Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Dec 27, 2011

[Updated] Ocean Marketing: A Study On How To Destroy Your Reputation With Just A Few Emails

Marketing and public relations is an area that takes a lot of skill. After all, your job consists primarily of interacting with with customers and news outlets. These are the two groups of people that you want to make a good impression on, as they will no doubt have an influence on the sales of whatever wares you’re peddling. Of these groups, I will always believe that the customers should be treated best of all, because they’re the ones spending their hard-earned money on your product.

If you’re looking for an example of how not to treat a paying customer, you might have a look at this correspondence published over at Penny Arcade. Here’s an excerpt from the email exchange between a customer who pre-ordered the PS3 Avenger, and someone from Ocean Marketing, who represents N-Control:

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.

I don’t care who you are, what you do, or who you know. This is not how you talk to someone, especially when that person has given you money for goods (that you’ve not yet delivered). Now, it could be that this was simply a fabrication to smear Ocean Marketing, but Mike Krahulik (better known as Gabe from Penny Arcade) sent a follow-up email to the same person, and after a few emails, received this charming tidbit, which confirms that this guy is just as cheerful as the previous messages made him out to be:

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

Reading through these only makes me wonder how this person got into the line of work that they did. This is not how you treat customers, and making threats toward someone who is a rather large figure in the gaming community (also known as your target audience) is just a bad idea.

After emailing my contact at N-Control, I got a phone call from Paul, who turned out to be the person sending these emails. We spoke for around fifteen minutes or so, and he assured me that despite the negative press, he’s been contacted by several companies, who have asked him to represent them. Paul also expressed confidence that this would simply blow over in a week or two.

He also told me that he’s received a lot of emails from customers, who were similarly upset about not receiving their product before Christmas. Apparently the only thing special about Dave was that he caught him at a bad time, and got under his skin. Of course, that still doesn’t excuse the way he treated a paying customer. Even if customer service isn’t your primary job (which is apparently the case, according to Paul), you still should treat the people trying to give you money with respect.

When I brought up the posts on Reddit that discussed the emails, and the backlash that was visible there, he more or less shrugged it off. He seemed annoyed by the amount of friend requests he’d received on Facebook, since someone managed to find him. He credited that to the fact that his information was posted at the bottom of the Penny Arcade piece, and said that he’d be talking to his lawyers about that later today. What’s more, he said that his job isn’t really to deal with individual customers like Dave, but rather to strike deals with companies like GameStop and BestBuy. Those companies are buying his wares, so he “doesn’t care about anyone else.” Why? Because as long as his products are on store shelves, people will buy them.

In the end, he conceded that it would be a good idea to send Dave an apology, and even hook him up with a couple of free Avengers as a gesture of good faith. After all, the guy just wanted his Avenger, and got some nasty emails for his trouble. While that’s good news for Dave, something tells me that he still won’t be getting a booth at PAX, or winning back the hearts of everyone who read the original emails.

Update: We have gotten a copy of the apology email sent to Dave, from Paul at Ocean Marketing. As you can see, it has a very different tone from the originals, and better grammar and spelling (for the most part):

Hey Dave,

I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed from beginning to end , You caught me on an extremely bad day and I had been dealing with 100’s and hundreds of emails trying to explain the situation to everyone on where the product was and you just pushed me a little too much and I should have just apologized and tried to explain things better. Also I had a really bad day losing a friend to an overdose and the stress of my newborn baby and the Holiday ,missing my family and just stressing on getting product out to everyone and why it was held up in customs wore me out.

I am deeply sorry for any disrespect , aggravation or lack of information on the delivery date. We knew when product was leaving china and we were trying to adhere to a strict deadline but due to port issues and air freight issues. The units are domestic now and awaiting pick up at customs . So we missed the 17th deadline and I apologize for that but it was out of my control and besides me no one else was helping me handle the situation so imagine the weight on my shoulders.

I’m not asking for any sympathy just for some understanding and forgiveness , I’m human just like everyone else and made a mistake. I underestimated you and its cost me a lot of trouble thousands of spam emails , a lot of personal bashing , and internet spam and trouble and just overall stress with my wife and newborn. I ask that you please accept my apology as a peace offering I will refund your money and give you your 2 units/Avengers free of charge please help me to get some of this negativity removed or at least my personal name although its already all over the internet and the calls and emails will not stop but any help will be appreciated especially with penny arcade as Mike and edit his own website I owe him an apology too which I will write next.

Update 2: Gabe over at Penny Arcade has posted what is likely to be the last of the emails between Paul from Ocean Marketing and himself. There is an apology in there, but as Gabe points out, “there is a big difference between being sorry and being sorry you got caught.”

Update 3: Check out the official word from N-Control here (Spoiler! $10 off on pre-orders)

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Written by Chris Scott Barr

Chris Scott Barr

Born and raised in Indiana, Chris grew up on a healthy diet of video games and Magic: The Gathering. He worked a number of jobs in the IT field before deciding to pursue his passion by founding GamerFront in 2007. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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Post a Comment
  • JohnnyNoNumber

    1st new article I found on the topic since PA released it. Mike is Gabe though, not Tycho. If Jerry was responding to this, we’d have an entirely different animal :D

  • Jennifer

    This guy is the exact opposite of what PAX represents, I will be at PAX east and I’m sure if this douchebag showed up, he would have me and 70,000+ of my closest friends to contend with. PAX goers don’t go to PAX just because it’s a game convention, we go because Mike and Jerry are awesome, care about their fan base, and want to show their appreciation. I would gladly take the soft monkey that is Jerry and Mike over the wire monkey that is this evil corp. that says hugs and love aren’t important because I’ll just throw some controllers and my big name or connections around. I’m female and things like unicorns and ponies are important to me, penny arcade is full of win in the form of unicorns and ponies.

  • admin

    You’d think that by now I’d have gotten their real names straight! And agreed.

  • ND

    “He credited that to the fact that his information was posted at the bottom of the Penny Arcade piece, and said that he’d be talking to his lawyers about that later today.”

    About what, exactly? His PR email address, twitter link (on which he publicly stated his full name), and number? Yeah, good luck with that.

    I also like that he’s going to consult his “lawyers,” plural.

  • Charles

    Which do you prefer, a hotdog sandwhich or a cheeseburger?

  • Cuvis

    Free advice, Mr. Paul: If you want this to blow over, and hardcore gamers to forget about it, threatening to sue Penny Arcade is the wrong way to go about it.

  • Cyon_Orthus

    They are giving themselves 5 star reviews on Amazon. Of course the reviews have been written by people who haven’t reviewed any other item in their user’s life. So of course the Gaming Community has responded in kind.

  • Travis

    Apparently the bad attitude was in full force 6 months ago, too.
    http://www.natesnetwork.com/Poor-customer-service

  • Brian

    You know, funny enough, I also work at a marketing company in a position that doesn’t require me to interact with our clients very often. I get that this isn’t Paul’s forte`, you know? I sympathize.

    At the same time, were I to interact with *anyone* in the manner he did – client or otherwise – while representing my company, I’d be fired. Immediately. Probably out of a canon. Hell, were I to send out internal emails that so thoroughly demonstrated an incompetence with basic English, it’d raise eyebrows. We are professionals, and professionals do not act this way while representing their business, because it is generally assumed that we are interacting with fellow adults. Yes, we assume this even when we’re on the internet! It’s amazing, the restraint we show by communicating in the way of sane, well-mannered human beings.

    Thankfully, I’m not representing my company at the moment, so I’m free to express what a useless chain of proteins and stupidity I think this guy is.

  • Zulithe

    “blow over?” Well, good luck with that. From this day forward, there will be not a single company or product represented by Ocean Marketing where this fact goes unnoticed. If they stay in business long enough to find new business, that is.

  • TheMOBBssszz

    “Even if customer service isn’t your primary job (which is apparently the case, according to Paul)”

    BUT he is the one handling customer service emails, and has been since February.

  • Mats

    So several companies saw this email conversation and thought “Yeah, this is the guy we want in charge of our customer service! The way he spell and drift from telling people to go fuck themselves and then apologizes is perfect for our business model!”.

    What fantasy does he live in?

    And found him on facebook thanks to the emails? I did a facebook name search and he popped right up. http://www.facebook.com/PaulChristoforo *poff*, magic! Being a internet wizard he should know this, 38 years old and all…

  • ocean

    Hey Dave,

    I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed from beginning to end , You caught me on an extremely bad day and I had been dealing with 100’s and hundreds of emails trying to explain the situation to everyone on where the product was and you just pushed me a little too much and I should have just apologized and tried to explain things better. Also I had a really bad day losing a friend to an overdose and the stress of my newborn baby and the Holiday ,missing my family and just stressing on getting product out to everyone and why it was held up in customs wore me out.

    I am deeply sorry for any disrespect , aggravation or lack of information on the delivery date. We knew when product was leaving china and we were trying to adhere to a strict deadline but due to port issues and air freight issues. The units are domestic now and awaiting pick up at customs . So we missed the 17th deadline and I apologize for that but it was out of my control and besides me no one else was helping me handle the situation so imagine the weight on my shoulders.

    I’m not asking for any sympathy just for some understanding and forgiveness , I’m human just like everyone else and made a mistake. I underestimated you and its cost me a lot of trouble thousands of spam emails , a lot of personal bashing , and internet spam and trouble and just overall stress with my wife and newborn. I ask that you please accept my apology as a peace offering I will refund your money and give you your 2 units/Avengers free of charge please help me to get some of this negativity removed or at least my personal name although its already all over the internet and the calls and emails will not stop but any help will be appreciated especially with penny arcade as Mike and edit his own website I owe him an apology too which I will write next.

  • Darryl Mott Jr.

    The Business Director for N-Control (the company that makes the Avenger) has released two statements on the issue on Twitter:

    - I think they will name it the “Christoforo” similar to being “Munsoned” from #Kingpin

    - no official statement yet. All “I” can say is that “I” apologize to anyone who has been treated poorly by him. More to come soon

  • Random

    “He seemed annoyed by the amount of friend requests he’d received on Facebook, since someone managed to find him. He credited that to the fact that his information was posted at the bottom of the Penny Arcade piece,”

    His profile is completely open, one quick search and you know the names of his entire family.

  • levi

    I love how people who got nothing always yell “you don’t know who I am” the loudest…hell I laugh when anyone does. In the end you a flesh and bone no matter your ego (makes me want to take a hammer to their head) well you sure are not super man as it seems your brain is now on the floor. ROFLMAO

  • Sean

    Oh, man — you should update the article with this deleted tweet:

    http://i.imgur.com/ekIs3.png

  • Church

    It is truly delicious and very likely entirely justified schadenfreude to watch the guilty burn.

    I confess, I graduated in and work marketing. This tosser is a disgrace to the overarching profession and is getting everything he deserves. When even IGN refuses to be associated with you, you know there’s a long, dark smear on your name that’s not going away any time soon.

  • http://www.twitter.com/squall_loire Squall

    “I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed from beginning to end , You caught me on an extremely bad day and I had been dealing with 100’s and hundreds of emails trying to explain the situation to everyone on where the product was and you just pushed me a little too much and I should have just apologized and tried to explain things better. Also I had a really bad day losing a friend to an overdose and the stress of my newborn baby and the Holiday ,missing my family and just stressing on getting product out to everyone and why it was held up in customs wore me out.”

    That’s a nice string of bullshit excuses you’ve got there, Paul. That is, if any of it is true – since you’re stealing posts from Forbes.com and posting them on your blog as your original work, how can we trust anything to come from you?

    Tip: Everyone has bad days. Not everyone working is stupid enough to take it out on customers.

  • Kral

    Rule no.1 of PR: Don’t insult your customers! I hope this guy apologizes before the shitstorm gets worse.

  • Ovy

    “you just pushed me a little too much” does not an apology make.

  • http://aidyreviews.net Aidy

    Just another case of companies who think they are too big to fail–so they believe that they can do whatever they want to people. Wow. Just wow.

  • Thowardus

    try this out this is the parent company to Ocean marketing AKA Ocean Marketting and Ocean Stratagy http://www.oceanmark.com/
    Don’t believe me check out the president and CEO of the company Paul works for.

  • Thowardus

    http://www.lead411.com/company_OceanMarketingInc_Thommen_31243.html
    This is the link to get to Pauls bosses. check out the lower right of the about us page at Oceanmark.com

  • http://www.esterior.net Floofy

    I’ve been following this for the better part of the day, and while Paul says that he let today get the better of him, it looks like that may have happened to him six months ago, too.

    http://www.natesnetwork.com/Poor-customer-service

  • Jon W

    @OceanMarketingg also seems to be the dude

  • Loki537

    It’s all well and good that he apologized..however after that mess I will not be purchasing anything from them.

    It may not matter, but at least I know I won’t own anything that a soulless bastard had anything to do with.

  • http://www.gamerebel.net stan

    here is his wifes facebook. i sent her a message telling her to call of the wedding. she should not marry this guy!

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712257176

  • Sam

    But this wasn’t a one time thing……it just happened to get publicity.

    http://www.natesnetwork.com/Poor-customer-service

    I am guessing there are plenty of other customers waiting on Avengers who were treated just the same or worse.

  • Lame apology

    He apologized, and I guess that’s something. However, I think we’ve become a culture of “it’s ok as long as I apologize” and that’s just not the way it is. This guy screwed up big, and I’m sorry he is getting raked over the coals for it, but consequences for our actions is the price we pay for mistakes. Hopefully this mistake will teach him some manners and humility. I doubt it, but one can always hope.

  • Miyalein

    In case anyone is interested….here is his LinkdIn account.
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-christoforo/1/295/835

  • johnhate

    Love how people are stalking his “wife” to tell her to call off the “wedding” over some shitty controllers for a video game. Yeah, Paul’s the douche bag and everyone else is an Internet Hero.

  • Manial

    For a while there I thought the apology email was from somebody else. But then I read this monstrosity of a sentence:

    “I ask that you please accept my apology as a peace offering I will refund your money and give you your 2 units/Avengers free of charge please help me to get some of this negativity removed or at least my personal name although its already all over the internet and the calls and emails will not stop but any help will be appreciated especially with penny arcade as Mike and edit his own website I owe him an apology too which I will write next.”

  • http://twitter.com/tomaketu TK

    That’s not an apology. That’s a “this is why you shouldn’t blame me. It’s not my fault. I can’t be responsible for my own actions.”

    This guy should have his email privileges revoked.

  • http://www.natesnetwork.com Nathan Stansell

    I see Paul is making the rounds, throwing out more lies in the form of apologies and excuses.
    Same shit i heard 6 months ago. Must currently have a vein full of roids so he is being nice…

    Paul, give it up. Your outed. Google yourself and/or your company. The words out and its not going back in the bag!

  • bubbleentity

    Ok, to provide context to my comment on this, I have to explain a little where I come from. I ma not gamer crowd, but I do run a (smallish) company.
    All of this, from the initial exchange to the ‘resolution’ ( quotation marks applied deliberately), tells me that this guy needs to be kept far, far away from any client interaction.

    Second, that ‘apology’ was not an apology, but more a “this is starting to hurt, please make it stop”.

    Third, the explanation is not consistent with the behaviour towards Penny Arcade.

    Fourth, that he expects that this will “All blow over” in the next few weeks and that he viewed this as “free PR”, shows a somewhat lacking grasp of marketing basics.

    For a customer or client to buy from you, they need to be able to trust you. Without that nothing happens.

    This guy has shown that he cannot be trusted, and has done a large amount of damage to his client’s reputation as well.

    There is suggestion that the makers of the Avenger controller have fired this guy and his company. This is to their credit.

  • Destrike

    The way that starts with him moaning about his bad day, and telling the internet his friend died (since he forwarded this onto a game site) and with how it ends, it sounds more like a “please get people to stop picking on me” than an actual apology.

    Also him blaming PA for releasing his info at the bottom allowing people to find him on facebook isn’t the case.. googling his name along with “facebook” brings his profile up.

  • Jo

    Stan? Messaging his WIFE? Telling her to call of the wedding?

    NOT COOL. BAD GEEK. NO COOKIE.

    Seriously, that’s douchebag behavior. What did she do to you?

  • robble

    Sounds like he may have been fired already!

    from the link http://www.natesnetwork.com/Poor-customer-service that someone posted earlier

  • Rick Williams

    Concerning the “apology:” Boo f**king hoo. Don’t bring your personal crap to work. This guy isn’t going to get the picture unless he’s out of a job. There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people out there who are not working who could do a better job than this clown on a bad day. I think any one of them should have his job.

  • EricHolder

    Not a gamer, just a pothead that uses linux ‘cuz it’s not m$ft.

    Is it wrong to conflate this guy’s behavior with blowdaddy’s? If my weed dealer treated me that way, he’d be out of business. Instantly. Even he’s got enough sense not to abuse his customers.

  • Dano1985

    He should be fired, flat out. He should lose his job over this. It needs to be made VERY CLEAR that your actions DO have consequences, even if you do the “I’m sorry”, bullshit. Ocean needs to step up, make an example, and save whatever business they can. Also, other businesses need to pull the plug on them and show them they take this VERY seriously.

  • tom

    forgive !!!

  • Angie

    “I underestimated you and its cost me a lot of trouble”
    So basically the only reason he’s even offering this sad excuse for an apology is because Dave had more than just Right on his side. So you can bet that there’s no way he actually feels sorry or would have admitted to being wrong at all, if this hadn’t blown up. He must be someone’s idiot cousin or he would have lost his job after the first time this happened.

  • Trillian

    Yeah, that’s no apology, it’s a “sorry I got caught”. Gabe’s analysis is spot on: that Paul Christoforo guy is a bully, and I am enjoying seeing him get what he deserves.

  • Mike

    Obviously this guy is a major douche and he deserves whatever heat he gets for his actions, but let’s not throw the Avenger baby out with the Ocean Marketing bathwater.

    The Avenger controller is marketed as a hardcore gamer controller, but it was developed with accessibility in mind. Penny Arcade is a HUGE proponent of gamers, especially kids, with disabilities who could be helped with this controller.

    This d-bag is just a marketing nobody. The actual controller makers are dropping Ocean Marketing like a bad habit. We should support the goal of the product despite this one asshat that’s tarnished their name.

  • Tom

    Angie’s right. That’s the first thing I noticed in that email — “I underestimated you.”

    In other words, I expected to be able to bully you and get away with it, expected that no one would notice, expected to be able to do this again in the future. Just like when he did this to Nate six months ago, apparently.

    Screw this guy. Everyone can make a mistake and everyone deserves a second chance. But you have to earn that second chance with some genuine remorse. This guy hasn’t learned a thing.

  • IritatedCustomer

    I still say these jackasses deserve to be banned from PAX. Sometimes people need to learn that an apology doesn’t just “make it all go away”. I’m glad Dave is getting a refund (IF he really gets it), but that does not make up for what this asshat put him through.

  • ThatGuy

    His grammar is horrible. And he looks like a douche. Check his Twitter pic.

    Example of grammar: OceanStratagy Paul
    @kevinkelly your not with g4 anymore ?

  • Blake

    Pfft. Is this guy stupid? He’s begging the person he apologized to to stop the backlash from screwing up. Last I checked that isn’t an apology, and it doesn’t work. I wonder what his “connections” would think of this?

  • Robert

    I think we found the Iraqi Information Minister!

  • http://Www.unilever.com Johnny English

    A complete malignant cunt.

    If he were in China, the communist party would arrest him and bugger him daily with his controllers for bringing shame to the mother land.

    Hope he does the right thing and kill himself.

  • http://Www.unilever.com Johnny English

    No need for facism here, let the swears through.

  • Anon

    Gotta love the fauxpology.

    Your customers are not your personal punching bags. Do not take your bad day out on them. Also: You customers are not your counselors. Do not unload your personal garbage on them. The customer cares about good customer service and receiving quality goods. Ocean has failed to provide either of those things in this case.

  • bst

    What a crock of shit.

    Typical bullshit packpeddalng – “oh you caught me at a bad time” “oh my friend died”

    Do a background check and you’ll find none of his friends died recently. He’s obviously some dumb rich asshole that’s used to dealing with other dumb rich assoles by licking boots and playing to their better human nature.

    Let this guy burn, don’t buy into his bullshit.

  • http://itbrewer.blogspot.com/ ITBrewer

    Every time I start to feel just the smallest amount of sympathy for this man I end up stumbling on further reasons to really savor the run through the gauntlet so to speak.

    as this appears to be a pattern of customer abuse on the part of this individual and that cannot be tolerated.

  • Daniel

    Did anyone else notice that the only “recommendation” he has received on LinkedIN came from his fiancee? That’s pretty sad.

  • Mithras

    Pretty sure that Ocean Marketing IS Paul. A good chunk of the website is written in the first person, and a lot of the “About us” fits with his nonsensical writing. The only way this guy will lose his job is if the internet follows him and exposes his “Sea Advertising,” “Tidal Endorsing,” or whatever name he chooses for his next solo markettting firm

  • http://eternaldarkness.org DJ Eternal Darkness

    You know, I have to agree he’s not sorry, he’s sorry he got caught and can’t bully “Dan” (really? Can’t even read the e-mails you’re sent to get his name right) or other customers with his craptacular customer service and marketting wizzardness!

    Dave I’m glad you pulled the right people into this. Paul, I say this with all sincerity, suck a turd.

  • Tal Shiar

    I feel sorry for the child and wife, lets hope the money made from the controller goes towards tutoring for the child and home schooling is out of the question.

  • http://Www.unilever.com Johnny English

    I suspect his wife is hot. She probably has self esteem issues and is likely to suffer from mild retardation, but basically hot.

    I hear that Paul urged his wife to inappropiately touch Dave as recompense.

    The dirty fucker.

  • Harry Kumar

    While I know Paul was in the total WRONG for doing what he did… why is it no one has posted the emails/correspondence by ‘Dave’?

    For all I know (and I’ve searched a few articles), ‘Dave’ may have wished AIDS on Paul and called his mother a cunt-bag. Point being… 2 wrongs don’t make a right, and I wanna see what it was that ‘pushed’ Paul to be such a cock. If 2 douchebags were fighting in the street, you wouldn’t pick a side. You’d sit back and wait to see who bleeds first.

  • B.D

    funny that ppl criticize paul the most.
    the way i see it the company is the bigger jerk.
    oceanmarketing is the one at fault isnt it?

    1. bad employee == bad management. unless he is some big shot in the company, well that should make this situation even worse.

    2. employee motivation (not caring about customer) is tied very closely to company’s goal. this shows the attitude the company has in business. this depict very negative image of a ‘brand building’ company.

    why make paul become a scape goat?
    while the company will resume its peaceful operation once they kicked paul out..
    it makes me wonder if there will be any company who will be engaging oceanmarketing’s service anymore..

  • anon

    just in case no one has seen it yet, another twitter name: http://bit.ly/tYtxak

  • The Professor

    I like his Penny Arcade comments about his Boston ‘Little Italy’ connections.
    I reckon he’s being called in to see Uncle Guido now.

    Guido..” Pauly, come here.”
    SMACK SMACK SMACK
    Paul..sobbing,” Unca Guido I can explain!”
    Guido.. ” After all I done for you.”
    SMACK SMACK SMACK
    Paul.. ” No, Unca Guido, you got it all
    wrong!”
    Guido.. ” Shutup, I’m talkin’”.
    SMACK SMACK SMACK
    “I give you da money you cried for”
    SMACK
    “An big you up to my contacts”
    SMACK
    “An dis is da way you repay me?”
    SMACK SMACK SMACK
    Paul.. “Awwwww Unca Guido, make it stop”.
    Guido.. “Sure.” SMACK ” When I’m t’hrough”
    SMACK SMACK
    “wit dis makeover of your face”
    SMACK SMACK
    “no-one will recognise you”.
    SMACK SMACK SMACK

  • AW

    B.D:
    Ocean Marketing IS Paul…and maybe his wife/fiance/gf/wtfsheistohim (since he lists himself as single on dating sites, apparently). No one is blaming the inventor/producer of the game controllers for anything more than hiring OM (even after being warned about Paul, apparently).

  • Cheshire Cat

    @harry kumar. The full email exchange is pretty easy to find http://penny-arcade.com/resources/just-wow1.html as you can see nothing ‘pushed’ Paul. And he’s done it before, to Nate and an Aussie guy. Can find both exchanges online as well. Douchebag is the polite term for his behaviour.
    @B.D ocean marketing is a one man show. Paul is it. You can’t be made a scapegoat when you are president, salesman, customer service etc and stuff up this bad. You just fold the crappy company and hope people forget about you.

  • Sean

    I wonder if that guy’s job is open; I could do that job. Check it out: “We’ll do our best to fulfill your order in a timely matter and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

    Bam, salary plz.

  • Marcus

    I notice no one has pointed out that not only is he a douchebag, but he beats up girls as well. This guy has class written all over him.

    http://courtindex.sdcourt.ca.gov/CISPublic/casedetail?casenum=DVN14325&casesite=NC&applcode=D

  • Truth

    1. Eli Schwartz, whether a real or fabricated persona, had a twitter account created in his name as nothing but an advertising platform for the controller.

    2. Almost all of the Amazon product reviews were posted by accounts that have no other history.

    3. David Kotkin himself was caught using *one* of his Amazon account to give a five star review to his controller and several one star extremely negative reviews to his competition.

    4. David Kotkin originally stated that the company he had co-founded with Paul Christoforo named “Afternoon Artists” was to be used as a charity. After it was uncovered that the company was registered for-profit, he changed his story to “It was originally intended that Mr. Christoforo would serve as an investor in this company…”

    5. David Kotkin and Paul Christoforo are not just business partners, they are friends (http://i.imgur.com/vpCVO.jpg). David Kotkin knew exactly how Paul Christoforo was treating customers, as well as his fiance, but did nothing but sit back and laugh about each abuse.

    6. Many people have had money taken from their accounts months ago and still have nothing but excuses to show for it.

    If you support either of these thugs or their products, know that you will be supporting abusive, lying leeches. Let another, more ethical company make a controller extension for people who need it.

  • Kat

    The more I read, the more this entire organization seems like a ponzi scheme built around preying off the people least likely to fight back- the disabled.

    In only a few days, the denizens of the net have uncovered ample evidence that the creator of the product and the company itself were complicit in Christoforo’s abysmal behavior.

    As a disabled gamer, I am pleading with the inventors of the world. I would love a product like this but would rather suffer debilitating pain than give money to someone who beats his wife and abuses steroids (or the company that supported him).

  • ChristieLea

    “You pushed me too far” ??

    He probably said the exact same thing to the woman he assaulted.

  • SDK

    Wow, I’ve worked in marketing for years & I’m certain that the only way this guy has this job is that he’s blackmailing someone or maybe he’s supplying their meth. The fact that he’s a douche bag is beside the point. He can’t spell, he doesn’t know the players in his industry, and he has no understanding of his customer base. He is the classic bullshitter. He should be selling penny stocks over the phone in a boiler room. The funny thing is he spent more time and energy abusing a customer (who clearly would have been an evangelist for the product) than it would have taken him to answer the guy’s question. He should go back to selling used cars. I can’t imagine him showing his face at E3. If so, I will be forced to point and laugh.

  • yaku

    This ain’t no stinking apology, read carefully his wording:

    “you just pushed me a little too much”

    Basically he’s saying it’s Dave’s fault (and if anyone think it is, you need to re-read the email exchange. Carefully.) which still is no excuse when dealing with costumers. I’ve had lousy costumers and lousy costumer service, and that is no excuse to go ballistic as he did.

    I’ve read the entire email exchange and None of Dave’s emails (not even the fifth one where his frustration starts showing) contain any form of hostility, condescension or insults that might have “pushed him,” unlike him who immediately went from unhelpful to 100% rude. Disgusting fellow, at least the world know not to do business with him.

  • KXG

    This Paul fellow, from reading these articles and looking at his picture on another site strikes me as a Jersey Shore reject who’s been sniffing too much spray on tan and ‘roiding up a bit too often. He’s completely unapologetic, and I consider “Sorry” after the shit has hit the fan a completely knee-jerk, worthless response to -not- being sorry you did something wildly inappropriate in the slightest, just sorry you caught a face-full of shit. The snide comments, the delusions of grandeur, the narcissism, the smug sense of USI, the calling your Paying Customer(fer crissakes!) a BITCH, the subtly veiled threats, the vaguely hinted bodily harm/death-threats thrown in so -casually- even when Apologizing, and the desperate attempts to make it EVERYONE’S fault but his own… These things would make any psychiatrist start reaching for their panic button because this man is a Psychopath! I say that not as a joke, but clinically speaking Paul shows every textbook sign of being a dangerous, potentially violent sociopath! Sweet Zombie Jesus who puts someone with GLARING borderline personality disorder in charge of PR?! And yet there’s mounting evidence he’s done this multiple times and the company who produces these controllers was -warned- multiple times to keep the hell away from Psycho Joe the ‘Roid Rage King here. I certainly hope he worked cheap, because he’ll likely end up costing that poor bastard just trying to sell his game controller a lot of revenue…