Unprofessional of the Year Award for 2019 Goes to Pizza Hut
- On 1/5/2019, placed an order at 8:00 PM Saturday evening
- Delivery time 9:45 PM. OK, they’re busy, but I’ll get my pizza eventually.
- 9:45 comes and goes, call the store multiple times for a status, and each time, they hang up on me.
- Pizza shows up at 11:15 PM. I bet THAT IS SOME HIGH QUALITY EATS. The driver offered to give it to me for free, but at this point, I don’t want whatever it is, that they managed to put in a box and send to me, so I refused the delivery.
It’s not the driver’s fault, obviously, but to show up at someone’s door an hour and a half late, and over 3 hours after I placed my order, with no call back, and no confirmation is completely unprofessional.
The driver alluded to the fact that the manager completely botched things up, but at this point, after multiple calls to the store, and multiple calls to their call center, I really don’t care.
- The manager needs to be fired for gross incompetence. There is no excuse for a 3 hour delay.
- The driver apologized. I should have told her that you SHOULD NEVER apologize for someone else’s mistake. She should be promoted, for at least attempting to handle the situation.
- Whoever was hanging up on customers needs to be summarily fired.
How to Turn a Bad Situation in to a Win:
Bad things happen.
Things can go from “OK” to underwater very quickly, but as the manager, you have to think about what outcome you want, and what swift action you must take to achieve that outcome.
- As soon as things started getting bad, the manager should have closed the store. This would have prevented more orders from coming in, and new orders could either be routed to another store, or the customers could simply be told that delivery service is unavailable at this time due to foreseen circumstances, rather than wasting the customers’ time.
- Any order delayed more than 15 minutes should necessitate a call to the customer. Most stores have 23 or fewer phone lines (the number of DS0 lines that can be carried on a T1/DS1 line), so it’s entirely possible that the phone system was overloaded… It’s up to the manager to take action! Use a cell phone to start calling customers and setting expectations. Tell the customer that there are unforeseen circumstances, don’t make excuses, set expectations, and then ask what the customer wants: Delayed delivery with a discount, or cancel the order. Give the customer the option. Empowering the customer, and then closely managing expectations is how to turn a losing situation in to a winning one.
Corporate Changes Needed
- There was no escalation path. Although you could call the call center, they were only empowered to take an order, and they have no ability to check the order’s status or cancel it. After a couple of phone calls, it became very clear that the call center is only able to transfer you to the local store…. which of course, was hanging up on customers. The call center should be 100% empowered to handle order changes, provide status, and cancel an order. Which brings us to the next problem….
- Complete technological failure.
- The Android app failed. The order was originally placed via the Android app, and the app is supposed to provide the user with a near-realtime status. However, the developers built the status function so that it ONLY runs on the newest versions of Android – I have 6.0, and the app simply tells me that my OS is out of date. There is no update for my device, for a newer OS, so the message you’re sending is that, to be a Pizza Hut customer, I have to go out and buy a new phone every year.
- The website failed. After an order is placed, there is no way to get a status or contact the store via the website. In the age of online, you have to call the store, on the phone to get a status.
- The store’s point of sale / order entry system doesn’t seem to integrate with the rest of their technology. How is it that, if by miracle I happen to be running the ordained version of Android, I can get a near-realtime status from the store, but neither the website, nor the call center can? The answer from the website, the call center, and the application was: “Call the store for a status.” Which would be OK, if the phones weren’t jammed. Wouldn’t it be nice for the manager to be able to post a status, so that everyone sees it instantly: “Due to unforseen circumstances, we are running behind. We are not accepting new orders at this time, and if your order is delayed more than 15 minutes, we will be contacting you.” BOOM, everyone is in sync.
Aside from being frustrated, I just wanted to get the food that I ordered.
After waiting 3 hours, which was an hour and a half PAST the delivery time, I had no idea if it was still on the way or if the order was cancelled, or if the store was on fire.
This is the point where some kind of escalation should have occurred, but there was no one to whom I could escalate.
After being hung up on, multiple times, and being told that the ONLY way to cancel my order is to call the store (and be hung up on), is extremely frustrating. There is no valid situation, save for life-and-death, that it’s acceptable to hang up on a customer.
I turned off my lights, locked my door, and the delivery driver STILL knocked on my door, over an hour later! How about a phone call?
The offer of getting the pizza for free was the right thing to do, but if things are going so poorly that you’re OVER AN HOUR AND A HALF LATE, how do I even know what’s in that box? I don’t want some half-cooked crap with the wrong toppings.
At this point, as a customer, this seems like a breach of trust.
From my perspective, I can’t trust your service, which means that I also can’t trust your product.
All it would have taken is someone in authority who was empowered to fix the problem, to change that perception.
Kudos to the driver, who at least tried to take care of the situation, but it’s the manager who miserably failed, and with a fairly severe technology deficit, there was no way that anyone could help me, except the manager, who was too busy hanging up on people.
Dear Pizza Hut:
I’m happy to have you hire me to fix these problems for you. I have a long track record of taking a complete train wreck like yours, and building a success story.
Short of that, I will no longer be a Pizza Hut customer.
Update – 2/6/2019
- The next day, the credit card charge still indicated ‘pending’, so my wife called the store to discuss the matter with the day manager. She explained that the delivery was refused, and was told “That sounds like a ‘YOU’ problem”, and the day manager hung up on her.
- We both submitted corporate complaints, which were simply referred back to local store (GALLOWAY AVE., MESQUITE, TX), and then summarily ignored.
- Fortunately, we disputed the charge with the credit card company, and got the charges reversed. My next stop would have been the BBB.
- It has been 30 days, and no one has responded to our complaints. This is an unacceptable way to treat customers, and a horrible way to do business.