August 5, 2005

The Pizza Hut Ban

So last Friday I was responsible for dinner for a going away party. The menu? Pizza. Simple enough, right?

Previously for similar events where pizza was involved, we bought those "make it yourself" pizza kits from the grocery store which make having a pizza even more affordable than it normally is. So last week, after work, I went to the grocery store to go buy some pizza kits for 6 pizzas. Having to grab something on the way from work to the party, I had to stop by a Giant en route. To my dismay, they did not have the all inclusive pizza kits as they do at my ususal grocery store, but had each component which had to be purchased separately. After putting enough crusts, sauce, and cheese for 6 pizzas into my basket (They did not have any carts! And that surprisingly ties into my previous rant, but I digress...), I realized that the total grocery bill would be very similar if not more than how much I would spend at Pizza Hut using their special "Buy 1 at full price, and get up to 5 more for 5 bucks each" deal. So I returned all items to the shelves, and then had to lug several bags of chips and drinks to the counter using my arms, neck, and basket since all the carts had conveniently been "borrowed" already despite the fact there were no more than twenty other customers in the store. Plus, I think Pizza Hut pizza tastes better than the do it yourself variety (generally), and there is no work involved... so it was win-win.

And now, the "fun with Pizza Hut" evening begins.

In order to find out which Pizza Hut delivered, the internet was accessed, and after inputting the address, the website had not one, but two locations which apparently delivered to my address. Quite pleased with the prospect, I called one of the two, confirmed that they delivered to my address, and proceeded to order all six pizzas. After completing the order, I was then informed that they actually didn't deliver to my address. Slightly irritated, I hung up with them and called the second Pizza Hut because surely they delivered to my address... it did say so on the website. I went through the same process with them as I did with the first - first made sure they delivered, then ordered, and finally was then told they didn't deliver to me. I then asked for the number of a Pizza Hut who actually could deliver to my address, and I called that number. And they too could not deliver.

Finally, it was decided I place an order and pick up the pizza. The order was placed and I was told that the pizza would be ready in twenty minutes. Excellent news I thought. But then, traffic being unsually bad for a Friday afternoon, I arrived an at the Pizza Hut an hour after placing the order. I just hoped the pizza wasn't cold. I walked in, and gave the guy at the counter my phone number and my name, but he could not find it in the system. I then described the order to him, and he says, "I don't know of any order of 6 medium pizzas being placed, and I would know. Are you sure you are at the right Pizza Hut?"

Initially thinking I had actually come to the wrong place, I went back and confirmed that this actually was the correct Pizza Hut, and after a more thorough search in the complex Pizza Hut computer system, he was able to find my order only to tell me that it wasn't ready yet. It was at that moment I looked around the Pizza Hut to see very impatient people who had also placed orders quite some time earlier and were still waiting for their orders. So I sat there and waited. And waited. For fifteen minutes. All while getting annoyed because I had to take the guest of honor to the party, and it was more than an hour late of the scheduled start time, and people had arrived even earlier to suprise him when he arrived.

Finally, the pizza is ready, and the man at the counter gives me the pizza and proceeds to help the next people in line. But I realize that I had not yet paid for the pizza! And he didn't even know! So, here I am, compeltely fed up with Pizza Hut organization, already late for the party, and in order for me to pay for it, I have to wait in line again?!

So, guess what I did!

I walked off with the pizza!

No, I am lying. But I was extremely tempted to do so. But after I waited in line, and told the man at the counter I hadn't paid yet, he looked extremly grateful that I hadn't walked away. Too bad I didn't get a coupon for a free pizza or something!

So, the result of that day has led me to ban all future Pizza Hut purchases by me. Granted, I will still EAT Pizza Hut pizza when bought by others (it IS good stuff), but I will not buy any until they can get organized to the point where if somebody wants delivery, they can immediately tell if they deliver to the address AND when their in house computer system is capable of handling a simple name or phone number search to pull up an order with an at least 90% success rate.

Yes, I'm weird like that.

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