Last Sunday, a small group of friends I was with wanted to order a pizza. In the Twin Cities, for years and years, there’s been one simple number to call for hot pizza, delivered fast. The Pizza Hut Hotline, 651-488-8888. And typically, it works just fine. But not last Sunday… it turned into a nightmare.
It began innocently enough. We called in our order and were given a 35-minute estimated delivery time. Fair enough. So we all got involved in a discussion to take our mind off our rumbling bellies. Soon we were really getting hungry and yet there was no knock on the door, no buzz-up sounding, nothing.
Then we noticed the time. Our original call had been made at 5:45 p.m. It was now past 7 p.m., over an hour and 15 minutes since our original call, far longer than the 35 minutes cited. So I called 651-488-8888 back up to see what the holdup was.
Doing so, I encountered a voice messaging system menu that told me to press 1 if I was calling in a new order, press 2 if it was regarding a problem with a previous order. So, I pressed 2. And was promptly disconnected. Must be a mistake, I figured. I called back again, pressed 2. Same result. On the third try, I actually heard someone on the other end pick up a receiver and set it back down.
I called back a fourth time and decided to press 1, just to get to a live person. Unfortunately, I was stuck with the most ill-trained telephone rep ever.
After explaining my MIA pizza, the rep asked, “What store did you order from, sir?”
“How should I know?” I replied. “I called this hotline and you guys connected me. I was never told. Just do it again.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but we need to know the store location to help you.”
“Not a minute ago,” I said, “you identified my order in your system. Don’t tell me you don’t know where to connect me.”
The rep then tried to put my call back into the voice message queue. In other words, option 2, where I’d already been hung up on three times.
“Oh no, don’t do that,” I said. “I’ve been hung up on enough by you guys. This isn’t that hard. Find my order and tell me why I’m not eating it right now. Find it and tell me where it is.”
“Sir, I don’t have that information. We’re doing the best we can for you.”
“So ‘your best’ basically means not helping, not solving the problem and not even knowing where my pizza is or what store to connect me to, when you’ve already pulled up my order in your system? Someone has to take some resposibility here and fix this problem. I’d like to speak to a manager, please.”
“I’m sorry, sir,” the insolent idiot replied, “but that’s not possible at this time.”
And the bastard hung up on me. A fourth time.
Long story short? We ended up driving to Domino’s. It was past 8:30 p.m. before we finally ate. And 11 p.m. when we all left.
The kicker? Even by 11 p.m., our original Pizza Hut order hadn’t arrived. It never arrived. Ever.
So Pizza Hut can kiss Al Gore on the lips and whistle Toby Keith songs for all I care, but I still won’t be using 651-488-8888 Pizza Hut Delivery Hotline again. Ever.
And neither should anyone else.