My brother and sister-in-law live in East County San Diego and recently welcomed home their first baby. I live in Los Angeles and wasn’t going to be able to drive down to deliver a meal to the new family, so I decided to call their local Pizza Hut to schedule a Saturday meal delivery.
Kevin, the Pizza Hut employee, was very helpful. He kept putting my on hold to speak with his supervisor to see how they could accommodate me. They would take my order over the phone, but I would have to fax them a copy of my license and credit card. No problem, I thought. It was just after 11am when I placed my order and I requested a 5pm delivery. I faxed in my license and credit card, and then followed up with another phone call to the Pizza Hut to confirm receipt of the fax. The employee said he had it in his hands. Great!
Well, when dinner was delivered, the driver asked to see the credit card. Obviously my brother-in-law wouldn’t have my credit card. The driver then requested payment in another form! Not knowing what else to do, and not wanting to argue with a delivery driver, the new parents paid for the meal. Pizza Hut received two payments for one meal.
Later that evening, my sister-in-law called and told me what had transpired. I immediately called Pizza Hut and spoke to the shift supervisor, Susana. She said she didn’t know what was going on and told me that she was going to call her boss, Kimberly, and call me back. After an hour and no return phone call, I called Pizza Hut again. Susana informed me that it was a driver error—he was unaware of the arrangement. She apologized and said that my brother-in-law can come to the store for a refund. I asked if one of her drivers could take the refund to the house and she said no because three of her drivers had called in sick and that she was “screwed”. It was already 9pm and my brother-in-law was home with his wife and baby; making a special trip out to Pizza Hut was not something he wanted to do, nor was it something he should have had to do. I told Susana that he would come in the morning for his refund. Susana assured me that it wasn’t going to be a problem and that she would leave a note for her opening manager.
The following morning, my brother-in-law went to the Pizza Hut for his refund and was told that the purchase on my credit card had been voided and they no longer had my credit card number to charge me in order to refund him. Kimberly, the manager/franchise owner showed him the computer screen displaying a voided transaction. Kimberly also stated that she didn’t receive the fax of my ID and credit card until that morning. A total lie! I called to confirm transmission of it!
My question: Why was the refund available Saturday night but not Sunday morning?
I called Pizza Hut…again…and, of course, Kimberly was not it. I wanted to know why my card was voided and my brother charged. The shift supervisor knew nothing of the situation and there was nothing he could do to help me. I asked him to call Kimberly and to have her call me. After about an hour, I called Pizza Hut…again…and asked if Kimberly had any intention of calling me. He said no because she is off and with her family.
The following day, Monday, I called Pizza Hut…again…and spoke with yet another shift supervisor who couldn’t help. He told me to call back at 4pm when Kimberly was in.
My next call was to Pizza Hut corporate offices to file a complaint.
At around 4pm on Monday, I called Pizza Hut…again…and finally spoke to Kimberly. She stated that it’s company policy to confirm credit card orders upon delivery and that she personally voided the transaction on my card. She went on to state the whole situation was a lack of communication and apologized. My bank account still reflects a charge and no void, so I asked her to fax me a voided receipt and she stated that she couldn’t. I asked her why she stated that she didn’t receive the fax until Sunday morning. She said she didn’t say that to my brother-in-law. So now, on top of not returning any of my calls (more lack of communication on her part, so it’s no wonder that her shift supervisors can’t communicate either), Kimberly was now lying to me. She said she didn’t know what was going on between her shift managers because she was off. Her shift managers where calling her! I told Kimberly to stop claiming ignorance because I know that her shift leaders were calling her. Another lie. Never once did she Kimberly ask what she could do to rectify this situation—no offer of a refund, no offer of a certificate for a free pizza, nothing! All I wanted was confirmation that my family was not double charged and I wanted to know how such a simple transaction went so horribly wrong. I wanted to pay for the meal and I wanted driver to deliver a refund to my in-laws and apologize. Kimberly’s refusal to communicate and her refusal to accept responsibility were infuriating.
You know what she did do? She hung up on me! That’s right. Was I getting loud? Yes. Obscene or threatening? No. Nothing that warranted a hang up.
I called Pizza Hut…again…and she was “busy.” I was told to call her boss, Michael. I would have done just that, but I couldn’t because I was given a bogus number for her boss. I called Pizza Hut…again…to obtain the correct number. I called and spoke with Michael. How odd, he was able to fax me a copy of the computer printout showing the void on my credit card. Any other peace offerings? No, of course not.
Sadly, the franchise owners and their employees represent the Pizza Hut name. Kimberly was the rudest, the most inconsiderate, and the least effective communicator I have ever encountered in the fast food industry. And I used to work in the industry! Given my knowledge of, and experience with, the service industry’s handling of customer complaints, I know no disciplinary measures will be taken against Kimberly and my only recourse is to NEVER again patronize a Pizza Hut. I will have my family follow suit and I will encourage all of my friends to do the same and to spread the word—Boycott Pizza Hut. My in-laws and their family and friends will do the same, and, hopefully, we can have some negative impact on the Pizza Hut location on Jamacha Road in El Cajon.
I also find it personally offensive that Kimberly wouldn’t take the time to call me back because she was home with her family, but she showed no remorse for ruining what should have been a very nice family experience for her customers. Kimberly’s inconsideration and lack of professionalism were insulting, and I plan to obtain compensation (since I was not offered any) and satisfaction by sharing my experience in writing, by word of mouth and online in hopes that Kimberly’s franchise will suffer some financial loss.
I am in the San Diego area often and I am entertaining the idea of standing in that Pizza Hut’s parking lot, passing out flyers, encouraging possible patrons to eat elsewhere.
This experience has left me wondering:
Couldn’t all of this have been avoided with a PAID sticker on the order?
Why can I order flowers and have them delivered as a gift? Why can order gifts online and have them shipped elsewhere? Recipients don’t have to show credit cards. UPS just drops the package off. Why can’t I order a meal as a gift? Maybe Pizza Hut can be a pioneer in the food delivery industry in promoting, “Give the Gift of Food”