Sometimes it seems a little odd that despite unsatisfactory experiences, we may still want to patronise a shop, or online merchant. It’s bad, but perhaps because it is consistently bad, you know exactly what to expect, and after all things considered, you decide to still go with it. Case in point. Domino’s Pizza.
It’s almost every time I order from Domino’s Pizza that they will fail to meet their 30-minute delivery promise. Most of the time, I don’t mind. They were late, but usually just by 5 to 10 minutes. Getting a free pizza voucher to compensate for the lateness is, to me, a clever marketing strategy. It’s a bonus. I don’t mind the lateness not because of the voucher, but simply because they were only late by a little bit. (Of course, their extreme lateness once ruined my party.)
Honestly, it’s not the lateness (apart from that incident of extreme lateness) that annoys me. It’s the attitude of the delivery rider. Just recently, I ordered pizzas for an office event. The delivery rider was late, again. That’s not the problem. It was that after arriving, he called me from the ground floor lobby to ask me come down to collect the pizzas.
Now, to be fair, this is not the only time their delivery rider has told me to come down collect the pizzas myself. In fact, there are some occasions when other delivery people also call to ask me to “self-collect”.
Well, I told this delivery rider, no, he should come up. He agreed and hung up, though not before protesting. I cannot understand why delivery people cannot just come up to the stated unit number, instead of expecting customers to self-collect from the lobby. But that’s fine, this isn’t the first time. Not the first time with Domino’s Pizza delivery riders either.
A few minutes later, the delivery rider called again. He was still at the ground floor lobby, and again asked me to go down to collect the pizza myself. He made some excuse about me not stating my unit number, so I should come down. I got a little angry and told him off. He has to come up, I’m not going downstairs. It’s just terribly poor service to demand customers to pick up their order from a location different from originally instructed. I checked and made sure I had specified my full address, with unit number, correctly.
He called back again. This time, he tells me that the security officer at the ground floor lobby wouldn’t allow him to come up. I was shocked. This is the first time I’ve heard such an excuse. My office building is, well, sort of the “open” kind, very freely accessible. Yes, there is a security post there, but it’s just a station where security staff are seated. It also serves as a fire command post. It is not meant to control access. The building design is so open, there’s no way that post could even serve as an access-control point, even if they wanted to.
Of course I got really angry now, which ultimately prompted me to write a nasty feedback to Domino’s Pizza. I chided the the delivery rider again, after he made more lame excuses about not knowing how to go upstairs.
Despite the frustration, the problem is really just with the delivery rider. At least for this time. (The other time that ruined my party, well, I think that was a systemic problem at the store level, at the least, if not further up.)
To be honest, the pizzas themselves are fine. The ordering experience is alright; it could have been better, but it’s passable. Overall, I would still give them a reasonable score, which I did when prompted for feedback. I did rant my grave annoyance in the online feedback form. Domino’s had a customer service representative call me back a few days later to get more information, but there has been no follow-up update on their investigation into the delivery screw up.
Sometimes I wonder if I should serious consider another pizza delivery service. Under-delivering on their promise is one thing. To do so consistently establishes a pattern that customers may come to accept. But then to occasionally still do far worse is really bad.
They label themselves the pizza delivery experts. Perhaps it may be time to rebrand as the pizza self-pickup experts.