“Did I feed into his emails a little bit too much yeah ok .” Understatement of the year.
Warning: Long post, horrible grammar, cursing, and delusions of grandeur ahead.
A company called Ocean Marketing made the wrong kind of waves on the internet Tuesday because of their customer interactions and reaction to a notable industry persona. The story actually begins months ago with the first public display of how Paul Christoforo (the President of Ocean Marketing) deals with customers. If you’re looking for more recent events, skip to Page 2.
February 5th – June 30th, 2011: Nathan Stansell of Nate’s Network details his communications with N-Control‘s standard customer service e-mail, and then eventually Ocean Marketing’s Paul Christoforo himself. Nathan already has a well structured post, with dates, times, and his own commentary, so the majority of the emails can be read there.
The quick version with some notable events follows, though:
February 5th: Order is placed.
February 7th: Nathan receives an email from N-Control (email@example.com) notifying him that the controller is sold out.
We regret to inform you that the Avenger is currently sold out. Due to an unexpectedly high volume of orders, your shipment will be delayed until February 28, the scheduled delivery date for the next batch of Avengers.
We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused by this unfortunate delay. In order to better serve you, we will send you information about a 100% discount code which can be used for the new version of the Avenger, which will become available this April.
February 11th: Nathan’s credit card is charged. Item still not shipped.
February 25th: Nathan sends an email to confirm his controller will ship on the 28th as scheduled. His is notified in a reply that the controller is still back ordered and will be shipped on March 20th.
February 26th-28th: Nathan emails the company to voice complaints about the way the situation has been handled thus far and asks them to, “Please do not let this situation degrade anymore [sic].” The company reiterates that they have no stock to send out on the 28th, and that the order will ship on March 20th. They do, however, upgrade his current order to the newer version of The Avenger, as well as promise that he will still be receiving the code for a 100% discount on another controller. Nathan decides to continue to be patient and wait the situation out.
March 22nd: N-Control sends another email informing Nathan of a delay. New expected shipping date: April 5th-10th. Nathan continues to wait.
April 7th: Nathan sends another email to confirm his controller will ship by April 10th. Receives email in reply that the order will not be shipped until April 25th. Nathan waits some more, but prepares to file a complaint with Visa in case he’s being scammed.
May 16th: Nathan receives confirmation that his order has been shipped.
May 20th: Controller finally arrives. In Nathan’s words, “Much anticipation, and trepidation, and many broken promises later! Lets play! Battlefield here i come! pew pew pew!!!” June 22nd: He still hasn’t received his promised discount code, so he emails N-Control to let them know he received his controller, is enjoying it, and inquires about the unsent code. He then goes on a short vacation to the mountains. June 27th: Nathan returns, finds there has been no reply to his email, and decides to email the company again. He placed a phone call to the company after another period of no response. He receives no answer on either of the company’s phone lines (customer service or tech support). He leaves a message on the customer service line requesting that they contact him ASAP. About two hours later he receives a return call from Paul Christoforo. The exchange, to the best of Nathan’s remembrance (he didn’t record the call) follows:
Its Paul Christoforo. To the best of my knowledge this is my first interaction with him.This is a half important phone call that i really wish i had recorded but i will recap it as accurately as possible with as little slant as possible.I was pretty upset with Paul and his company at this point. I started to explain why and Paul interrupted me to scold me for leaving a message about taking legal action and for not being patient as he gets “hundreds of emails a day” and it woudl take time to get to them. He is the one answering them all now he says! It had been over a week since i send the first reminder, 2 days since the last! How long does it take Paul? 3 years?I reminded Paul i was upset with his company and that i could email me the emails promising the discount code.He obviously didnt see my point but said he would take care of it “soon”I said this was not acceptable, i wanted to know this was resolved now with this call. He started whining about having a lot to do and that he would have to locate my correspondence.All the while ive already hit sent.I honestly wasnt paying attention to all of what he said, but when he finished i told him to check his mail.He saw my email, read it, and said he would get it sent out. No indication of anything further needed from me.That was is Monday.
June 29th – June 30th: Nathan has heard nothing back from N-Control or Paul since the phone conversation two days prior. He emails N-Control at the firstname.lastname@example.org email address, and Paul Christoforo responds. Their full exchange is below (pictures via Nate’s Network):
Little did anyone know Nathan can see into the future.
And something new would indeed happen…
Next Page: Dave vs. Paul, Paul vs. Penny Arcade, Name-Drop Extravaganza