I just got off of the phone with one of my managers. She said that a customer called complaining that her pizza was, in her words, “raw”. She told the customer that we would take the pizza back and replace it. She said that they put it in the oven and ate it. She then goes on to say that they had gotten a “raw” pizza from Dominos before and sewed them and won. The customer wanted my manager to call me about what could be done then call her back, but instead talk to her husband. I told my manager that it sounds like a a bunch of BS but to be nice and try to calm them down. Explain to them that we use a conveyor oven which cooks all the pizzas at the same temperature for the same amount of time and no other customers have complained tonight. She called back and spoke to the husband. He said that his wife is at the hospital getting her stomach pumped and they were going to sue us and if I didn’t make it right. He then called back five minutes later and told my manager that they were having the pizza tested and were definitely suing me. He said that he was a business owner and had contacted his corporate attorney. The customer then called back another five minutes later and told my manager to tell me to not bother trying to contact him because his corporate lawyer told him not to talk to me until he meets with him tomorrow. Doesn’t this sound like a big load of crap? For one, what lawyer’s office is open this time of night and open over Memorial Day weekend? I bet they’re meeting tomorrow! Also, wouldn’t testing the pizza be useless since the wife said that they cooked the pizza more in their oven after they got it home? It was pretty funny how in the beginning they said they sued Dominos because the wife had to go to the hospital for the same thing then a little bit later the wife coincidently had to go get her stomach pumped again. This was after they realized they weren’t getting anything for free. Can you even get sick to the point where you have to have your stomach pumped for eating undercooked pizza dough? I usually take all complaints pretty seriously but this one just sounds really crazy! Do you guys think that I should take his threat of suing me seriously? I’m about 99.9999999% these people are out of their mind! Although with my luck, who knows, watch them really try to sue me. I’m in the process of trying to open a third location and that’s all I need is some crazy lawsuit like this to tie up what little extra money I have left right now in lawyer fees.
Why was the husband spending so much time talking with your manager when his wife was at the hospital getting her stomach pumped??? I would tell these low lifes …never mind what I would say , these kind of people piss me off.
Don’t sweat it, they will do nothing.
its a scam - take it with a grain of salt…do document the conversations tho, get the tele#…they are trying 2 get something for free…
IF they call again, mention to them you have forwarded their name & information to the Attorney General’s office (of your state) for their review…
I believe they will “cease & desist”…
I’m inclined to believe that it is a big grift. But, in an abundance of caution, I would file away the information and document every detail. Get a written statement from the manager and an yone else who spoke with the customers. Keep their order inforamtion as to what they got. Write down in that file the number of pizzas served, the time they ordered and the time delivered (roughly). Document the temperature of the ovens, and the cook time set on the ovens for that shift. Get your manager to confirm and sign off. That whole “she cooked it more” is a good line to keep and get witnessed . . . . heck, if you know a notary, get your employees’ statements notarized. M<ake it look really official and set the date of your investigation for courts.
If you hear back from them . . . . call the customer who ordered just before and just after theirs. If they are lyoal customers, ask if they had any complaints.
Anyone can sue anyone for anything. It comes down to proving the case and the attorney making a good argument. Someone will have to prove negligence or intent in order to get any damages. If the guy calls back to intimidate some more, send a certified letter requesting copies of all hospital/medical records as well as any statements made to police or doctors. If a lawsuit actually ensues, this will be called ‘discovery’.
“Well, Dominos has insurance, and will settle on false accusations just to save the costs of a lawsuit. Fortunately, we don’t carry insurance. Unfortunately for both of us, we have no assets, so even if you do win, you won’t get anything. Now please take the contents of your wife’s stomach and shove them up your Dominos. And as always, thank you for shopping at K-Mart.”
I have had calls like the one you received. My first response is “Let me call the heath inspector to pick up what is left of the food. I will have them test it for any thing that may have made you ill.” This usually stops everything. However the one case that the health inspector did test the food came back as “No evidence of contamination from the pizzeria. Suspect illness was due to an unclean home.”
now that the one i would do, in my neck of the woods
Last I heard it took at least 12 hours to see any signs of food poisoning in one’s system. So, if wifey’s sick, you might want to tell hubby to wash his knives a little more thoroughly next time before they make their PB&J sandwiches for lunch.
Also, follow Nick’s advice. It’s always been common procedure to call 10 customers before and 10 customers after their order to “follow up” on the product and service received. And yes… document everything.
I wish you would’ve gotten that pizza. I know it’s sneaky, unethical, immoral, and whatever else you want to put on it, but I was taught to ALWAYS get the pizza back to CYA just in case it actually was your restaurant’s fault (I didn’t just tell you that btw).
P.S. Insurance fraud is a crime. You might wanna give your local D.A. a call on Tuesday morning and let him know what’s up. This is probably happening more often than your store and Domino’s if it is a grift.
For the most part, j_r0kk is right. From my recent ServSafe training and the manual they give us, there is an incubation time for most bacterial infrections to ramp up. A couple can be as quick as 6 hours, but most are 12, 24 or longer. There are other kinds of food related illnesses, like caused by intoxications and contaminations. Straight pathogen would be an infection.
There are lots of things that can cause immediate illeness from bacteria toxins and such. Think about bacteria like salmonella or botulin or lysteria sitting in an unsafe environment for hours and then being eaten. The toxins produced are pretty fast-acting. Just bacteria ingested have to incubate, multiply up and crank outthe toxins in your system . . . . so that takes a while.
All that said, if you have documented cooler/freezer temps, a string of clear health inspections, and no other complaints of food illness they will be hard pressed to prove weither intent or negligence. Sign in bathroom saying employees have to wash hands, separate sinks for vegetable prep, thermometers in all coolers, soap and towels by every hand sink, chemicals stored away from and/or below service items, warewasher calibrated and chemicals are correct, sanitizer test strips used regularly and all those rules we hate getting gigged for . . . they are the bricks of the foundation of your case that they are wrong. If you are following all the rules, and have your documentation in place for training and such with employees, then you guys are in far stronger position than they want you to believe. Sure, your liability insurance company may end up settling, but that’s not always your call once you put in the claim . . . if it comes to that. If it does come to that, then do insist that the insurance company argue the case to save face and end the insanty with this person.
I’d call the other pizza restaurants in the area and see if they have pulled a similiar prank on them. Most likely, these other pizza shops will know exactly who you are talking about.
I had a lady call the police on us one time using the excuse that “We threw her son out of our store onto the concrete because he asked for a glass of water”. Lol. I figured she was setting us up for a lawsuit.
As far as getting sick from a pizza.
To my knowledge you won’t get sick from eating partially cooked pizza dough, pizza sauce, cheese, veggie toppings, or any of the meat toppings for that matter if they are precooked. Hell even if they ate some raw sausage, or beef the chance of them getting sick is really slim.
Unless you just have really bad product rotation, store cleanliness, bad refrigeration, etc.
If you DO end up in court . . . .call some of us as expert witnesses for conveyor pizzas and food handling techniques. I can tell you there would be some empassioned testimony!
We’d either shine like the sun or sink your boat to the bottom. Ain’t much we do half-way
Thanks guys for your insight on this situation. I’m pretty sure this is all of bunch of crap but I’ll still take all of the precautionary steps that you guys mentioned.
I had something like this happen 2 me but it was over some chicken I sold.We sell 1/4 legs baked and we take all temps. The guy came in when it was packed and said the chicken wasnt cooked all the way that he had bought yesterday and just to get him out the store I gave him his $ back. But when we checked the memories of my wife who runs the cash register and video we didnt sell chicken that whole day. SCAMMERS r out there beware!!! :oops: I was…
interesting that the jerk has time to be talking to you while his wife is in the ER almost fighting for her life. “Corporate America” will write a check blind just to keep peoples mouths shut. In todays stride for front page news when someone is ill from a restaraunt and there are ‘FACTS’ for it - then it is front page news and whichever restaraunt did it - goes under…
put your manager thru “dumb assess 101 training”, hang up on the jerk next time…as a manager of a pizza joint - i dont have time for stupid people on the other end of the phone. i would take name and number and offer to have the DA call him back and discuss fraud issues. I have a boss who will eat dough - while we are making dough balls. she is still alive and signing our pay checks!
I love when I get the call that starts, "I was in your pizza shop a couple of days ago… ". I am always courteous and polite but I ask a lot of questions while showing my ‘concern’ and desire to get all important information. I can usually tell after a minute whether or not it’s a legit complaint.
People know that for the most part, when you complain to a eating establishment, you’ll be showered with free food to keep you coming back.
When I worked for Red Lobster we had these people that would call and say they were “regular customers” that spent “lots of money” with us and complain about everything from having to walk by the smoking section on the way to their non-smoking table($20 Gift Certificate) to false complaints about service and food that generated close to $100 in Gift Certificates. The GC’s were sent to several addresses and the next time they tried we gave them the old, “it seems as though we cannot meet your expectations. Good luck finding a new place to scam” speech.
I saw a video on YouTube of some kids that showed you how to get free food at McD’s just by complaining.They talked to a manager and got free fries, burgers and a drink.
I am only commenting on this as I have not seen anyone give my response to this situation. While Nick and Patriot seemed somewhat concerned about the situation in a comment, everyone else basically made the decision to say FU to this customer. I understand how bad it sucks to get scammed, as well as someone who got sick from your food wouldn’t want YOUR food as compensation. That said, I would MUCH rather feed a scammer not once, not twice, but three times for free, than call a legitamite customer with a complaint a LIAR. It’s sometimes hard to discern one from the other, but the repercussions from calling someone a liar can be severe.
I too would be skeptical of anyone so sick they were calling from the hospital. But I certainly wouldn’t be talking to them about insurance fraud. Attitudes like this are why so many indys can’t seem to make up ground on the chains. The owner who has a FEW dollars to lose is the one on the phone NOT offering a refund, being combative. Put a manager on the phone that relies on customer satisfaction for their bonus and the response is so much different. If someone thinks your pizza made them sick, they will never order from you again. If you treat that situation right, thats the end of it. Call them a liar, and they’ll make it their lifes mission to let every one of your customers what happened to them. You may KNOW it wasn’t you pizza that made them sick, but if they think it was, what will their response be when you call them a liar?
I disagree, I know me personally if I had a problem at a place regardless of the way the management acted I will never go back there. Not saying kissing @ss wont help, but bad food bad taste bad biz wont be back…
Sorry but I’ve got no time for scammers.
Genuine complaints no problems. Fixed immedoately and with upmost respect and expedience.
One guy phoned me a couple days after he purchased and said I only gave him change of fifty instead of a hundred. I remembered the hundred as it was the only one that night and for a few weeks. We were flat out and short staffed and the till was over (but it was up and down for a fewdays due to staffing shortages and everyone going flat out) so I gave him the fifty.
A few weeks later he phoned about half an hour after we closed and wanted to know where his delivery was. I checked around and couldn’t find a docket and told him there were no outstanding orders. He was adamant he ordered and paid to me. Funny thing was we were closed 25 minutes the time he said he was in the shop and I didn’t serve a customer all night because we were flat out and I was on the make bench all night.
I asked why did you come in and order and then want it delivered?
He threatened me with going to the authorities because I ripped him off etc. We couldn’t taken his order anyway as that night we closed early as we sold out and had no dough left.
Next day the cook and I went through all our dockets and checked them against the order pads last numbers and guess what? … no missing dockets.
He came big and bold a couple weeks later and ordered. This time I served him because I was looking out for him. I took his order and then gave the docket to him and told him to choose either Domino’s or Pizza Hut to get them to make it. He asked why and I said “once bitten twice shy and not a fool a third time … get the message”.
Don’t care for him or his type. Don’t want them and don’t need them.
Hasn’t affected business not having him as we have increased 15% since this happened back in January.