Controller Company Berates Customers, Penny Arcade. Bring Popcorn.

Controller Company Berates Customers, Penny Arcade. Bring Popcorn.

Reader Dave has sent us a rather interesting conversation he’s had over the past few weeks he’s had with Paul Christoforo, a PR rep from Ocean Marketing, representing the makers of the Avenger controller accessory.

It is entertaining reading.

Initially the correspondence was between Dave and Christoforo, but once things get interesting he ccs us via our tips email address, and around the same time Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik gets involved.

It’s a long, entertaining mess, one which reflects about as poorly on a public relations representative as you could imagine.

To give you an idea of what’s involved, here’s an excerpt:

Yes it can be used with xtend play if you remove the stand and 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 you can buy it retail somewhere else.

Things happen in manufacturing if your unhappy you have 7 days from the day your item ships for a refund. You placed a pre order just like any software title the gets a date moved due to the tweaks and bugs not being worked out and GameStop or any other place holds your cash and im sure you don’t complain to activision or epic games so put on your big boy hat and wait it out like everyone else. The benefit is a token of our appreaciation for everyone no one is special including you or any first time buyer . 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.

This is not a YouTube commenter, or a forum troll, this is the PR representative of a video game controller accessory. But know that this is nothing compared to what happens when Krahulik gets involved. If you love internet drama, head here to read it all.

Just Wow! [Penny Arcade]


  • you have no idea how happy i am that kotaku picked this up. Can you guys ask the company for a response to the situation? I would love for the company to be aware just how much this dude has damaged their reputation. Hell i would even pay money to get that guy fired after that!

  • I think its very interesting how he name drops you guys and says “LOL Thanks for the Free PR I know the Editor N Chief of Kotaku , IGN , Engadget I’ll be meeting them at CES”.
    And now your the ones who are helping orchestrate his downfall. I highly doubt he knew you guys personally but even if he did, being “Important” (I use the term lightly) is no excuse for being an ass hole.

    So please tare into this piece of crap. Companies need to know treating their paying customers like shit is unacceptable.

    • I really want all the sites that he supposedly contacted to really drop a bombshell on him.
      I like how he realised how he really put his foot in his mouth AFTER he goes “I love penny arcade!”

        • I’m re-tweeting anything I can find about it @!/TheZeppster

          Its beyond terrible what they have tried to get away with, and honestly I don’t think they estimated the power of the internet when it comes to negative PR these days. Sad thing is this guy is the president of the company, so him losing his job is slim, just gotta spreading the bad word until his company sinks.

          Good to see all the names he dropped in support of him, all coming out on twitter and their blogs saying they want nothing to do with him at all and have no support!

  • I just read that whole thing.. wow

    Love his attempts at name dropping.. he just comes off looking like an asshole.. There is bad publicity, then there is being a total douchebag and being exposed for it..

    Is it just this controller and the xtend thing that they sell? can we get a list? I just want to be sure that I NEVER buy one of their products, even by accident.

  • This is the sort of guy who loses a ton of money for his company. And to even think he’s in PR. Impossible. Pissing off some of the most popular and influential people on the internet, not to mention his company’s CUSTOMERS- he’s essentially waving a giant penis in the face of the world (who PAY HIS SALARY) and imagining it’ll make his company lots of money. Notice that IGN have already denied any support for him- this guy will be fired; and probably sued. His company really will be able to claim damages from him. Who will want to buy their stuff now? As a side note, it’s baffling to watch him try belittle Penny Arcade for a lack of fame or influence; does anyone understand what he’s thinking??

  • Also, he really needs to spell check his emails after rage-typing. That was terrible for a 30 something year old. Hard to read and painful to bear as a former English major student lol.

    • His 125 strong PR team forgot to tell him that you lose all credibility when your emails look like a text message from a 16 year old.

  • Scott Lowe from IGN on twitter…
    .@OceanMarketting Please refrain from referring to me or IGN as support for you, your company or your clients. You do not have it.

    Paul Christoforo the douche from OceanMarketting..
    @ScottLowe your a douchebag anyway Scott we sent you how many units for review , How many conversations You were the unprofessional one

    This guy just doesn’t know when to stop.. The funny part is that his marketing company also does ‘reputation management’ haha..

  • These are the kind of stories I like to see. Please follow up on this, I’d love to see this dickhead go down in flames, along with their product.

    Perhaps we will get lucky and the company will have to sell their Patent rights to a competitor, then we can get the controllers and customer service all at once.

  • single.. best… thing… EVER!!!!!!!! Wow, this guy literally has amazing potential to be sued for this by the Avenger creators! Fuck.. It just takes 1 idiot to fuck it up for everyone

  • Are we all overlooking the fact that the product in question is an amazingly awful (at best) cheat / (at worst) scam?

    Once you take a look at the “Avenger”, you really shouldn’t be surprised that the president of the company is an arrogant deluded loser.

    Also, reading between the lines in the email chain, I’m guessing this product is a ripoff of another one.

    This guy is a crook.

    • We’re way past the crappy factor of his products..

      Its all about watching the fallout against him now.. There is some funny stuff going down on twitter right now.. @oceanmarketting (note two ‘t’s)

        • That is one fuck ugly controller. This guys also going out of business, no chance of him being hired to promote things in the future. Wonder if the manufacturers can sue him for damages.

          He also writes, spells, and thinks like a five year old, what the shit?

    • Even if it is an amazing innovation, think about where he will be in the long term. It will get large sales at the start, but it will slow and he will need to produce a new product, after which everyone in the games industry will refuse to support him and he will realise the the power of reputation.

    • ” So if your all fired up and have nothing better to do with your life then knock your self out partner ride wallaby till and legs fall out and go walkabout” He sure got told!

  • -hes in his 30s
    -he has a full time job
    -that job is working public relations

    yet he still types like a 12 year old. if nothing else he should be fired for butchering the english language

  • All I can say is wow, this guy doesn’t understand about customer respect. You are suppose to treat every consumer as number 1, great Customer Service is the number 1 priority for a store, its the reason why the Australian brick and mortar retailers are royally Fucked at the moment, for shitty customer service like this.

  • Any one else notice on the Avenger website that on one page the company that makes it is Kotkin Enterprises, llc and on the other pages it’s iControl Enterprises llc. Notably there are not web pages or any real information on either companies on the web other than the Avenger web site, and even then there is no company profile.

    Very odd…

  • i just love how this guy claims that his company makes the controllers in one of those email threads, but in another one he goes about saying how it’s not his product so he doesn’t care

    mans an idiot and a dick head, i hope to hell that he get what he deserves


    “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.”

    • In truth, no one will be talking about this in a week or two. However, what’s going to turn up in Google searches? Nice reputation management, bro.

  • I’m re-tweeting anything I can find about it @!/TheZeppster

    Its beyond terrible what they have tried to get away with, and honestly I don’t think they estimated the power of the internet when it comes to negative PR these days. Sad thing is this guy is the president of the company, so him losing his job is slim, just gotta spreading the bad word until his company sinks.

    Good to see all the names he dropped in support of him, all coming out on twitter and their blogs saying they want nothing to do with him at all and have no support!

  • Penny Arcade’s website seems to have been knocked offline, either hundreds of thousands of gamers and nerds are raging here or something unscrupulous has happened.

    Attacking Penny Arcade is the way you commit sepaku on the internet. Considering these two guys have managed to turn an online comic into a major force for good (Child’s Play) and have created a convention by gamers for gamers there is a lot of love around for them.

    And the fervent wish that they try a PAX Australia.

  • It’s like watching a car crash. In slow motion. And where the people getting horribly injured really, really deserve it.

      • I’ve only seen one episode of Jersey Shore, so I’m assuming you’re talking about that Snooki? If so yes. She belongs on that list many more times. Just one episode is enough that if I ever see her in real life, I’d smack her with a bat. The charges are worth it just to get back the loss of IQ just from watching her…

  • Im gonna email Gabe Newell and tell him that ge has to bring out Half Life 3 now!

    Because… I know the Mayor of Boston!

  • I’m stupider for having read that chain of emails and not solely because of the Ocean Marketing guy’s contributions. “Welcome to the internet bitch, that’s how I roll”…?

    Urgh. Two retarded peas in a pod.

    • Yeah I agree. It got really silly after a point. I can see someone getting pissed, but it started to sound like something from a cheesy B-movie after awhile.

  • Ug, I feel really bad for the inventor of that controller:

    He’s using Ocean as the distributor but after this shitstorm he’s pulled his products from them and since he’s like a one man inventor this may get a bit hard on him. I can imagine the stress this bloke is going through.

    I think if there’s an icing on the cake in this story, it would be one of the companies Paul ‘associated’ with taking up the N Controller and selling it though their store.

  • Guys, apparently the guy who invented the controller is not even related to it anymore, so don’t feel bad for him. If you google avenger controller, N-controller and the apparent umbrella corporation iController Enterprises, you’ll see it’s Paul’s Christoforo’s name which appears everywhere (Kotnik does get mentioned as the inventor in a promotional fake-news article Christoforo’s has spammed everywhere.)

    The saddest and most telling thing is that Christoforo’s name is the /only/ name that appears attached to all of these “enterprises.” It’s definitely a one-man effort, whose idea of “marketing” is spreading thin his corporate identity through the use of several unrelated phantom companies to give the illusion of belonging to something much bigger. An illusion that quickly is shattered when you realize that the “president” of the whole thing is an illiterate jerk with lack of PR sensibility.

    Here, a comprehensive look at his “empire”:

  • Wow. I guess there really IS a Santa Claus after all Virginia! 😀
    Christmas wishes DO come true (except for that one in 2008 for the vibrating love pillow, I’m still waiting for that one Santa >:()
    You couldn’t write better stuff than this.
    This is why I <3 U intertwebs =D

    This is your product. 😀
    Now, this is your product on internet crack. D=
    Now this is my PR fee. $$$ Remember, any publicity is good publicity, kthxbai.

    I can't get over how bad his written English is. Who sets themselves up in PR and can't be arsed to present a professional face to the world? Wow.

    By the way, if anyone is looking for someone to get the word up regarding their product(s) I'm available.

    …. and literate.

    …. and sober.

    …. mostly.

  • Besides the horrible way he treated his customers the worst part about this entire situation is that I now know about the N-Control Avenger. Even though I don’t console game many other people do and are now aware of this product through his douchebaggery.


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