When will companies learn that treating customers poorly will backfire on them? Well today iControl/Kotkin Enterprises (don’t know which one is correct), the makers of the N-Control Avenger gaming controller, and their PR company Ocean Marketing are learning this first hand what the power of the internet can have on your business. Lets take a step back to learn what sparked this internet shitstorm towards iControl & Ocean Marketing.
Penny Arcade read Dave copied in PA on an email conversation that happened between him and Ocean Marketing. It was unprofessional to say the least. Dave pre-ordered two Avenger controllers that were suppose to ship early December in time for Christmas. When that didn’t happen Dave reached out to N-Control to see what was going on, Ocean Marketing who handles all interactions with customers didn’t handle it well at all. See the thing is when you have to interact with customers you better be super professional and use proper spelling and grammar. Especially when you are the face of another company. Well Ocean Marketing didn’t do that, here is one email received.
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.
After name dropping Pax East Mike Krahulik got involved and said they would be cancelling any booth that they had reserved. Ocean Marketing didn’t realize Mike Krahulik was the founder of Penny Arcade and Pax and tried, horribly, to back pedal after he realized who he was chatting with.
After reading these back and forth emails you can clearly see that Ocean Marketing did a horrendous job with this and the internet just ran with it. Once this became widespread news industry professionals openly no longer supported the Avenger controller. Ocean Marketing called one a “douchebag” on Twitter, quickly deleting it and tried it again with something a little less harsh. People on reddit started making memes like this one and this one. People have also taken to Amazon to give The Avenger terrible reviews.
GamerFront talked with Paul Christoforo, the genius behind Ocean Marketing, who said that this would simply blow over and that he has been contacted by several companies that want him to be their PR representative. I highly doubt it and if there are any good luck on getting your product reviewed, wrote about, etc. Examiner.com has looked into their site more and have found that on their blog they are plagiarizing articles across the web.
There is still no word from iControl, the people who make the Avenger on any of this, when we find out we will let you know. The moral of the story is treat your customers good and shut the fuck up when you screw up and not dig yourself deeper.