Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik shared an interesting transcript of a conversation between a reader named Dave and Ocean Marketing's Paul Christoforo that is now viral on the web. Undoubtedly, we haven't heard of such a bad incident of PR failure in a decade.
Ocean Marketing (OM), a PR and marketing agency for the marine industry's accessory brands, which sells itself with big claims of its highly skilled staff and its fast, easy and guaranteed services (according to its Web site), has become an epic case of PR failure in the history.
The conversation between OM's Christoforo and Penny Arcade reader, Dave, gives a real-time example of how a well-established brand can damage its reputation overnight - in an email thread.
The transcript is viral on the web, with readers lashing out at OM for its unacceptable behavior and services.
It all started when Dave sent an enquiry mail to a customer relation executive of OM, regarding his pre-order of 2 N-Control PS3 controllers that was due for delivery before Christmas.
In return, he got a blank mail with Christoforo's signature and nothing written at all.
Expressing his dismay on not receiving his order on time and no proper response on enquiry, Dave mailed back saying, Thanks for the reply Paul. Can you clarify whether my particular order already sent or if Dec 17 was the first day shipments went out? I have not received any sort of shipping confirmation email or tracking information.
The reply was straightforward, but Christoforo, apparently new to the industry, didn't know much about customer courtesy. His unhelpful reply was They are in the USA now in customs so its wither before or after Christmas.
Well, we do not understand this. Is this a customer service reply? With no effort made to clarify a customer's query who probably does not know how customs works?
And it didn't end here. The chain of mails which followed, made the conversation ugly and utterly rude.
None of Christoforo's replies answered Dave's questions, and over that Dave's name was misspelled as Dan with inanities like, You just got told bitch, you're 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.
The language that Christoforo used is unacceptable and here is his next absurd response. He closed the reply with, 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.
Obviously, Dave was irritated and frustrated by such insane replies and forwarded the transcript of the whole conversation to Penny Arcade (a web comic focused on video games).
On receiving a hilarious transcript of conversation between a fed-up customer and an inane CRE (Customer Relation Executive), illustrator Mike Krahulik thought it was a great piece to be published in Penny Arcade.
He wrote back saying, Holy s*** this is unbelievable. Dave, if this guy has a booth at Pax east we will cancel it.
Soon things went out of control as the story went online, making a mockery of Christoforo all over the world. OM was massively criticized, even though its inventor David Kotkin fired Christoforo and posted an apology on Twitter.
IGN (an entertainment Web site on video games) and Kotaku condemned OM for their reckless customer service.
We can just think of one famous proverb: A good name is sooner lost than won.
Hope OM is taking note!