For What It’s Worth

Surprise! Surprise! (Third in a series.)

In today’s world, complaining is a popular activity. To verify this, go to any Internet site that allows response and read some of those responses.

So, I was not surprised to read that Domino’s Pizza receives a large number of complaints on its Facebook page. I seriously doubt that this is any different from what would be found on other sites for chain pizza operators (Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, etc.). Tastes and preferences vary and these chain operations are easy targets for those who wish to complain.

Whether or not the complaints are valid, Domino’s receives them in such large numbers that the company apparently has developed an automated response system that generally responds with an apology, a contact address and sometimes a case number for dissatisfied customers complaining about their orders.

Apparently, the automated response system does not recognize a compliment. So, recently when a customer registered a compliment with the company, she was surprised to receive, not a thank you, but an apology and a request to share her dissatisfaction so that the company could address the situation.

Finding this both surprising and amusing, I did a little site surfing and came ashore with some interesting information.

The customer, Jeaneth Manzaniita Tavares, on Aug. 7 wrote this compliment to Domino’s: “Best Pizza Ever! Pan Pizza! J Keep up the good work guys!” Computers, being the unfeeling monsters they are, did not detect the compliment as such, so this automated response seemed a bit bizarre: “So sorry about that! Please share some additional information with us at bit.ly/dpz_care and please mention reference # 1409193 so we can have this addressed.”

Hats off to Domino’s for its readiness to respond to complaints. However, the response, no doubt, was a surprise to Jeaneth. Domino’s is sorry to receive high praise?

As is often the case, there is more to this story than first meets the eye. The story really did not start with the compliment nor did it end there.

The compliment Jeaneth posted accompanied a posting of a picture of a Domino’s pizza. In reading some of the posted comments, I discovered one by Jeaneth that noted she has been a customer for years and loves the pizza. The reason she posted the picture was because she had received two free pizzas after previously posting a picture of a pizza that she was not satisfied with. “So they acted quickly gave me 2 free pizzas and I was very satisfied,” she wrote. “So I wanted to give them a positive feedback, since all the feedback were complains. I wanted to make them smile J”

To which Domino’s first responded with the apology. That, however, was followed by another response from Domino’s, which I found both amusing and clever. “No, we meant we were sorry it took Jeaneth so long to enjoy the best pizza ever. Think of all the pizza she’s likely had that wasn’t the best ever! Yeah, that’s it…. J Thanks so much for the kind words, Jeaneth.”

Now that’s a good delivery. This quick thinking probably was the result of a good tip from someone in the company.

If there is a moral to this story, it is probably something like “look before you leap or you may have a surprise landing.” In this case, her surprise landing turned out fine. But there is no guarantee that a surprise landing will have the fortunate outcome this woman experienced. You are better advised to look before you leap.

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