October 1, 2014 |

Commentary: Just give me my pizza!

By Jeremy White

Jeremy WhiteI’ve had some poor customer service over the years just like all of us, but the most recent restaurant letdown still has me scratching my head. On the way home from a youth soccer practice recently, I decided to order pizza. Typically my family likes to eat in the pizzeria, but this time I was calling in a delivery order because my sons both had homework to finish.

I place my family’s usual order without any trouble. I give my debit card number so the pizzeria can process my payment and then the lady on the other end of the line tells me they are behind at the moment and delivery will take about an hour and 15 minutes. Since it’s already getting late on a school night, I decide I don’t want to wait that long. “No problem,” I tell her. “I’ll just stop in and pick it up. Will that save some time?”

The pizzeria employee informed me that the order could be ready for pickup in 20 minutes. Then she hit me with an unexpected twist. “But I’ve already processed your payment for delivery, so you can’t pick it up now.”

Stop the presses. What?

“Since I already ran your payment through for delivery, I would have to go back and cancel your order, refund your debit card and then submit the order again,” I’m told. “It will take three to four days for the refund to your debit card to appear.”
That made zero sense to me, as a customer.

“Don’t worry about all that,” I said. “If it’s because of the delivery fee, I don’t mind paying the $2 anyway. Not a big deal. Just keep the order in there as it is. I’ll be there in 20 minutes and you can just hand the pizza to me instead of to the delivery driver.”

Frightened at the prospect, the employee adamantly informed me she could do no such thing. This order was punched into the POS as a delivery order and it was going to stay that way.

So I drove right past the pizzeria and on to my house. An hour and 15 minutes later, as promised, my delivery order arrived. I tipped the driver, told my kids to eat fast and hit the hay because it was late. But I still can’t understand why I couldn’t just stop in and pick up the pizza regardless of how the order had been “processed.”

What am I missing here? How would my call have been handled in YOUR pizzeria? E-mail me at the address below and let me know. I’m eager to hear your thoughts.


Jeremy White, Editor-in-chief