Does anyone have ideas or maybe a policy strictly for complaints? I am having problems that are very frustrating. EX.- A woman called yesterday for 2 ribs and 2 lasagnas. Lasagnas I use stouffers- opened new tray for her order. Looked so good i put a half piece in for my lunch. Used same container and sauce for hers. Literally basically ate exact lasagna as I served her. Today- 24 hrs later she calls me and says her lasagna was so bitter and had such bad aftertaste they spit out the one bite that was taken and she wants 2 more ribs instead- delivered. What do ya do?? I could go on and on with these scenarios as Im sure every one can. Any good resolutions??

Have some sort of refund/exhange policy.

Mine is:

if you are not happy with my pizza … return 3/4 of the pie for a full refund or exhange.

for dinners… return the uneaten portion for a full refund or exhange.

Good Luck!

Thank you- yes that does sound fair. I guess maybe i am just taking it personal, they seem to hit mee as soon as i walk through the door lately. Thanks for the response.

We give people a day(24hrs) to voice any displeasure about our product. After that there’s nothing we can do. Any complaints that we get we ask for the uneaten portion left and gather info with name and number. If one customer complains more than two times when we believe it to be a false complaint we let the customer know that it seems we cannot meet their needs and expectations and should go elsewhere.

Perception is reality in this business. If she said it was bitter than you treat it as it was. I was always taught to believe the customer and do what it takes to keep the customer. Not doing so will cost more in the long run than two orders of ribs.

Yes-I try to have that same view- ironically it just happened again. A customer just ordered a pizza sub 20 minutes ago- I personally made it he wanted extra pep. on it I covered both sides of the bun with double layers of pep. My driver is now bringing him a new one because the man calls back and said there was only 5 peppperonis. 5 or 45? The problem Im having is not only the feeling that they are wrong, but the lady with the ribs, I know her she was having people over for dinner. Then the snow started dumping down. I think people probably didnt show up and she would prefer ribs, so she gets them for free, the next day. This guy with the pizza sub, lives a block away how hard is it to scoop off the pepperoni and now have 4 times the amount. I guess Im just fuming about it and trying to stay the course. Normally its whatever it takes to make the customer happy. Lately its just seeming like the only thing they want is free food.

If you personally made the sub and you know you put sufficient pepperoni on it for a reasonable person to consider it extra pepperoni, then I would have kindly explained to the gentleman that you made the sub yourself and you did put twice the standard amount of pepperoni. Explain how many you put on a standard sub and how many you put on this one and suggest that if he still wants more he should add tripple or even quadruple pepperoni for his next sub.

I encounter this most often with people claming this when they order a pizza with extra cheese. They like to say that it’s not extra cheese, and I kindly explain to them that yes, a large pizza normally has 12 ounces of cheese and this one had 16 ounces of cheese. Of course I do this only when I am the one who actually made the pie so that there can be no confusion or miscommunication…

yeah ive had alot lately with extra chees on subs never on pizza. For pizza we put extra on top of the toppings. for subs ive had people call me back and say there was no cheese and they ordered extra. If I made it myself I try to stand firm without outright arguing and tell them to bring it back and if there is no cheese theyll get a new one. No one has brought one back yet but they are screaming profanities at me and hanging up. It really bothers me to think I could be losing customers, others times Im seeing red because I personally made it and I know it was right. A lady called fri@5 said she didnt get what she ordered. After alot of questions I figured out she ordered a gyro sub, wanted a gyro pita. Very little difference and she admitted fault. She still of course wanted us to deliver her a gyro pita now, free. When I told her due to the circum-thats all I got out before she told me to go “fxx” myself and hung up on me. I had to walk outside for awhile just to shake her off.

A lot of thease ppl know each other & once you provide a few with free stuff, more will follow. Also when you stand up to few ppl and tell’em fxx, they will pretty much all go away or simply behave. I had similar problem at car wash. ppl will wake up and come to the store and say “oh your change machine ate my $5.” They will just walk in to collect money. Once we started questioning a lot more, probably screwed up a cpouple legit ppl. the problem stopped. believe me they go tell each other. I think you are on right track. just stand up to the false complainters and your life will become much easier.

i would have made the lady at least pay half price for those ribs just to cover product cost since she was keeping the lasgna…

Now don’t take this too harsh but the customer isn’t always right :wink:

Yes we need to try to please our customers, but within reason.

I had a regular customer that always called in an order and every time she called she started with; “I hate to complain but…” After about 2 years of this, one day I told her; “No Mrs. … You like to complain and you complian every time you call…” She just laughed and said; “Yeah you’re right, but it gets me free stuff.”

just be consistent in your policy whatever you decide…I love the "extra, extra, extra"people who never think it is enough…we tell them that they are charged for every time they want “extra” and the amount is doubled, tripled, etc…they usually just say extra once after that, if at all…we use the same policy as td-vp and have cancelled a handful of customers accordingly…I had one guy say that he ordered a “bad pizza” last week and wanted to collect on that “free” pizza…sice I handle all customer complaints directly, I asked who he spoke with. He replied he was not sure…when I suggested maybe it was our other manager, Jane (the only females are waitresses or counter/phone) he replied “YES”. I told him to come down and it will be ready…when he came down I told this dirtbag to try this scam down the street…he didnt even say a word…CLASSIC!

I run into too many customers that are not only wrong but they aint quite right neither- thanks for all your input guys- finally busy now so hopefully no call backs!!! good luck to all-

On the other side of customer complaints. My first customer of the day today told me the reason he will never buy pizza from anyone but me is that he called and said his pizza was under cooked and I sent him a new one at no charge. He now buys pizza from me 3 time a week.

Brandy, How do you log complaints? Or do you?

I have definately “felt” the way you are feeling. But ya just really never know. Some days complaints don’t bother me at all. Then there are the times like you are going through which tick me off to no end.

We log our complaints.

As for your lasagna lady, I would have said we really need the food back to see where the problem was during our preparation process. I would be glad to replace it with two new lasagnas or the VALUE of the lasaganas. If your ribs are more she can pay the difference.

The pepperoni guy, I would say we put xxx amounts on our pizza sub. I will gladly replace it but I would like to have the sub back so we can see where our preparatuib went wrong. I don’t mind making you another one but we only put xxx amount of pepperoni on all our subs.

I try not to get too caught up in complaints. Really does it matter?

We had a factory that ordered every single week. At least 60 bucks a pop. They would have several separate orders and there was always a guy who claimed he wanted our 14" lunch special instead they would order him a 10". We replaced the pizza the next week “free” and this went on for about 8 weeks. (4 he paid) 4 he got free. Well we aren’t idiots, after the 2nd week we would ask are you sure it was a 10 and not 14. Yes Yes Yes. Well finally I was the one taking the order. I asked the gal are you sure. We had a huge discussion about the size. He called back and said he gave the gal enough money for the 14 he wanted the 14 …If he couldn’t have a credit he wanted me to bring back the difference he paid. (only a couple of bucks on our lunch special.)
I said nope, I took the order blah blah… He told me to go to hell and then she called back said I was a liar and they would never order again. They haven’t. Not once. It has been about 6-9 months.

I think I totally screwed up. I would much rather had the 60 bucks a week than not. I walk away being right but register is short 60 bucks. If I had to do over I would have just sent the 14" (charged for 10) and called it a day. Everyweek. I would have made them my favorite customers. Turned the whole situation around.

MOST people don’t know anything about the biz. They don’t know how to order, they don’t know the difference between the gyro and a sub. They don’t know what a 10 inch is compared to a 14 inch.
The majority of our customers have real complaints. They aren’t out there to scam the system. They for whatever reason don’t feel they got what they paid for.
So lets turn it around. Be nice. Win em over and remember them. The next time they call remember them. Acknowledge them and the last order. Say now you want the gyro right? Thanks for calling Mrs. Smith I will personally make your order.

Just my thoughts, now watch tomorrow is going to be a day of complaints. :slight_smile:

I have found more customers to be outrageously appreciative of our concern for our product quality than those who will take us to the cleaners. We’ve had only 5 or 6 over three years to to really screw us out of food. Only three customers have we had to admit that we had tried everything we know and just could not meet their expcetations after 5 consecutive complaints, and I took their replacement food, apologized profusely and gave their money back. Two continued ordering and took the food we brought them. One moved out of town the next week.

We provide “no questions asked” replacement if they will return the offending food item. No changing for higher value item. We will ask no questions the first two times in a three month period. We have very few scam artists since we started asking for the food back. We have two customers that we ask to check the ffod at time of delivery to be sure it is warm and to thier liking. After driver leaves, it’s over (they had every week for 5 weeks complained food was cold and inedible until we started this plan). they still feel we care about the food, and we get some assurance that we are taking it to them in good consition.

It is worth far more to me to have that customer bringing me business than to humiliate of scold them. I put the blame on me and my staff for not being the place or products they want or expect. I lost a few dollars in replacement food, but seem to preserve the general professional relationship with the marketplace.

ohhhh I like that, have them check the food before our driver leaves. Good… Great idea.

I think we have all been screwed by false complaints more than once.

Some people play the game to get free stuff while most are genuine. Extracting the wheat from the chaff is the trickiest bit.

We can all write a book on customer compalints and how we were screwed by this person or that.

I don’t completely agree with the adage that the customer is always right but in 99% of cases we ahve to adapt that stance to ensure you do lose a customer that is definite right.

We have (as most of you have also) taken steps that Daddio stated and have turned complaintants into long standing customers.

Our policy is that if someone phones to say we have made wrongly or there is something else wrong that is totally feesiable then we replace ASAP.

At other times as per an example last week when a lady phoned to complain about a pizza. She said they ordered a Meat Lovers (Pepperoni, Ham and Bacon) saying there was no meat on it. I asked what was her expectations and she said lots of meat. I explained to her our toppings and she then replied it didn’t have much. Knowing that I personally made this pizza I explained that all our toppings are consistent in quantity as we have a measurement standard for toppings and what she got was the same to everyone we haven’t had any other complaints. I offered her a replacement if they returned a portion so we could see if it was OK or not. We told her to keep the rest as she claimed she lived too far away to bring it back in that night for a replacement. A week later and she still hasn’t returned. The issue was fronted and an open offer was made which the customer was happy with at the time.

What we do on most complaints is that the staff pass them on to me, regardless how trivial they are. Once customers know they are talking to the owner they are in the most more concilatory in their manner and are at most happy with the outcome.

We log all compalints in a book which has a resolution section which when completed closes it off. Any genuine complaints are followed up with a “Sorry we slipped up” postcard that is either hand delievered with the replacement item or mailed out the next day. This card has a section for what was agreed to as, or what we feel is reasonable compensation. Sometimes customers just phone to let us know we made a mistake but they are happy to to have what they got. We automatically send them a card with a complimentary offer be it 10, 20 or whatever % off their next order, or a free drink or garlic bread, free delivery etc - whatever fits the bill for that said complaint. This is also done with any complaint where we cannot fix it straight away or where people say to fix it on their next order.

We have also taken steps to tell serial complaintants that it appears whatever we do that we cannot do good enough for them and that it is in their best interest that they find a new provider.

Unfortunately we are in the service industry and in a section where people have been conditioned to complain about the most trivial thing in a manner that they make out to be WWIII. These people would never dream about going to the major supermarkets and complain about regular price increases, buying a can of food that is now 15% less than before but with a higher price, or getting substandard fruit or veges etc, or go to MacDonalds and complain about how they have continually downsized their standard portions but increaded prices. They haven’t got the guts to take on the big boys but see small pizza operators as fair game.

Unfortunately this is the industry we are in and everyone has to set up a system for handling customers complaints the way that suits their own individual operations.

Whatever sytsem you do, you have to be consistent and acknowledge their complaint, determine an outcome, log the complaint, follow it up and close it off. Add sweet icing to the cake by sending out a “Sorry we slipped Up” card/letter.

A police friend said - in your job the customer is always right, but in mine the customer (the baddies) is always wrong :lol: