This article was originally published on Social Media Overflow in 2011
Check out these emails between Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing and a customer named Dave about the delays on the new Avenger N-Controller which Christoforo was representing. http://penny-arcade.com/resources/just-wow1.html
Dave was unhappy that the orders were delayed without any notification or explanation and that he had pre-ordered earlier than other people and newer orders were given a $10 discount.
Here is a quote from one of the replies from Christoforo:
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.
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.
The emails were shown to Mike Krahulik from Penny Arcade who runs one of the conventions mentioned by Christoforo. When Krahulik notices his show mentioned he decides to get involved and Christoforo continues to say lots of very unprofessional things, which were then published on the Penny Arcade website.
News of this quickly spread all over the internet and the Avenger N-Controller product which normally had a high 4.5/5 product rating got spammed with low scores on Amazon.com which could have a huge impact on future sales through that site.
Christoforo has since been fired and no longer represents N-Control and the poor company now has to try and recover from this mess. It has been made clear that no one actually has a problem with the company or their product, but specifically with Christoforo. Hopefully, this will not affect the company in the long run as their product is said to be quite good.
This should be a lesson to all companies and PR professionals to never let their egos explode and say such rude things to a customer. Everything you say on the Internet can easily be shared with anyone and if shown to the right people it could do a great deal of damage to your reputation as well as the reputation of the company you represent.
There are a lot of people on the internet who are happy to jump on bandwagons to help out people who have been mistreated and communities such as the gaming community are very passionate and dedicated and have a huge online presence.
Since then the company has said
N-Control would like to publicly apologize to existing and potential customers, as well as the gaming community at large, for allowing Mr. Christoforo to abuse his power so unforgivably, The Avenger was invented to provide greater accessibility to disabled gamers, and bullying tactics are the last thing that should be associated with this product.
All early pre-order customers of the product have now received a $10 discount on their orders like Dave initially hoped for. Paul Christoforo has since become the laughing stock of the gaming community and parody videos and internet meme images started to appear within 24 hours of the news breaking.