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Domino's Death by Technology

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief Social Media Strategist at xynoMedia

Recently, I had a few friends over and as usual when you have a chatty, laughing, crying, wine-drinking group of women, someone gets the late-night munchies. (OK, all of us did, but who's counting?)

So, we decided to order Domino's. Biggest error since Jordan tried to play baseball.

Check the timeline:

10:43pm: We ordered online.

12:20am: Our order is delivered. Yes, the 30 minute pizza people delivered a pizza almost 2 hours later. The pizza was cold and the delivery guy, Luis, arrived sans Rebecca's CinnaStix (they tell you your delivery person's name with the Pizza Tracker online interface). Luis apologized and said he would return in about 15 minutes with the CinnaStix. We also saw through the online interface that our order was made by Vanessa as soon as we placed it, but it sat in a "HeatWave" bag for almost 2 hours after it was made.

1:00am: No Luis. He never came back or called and we called the store at least 10 times, but no one answered the telephone at the store.

(Sidebar: What a lot of people don't know about Domino's is that when you call to place your order, you call the number to your local store, but your call goes to a central order-taking location - perhaps somewhere far, far away from your local store. They send the order to the local store and your order is processed. So unless you opt out of the telephone system by pressing "0" - which we tried to no avail at least 2 dozen times - your call is never transferred to your local store.  And, when you call the local store number and do manage to get an order-taking person, they have no direct way to reach the store, except to transfer you to the store where they're already not picking up the telephone. So, in effect Domino's is using all this new online ordering and call center technology and if a customer has a problem, there is NO recourse other than driving to the store which defeats the whole purpose of delivery. As Onslow would say, "Oh, nahhhhce".)

1:15am: We actually drove to the store location. (I was the designated/sober driver.)

1:25am: We arrive at the store.

There were three Domino's employees behind the counter standing around talking. So why, pray tell, wasn't anyone answering the dern phone?

One employee was actually eating a chicken wing with his bare hands in the food prep area. When I explained to him that this was against the health code (I co-own a restaurant so I tend to know all these health codes and whatnots) and he told me, "This is my lunch break." As if it makes it OK for your saliva and the food contents of your mouth to be spread around the place where you make food for customers?

I asked for the manager and told him that we had even called them on our way to the store - with no answer. He replied that it was a busy evening! Yet everyone was standing around, literally leaning on the counters, talking when we walked in. Interesting.

The manager said he would issue a credit to my card. I still don't have the credit. This really isn't about the $4.45 for the CinnaStix.

The whole time I was talking to the manager, two employees were talking about us quite horribly in Spanish. As hard as it was for me to keep my yap shut stay quiet, I held back. Then when we turned to leave, I said to them, in Spanish, "You might be surprised to know that I speak fluent Spanish and I understand everything you just said. And, that my friends, will cost you," and we walked out.

Of course, I went online and complained. But, they say an organization's employees reflects it's management so, I probably won't get any resolve other than writing this blog post and posting the link to it on Twitter, which goes directly to my FriendFeed page.

This quote is taken directly from the Domino's Business website:

"The Domino's Mission: Exceptional Franchisees and Team Members on a Mission to Be the Best Pizza Delivery Company in the World."

Really? Hmmm...somehow I missed that.


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Mary Schmidt

Another example of "if it's broken before technology, it'll be even more broken after."

I don't buy from the local Domino's because I've seen their slobby-looking employees hanging around the front door smoking. Uh no. I don't want those people anywhere near my food

All ultimately comes down to the people doesn't it?


The only thing that would have made it better is if they gave you a customer satisfaction sheet to fill out.


You tell 'em girl!

Lena L. West


Thanks for the kind words!

You are absolutely right. Companies spend so much money on marketing and technology and then it all just falls into one big scrap heap the minute you need any sort of service outside the technology infrastructure - or, as you mentioned, the minute an employee unravels their house of cards.

It's sad and scary that service is SO horrible nowadays.

Thanks, as ever, for reading and commenting!



You always make my day with your insightful blog entries.

It seems we can only dream that companies like Domino's will take heed of such feedback. BTW, is it death by technology or rather by indifference? It's shocking the amount of resources companies can devote to customer-facing technology intended to build sales and foster loyalty, while policies or personnel behind the technology can so easily sabotage the effort with a callous attitude toward the target audience.

High regards as always,


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