Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The story of two posts on Facebook

Hello again on a fine, warm Wednesday afternoon.

I was going to publish a tutorial on non-standard bases, but I got detoured slightly by a very short exchange of posts on Games Workshop Warsaw's Facebook page. As you may or may not know, The Company recently opened its first outlet in Poland. While I was mildly excited about the fact (since I do my shopping either online or in my FLGS, as I don't live in the capital), I do appreciate the whole situation - finally a very decent market is getting its fair treatment by GW.

The poster on GW Warsaw's behalf stated that they will be releasing, and I quote:

"the first Warhammer Army Book released by Games Workshop in Polish".

This is only partially true, as Army Books and Codices (which is the proper plural of the word "codex") had been previously released in Polish. Only the "by GW" bit is actually the truth. They were enthusiastic about it to the point of euphoria, which to my mind is somewhat an over-hype. But I digress.

As is my right, I voiced my opinion. I did not want to be harsh on someone else's playground (and I don't support any GW publications in my mother tongue at all; I'll discuss it in a future post). I said:

"Is there anyone who does not understand English enough to grasp even the army list and the rules? While I do understand the marketing scheme and even support it in a way, I don't understand the hype".

I think I made myself clear.

GW Warsaw responded as if I, as the Polish saying goes, killed their mothers with a pair of socks. I was shocked at the amount of vitriol unleashed. Not that I got offended, but what I was expecting was a good-natured defense of their product. Instead, I got:

"Whomever prefers the English version over the Polish one is free to purchase it"

This is fine so far. Only valid point to make. However, it is immediately followed by:

"Do not deny customers who prefer the Polish version the right to own one."

"Deny"? "Right to"? This is not the Supreme Court guys.

The strong language is completely unnecessary. On top of that, you just missed the point by the size of an adult rhinox. If anyone can point to any bit where I denied anyone the right to anything, I'll be the first to apologize. I understand you want to sell your product as well as possible, but you will not do it behaving like douchebags. The Polish 'localization' of GW products has its history, and it is not a pretty one. Moreover, I respect your right to do whatever you want with your products. Respect my right to have an opinion and if you like to respond, mind that respect. I am a paying, faithful customer.

Mind you, I'm not butthurt because they didn't like what I wrote. Being a brutally honest person I'm used to people flinging dung at me because they don't like the truth. What I'm concerned about is the whole manner of their response. While I have always firmly opposed the view of GW as the empire of evil, this is not the tone in which to address their customers. This is, sadly, the typical Polish approach to criticism: if you don't like something, you are wrong, and we will diss you because of it.

You can find the relevant thread here (in Polish). My translation above is accurate, as any Pole viewing this will confirm.

See you folks on Saturday.

P.S.: From today, all my musing and trivia posts, basically anything not directly related to my workbench, will be accompanied by the Cigarette Smoking Man. Because he's awesome.

No comments: