News of Darko

by Wolf Pascoe on January 5, 2012

I also run a website called penny arcade. It’s kinda popular. — Mike Krahulik
Love penny Arcade !! — Ocean Marketing
I’m glad you like it! You will be on it tomorrow. — Mike Krahulik

Followers of this blog will no doubt remember an ungodly number of posts I did last month under the heading of “Camp Director.” The series represented a crazed period in my life, during which the fate of 150 Memorial Day Weekend campers from my son’s school had dropped into my reluctant hands.

On behalf of the children, I assembled a team of parents to do battle on a website called Reserve America.

Readers may also recall that I had no idea what I was doing on Reserve America. At the height of my desperation, I placed a phone call to the office of one Darko Dejanovic, the Chief Technology Officer in charge of the website.


“Is Darko REALLY his name or did you change it to protect the innocent?” one commenter asked.

It was really his name. He did not return the call. And once the team had secured the requisite number of websites last November 1, it was my sincere hope to put this puppy to bed. For good.


The above notwithstanding, it is now my duty to report the resurrection of Darko. He has come back into my life in the form of an email that arrived the other day:

Dear Mr. Pascoe:

My name is Darko Dejanovic and I am the Chief Technology, Product and Innovation Officer here at Active Network and I was just looking through some Google results and came across your posting for the first time.  Unfortunately I had not received the message you left with my office but want you to know that we are certainly here to ensure that you have the best experience when using any of our sites.

I am literally just about to get on a plane to go overseas but wanted to at least acknowledge your posting.

I am also copying some of my Senior Executives (Evan Davis, SVP and Chief Architect, Andrea Facini – SVP, Global Product and Innovation and Michael Brier SVP, Global Project Management and Media Sales) so they can follow-up next week with you and make sure to address your issues.

I am attaching the link so they can have some background on this subject:

If you have any other questions or comments do not hesitate to email me.

Happy Holidays,

Darko Dejanovic

Three of Darko’s executives had now been assigned to read “Camp Director, Part 4” as homework. Immediately, a second email followed:

Mr. Pascoe,

I’m following up from the email that Darko sent you today and wanted to reach out to you and ask how we might assist.  It looks from you your blog that you are referring to the CA on sales process. I hope you were successful in getting your reservations for Memorial Day.

Best regards,


SVP and Chief Architect
Evan Davies

As I was now on a first name basis with Evan, I wrote him the following reply. Of course, I no longer needed any help with the website. But I did want to let him know, had there been a concern, that he was not dealing with a nut job:

Dear Evan,

Thanks for your email of today.

My son’s school was successful at getting enough El Capitan sites. About 160 of us will be going camping there next Memorial Day Weekend. It took a team of twenty people, all in communication with each other, to pull it off.

Your website is fair, and pretty resilient considering the heavy traffic it had to handle. The camp sites we were going after were very popular and sold out within a couple of minutes of their becoming available.

If I had any complaints, they would be, first, that the support information on the site wasn’t detailed enough to answer my questions, and second, that nobody from the technical staff ever wrote back to answer any of my several emails. I would not complain about this except that the customer service staff, who recommended I email the tech staff, were under the impression that they answered every query.

The customer service staff was very friendly. Darko’s secretary was very sympathetic and polite responding to what must have seemed a very odd request, and I enjoyed hearing back from Darko himself, though after the fact.

My very best to you and Active Network for a happy holiday.

Yours very truly,

Wolf Pascoe

There I hoped the matter would rest, but two more emails followed. The first was from Evan, who was now on a first name basis with me:


I’m glad to hear that you were able to get your sites and hope you all have a great stay.  My apologies that you did not hear back from the technical support team.  I will reach out to them and see why there was not a follow up.  Thank you for your sincere feedback and hope that we can exceed your expectations next time.  Hope you and yours have a very happy holiday as well.

Best regards,


And finally, this last:

Mr. Pascoe,

I echo Evan’s comments and if you have any problems in the future please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Best regards,


So now I am on a first name basis with Darko as well.

These are the times that try men’s souls.

I recollect that Heather Armstrong, an uber-Mom blogger, once had some trouble with her Maytag washer and wrote a snarky post about it, wreaking a public relations disaster on Maytag.

Not wishing to follow in those footsteps, let me say here and now that I heartily recommend Reserve America to anyone.

I especially take note of Evan’s thank-you for my “sincere feedback.” After all, he could have just said feedback and left it at that.

Let it be writ down that I am sincere.



Camp Director, Part 4: Team



Breathtaking Customer Service Fail: The quotation at the top of this post has nothing to do with Darko or Reserve America. It’s from an email exchange between Paul Christoforo, a service rep from the firm of Ocean Marketing who got rude with a customer, and Mike Krahulik, who runs a website called Penny Arcade that has four million readers. I spent an hour this morning reading the whole, grimly fascinating story.



Customer Service problems? Just Add Father is listening. (Add your thoughts by clicking a few lines below below, where it says comments or add one. I always respond here.)


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara S. January 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I believe we all know you’re sincere by now, but that’s nice that you have been officially verified!
Good for them for getting back to you, at least after the fact. And good for you for offering them useful feedback. I hope they use it! Too many companies these days don’t seem to care…


Wolf Pascoe January 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Thanks, Barbara. I love the words officially verified.


BigLittleWolf January 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Just chuckling.

The voice in the wilderness can now be heard round the world, if one knows how.


Wolf Pascoe January 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Let it be writ down.


Kristen @ Motherese January 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I love it! This exchange did indeed put me in mind of Dooce’s Maytag moment, as well as a more recent one involving “The Bloggess” and some PR firm.

Despite all this, “Darko” will forever remain in my mind the dude that the Pistons inexplicably drafted ahead of Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade. (He went after LeBron, but, I mean, come on.)


Wolf Pascoe January 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Ooh, the Blogess! What’s the link?

I’d have known about that Darko Pistons guy, except I don’t follow football.


Privilege of Parenting January 6, 2012 at 12:39 am

Gregor Samsa awoke one morning to find himself transformed into Darko Dejanovic…


wpl January 6, 2012 at 8:06 am

One morning Darko woke, dreaming he had been a butterfly. But then he could not tell — if he were not a butterfly dreaming he were Darko . . .


Sirena January 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm

You know, I have always said, “if nothing else, Wolf Pascoe is SINCERE”. The whole series of emails was hysterical, but I was happy to see that they did seem to be SINCERELY concerned about making sure you had a happy experience – Evan and Darko seem like very nice people. We would like to hope that customer service of any kind is SINCERE and not just responding because someone wrote a blog about them. But I think next time I have a customer service issue of note that I’ll write a blog about it…
P.S. When I think of the name Darko, I personally think of the movie “Donny Darko”.


Wolf Pascoe January 7, 2012 at 1:08 am

May I sincerely add that Just Add Father, if nothing else, is a place that cares about YOUR blog-reading needs.


Chopperpapa January 7, 2012 at 9:48 am

I think you should go with officially sincere…That covers just about everything.


Wolf Pascoe January 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Just Add Father. Sincerity Officially Verified.


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