I bitterly resent this about Mike Krahulik…

…I will likely NEVER be able to command the amount of professional fear and terror at the sound of my name that Mike can. Read this email thread (via AoSHQ) for an example of this: I suspect that Mike couldn’t believe his luck. After all, with great power comes great responsibility: the man’s not a bully. But if he’s got the opportunity to smack somebody else for bullying, well…

Moe Lane

PS: What? Ah. For the benefit of our non-gamer readers: Mike Krahulik is also known as Gabe of Penny Arcade. Trash-talking him when you’re a maker of luxury video game accessory parts is Not Very Bright.


  • Catseye says:

    Heard about this yesterday, apparently someone in the PR business took the phrase “there is no such thing as bad PR”, a little bit too seriously. Yes there is, making yourself a Primary Target of opportunity for everyone on the internet is VERY BAD PR!

  • lourae says:

    I especially enjoyed the tossed-off, ” . . . Penny Arcade. It’s kinda popular.”

  • Kenneth Hite says:

    Trash-talking him when youโ€™re a maker of luxury video game accessory parts is Not Very Bright.

    Not even a maker. A guy hired to do PR for the maker. Well, mission accomplished.

  • DaveP. says:

    “Hi, Dave! There’s been a problem and the product you’ve ordered has been held up in customs. We’re working hard to get a concrete date when we can have it arrive at your home, but right now the best we can say is that it should arrive before Christmas. To make up for the delays, we will either reprocess your order with this new promotional price, or if you’d prefer we can upgrade your shipping for free! As a new company, we understand how important your business is to us and we want to make you happy. We’ll be emailing you when we have a firm ship date, and if you have any other questions, please feel free to email me.”

    Now tell me how doing it MY way was somehow harder than doing it THEIR way.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      DaveP: precisely. Add a “We are sorry that this happened; believe me, we want you to have this controller in your hands as much as you do, and we fully understand your frustration at not having it already” and you’re well on the way to converting a person into being a partisan for your company.

  • Beej says:

    Ah, yes. That was fun even for us non-gamers. I spent entirely too much time on it, but it was fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Cameron says:

    DaveP, while your method sounds easier, it’s up against the “new model of doing business” which states that your customers should simply hand over their money, keep their mouths shut and stop inconveniencing them with problems.

  • DaveP. says:

    Exactly, Moe. This always frustrates me: in a niche business, you NEED to have repeat customers and good word-of-mouth; your margin is too small to wait on new customers to walk in cold off of the street. Happy customers are worth more than gold because they’ll not only buy from you again but they’ll send their friends and online buddies to buy from you too.
    Doing it right is so easy it just amazes me that anyone would go through the effort of doing it wrong.

  • DaveP. says:

    Cameron, the problem is that while that may work when you’re Sears or Chrysler and your business can afford to turn a decent percentage of new customers into once-only-and-never-again customers, anything much smaller needs good customer relations like it needs oxygen. Go ask Smith and Wesson what happens when you tell your customer base to piss off, you already have their money and you don’t need to keep them happy…

  • Dan Irving says:

    I watched this thing blow up and it was fascinating. I had never been at ground zero for the birth of a meme. The original entry for device on Amazon (the 360 version) went from 4.5 stars @ 8am to 2 stars by 4pm.

    @Kenneth has a point – the guy (Paul Cristo-cromagnon)was the president of a PR firm hired by the manufacturer, Kotkin Enterprises, to handle customer service. While innocent of blame for Paul’s acts, Kotkin Ent. does bear some responsibility – they had an existing PR firm (I can’t find the article damnit) that expressed distaste at having to work with Paul and Ocean Marketing (basically a one man PR firm). The firm exited their contract with Kotkin Ent. after failing to gain an understanding that they would control all PR related activities. While I feel bad for Kotkin getting snookered, it’s was in their best interest to fully vet their new PR firm. They failed to perform due diligence.

  • Josh Reiter says:

    Wow, sounds like this Paul guy has bipolar disorder. In one email he starts off yelping at the customer for being a snot-nosed kid and then in the very next paragraph he’s saying how much he appreciates his business and values them as a customer. Sort of like the husband that tells the wifey, “I love you more than anything, now shut up and get me a beer a you fat-assed bitch. What? I said I love you?!?”

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