Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Great Pizza Rip-Off Artist

I love to cook, but occasionally I just don’t have the time or energy. That’s when I’ll order in.

The other day, I ordered in pizza for me and my girlfriend from Pizza Pizza, one of our usual fast-food pizza places.

We usually get a medium pizza or two, and maybe a salad, garlic bread, stuff like that. I ordered a medium pizza, 10-chicken wings, and a Greek salad.

When the delivery guy arrived with our food, he made a special point to mention that there was no salad dressing, as there wasn’t any on the order.

I thought this very odd, as we’ve ordered many salads from them in the past, and they always include the salad dressing. And it says on their website that the salad comes with an Italian dressing. Besides, who has salad without dressing?

I was mad, and questioned the driver, but didn’t blame him – he’s just the guy who delivers the pizzas. Though he did make a special point to mention there was no dressing – which indicated he knew something was wrong.

Also the medium pizza was incredibly small – in fact it looked like a small pizza. I questioned the driver again, and he verified that was the correct size. I’m guessing Pizza Pizza recently changed their pizza sizes, because I’ve had medium pizzas from them before and they were quite a bit bigger.

I paid the driver, and took the food in. But I was angry, the pizza was smaller than I’ve had in the past, and I didn’t get the salad dressing which is supposed to come with my pizza.

So, I called Pizza Pizza’s customer service number. I told them that I didn’t receive a dressing for my salad, as indicated on their website. I didn’t mention anything about the size of the pizza, as that really was a moot point.

They asked me if I specified a dressing when I ordered. I explained that I’ve never had to specify one before, and that it clearly shows on their website that the particular salad I ordered comes with a specific dressing.

Then the customer service representative on the other end did what I thought all customer service representatives were told never to do – blame the customer.

She said it was my fault for not specifying a salad dressing, their order takers cannot simply decide which dressing to include with the salad.

I explained that I’ve ordered salads from them before, and I’ve always received the salad dressing which is included with the salad, without having to specify anything – all their salads are linked to a specific dressing on their menus.

The customer service representative just continued to blame me – me the customer – claiming next time I should specify which dressing I want.

I said I wasn’t going to argue, please just send us the salad dressing which goes with the Greek salad, as on your menu.

She continued along the same line of thought, telling me about next time, and how now I’ll know not to make the same mistake.

I couldn’t believe her rudeness and lack of respect towards a paying customer. So I hung up, and immediately wiped clean Pizza Pizza’s number from my phone’s directory.

I ended up making my own dressing, with olive oil and some spices, which turned out great. But I was really upset – not only did I pay for something which I didn’t get, I was blamed for not getting what I paid for by the very company which I had paid for the product I didn’t receive.

Pizza Pizza lost a long-time valuable customer that day. I have been ordering food from them on a somewhat regular basis for well over a decade. I’ve enjoyed going into their stores when hungry, to grab a slice of pizza.

But no more – it’s bad enough paying for something and getting lesser value. It is quite another to be treated so unprofessionally and poorly by one of their customer service representatives.

With all the pizza places around, I’m sure I won’t have any trouble replacing them with company that actually respects their customers enough to treat them with no less dignity than they themselves wish to be treated.

When I’m at work, a friends place, or with others, and we decide to order pizza – I’ll always make sure to recite this horrid tale if Pizza Pizza’s name is spoken.

Pizza Pizza’s been around a long time – but they still have a long way to go before they learn how to retain their most important asset – their customers.

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