Here’s a run-down of what happened in gaming today:
This morning, Penny Arcade posted an unbelievable email chain between reader Dave and Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing regarding Dave’s order of the Avenger Controller that had been delayed for several weeks. Christoforo’s response was anything but professional, laden with misspellings, incomplete information, avoidance of questions and denigrating Dave. Frustration led Dave to including Mike (Gabe) Krahulik of PA, Kotaku and other news sites on the emails.
Krahulik got involved when Christoforo mentioned the convention that bears his website’s name (PAX East - Penny Arcade Expo), informing Dave that if Christoforo has a booth, as he claims, then it will be cancelled. Christoforo pretends not to care, both claiming that he knows the guy that runs the expo, as well as the mayor of Boston, and has better expos to attend, seemingly unaware that PAX East, in Boston, and Prime, in Seattle, are two of the biggest gaming conventions open to the public.
He then starts dropping industry names, claiming they will all back him up. Christoforo then asks Krahulik who he is. Krahulik politely tells Christoforo to Google him.
In the span of 13 minutes, Christoforo goes from belittling Krahulik to trying to get onto Gabe’s good side. Eleven minutes later, Christoforo is back to belittling Gabe.
Reddit jumped on this almost immediately, as did other media sites. Industry leaders, including and especially those Christoforo name-dropped, criticized Christoforo and disavowed any present or future connection to Christoforo and his company. Scott Lowe of IGN called Christophor unprofessional during their limited dealings; Kevin Kelly offered his and G4TV’s supported behind Lowe; engadget and MLG join in.
(Extra credit to redditor CoolAbedFilms for collecting news updates.)
Christoforo responds by calling those industry leaders d-bags and changing his formerly misspelled twitter handle to a newly misspelled twitter handle.
Unsurprisingly, the internet seized on the opportunity to mock this customer service foul up relentlessly. Christoforo’s former handle has since been seized by an observer and is currently being used to promote indie games; similarly, the properly-spelled version of his new handle is being used to mock Christoforo.
Even Geico got in on the action:
The unfortunate part: N-Control, the company that actually manufactures the Avenger Controller and had no part in Christoforo’s meltdown, received some blowback in the form of negative Amazon reviews. Frank Shephard, business development director of N-Control, took to twitter to inform people that they are aware of the situation and is formulating a response.
Even more, this isn’t the first instance of horrendously poor customer service by Christofor and it appears that much of Ocean Marketing’s website has been plagiarized, including taking sections from other SEO companies’ sites and posting blog posts taking from organizations such as Forbes and BizReport.
TL;DR: Poor customer service and even worse attitude leads to Internet, gaming industry turning on one-man marketing company.