[Update] PR company for gaming controller insults customer, turns into the best web drama EVER
Today has spawned one of the most interesting web dramas I’ve seen in quite some time, one that has me refreshing often for updates. A would-be customer for the “soon-to-be-released” Avenger Controller kindly asked the company when the controller would be coming out, as they had paid in full for a pre-order and the rather ominous date of “Early December” came and went without a peep from the company. What they got in response was a thread of increasingly unprofessional e-mails that eventually found their way to the desk of Mike Krahulik (a.k.a Gabe). The thread is a must-read and can be found here(PA’s site is getting swamped so it may be slow): Just wow!
Things happen in manufacturing if your unhappy you have 7 days from the day your item ships for a refund. You placed a pre order just like any software title the gets a date moved due to the tweaks and bugs not being worked out and GameStop or any other place holds your cash and im sure you don’t complain to activision or epic games so put on your big boy hat and wait it out like everyone else. The benefit is a token of our appreaciation for everyone no one is special including you or any first time buyer . 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. Have a good day Dan.
That’s coming from the PR rep for the Avenger, like a real person who apparently does this for a living. It looks like some forum troll or one of those spammers you always see on craigslist, but no, this is the real deal. BTW, the guy’s name is Dave, not Dan, this guy couldn’t even get that right. Dave eventually calls him out on just about everything from the lack of communication to the awful grammer and it is web comedy gold.
But if that wasn’t enough for you, it gets much, much better. Over the course of the day the PR firm Ocean Marketing (who appears to be doing all customer inquiries for the Avenger) has been digging themselves a very very deep hole. You can find most of the good updates here. The first thing I saw was that some of the articles on the Ocean Marketing website are unsourced (i.e. plagiarized) as pointed out here.
The bit that I’ve found particularly hilarious is that Ocean Marketing had a twitter account (misspelled @OceanMarketting), but promptly deleted it in wake of the uproar from the gaming community. That account was promptly scooped up by another user, who has been posting various tweets regarding the situation, as well as prompting indie games (props!). You can find this account here: @OceanMarketting. I appears that the original man behind the account still has one and is still being a giant tool right here: @OceanStrategy. On top of that, it doesn’t look like the Ocean Marketing website has even been updated properly, so tweets from the @OceanMarketting account are still going to the website.
All in all, its a pretty great day for those who hate unprofessional d-bags that pollute the web. One casualty may be the bizarre-looking Avenger Controller, which admittedly has an interesting design, but now I imagine will get a huge torrent of bad PR from the gaming community. I don’t see this dying out anytime soon, especially if Ocean Marketing keeps trying to respond to everyone. I recommend pulling up a chair and popcorn and enjoying the show!
Oh, and possible meme alert.
Update: It looks like Paul (the writer of the original berating e-mails) has sent an apology to Dave, asking for forgiveness in the matter. Also it looks like he (sort-of) proof-read his response this time, although the grammer is still wanting:
I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed from beginning to end , You caught me on an extremely bad day and I had been dealing with 100’s and hundreds of emails trying to explain the situation to everyone on where the product was and you just pushed me a little too much and I should have just apologized and tried to explain things better. Also I had a really bad day losing a friend to an overdose and the stress of my newborn baby and the Holiday ,missing my family and just stressing on getting product out to everyone and why it was held up in customs wore me out.
I am deeply sorry for any disrespect , aggravation or lack of information on the delivery date. We knew when product was leaving china and we were trying to adhere to a strict deadline but due to port issues and air freight issues. The units are domestic now and awaiting pick up at customs . So we missed the 17th deadline and I apologize for that but it was out of my control and besides me no one else was helping me handle the situation so imagine the weight on my shoulders.
I’m not asking for any sympathy just for some understanding and forgiveness , I’m human just like everyone else and made a mistake. I underestimated you and its cost me a lot of trouble thousands of spam emails , a lot of personal bashing , and internet spam and trouble and just overall stress with my wife and newborn. I ask that you please accept my apology as a peace offering I will refund your money and give you your 2 units/Avengers free of charge please help me to get some of this negativity removed or at least my personal name although its already all over the internet and the calls and emails will not stop but any help will be appreciated especially with penny arcade as Mike and edit his own website I owe him an apology too which I will write next.
Update 2: Perhaps Paul is suffering from roid rage?
Update 3: Reddit contributor thegauntlet did some brilliant research into the situation and not only found about numerous plagerism (even the “About” page!), but also called Paul himself! He details it here;
UPDATE 4: Just got off phone with Paul. Figured I’d call Paul for his Transcript ID and Access Code to verify his MS Certs and get a statement, see if he’s on suicide watch yet. To my surprise, he answered his phone. Seemed pleasant. He was unsure what I was talking about when I asked for his Transcript ID and access code for the MS Cert program. I confronted him on the plagiarized site and he hung up. I also planned on asking him his education level and if he graduated Newbury College but was unable to.
Also I recommend checking the update on the roid rage page on Kotaku.
Update 4: There was another tweeter posing as Paul today on @OceanStratagy, this is just a troll account, pay him no heed.