Today’s Object Lesson: Terra Nova Four Seasons Pizzeria

Today’s object lesson in how to lose a potential customer comes from Terra Nova Four Seasons Pizzeria in Kingston. Apparently under new ownership (at least that’s what it looked like when I was next-door on Friday), this place has been around a while. Since it was under new ownership, I grabbed a delivery menu while I was in the area the other day, with the intent of giving them a try.
I had intended to do it yesterday, but we went to see Borat instead, so I’d pretty much been jonesin’ for good pizza since Friday night when I picked up the menu. So this afternoon, after skipping lunch, I call them up for an early dinner order. I place the original order around 4:30 p.m., give or take, maybe closer to 4:45. In fact, let’s call it 4:45, just for simplicity’s sake, but understand that it was probably a little earlier than that. They tell me “20-30 minutes.” Excellent.
At 5:43 p.m., still waiting for my order, I call them up. The woman who answers the phone explains that “there was a problem with the pizza, and they had to remake it. It should be out there in about 15 minutes.” Excellent, I say, and hang up. I understand mistakes, believe me. I’ve worked at several pizza places in my past. OK, they should have proactively called me to inform me of the delay, but hey, it happens.
Around 6ish, I get a call from some teen-aged sounding girl, explaining that “there was a problem of some sort with my pizza, and they had re-made it, and were finishing up the sides now, and it would be out soon.” OK, she didn’t “get the memo.” No worries.
About 6:30, D is starting to grouse about how hungry she is. To put it perspective, when I first ordered the pizza, her plan was to “not hold me up since I was hungry, but she’d just re-heat the leftovers.” Now D is starving. Say, where is that pizza anyway?
At 6:45 I call them up, and a cook answers. I ask him “where my pizza is that I ordered two hours ago?” He tells me that “The ticket isn’t up on the oven, and the order isn’t in the waiting area, so the driver must have it.” I ask him if he’s sure, because I’ve been waiting for two hours and have been told twice that it’s “on its way” with no pizza in sight. He says he’s only just come on, and that he doesn’t know.
I ask him, “Since I’ve been waiting for two hours, how about you ask someone who’s been on for a little longer for certain?” He puts me on hold, and then comes back to assure me, “Yes, it’s on its way, it left a little while ago.”
I then ask, “How much of a discount did I get for waiting two hours for a twenty minute pizza?” He tells me, “Well, we can do something on your next pizza.” Now, at this stage of the game, I’m not certain there’s going to be a next pizza. We were ordering from them as a test of a new place, so we don’t know the quality of the pizza, and the quality of the service certainly leaves a little to be desired. I ask him if he’s certain he can’t do anything for me on this pizza — and a person with astute customer-service skills would be picking up on the tone of voice being used here — to which he replies, “No.”
OK, I said, cancel the pizza, don’t charge my card, and when the driver gets here, I’ll send him back. If two hours of waiting doesn’t warrant some sort of discount, then we’ll see if they like getting “zero” for their pizza instead of “some discounted figure”. The employee takes it in stride and the call ends.
About twenty minutes later, the driver knocks on the door. Poor kid. He’s basically the only guy doing deliveries, they’ve overcommitted their delivery area — if you’ve only got one driver, you certainly shouldn’t be sending drivers to houses fifteen minutes away. The rule of thumb I always heard was seven minutes. The limit of your delivery area should be a seven minute drive from the restaurant. I explain to the driver that it’s not his fault, but that the guys back at the shop had screwed the pooch big time on this one. He comments that “they do this shit all the time.”
Of that I have no doubt.
UPDATED: Apparently, the bastards decided to charge my American Express card anyway. Unfortunately for them, I reported it to Amex as a fraudulent charge — they never had my signature, and they completely failed to deliver the product they charged me for in the fashion in which they claimed they would — 20 to 30 minutes. So, not only does their customer service suck, but they’re willing to commit fraud to charge people when they’re not supposed to.

1 thought on “Today’s Object Lesson: Terra Nova Four Seasons Pizzeria

  1. This seems a bit harsh. If you understood mistakes and have worked in a pizzeria before…than you would not post a blog after 1 unfortunate experience. No??

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