikes, comments, and general disgust; even garnering an interview with MSNBC’s Kyle Orland.
In the end Christoforo was humbled to say the least, and has appealed on numerous occasions for relief from the onslaught of threats to his wife, himself and their young son.
The business blog VentureBeat summed up Christoforo’s destruction brilliantly.
“It’s hard to judge precisely when Christoforo’s career ended…Perhaps it was when he name-dropped everyone from Cliffy B to the Yellow Power Ranger…Regardless, the world was watching, ready to serve up swift Internet justice, and that’s exactly what it did.”
N-Control released the following statement.
AVENGER CONTROLLER DISMISSES MARKETING CONSULTANT, TAKES BACK MARKETING AND SALES OPERATIONS
“Miami, FL— Wednesday, December 28, 2011— N-Control, makers of the Avenger Controller accessory, have categorically dismissed third party contractor Paul Christoforo and his marketing operation, known alternately as Ocean Distribution or Ocean Marketing.”
For more details see below:
- Jilted gamer teaches vendor price of rudeness (ingame.msnbc.msn.com)
- Penny Arcade Publishes Transcripts Of Customer Service Blunder (pcworld.com)
Ocean Marketing fiasco addressed in official press release | VentureBeat. (n.d.).VentureBeat | Tech. People. Money.. Retrieved February 1, 2012, from http://venturebeat.com/2011/12/29/ocean-marketing-press-release/
Penny Arcade – Just Wow!. (n.d.). Penny Arcade – The Creative Spark. Retrieved February 1, 2012, from http://penny-arcade.com/resources/just-wow1.html
Update: Ocean Marketing makes fatal gaming PR mistake – National Video Game Industry | Examiner.com. (n.d.). Welcome to Examiner.com | Examiner.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012, from http://www.examiner.com/video-game-industry-in-national/ocean-marketing-gaming-pr-rep-to-avoid-at-all-cost
lol. (n.d.). Ocean Marketing Delivers The Biggest PR FAIL In History | GameFront. Gaming News | Game Reviews | Game Videos | Downloads |Mods | FileFront. Retrieved February 1, 2012, from http://www.gamefront.com/ocean-marketing-delivers-the-biggest-pr-fail-in-history/