A Donato’s Debate

We got pizza tonight for Baby C’s birthday. The girls had earned free pizzas at Pizza Hut from our library for a reading challenge, and the rest of us would do Donato’s. I had noticed on a Donato’s commercial the other day that their large pizzas were $10.45 right now, to celebrate the chain’s 45th birthday. So, while in the PH parking lot, I ordered two large pizzas from Donato’s. The total sounded a little high, but I was busy thinking about how I would get across town from one pizzeria to the other, so I didn’t question the girl right then. When I got to D’s, though, I asked the cashier if I got the $10.45 deal or not.

“Did you mention that when you ordered?”

Me: “It was advertised on T.V.”

“You have to mention it to get the deal.”

Before I finish my tale, I want to ask you- does that seem right? To offer a discount on a product ON TELEVISION but not grant it unless the customer remembers to say something?  I’m not good with these kinds of things so I don’t always have the right words to say in the moment I need them. Thankfully, I got a second chance, and was able to figure out what to say.

Down the street I realized they hadn’t given me the Coke I paid for, so I turned around and went back to the restaurant. When I pulled up to the window again, I asked to talk to the manager. He, again, gave me the “did you mention it” line, and I repeated that it was an advertised special. He finally was willing to give me one of my pizzas at the discounted price. I’m sure he thought he was being gracious, but I think I should have gotten both at that price. But, I was all out of fight, so I then left and came home. The pie still tasted good, even if I had to pay more than I thought I should.

Please comment on this. Was I in the wrong to ask for the discount? Were they in the wrong for not giving the discount on all their orders of large pizzas, when they’d offered that on t.v.? I’d love to hear what you think. And, if you should get a large pizza from Donato’s in the next few days, be sure to say in your loudest, firmest voice,

“I need to mention the $10.45 pizza deal!!!”

9 Replies to “A Donato’s Debate”

  1. I think the fact that you even knew about the special price at the time of pizza pick-up, and you were consequently making a purchase as a result of the ad demonstrates that you must have seen the ad. Why would the manager want alienate someone who was obviously responding to the ad? They should be gratified that the ad produced results instead of giving you a hard time.

  2. Try to catch the commercial again and see if it says that you have to mention the ad to get the deal. I think it’s pretty crappy that you didn’t get the full discount.
    B & S went to Pizza Hut last week and C wanted McDonalds. So, when B came in with the sack from McD’s – they told him that he couldn’t bring it in! They were afraid of cross-contamination!! They got up and left and said they will never go back there!

  3. OK. I know that sometimes we just don’t have the energy to fight the good fight, but that would have ticked me off to no end. It would have taken every fiber in my being to not ask for the manager…cancel my order, and then stand in front of him/her and call on my cell phone to reorder the pizza deal. Sheesh.
    Unfortunately, I think this is a sign of a trend to come though. I’ve noticed that a lot of places are doing whatever they can to cut costs/boost profits. The other day at Subway, I asked for extra napkins — I got one. At the grocery this week, I asked why they were packing the bags so heavy (the bagger said they were “urged” to use less bags). Apparently we now need to mention every deal we ever heard of to make sure we get the “promotional” price. It’s a sad day when you need a personal advocate to order a pizza. I miss customer service.

  4. I have experienced many similar situations. I would go to their website and comment to someone higher up than the Marion Store. Here is a link:

    http://donatos.com/feedback/index.asp

    I would focus on the customer service aspect. Whatever happened to the customer is always right? Seriously- Sara is right about cancelling and reordering your pizza.

    I have taken McDonald’s in to many places before for my daughter with a food allergy. There is no threat of cross conamination! That is totally crazy. I have actually taken it to Pizza Hut before as well. No one has ever said anything luckily! I would definitely complain about that to someone higher up as well. They lost your business. Don’t they want to make money?

    We actually won’t go to the old Arby’s in Marion because they wouldn’t let us order a sandwich without a bun (my daughter is allergic to their buns) They would not make any exceptions. I even asked for the manager. He wouldn’t budge. I cancelled my whole order and have never gone back. It was like 3 years ago- and I am still getting worked up about it! 🙂

  5. Ok – so I just got back from Scioto Shoe Mart. I was going to get a new pair of tennis shoes. I picked out the pair and was at the desk writing out a check ….. and another customer came up to pay for his shoes and he asked if his shoes were going on sale tomorrow? No – the clerk said – your pair is a clearance pair of shoes and won’t be reduced any more.
    So—- I asked – Will my shoes be on sale tomorrow?? With a big smile she said “Yes!”
    Well — I said – how much?
    20% (a savings of over $20.00)
    I said I will be back tomorrow. She then said that I could put $5.00 down and they would hold them for me. Which I did —- but she sure wasn’t going to give me that information on her own. If the other customer had not been there, she would have gladly taken my money!
    I told the guy – “Thank you!” and the clerk said “You’re Welcome!” (I think she was blonde)

    Go figure!

  6. That is ridiculous! It reminds me of a commercial I saw and they were making fun of the fact that the special was only at a certain time of day and you had to mention it – the commercial was against that practice.
    You definitely had the right to complain and I like Sarah’s idea about canceling your order and recalling it in.
    It’s easy to say that I would probably not have paid for the pizzas but I’m sure if it was actually happening to me I would have done what you did.
    What is going on with this world!?!

  7. My Kroger store has a Donatos just as you come in the door. They will make any pizza any way you like it and it is only $8.00. (take and bake).I think they are all medium size though. I usually just get one already made up and take it home and bake it myself. These pizzas are the same as the ones you get delivered and are really good. Also, at least once a day they bake one of their specialties and put it on a special “pull out shelf” and you can get a good “whiff” of it when you come in the door. It is already cut and ready for you to sample. Jack loves to go to Krogers when they do this. I never pass up the samples even if I don’t buy. Sometimes they also give a 2 Liter bottle of Coke products for free with the purchase of a pizza. I sometimes pick up one just to put in the freezer. You might look for a Kroger store near you and try it! I am like you and I would have not given up on getting the price mentioned on TV or I would have just walked out. They should have posted the price in the store also with the same offer.
    You did good. I’m proud of you!!

    This is a little long, but I had an experience sort of like that several years ago. I noticed that Kohl’s had a sale but it was on a Sunday and I didn’t shop on Sunday! I went in on Monday and asked them for the sale price, explaining that it was against my religious beliefs to shop on Sunday. This was really long ago, but as I recollect, they didn’t make any exceptions either but they were really nice about it. Keep standing for your principles!! You go girl!
    Betty

  8. This stinks, but this kind of thing happens here. PH usually states you have to provide an actual coupon and told us we have to print out and GIVE them the coupon or they will charge full price. But if the TV ad just says they are celebrating and that the price is $10, I would write a letter to their headquarters telling them what they did to you on your son’s first birthday. (I say “I”, but I have never done this). A friend of ours did that after we all had a terrible restaurant experience. She included a copy of the receipt and was refunded all the $ PLUS given a gift certificate for dinner for 2! I would have done what you did since it was C’s birthday party, and I would have wanted to just enjoy the night, but on a normal day, I would have told them to keep the pizzas and left to get something else fast. I would have mentioned to the mangaer that it’s bad business for such a small town to treat customers that way, and read his name aloud so that he would know his name might come up in a complaint. “Thank you, Steve, for the deal on one pizza, however I will not be a satisfied customer until I am allowed to pay the featured price for BOTH pizzas.” PH has medium pizzas (pizza Mia) for $5 if you get at least 3-for next time. 🙂

    My love said to tell you to call the Better Business Bureau and report this. If you have names of people you tried to resolve this with it helps.

    I hope C’s party was a hit other than the pizza snaffu! Happy Happy birthday cute little one.

  9. P.S. Asking for future sale tips in stores is a great idea! I started doing this and have had such a good time. I usually ask in a hushed voice with a nice smile “Is this going on sale soon?” and the sales girl acts like a pal and sneaks an employee printout to me with a grin. I hope this keeps happening. We got a 10% discount plus rebate plus $100 gift card on an appliance that way and only had to wait 4 days for the sale! 🙂

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