Although it has already been discussed few weeks ago in our Social CRM #2 post, I believe this case to be one of the most outrageous examples of how NOT to deal with your customers, hence I have decided to thoroughly cover it below. Well, yeah, it’s not like you can actually object or anything, right? (Evil laughter, along with pointing my pinkie to the lip corner).
Anyways, here is what was dubbed as “most outlandish PR blunder in video gaming history”:
A guy named Dave, ordered a couple of special controllers for his gaming console from a company called Ocean Marketing (OM), who got the exclusive license to market them within the US (yes, I know how good it feels to read “license” and “US” within the same sentence :). His original intention was to use them as XMAS gifts, since the promised shipping date was prior to DEC 24.
After few super polite and informative emails sent to Paul from OM, all answered in half sentences, Dave understood by DEC 26 that his devices won’t arrive on time, and that if now, 2 months after his original order he would submit the same order again, he will get $10 off. So he got a bit upset about that. Honestly, just a bit, and in a very non-emotional manner (yes, just like your players…).
The answer he got from Paul was very aggressive, stating that “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 that Dave is welcomed to “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.”
How many mistakes can you note in this classic Thomas reply?
- Not offering same deal to existing customers – so not retention wise, I won’t even elaborate.
- Challenging the customer to conduct an activity which is NGR counterproductive – it’s not a pissing contest, and anyway, I can’t see how you will ever win one.
- Diminishing, non-respectful approach to the customer on the other side – yes, that’s going work out just fine.
- Changing the customer name – what can I say? The guy is marketing genius.
Dave, being nothing but a reasonable person, sent a long reply, outlining how he feels about the reply he just got (“I’m making a legitimate complaint about your poor communication”), signing with “Welcome to the internet, bitch. That’s how I roll.”. <- you gotta love this guy!
Any rational business man would have stopped just now, but not good old Mike: “LOL Thanks for the Free PR”; “Welcome to the Internet ? Son, Im 38 I wwebsite as on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls”; “All you had to do was check the like everyone else , people have inquired but you’re the douchiest of them all J”; and best of all – “You just got told bitch … 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.”
Hell, even I was speechless after reading this.
Well, Dave got Mike, the owner of http://east.paxsite.com/ & http://www.penny-arcade.com/ involved in the mail chain, and his immediate answer was “Holy shit this is unbelievable. Dave, if this guy has a booth at Pax east we will cancel it.”, to which Dave has replied with a request NOT to do so.
So, what would you do at this point? I know! How about spicing it up with hammering Mike as well? “Were in 6 countries and you’re not going to take my money for a booth that’s a crock I can guarantee I’ll get a booth if I want one money buys a lot and connections go even further… Who are you again ?”. Sweet.
That probably did it, as the reply was: “I am Mike Krahulik, Pax is my show. Feel free to Google me=) I can promise you that you will never have space at any future Pax event.”.
Following another aggressive reply from Paul (“OK Mike whatever you say lol… Little kids unhappy with a PRE ORDER starting trouble and you email that to us , he’s a customer unless you’re his boyfriend then you should side with the company not the customer. Be Careful”), Mike did a Chuck Norris impression, calmly saying that: “I do run Pax, but I also run a website called penny arcade. It’s kinda popular.” <- super understatement.
You can probably guess how it all ended – OM is history now. And this is how it should be, as you must admit this entire farce, is just a showcase of how Player Development is done, totally the wrong way.