An Open Letter to Papa John’s Pizza

16 08 2010

Dear Papa John’s,

I’ve always enjoyed your pizza. I like Domino’s more, but every other drunken night in college it would be all you. It’s the garlic dipping sauce, I swear.

So when my husband and I got home from a hot Sunday outside, absolutely exhausted, we decided to order Papa John’s online. Thin crust with bacon and Parmesan/Romano, a side of breadsticks, and some sauces. Sounds like perfection to me! We ordered and the email (which tells you the delivery time AFTER you order, unfortunately) said 30-40 minutes. We relaxed and waited for our early dinner from your Broad Ripple location.

I called after 50 minutes. My fear is always that online orders can be misplaced or not filled… I usually prefer talking to humans, but the pizza employees for almost all our local chain joints are worthless, so we typically use online ordering.

The woman I spoke with couldn’t seem to grasp my name. Then loudly yelled to someone my address, I assume asking them for a status on our order. She got back on the phone (even though I was never put on hold) and said “Yeah, it’ll be 10 more minutes.” I started to comment, attempting to ask if she did in fact mean my pizza would be taking 60 minutes, not 30-40. But she had already hung up on me. No apologies, no explanations, no “goodbye” even.

Big Daddy was a employee and then manager of a pizza chain here in Indy for many years. So naturally, bad service really puts him off. He’s been on both sides, and he knows how to properly treat customers. First step? If an order is going 20 minutes over your far end of the delivery threshold, call the customer. Earlier is better. So when I got hung up on, he called them back and asked to speak with a manager. He got a male manager. Turns out? This lovely, rude female employee I spoke to? Is also a manager.

Really Papa John’s? You should be ashamed of whoever is in charge of your hiring at the Broad Ripple location. Because this “manager” couldn’t even bother to press hold while she yelled to her employees, let alone get a pizza to my house in a pleasant and timely manner.

The male manager, who B said sounded young and un-enthused, assured B that our pizza was out and would be another 10 minutes.

Meaning our pizza would be taking 70 minutes (or 1 hour, 10 minutes, if you prefer.)

Did you get us our pizza in that amount of time? No, no you did not.

At just over 1 hour 20 minutes (about 83 minutes) B was done. He called to cancel our order. Since he’s in the industry, he knows about pizza delivery survival. And at nearly an hour and a half, almost 30 minutes of it being “out for delivery,” this pizza was not going to be fresh. The lovely male manager was on the phone with B for a while, giving him a hard time about refunding us. It should have been offered! At least 20 minutes ago!

Just after B got off the phone (he had to talk the manager into confirming with him that our card would be refunded, and trust me, we will check) our doorbell rang. No one told the driver apparently. We politely told him we had canceled the order since it was an hour and a half late (90 minutes.)

Luckily I regained strength enough through my hunger to go shopping and cook us a beautiful tortellini dinner.

And I won’t be ordering Papa John’s again. I will openly share this information with anyone who asks about my weekend, and hope my acquaintances, blog readers, and friends will take this information into consideration when they want pizza as well. From now on, I’m going small and local. Indiana ones like Hot Box Pizza, or Pizzology, or just smaller chains like Mellow Mushroom. They seem to care a lot more about keeping customers. In fact I’d rather get Pizza Hut from the Pizza Hut / Taco Bell drive-thru since I know I’d get my pizza fast there.

Thanks for opening our family’s eyes to your poor management and lack of respect for customers. I’ll miss the garlic sauce. But that’s pretty much it.

Yours truly,
kjpugs

-kjpugs on iPhone

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15 responses

16 08 2010
Hannah

After the fleeing of Mellow Mushroom ’09 – it still breaks my heart to hear that company mentioned.

On a different note I am SO sorry that PJs treated you this way. Pete worked as a delivery driver at one for years during college and it is still our favorite chain (we actually like 3 blocks from one) and yes, that garlic sauce is oh so good.

I would suggest writing this letter to the store GM and maybe even corporate. They love to hand out the free large pizza cards… and they just might win you back with their garlic sauce.

sorry it was so sucky lady

16 08 2010
Katie

Ugh, this makes me angry. It would have been smarter for them to refund your money to make the customer happy, rather than ticking you off and treating you poorly, and now losing your continuing business. Stupid stupid stupid. And I bet the meal you ended up making was 10x better than an hour and a half old pizza 😉

16 08 2010
Dancy

Wow – I would be PO’d too! I agree with Hannah – you should send an email to corporate – only because you’re prob the only one who this happend to that night. I’ve never had Papa John’s – there aren’t any around us. 😦

16 08 2010
Amy

OMG I am going to tweet the hell out of this…that kind of crap annoys the piss out of me!

16 08 2010
Jennifer

Local really is the way to go. Better service and the pizza usually tastes a lot better too. In Arizona, the folks at Sardella’s are fantastic. I haven’t been to a “big-name” pizza company in years.

16 08 2010
Ali @ His Birdie's Nest

I would have been so pissed! I going to tweet this too 😉

16 08 2010
Laura, your freakin' bestie!

That happened to me too before. Total bullshit. I’ve worked in the food industry as well so when people treat me like that it just gets my blood boiling. But the garlic sauce… oh that sweet garlic sauce. 🙂 Be sure to keep us updated if they ever respond to you or if you don’t get your moo-lah!

16 08 2010
EmilyB

So shitty! Poor customer service pisses me off to no end. Like, I’M nice…why can’t YOU be nice, too? And even if I was a total asshole customer, your job is to be nice to me and help me. It basically boils down to crappy hiring practices and crappy training.

Definitely stick with the mom-and-pop pizza shops. They’re usually better anyway! I’ve never been a fan of Papa John’s, actually.

16 08 2010
Kelly

After that, I would go to PIzza Hut too (and they are the WORST). I can’t believe that happened! What a douchebag manager at the BR place!!! We love Papa Johns but I promise I will think of this if we decide to order in any night. Oh and whenever I order Papa Johns, they ALWAYS are late AND forget something (extra sauce, breadsticks, etc).

16 08 2010
Lexi

What’s even worse is that Papa Johns started in Indiana…you’d think the shops there would be top notch. Fear not, I have a copy cat recipe for you:

Special Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup margarine spread
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Microwave on 1/2 power for 20 seconds. Stir.
Makes 1/2 cup

16 08 2010
kjpugs

Yesss! Leave it to Lexi to solve my problems! 🙂

17 08 2010
Jill

I have only ever gotten take out from Papa John’s because I live to far to pick it up, but 90 minutes is the more ridiculous thing ever. Ick. And what crappy management. Frig. However I haven’t ordered a pizza from anywhere in about a year since I came across this dough recipe. It’s fabulous. And it can be made from scratch and on the table ready to eat in an hour, tops. Try it. My husband made it twice last week..mmmm, once with pesto sauce.

http://everybodylikessandwiches.com/2009/07/pizza-blanco-the-easiest-pizza-dough-in-the-world/

17 08 2010
MK

gahh the same exact thing happened to me with Dominos TWICE. Oh, and once I ordered online from Papa Johns and 2 hours later I call and they tell me that their online ordering system isn’t working and hung up. awesome! Gotta love “customer service”!

17 08 2010
Salt

OMG I cannot believe that someone actually posted the garlic sauce recipe on here. I am totally stealing it.

I’m sorry you got crap customer service, friend. That would be enough for me to never order from them again too. I just saw your tweet and I hope you get your revenge! 🙂

14 09 2010
Kathy

yeah p johns is known for horrible customer service, they promise to”deliver the best pizza” what a joke, they wont deliver to certain streets and when you call the locations they pawn you off to the next one. also the customer feedback is a joke i complained did get an email back saying someone would contact me shortly that was 2 weeks ago what a crappy company

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