Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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January 3, 2012 • Gear Bits

Yo Dude, You Messed with the Wrong Cartoon … [NSFW-L]

Did you have any bad online shopping experiences this holiday? I did – I had a sweatshirt that we ordered online two months before Christmas for our younger son (a cool Deadmau5 one) that was ‘in stock’. They charged us in full immediately, and we never heard a thing until we finally got a shipping confirmation the day after I threatened to reverse the charge and contact the local BBB – that was mid-December, and we had the shirt in two days, along with a full written apology. Fortunately I had ordered a backup from Amazon (albeit for $10 more) and was able to return without hassle.

But during the middle of last week a PR situation exploded that started off as simple as this: someone had done a ‘pay in advance’ pre-order for a game controller, and as the estimated shipping date had passed they wanted to know when to expect it.

The email chain between customer and company was reproduced at Penny Arcade after Mike (aka Gabe) had attempted to intervene on behalf of ‘Dave’. You should really check out the entire thread at that link, as it is amazing just how terrible the customer service is from Ocean Marketing. Here is a snip of a reply:

Yes it can be used with xtend play if you remove the stand and 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.

And after Mike gets involved telling Paul from Ocean Marketing that he will never rent a booth at Pax, here is the reply from Paul:

Your spamming me you’re not on a mailing list you idiot ! You sent me an email remember . 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 . Your sites amateur at best my son could put together a better site than yours and you run PAX ?? Wow , Ill put my marketing team on a smear campaign of you and your site and your emails , I have about 125 dedicated people to run PR , Blogs , Articles , Videos you have no clue who I am . Thanks again

Pretty much anyone with any connection to gaming knows that Penny Arcade is a MAJOR force in the industry – AND that they have the most loyal foot-soldiers because ‘Gabe and Tycho’ are both gamers themselves and very real people. So when this was revealed and the legions of Penny Arcade followers got ahold of it … well …

So the next day Mike gets another email from Paul with a slightly different tone:

I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed I didn’t know how big your site was and I really didn’t believe you ran Pax , So for what’s its worth I am very sorry. Your post has obviously made my life very difficult and I have not slept yet dealing with all the spam and personal information intrusion as well as my family being smeared on the internet.

If you can please accept my apology and anything you can do to help if not me my son and wife please do. I have apologized to Dave and apologized to you what else can I do please tell me so I can make things good. I obviously care or I would not be emailing you.

The amazing thing reading this is that Paul as much as says ‘I’m sorry I got caught’, as he apologizes not based on being abusive and demeaning and bullying to a customer but rather for getting caught doing so by someone with as much industry clout as Penny Arcade.

Years ago when I was working my way through college at a department store I remember helping an older lady with some crystal items she wanted to give as a gift. She was having a hard time deciding, and wanted to look at some other things as well, and we spent a long time together, past the normal closing time and I had called to keep a register open for her when she finished. As far as I was concerned she was just a nice lady and I refused the tip she tried to give as I helped her with the service for 12 to her car. But come to find out the next day she was the wife of the regional manager … and I had made a very positive impression for our store.

The point is one of the basic rules of customer service is to try to treat every customer as if your job depends upon it … because it just might. Like Mike from Penny Arcade said, Paul from Ocean Marketing is a bully, and seeing him roast causes little sympathy for me. I feel for his family, as they will likely feel the impact of electronic intrusions, but chances are at least his wife is already aware of the sort of person she married.

Oh, and this really escalated quickly, with coverage at Kotaku and other sites, and … this:

What sort of horror stories do you have from the holidays?

Source: Penny Arcade

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