The Avengers: A True Tale Of Bad Customer Service

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With all this talk of 360-degree customer service and Zappos ninjas who help babies out of burning buildings while taking orders for clogs, it’s nice to remember that for every heartwarming tale of customer satisfaction there is a dude like Paul Christoforo.

The tale begins with a controller accessory. It’s called the Avonger en-kontrol (my misspelling) and it’s some kind of octopus that helps you press more buttons on your game controller. We wrote it up in February 2011 so you can check it out there. A quick web search will bring up the actual product. I’m not about to give them any Google Juice.

Plenty of people pre-ordered and waited patiently for the devices to ship. One customer, Dave, emailed the company with a question:

From: Dave
To: Ocean Marketing
Dec 16, 2011, at 1:34 PM

I ordered 2 of the upcoming PS3 controllers (invoice xxxxxxxxx—Nov 3, 2011). Any chance of getting an update of when these items will ship? I’m not really happy about being forced to pay upfront then have the advertised date of “Early December” be completely missed without any sort of update on availability. I really need one of them for a X-mas present as well. Anyways, looking forward to finally using one of these bad boys. Thanks and happy holidays.

-Dave

The “marketing guru” Paul Christoforo (who runs SEO expert site OceanMarketing (amazing, right?)) eventually gets into a heated Internet exchange with Dave (read it all on Penny Arcade when it comes back up) and ends his tirade with this gem of social media marketing done right (warning, NSFW language):

From: Ocean Marketing
To: Dave
Dec 26, 2011 2:19 PM

LOL Thanks for the Free PR I know the Editor N Chief of Kotaku , IGN , Engadget I’ll be meeting them at CES .The noise complaint was for people high up on the food chain in a corporate world of real estate you have no clue about. Thanks for the Rice Rocket Compliment too love me some motorcycle . Send that over to Engadget you look like a complete moron swearing and sending your customer service complaints to a magazine as if they will post it or even pay attention do you think you’re the first or the last what are they going to do demand us to tell you were your shipment is or ask for a refund on your behalf … Really … Welcome to the Internet ? Son Im 38 I wwebsite as on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls and before it was the internet, thanks for the welcome to message wurd up. Grow up you look like a complete child bro. I Don’t have my controller so im gonna cry to the world … Really ?? Hey take that free time and do something more productive. All you had to do was check the like everyone else , people have inquired but you’re the douchiest of them all J

To all our pre-order customers looking for information on the status of their orders after a busy couple of months The PS3 Avengers are on their way from our Manufacturing plant overseas. We are aware that everyone is anticipating having their Avengers under their Christmas Tree and were doing our best to get these orders shipped out as fast as possible. We appreciate you as loyal customers and for supporting our company. Customers will start receiving their products this week before Christmas and After Christmas and into the New Year. As a token of our appreciation we are offering all our pre-order customers and new customers 10$ off your next order with us just enter Avenger1001 at Checkout. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Oh and FYI When a street date gets pushed by a publisher on a video game you pre ordered do you cry to them too ?

You just got told bitch … welcome to the real internet check kotaku in 2 weeks when they are reviewing free PS3 Avengers we send them as well as G4 and all the other majors hell yeah , don’t forget to check Amazon, gamestop.com, play n trade , Myers , Frys and a ton of other local stores coming your way you think you speak for billions son your just a kid you speak for yourself no one cares what you think that’s why were growing and moving 20-50 thousand controllers a month. We do value our customers but sometimes we get children like you we just have to put you in the corner with your im stupid hat on. See you at CES , E3 , Pax East ….? Oh wait you have to ask mom and pa dukes your not an industry professional and you have no money on snap you just got told.

If you tl;dred that, here is one of the pertinent points:

Son Im 38 I wwebsite as on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls and before it was the internet, thanks for the welcome to message wurd up.

This is the 38-year-old marketing manager and LinkedIn User (and presumably president of a company that is apparently trying to make a living selling marketing accessories) responding to a customer. I doubt this strategy is in the Amazon CSR handbook.

The fact that I’m writing about this feeds directly into Christoforo’s sense that any PR is good PR, but I assure you that’s not the case. Battles against Internet tag teams that involve Kotaku, SomethingAwful, and Reddit rarely end well and products built marketed by petulant 38-year-old former real estate salesmen rarely, if ever, ship. It’s easy to build a buzz on the Internet, and it’s just as easy to kill it in a few keystrokes. Wurd up.

UPDATE – After many machinations, it’s clear the Christoforo isn’t the brains behind this project and that it’s a legitimate device. Don’t hold Avenger Controller responsible for this debacle.