Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

World's Worst PR Guy Gives His Side

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the silence-is-golden dept.

Businesses 576

First time accepted submitter Narnie writes "Follow up to Tuesday's story of a PR rep's lack of professionalism. Kyle Orland provides a follow up interview with Paul Christoforo after a simple email chain escalated into internet infamy. N-Control official response to Paul Chrostoforo's actions can be found here. Kotaku.com even has a whole section devoted to covering the entire ordeal. I for one found myself caught following the news releases and in awe of the combined load forced on penny-arcade's servers from Slashdot, Reddit, Digg, Kotaku, and other news sites covering the story."

cancel ×

576 comments

Still continues to be an asshole (5, Insightful)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526786)

"If I had known, I would have treated the situation a little better."
Referring to the email thread that started the whole mess, Christoforo said that he didn't know who he was talking to in his initial, flippant response to Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik.

"I didn't know who that guy at Penny Arcade was," he admitted. "If I had known, I would have treated the situation a little better. PAX is a great show. What he does is what I've been idolizing since I was a kid. It's admirable he's put that together. He has a lot of connections, ones I want too."

He just doesn't get it. You should treat people, especially your customers, good no matter who they are. He still isn't sorry for what happened, he is "sorry" because someone famous caught him.

And he wasn't caught at bad time either like he says now. There's many similar stories about how he treated customers for a long time.

Let me rephrase that (5, Funny)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526854)

I never would have stolen that car if I knew I was going to get caught so it's not really my fault.

Re:Let me rephrase that (5, Insightful)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527488)

I wouldn't compare him to a car thief. A dick, yes, but not exactly a criminal.

Actually, I thought a lot about this. My first thoughts when I read the penny arcade e-mail chain was this guy needs to be strung. And I even had some of his rationale of "you don't know who you're fucking with!"

Then it hit me. As much as this guy is being a douche and is on a very high ego trip, the mob mentality of the Internet is going to ruin him.. For nothing more than having a very bad day. It's something that should be looked at.. I'm all for putting someone in their place, and this guy should be fired. On the other hand, the press this gets means this guys life is over. At least his online life... Has the Internet Mob Mentality become the modern day witch hunt?

In any case, the customer reigns high and mighty, and any response to them needs to be very carefully weighed, cause the internet hath fury.

Re:Let me rephrase that (5, Informative)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527592)

It wasn't a bad day. There's been numerous blog posts dating back to beginning of 2011 on how he treated customers and they are equal to this case. Just in this case it finally got picked up and spread. Hell, the guy still isn't sorry for how he threated customers, he is sorry for the fact he got caught.

And no, his life isn't over. Nor IRL or online. It's just how you handle the backlash. At the moment he isn't doing very well, but only because he cannot stop his ego trip and humble down.

So he hasn't learned a thing. (5, Insightful)

Telecommando (513768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526910)

Basically his stance is, "I'm sorry I was a d!ck to someone important. I thought he was just another nobody I could abuse at will."

Re:So he hasn't learned a thing. (5, Interesting)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527028)

Yet despite all the drama, Christoforo said he hasn't lost any of his other accounts, aside from Avenger.

So could someone please dig up the names of his other clients and post them?

Re:So he hasn't learned a thing. (3, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527590)

I'm sure these "other clients" are similar to the Mayor of Boston. This guy has a major superiority complex and narcissism to spare. He's that guy you knew that could do no wrong. He was always a smooth talker (or thought he was) and went into business for himself. Even though his kid could make a better wwebsite his looks like it was slapped together (and it was plagiarized from numerous sources).

No matter what he does he's always the victim. Look at all of his postings even when he realized who Mike (Gabe) was. He thinks that all PR is good PR and probably thinks he won the lottery. "Forbes, MSNBC, AND Slashdot want an interview!". Anyone that has basic skills of google will never hire him again. Unfortunately other MBAs most likely don't, they'll meet him on the golf course or in the bar and he'll be the smooth talker and get another job that way. Having not learned a thing from this.

But IANAP (I am not a Psychologist).

Re:So he hasn't learned a thing. (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527162)

It's the Christian message: be nice to people, because the father of the person you just crucified might turn out to be God...

Re:So he hasn't learned a thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527422)

Someone please mod this comment funny, because this is funny.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (2)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526962)

At least we know he's honest at least this one time. "I'm sorry I got caught" is obviously true. "I'm sorry for being a hostile, juvenile dickweed who never learned English grammar, spelling, manners, customer service skills, the Golden Rule, or basic human communication skills" is expected, but is impossible to figure out if it's true or not.

...but he didn't say that (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527222)

"I'm sorry for being a hostile, juvenile ...." is expected, but is impossible to figure out if it's true or not.

Did he ever actually say that (paraphrased I realize!)? If so I certainly missed it. In fact the whole thing did not read like any sort of apology at all.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (4, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527014)

>>He still isn't sorry for what happened, he is "sorry" because someone famous caught him.

Right. He's like a bully who is "sorry" after some kid he was picking on turns out to be a jiu-jitsu black belt, and chokes him unconscious.

Sorry. Replace 'like' with 'is'. He IS a bully shedding alligator tears after being exposed for who he really is.

To me, the hilariously painful bit of the story was the bully's poor command of the English language. TFA has a typo, his company is not "Ocean Marketing". It's "Ocean Marketting". ;) Two t's - at least that's how he he codified it on Twitter.

I honestly love it when the Internet does this kind of stuff. I remember the great exposés back in the day over how hard it was to cancel AOL and so forth.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527062)

Michael Vick comes to mind. He was only sorry for being caught.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (5, Funny)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527388)

In Michael Vick's defense he was a big Pokemon fan.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (1)

ElKry (1544795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527586)

He's like a bully who is "sorry" after some kid he was picking on turns out to be a jiu-jitsu black belt, and chokes him unconscious.

Sorry. Replace 'like' with 'is'.

So... "He's is a bully [...]"?

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (5, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527102)

He just doesn't get it. You should treat people, especially your customers, good no matter who they are. He still isn't sorry for what happened, he is "sorry" because someone famous caught him.

What's fascinating to me is that most people who are really only sorry to have been caught know better than to tell everyone that's why they're sorry. You know, they're smart enough to fake having learned a lesson.

He honestly believes the reason everyone is pissed off at him is because he mistreated Mike Krahulik, not the customer. I actually feel sorry for the guy, who truly believes somebody's worth is dictated by how much power they have. He says, "I want to have connections Mike has, I want to have the power to destroy people like he destroyed me. Look Mike, I respect your power, I know my place is beneath you, and I'd never have overstepped my bounds had I known who you were. You don't need to be angry at me, I know my place, honestly. I was just putting that nobody in HIS place, you have to agree he's beneath me."

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527464)

He honestly believes the reason everyone is pissed off at him is because he mistreated Mike Krahulik, not the customer.

He probably got that part right... Lots of people know about it and got pissed off about it because Mike jumped in the FFA.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (5, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527550)

He honestly believes the reason everyone is pissed off at him is because he mistreated Mike Krahulik, not the customer.

He probably got that part right... Lots of people know about it and got pissed off about it because Mike jumped in the FFA.

That's how we found out there was something to be angry about, yes. Nobody is denying Mike indeed has the power and the connections that the customer didn't have. That's why the customer copied his correspondence to the press guys, so they could use their influence.

That said, that's also why nobody (who isn't a psychopath) cares that Mike was mistreated. Mike can take care of himself. We're angry at his bullying of the guy who couldn't, and happy that Mike stood up for him.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527596)

I am amazed his other accounts haven't dropped him. This is a PR guy? He obviously has no PR skills.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527104)

+1

This guy is clueless... anyone with half a brain would not hire this fool as a PR rep.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (4, Insightful)

Xeno man (1614779) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527242)

"He has a lot of connections, ones I want too." - Paul Christoforo referring to Mike Krahulik

Yup, still a big asshole. Paul still considers your worth by who you know. Thinks Mike helped make Pax by knowing a lot of high up people. Doesn't think your important unless you know someone else who is. Anyone who still has business relations with this guy really need to seriously evaluate what he's doing for you.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527346)

This is literally textbook asshole behavior. His boss should read "The No Asshole Rule," fire this guy, and learn how not to hire assholes.

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527434)

"If I had known, I would have treated the situation a little better."

Referring to the email thread that started the whole mess, Christoforo said that he didn't know who he was talking to in his initial, flippant response to Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik.

"I didn't know who that guy at Penny Arcade was," he admitted. "If I had known, I would have treated the situation a little better. PAX is a great show. What he does is what I've been idolizing since I was a kid. It's admirable he's put that together. He has a lot of connections, ones I want too."

He just doesn't get it. You should treat people, especially your customers, good no matter who they are. He still isn't sorry for what happened, he is "sorry" because someone famous caught him.

And he wasn't caught at bad time either like he says now. There's many similar stories about how he treated customers for a long time.

^ So very much this. Not only is he only sorry because he got caught, but he basically stated "I only treat customers or people I interact with on a professional basis with respect if I know they are big"

And that there are multiple instances of this guy's behavior. I used to work with one guy who submitted his email chain with this guy as over the same issue.

http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/4212/article/ocean-marketing-has-terribad-track-record/

Re:Still continues to be an asshole (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527446)

I read this thing and he still is an idiot. "He has a lot of connections, ones I want too."
Yep. Also his bad moment lasted for a couple of weeks.
He is a marketeer so hot-air comes with the job as does pulling the blinds over our eyes. That specific type of professions only seems to come in shades of brown. Now he faces the music and can't cope with it being played in brown note minor.
The only thing where I agree with him is that whoever pulls his girl and son into this is a grade one anus. Ostracism is one thing but we stopped writing the names of the whole family on the shard. Same goes for those idiots who neg-repped the Avenger on Amazon. Now it is virtually impossible to find out if this contraption is either good, interesting or funky enough to warrant the price tag. Thanks for peeing into the pool assuming it's only you. Now we are all doomed.

No thanks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526800)

I'm tired of hearing this guy, I don't want to read any more articles about him.

Re:No thanks (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526912)

Please tell us of all the articles you don't want to read anymore by telling us about them on every article you didn't read to comment on their /. stubs. Do you have a website where like-minded people can find out about all the stories you don't care about so we can not care about them either?

Re:No thanks (1)

MichaelKristopeit417 (2018862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527272)

who is "we"?

you're exactly what you've claimed to be: NOTHING.

Re:No thanks (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527142)

please, let us continue to enjoy his cretinous existence and villify it further, so that he may enjoy the karma which he still cannot acknowledge.

I'm pretty sure that unless this guy hits rock bottom (which he won't), that he will never learn from this experience. The wholehearted lack of apology and the "I haven't lost clients" part basically shows that he hasn't learn shit from this.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527526)

He'll hit rock-bottom when a fungal infection kills him because of his suppressed immune system. This sociopath juicer got caught in a fit of 'roid rage and his lifestyle choice will eventually cost him far more than his reputation.

"Lack of Professionalism" (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526810)

is quite the understatement.

Don't (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526880)

Don't give him any more publicity. This interview is weird, profanity-laden, and arrogant. The douchebag loves attention and "connections".

Re:Don't (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527100)

>>The douchebag loves attention and "connections".

Hey, don't mock his connections, okay?

Turns out he knows the guy at the door of the convention center.

Lack of character shines through.... (5, Insightful)

jholder (22001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526892)

"Looking back, Christoforo is still a little shocked that what he thought would remain a private email conversation got blown into an Internet event the way it did." This show a blinding misunderstanding of the Internet. I always act/write/post/upload and assume anything i send to anyone could end up in the faces of the planet. To not do so invites this kind of idiocy. The measure of the man is that he acted the way he did because he thought he was acting 'in secret'. People who act this way are not the kind of people I trust to work with me reliably.

Re:Lack of character shines through.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527042)

Honestly? In the ancient days BI (before internet), a rude written response from a company would be in a local newspaper within a printing and might be caught up by wider area papers. In places where one side can legally record a phone conversation without announcing that it is being recorded, bad PR phone conversations get sent to radio stations.

Re:Lack of character shines through.... (-1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527516)

And since this is Slashdot and a lot of us presumably live in California it's worth mentioning that barring a warrant only one party to a phone call needs to be aware that it's being taped in this state.

What I'd like to know is what happens when someone calls someone in another state. Which laws regarding recording calls apply, those in the receiver's state I hope?

Re:Lack of character shines through.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527050)

This show a blinding misunderstanding of the Internet.

Especially since the guy claimed "I wwebsite as on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls and before it was the internet". You'd think somebody who wwebsite as on the internet for that long would know that anything has a chance of blowing up at any minute for any or no reason whatsoever.

Re:Lack of character shines through.... (2)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527226)

Please don't popularize that, I truly don't want to see "wwebsite" get into the English dictionary as our newest verb.

Re:Lack of character shines through.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527566)

Oh, it's already started.

https://twitter.com/#!/GEICO/status/151720116357308416

Keep digging Paul (5, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526904)

Every time this guy opens his mouth to try to defend himself, he makes it worse. He needs to just stop. We all get that he thinks his mistake was not knowing who Mike was and that it would have been perfectly ok to treat him like crap if he was nobody.

His apology can be summed up as "Normally I pride myself on knowing who I need to blow and who I can spit on, I made a mistake Mike (points to zipper), may I?"

(analogy seen on reddit)

Re:Keep digging Paul (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527160)

Thanks man, I needed a good chortle today - LOL... "may I?" LOL...

FTG. (4, Insightful)

Corf (145778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526916)

Seriously, ftg. His fifteen minutes are up. He deserves nothing more than to be ignored and live in perpetual ignominy until somebody requires a textbook example of how not to treat anybody.

Notable excerpt (5, Insightful)

bwintx (813768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526926)

"If this didn't get escalated to Penny Arcade, it would have never gone viral like it did," he said. "Ultimately, if I was able to control the customer, it never would have happened..."

[Emphasis added.]

Re:Customer service (4, Interesting)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527392)

You've not been in customer service, have you? "Call control" is a frequent feedback point when calls start to run long, and I assume that's what he was talking about here.

Keep the customer focused on the issue, don't let them blabber and complain, instead get the problem fixed and the customer back to their day. Some people don't really want the problem solved, they want people to hear about it and point out all of the problems, an "I told you so" kind of rant, or "when I worked for a company like yours this would never have happened" or "I used to respect your brand, now you've let it go into the crapper". They think they are talking to someone who has the power to change something. And you can't let those people tie you up.

Yes it sounds bad phrased like that, but anyone who does any kind of support or customer contact should have been coached on controlling the customer. He realizes that he could have phrased things differently and not pissed this guy off, that's "controlling the customer". What he doesn't realize is that his natural personality is quite dick-ish and won't allow him to do that. Especially when you have piles of people asking the same thing, and are afraid to give some bad news that stuff won't be under the Christmas tree as promised, and you're too arrogant to apologise.

Re:Notable excerpt (2)

dougmc (70836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527490)

"Ultimately, if I was able to control the customer, it never would have happened..."

[Emphasis added.]

From the point of view of a PR person, this isn't exactly wrong. Setting expectations and such is a key part of doing customer support, and if the customer gets incorrect ideas about what's going to happen, the support person should attempt to bring them around (i.e. control the situation, which is to some degree controlling the customer.) It doesn't always work, but after doing support for a while you get a feel for how to take control of things that are going bad and fix them. Good customer support people "control the customer" (I put it in quotes because it's more "influence" or "calm down" than "control") by discussing things with them, explaining your side, understanding their side, perhaps negotiating with them -- bad ones, well, just look at the email exchange to see one example.

That said, using the term "control the customer" in an interview why he's trying to explain himself after his really bad customer service was a big mistake -- it's too easy to take out of context, and even in-context it's rather damning after the original email exchange. He'd have done much better to say "control the situation" and even then there's better terms to use. Considering that he should have prepared carefully for this interview, flubs like this speak poorly of his PR skills.

As it stands, his emails suggested that he treats all his customers like peons to be stepped on on his way to the big bucks, and unfortunately his interview didn't really change that.

But he is right about one thing -- he's probably been similarly rude to dozens or maybe hundreds of customers like this in the past, and there's thousands of other people out there doing customer support jobs that have treated their customers like this ... and normally the most they get is a talking to by their boss or a lost sale. But this one time, he got so much more, and we all get to watch. Not that this is going to get him much sympathy -- lots of us have been treated similarly by customer service somewhere (or perhaps by somebody in actual power like the DMV, police, IRS, etc.) and we're enjoying seeing him get his.

The Simpsons had it right... (1)

plsenjy (2104800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526970)

To stop those monsters 1-2-3,
Here's a fresh new way that's trouble-free,
It's got Paul Anka's guarantee...
Guarantee void in Tennessee.
Just don't look! Just don't look!
Just don't look! Just don't look!
Just don't look! Just don't look!

I never got why this became so big (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526976)

The whole thing looked way blown out of proportion to me. So this guy was having a rough spot in his life and was a little brusk and unprofessional in the initial email exchange. Conversely, the guy on the other end was WAY overboard on wanting that controller by Christmas (must be a helluva controller). And things just escalated from there to levels where they both sounded like children. Very unprofessional on Christoforo's part, for sure. But hardly worthy of the massive scorn he's gotten.

I think he's really just become a stand-in for all this shitty customer service reps we've all encountered (particularly around Christmas). And he's taking the heat for a lot of shit that he had nothing to do with.

Re:I never got why this became so big (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527068)

. Conversely, the guy on the other end was WAY overboard on wanting that controller by Christmas (must be a helluva controller).

Yeah. How dare he want his controller by X-mas when it was advertised to him that it would arrive in early December!? How dare he ask for an update on the ETA. How dare he get upset when the HEAD OF PUBLIC RELATIONS calls him a bitch!?

Re:I never got why this became so big (1)

randizzle3000 (1276900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527282)

How much does anyone want to bet that Ocean Marketting is a one-man shop? Christoforo is also the president according to LinkedIn.

Re:I never got why this became so big (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527144)

If you knew how to spell brusque, maybe you'd also know why this became so big. It's about class.

Re:I never got why this became so big (1)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527350)

There is a difference between education, or a knack for spelling, and class.

Re:I never got why this became so big (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527436)

There is a difference between education, or a knack for spelling, and class.

Well, no, education and class are related. It can bump you up a half-notch or so. But in any case, there is a difference between correcting the words with the squiggly red lines under them, and not correcting them.

Re:I never got why this became so big (5, Informative)

Spectre (1685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527204)

The whole thing looked way blown out of proportion to me. [...] Conversely, the guy on the other end was WAY overboard on wanting that controller by Christmas (must be a helluva controller). [...] Very unprofessional on Christoforo's part, for sure. But hardly worthy of the massive scorn he's gotten.

The customer hardly went overboard, the company processing the order was in violation of federal regulations (when you place an order online that cannot be fulfilled within 30 days there are regulations that state you must contact the customer notifying them of the issue and providing the option to cancel or alter the order) as well as merchant agreements (both VISA and MasterCard prohibit charging the customer's account prior to shipping merchandise).

As the customer service representative handling the order, not only was Christoforo "unprofessional" in lacking the ability to communicate in English (or, most likely, any other language), he was openly degrading toward the customer when it was pointed out the company he was representing was operating outside of the rules and regulations that governed their operation. This is an offense worthy of immediate termination at EVERY company I've worked for or had a contract with.

I've certainly experienced bad customer service, but this goes so far beyond anything I've ever encountered that it is practically unbelievable ... if it weren't a story sourced from multiple reliable individuals and news services, I wouldn't take it at face value ... as it is, yes, this ought to be taught to every jerk trying to party through school toward their MBA.

Re:I never got why this became so big (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527552)

He was also lying to the customer. On the 16th, he told the customer it would ship by the 17th. Then the next week he admitted that it was still going through customs. There's no way he could have thought they would ship the next day if they hadn't even made it through customs yet. A letter email said it was still shipping from China. He couldn't even be bothered to keep his excuses consistent.

Re:I never got why this became so big (5, Insightful)

twotacocombo (1529393) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527206)

I worked customer service/tech support for seven years. We dealt with good customers, we dealt with bad customers, and we dealt with baaaad customers. Death threats were a weekly occurrence (we worked with people's money). At no point in my career did I ever see or hear anything that even came close to the magnitude of where this guy went with a simple request of 'wheres my stuff?'. This guy took abusing the customer to a new extreme, and he got caught and publicly shamed for it. This case in itself isn't one of those world-changing events, but it's more of a warning to other business people to treat everyone decently and with respect. You never know if the customer you just told to piss up a rope will quietly slink away, or wipe their ass with your reputation for the whole internet to see.

And for those who say the customer is at all in the wrong here, how so? The guy had been very patient up to this point, and now he's fed up, so he spoke his mind. If the business wants his money, then they do what they need to make him happy. If they decide the benefit of this particular sale has become overshadowed by what ever burden he's placed upon them, then they advise him of such, immediately refund his money, and part ways. There's no need for all this drama. It's not as if the company has been trapped in an abusive relationship that only the customer has the power to end...

Re:I never got why this became so big (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527230)

Conversely, the guy on the other end was WAY overboard on wanting that controller by Christmas (must be a helluva controller).

Or, like many other people buying stuff before Christmas, it was intended as a gift. It is traditional to give Christmas presents at Christmas, so having something turn up in late January is a problem. This is presumably why he checked before ordering that the expected delivery date was early December...

Re:I never got why this became so big (4, Interesting)

hjf (703092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527304)

Most of the douches that made this story "big" aren't really the kind that would act like they expected this guy to act. I've had my own shop so I "work in retail", face to face, and I'm a short-fused person. I can tell you, people can really get you because they think the "The customer is always right" card is a license to be assholes.

I had a person throw come in to buy stuff, and when he paid he throw the money on the floor and say "come on now, pick it up. the customer's always right" (it had been escalating actually). I don't know what my face looked like at that time but judging from his expression, the guy almost shat his pants. I walked to the door and opened it. I took what he was buying and said "pick up your money and get the fuck out of here, and don't come back ever again". He tried to say it was a joke and stuff but I didn't care anymore.

People need to understand two things:
1) 'The customer is always right' means that a company should look for ways to please the customer. If the customer comes looking for something and you don't have it, you don't tell the customer "oh no X sucks, you need to buy Y". If customer wants X, you get him X. It doesn't mean the customer has a license to treat you like a slave. The salesman/customer service rep/tech support guy/whatever is just another person. And he will give you the same treatment you give him.

2) You can yell and be mad and do all you want at a "customer service" agent. These guys usually can't do anything about your problem, they're just there to "take the heat". When you get mad at one of those guys, all you do is make HIS life miserable, and you get stressed. No one wins.

I can assure you, most slashdotters wouldn't last a week. Hell, not even a day, when working for customer service. They would get violent, or just break down to tears. You need a really thick skin, and if you're whining about who's right and who's wrong in a site like slashdot, it just means you don't have what it takes.

Re:I never got why this became so big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527324)

He has a history of this that goes back years, read up on him, he's a real tool. He was way beyond unprofessional to the customer, he was abusive, and during his abuse he name dropped a bunch of industry people who he said fully supported him. The customer then CC'd on the rest of the emails, and that's when Mike/Gabe got involved. I think half a month with no real answers and severely disrespectful behavior from the ONLY person to contact at the company (seriously, ALL the contact info, no matter the route, led back to Christoforos) is more than enough to put up with before the internet equivalent of calling your local news consumer advocate report. And that's not even what happened. Christoforos decided to play "I'm mr-connected-guy" to Mike/Gabe and say that he couldn't ban him from PAX, even when its his own show. That's when things got posted to the internet.

Guy deserves EVERYTHING he got, by my count he had at least 14 chances to make things right and blew it EVERY SINGLE TIME. He isn't taking heat for anything that he had nothing to do with. And now he still doesn't realize what he did wrong, and isn't sorry that he did it. Only that he got caught doing it.

Re:I never got why this became so big (2)

tys90 (1123511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527382)

Has he been having a rough spot for over a half of a year? See this website, which contained a post about Paul in June http://www.natesnetwork.com/Poor-customer-service [natesnetwork.com]

His interview is a joke. One of his excuses is they caught him on a "bad day". Well, the correspondence that ended up on PA lasted almost two weeks. The guy has a lot of bad days that last weeks/months.

Re:I never got why this became so big (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527520)

It was promised to be delivered before XMas... so it's not unreasonable to want the controller by XMas. Even that, all he initially wanted was an actual ETA.
The customer was not out of line in any way.

He's sorry he got caught (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526978)

This is the mother of all non-apology apologies. He's not sorry for the way he behaved--he's sorry he got caught.

"If I had known, I would have treated the situation a little better." Really? Please. It doesn't matter WHO was on the other end of that email, you don't act that way. This clown deserves everything he's gotten over the last few days.

Schadenfreude (5, Interesting)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527006)

Its great, because this guy is getting MASSIVELY screwed right now. I would feel bad for the guy, except that he's a gigantic asshole, and isn't even sincerely apologetic.

Even then though, I start to feel like maybe this all just got out of hand...

Then you read the part where Ocean Marketing's website was DIRECTLY PLAGIARIZED from websites like forbes.com.
Thats it, no more excuses. This man is A CON ARTIST. He has been running a SCAM. He has this coming 100%

Oh, the lulz.

It is a misunderstanding. (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527290)

What people fail to realize here is that this is fairly normal. This is the way marketing people think about the customers of their clients. It's really a job requirement.

Re:It is a misunderstanding. (2)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527334)

Its how they think of them certainly, but usually the have the professionalism (or the fear of being fired) enough to at least FEIGN interest in the customer while dealing with them. Its just after you finish the call or email, you turn around and tell your co-worker what an idiot that customer was. To tell the customer himself that he is an idiot, a customer who is not being belligerent or violent, is absolutely unacceptable, even in this crazy day and age of so little customer service and human decency.

Typical... (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527008)

This guy still diesn't get it. He blames everyone else, they were "being a bully" or acting like a "punk or jerk".

Then there's this gem: "Ultimately, if I was able to control the customer, it never would have happened. I've dealt with thousands and thousands of customers with similar complaints, they were all asking the same question." Control the customer? When has anyone been able to "control the customer"? Where the hell did he learn to provide customer service? Even in Fast Food they're trained better than that...

How fucking clueless can someone be? It boggles the mind that this guy actually worked as a professional in any industry, let alone one that focuses on these sort of interactions.

What an idiot...

Re:Typical... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527390)

I can see what he meant by "control the customer" - most customer service would call it something like managing customer expectations - but that is the way way way way way wrong way to say it... especially in an interview.

Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail! (5, Interesting)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527018)

Not to be clinical here but a thousand times as many people now know about the Avenger then before.
If the product dose what it is design to, most of its target market (including Dave) won't be put off by a 1 month delay or a poor choice of PR firm. The whole fiasco is almost certainly a net positive for the product's sales.

Re:Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527218)

That's a helluva good point. Maybe this guy is really the most talented "marketter" ever. The product really does look useful, and I never would have heard of it if it weren't for the boing-boing story.

But it sure seems like a one-trick pony. I wouldn't hire this ass-clown to handle customer service complaints at a collection agency. His best bet now is to find a job as a sewer unblocker or ditch digger.

Re:Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527246)

Good for Avenger, but Ocean Marketing is still getting drug through the dirt badly. Avenger did the right thing to distance themselves from that guy.

Re:Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527278)

Not to be clinical here but a thousand times as many people now know about the Avenger then before.
If the product dose what it is design to, most of its target market (including Dave) won't be put off by a 1 month delay or a poor choice of PR firm. The whole fiasco is almost certainly a net positive for the product's sales.

And yet, even given all that, N-Control has absolutely nothing to lose by dumping Ocean Marketing, and plenty to lose by keeping them. This Streisand Effect is a one-off for Ocean.

If Ocean is smart, they'll fold up shop, liquidate, and open as some other business somewhere else, with Paul under an alias.

Re:Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527318)

The product may do better because of it, but Paul's personal reputation is ruined and his ties with the company that sells the Avenger have been cut.

I don't think this is much of a positive for Avenger and definitely not for Christofo.

Re:Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527368)

The maker of the product shouldn't be penalized for what a jackwagon this guy was. They fired him for it. They deserve to be separated from the drama. His other clients that haven't fired him for being abusive, however...

Re:Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527398)

a net positive for the product's sales.

... that the PR firm can't charge for.

Wait, are you saying that there's space in the market for one shot "kamikaze" PR firms who deliberately fail and torpedo their own reputations - and thus their long term prospects - in return for a sudden viral explosion in visibility of one lucky product?

So now, when we get shitty customer service, we have to question whether we're being trolled into having our favourite blogger publicise the product. Long term, this introduces one new good product in exchange for removing one PR asshat from the market... I'm okay with that trade, actually. Bring on the one shot PR firms.

Re:Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527430)

I read the various sources on this, and it doesn't really describe the Avenger except in vague terms -- it's a video game controller that for some reason would be good for differently-abled people? I suspect most people are like me in that they looked at this story solely for teh funnies, didn't bother to take this as an opportunity to research the associated product, and now if they are reminded of it (I'd already forgotten the name) will remember it as that thing associated with that asshat. They may possibly have gained some customers, but they're likely so few that they'll be balanced by lost customers.

Re:Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527466)

This is true. The only way to prevent this in the future is to boycott the Avenger. Otherwise you are rewarding the A-hole.

Re:Two Slashdot stories and a PA comic = Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527496)

The guy comes across as so incompetently stupid and utterly incoherent that it really has to be a setup.

He's thrusted the product right onto the front page of several major websites, twice now, he's probably being paid double for it, even if you'll never know the itty bitty details.

This makes him more valuable as a marketing asset, because he can pull the same stunt with another company, and instantly get a 'does it again!!' headline.

He's doing his job, and you've all been played.

The First Law of Holes (4, Funny)

Torqued (91619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527060)

Someone needs to tell this guy about the First Law of Holes: "When you find yourself in one, stop digging!!"

Re:The First Law of Holes (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527342)

I think he's going for the "or dig really, really far and you'll come out on the other side" alternative. Which works even less in the abstract sense than the literal one.

He could, but probably won't, make a fortune. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527064)

A lot of PR people are assholes. I think, in many cases, it helps. If this guy was smart, he could turn this into a ton of money. But, based on this follow up interview, it doesn't seem like he is positioning himself to do that. I almost think he needs to hire a PR person that is an even bigger asshole, but who is also smarter, to turn this enormous flash of notoriety into something more lasting.

A lot of people aren't any better than this guy (1)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527122)

We may want to insult him for the way he treated a customer, as we're all customers are one point or another so it hits a nerve. But let's face it, a lot of people who are disgusted with him aren't any better.

Everyone started to flame him, spam his email accounts, call him and threaten him and his wife? I mean they even brought his two year old son into this.

It's a shame day not only for him and the way he treated a customer, but for the rest of us on the internet as well for the way we responded to him.

This really has been blown way out, people should leave him alone and maybe not use him as a business as punishment, but not threatening phone calls etc.

Re:A lot of people aren't any better than this guy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527240)

Agreed.

He fucked up *professionally* so he should suffer *professionally*. His family did not vouch to be brought into this and his personal life should not suffer as such. I hope he never gets work in PR or customer relations ever again but that doesn't mean he wouldn't do good work as a debt collector or some other form of douchebaggery bully scheme.

Re:A lot of people aren't any better than this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527312)

Wife works there. But the kid should be not be pulled into this.

Re:A lot of people aren't any better than this guy (2)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527288)

No, he brought his son into it: "Your sites amateur at best my son could put together a better site than yours and you run PAX ??"

I think everyone should keep hammering at him. His arrogance is there because all his life he thought he could get away with it, it's time he and others like him learn that they can't. And my impression of the guy is that he has no redeeming values -- nothing to say one can stand his a-holeness because he has something else to give. (E.g. Jobs.) So he deserves all the lack of sleep he's going to get.

Nice Pic (2)

FrankDrebin (238464) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527148)

Just looked up recalcitrant in the dictionary, there was a little picture of this grinning douchebag in shades and a bandana.

What does a PR person do, exactly? (1)

tspaghetti (2341496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527194)

The way he responded wouldn't even be appropriate if the customer were directly, personally insulting him to start off with. As a PR guy, you have to hold your tongue, whether the person you're talking to is internet famous or not.

Still and idiot (1)

Monoman (8745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527196)

So he is out poorly trying to straighten things out when the real tragedy is that the innocent product maker is getting burned. People were harassing the product maker over this guy's moronic behavior. Let that dumbass change his name if he wants to get back in the biz.

Re:Still and idiot (1)

Monoman (8745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527428)

I really need to be able to edit my posts after I commit. :-)

Re:Still and idiot (2)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527576)

In the end, they did the right thing by losing Ocean Marketing, I'd imagine if they (very publicly) gave away a number of units to their indented customers (disabled gamers), they could walk away from this fiasco being THE brand in their field. Now I know there is a company called N-Control when I think about what controller adapter to get for someone with a disability. If they can keep the goodwill they have a market cornered. I'd call that a net positive.

I commend Mike at PA for doing this. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527316)

If this hadn't gone viral, who knows where this guy would have gone. Can you imagine this guy in public office? Or leading a real company, or worse yet,being YOUR boss? I wonder if his linked in profile has been updated to indicate he is the biggest DB on the web?

Christoforo effect (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527364)

Like the Streisand effect, we need a Christoforo effect.

All Villians Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527400)

Seems to be as though the main parties here have all been a**holes, not just Christopheros.

Concise apology for easy PR recovery (2)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527410)

He still comes across as a jerk, contrite only to try to get people to stop harassing him. Seems like he can't shut up because his ego just won't let go.

This concise explanation / apology (and say nothing else) would have gone a long way, and it might even be somewhat true:

Right or wrong (and Dave was right), no customer deserves to be treated the way I treated Dave. My lashing out at others in the gaming industry was just as bad. I apologize unconditionally to each and all of them.

Between running a company and raising an infant, sleep has eluded me. Sleep deprivation can have profound effects on people. Some of you who have raised children might understand. This in no way excuses my behavior: I'm only saying it to let people know what propelled me down such a terrible path.

Add another line or two about how he hopes his behavior won't kill such a great gamer product, and done.

Very sad indeed (3, Insightful)

Muse011 (1826134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527420)

Does anyone else find it ironic that he's been receiving DEATH THREATS aimed at him, his wife, and their 2 month old son, because of this? And he's the bad guy. What is wrong with this planet..

Re:Very sad indeed (5, Insightful)

Monoman (8745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527500)

I'm sure the world has bigger idiots that are dumb enough to actually send him death threats but I'm not inclined to believe anything this guy says without good evidence to back it up.

from just the post title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527424)

i thought it was yet another submission about godaddy (bob parsons)

N-Control statements? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527506)

I like how N-Control is trying to distance themselves from this alleged steroid using, wife beating, loser. If you read everything, Paul is not some random 3rd party consultant. He is David Kotkin's friend and he collaborated on product design (Now deleted, atrocious, Youtube video). So, this is apparently, very much, an N-Control issue. I did like how, "I know the mayor of Boston" turned into "I know the doorman at the convention center and some people who work at bars". And really, calling yourself "CEO" of a one person "company" is douchey (as if we needed additional proof).

LinkedIn? (2)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527532)

Is this his LinkedIn [linkedin.com] presence? I wonder if people will rush to disassociate from him now...

"They've pretty much ruined me. . ." (4, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527540)

"They've pretty much ruined me in the past 24 hours," Christoforo said.

No, he did it all by himself. All they did was give him the publicity he so badly wanted. . .

Make sure you stir up a lot of controversy about us the more the better we needed some drama gets good blood flow going about the new product launch.

Surely (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527556)

It wouldn't be that hard to pretend you know acted badly and wouldn't do it again. Instead he pulls out:

"I didn't know who that guy at Penny Arcade was," he admitted. "If I had known, I would have treated the situation a little better.

And of course assigns the fault to the Penny Arcade guy for being rude to him.

If you aren't going to pretend then at least stop digging.

Nice Career Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527564)

I love how he says that he shouldn't have to take sh*t from anyone. You've chosen a career in customer service and marketing, that's pretty much your entire career. What an idiot this guy is.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...