This Frustrated Customer Embarrassed Pizza Hut On Twitter For Their Terrible Service
Social media can be a very powerful weapon when you have a beef with a company whose service has let you down.
Unlike a phone call or an email, platforms like Facebook and Twitter make your grievances visible. Because they can be seen by millions of people they are more than just customer complaints; they publicly shame the company for coming short and could dissuade others from ever using it again. It is why so many of them ask you to submit your complaints to them via Direct Message or e-mail instead – they want to make complaints a private matter and save themselves the potential embarrassment
This can be very empowering for customers. For example, had the customer in last year’s Comcast scandal simply called or e-mailed the provider about his frustrating conversation with a representative, the matter would have probably just gone to rest. However, because the audio was shared on social media and it was heard by millions of people, it forced Comcast to issue an apology and promise to amend its customer service policies.
Over the last few weeks, we got another glimpse at how social media can publicly show up a company that hasn’t fulfilled their duty to a customer. Alex Hudson, deputy editor at the Metro, ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut on June 5th but it was over 90 minutes late. He tweeted at them and they quickly replied asking him to e-mail about the issue.
— Pizza Hut DeliveryUK (@pizzahutdeliver) June 5, 2015
This is where it should have ended. But it was only the beginning of Mr. Hudson’s long battle with Pizza Hut. They didn’t get back to his email so he tweeted them again.
Five days later, he still hadn’t received a response. So, this time, he really publicly embarassed them in front of his 6000 followers.
@alexhuds Hi Alex, we are sorry about this. We will chase this up for you now. Thanks.
— Pizza Hut DeliveryUK (@pizzahutdeliver) June 10, 2015
And did it again the next day.
And again the next day, this time with a clock of how long it had taken since his original complaint.
— Alex Hudson (@alexhuds) June 12, 2015
His followers even began to get involved this time with others favouriting, retweeting and responding to the complaints.
But communication seemed to have totally broken down by this point.
@alexhuds We’re sorry you haven’t heard back yet. Could you email us more detail to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can look into it?
— Pizza Hut DeliveryUK (@pizzahutdeliver) June 12, 2015
Eventually, Pizza Hut found the email.
So it got sorted then, right? Well, not exactly. Alex’s reply then asked him to fill out a questionnaire with almost all of the information he had already provided them with when he placed his order in the first place.
— Alex Hudson (@alexhuds) June 13, 2015
Alex’s frustration eventually got Pizza Hut to cough up a £30 gift card and a refund after another e-mail exchange. Alex accepted the refund and asked Pizza Hut to give £30 to charity instead, which they agreed to. It also forced the chief marketing officer to issue an apology which said: “It is clear that there were delays, which are unacceptable. However we are putting in place extra processes to ensure this does not happen to anyone else now or in the future.”
It goes to show how calling the Pizza Hut contact number or sending them a private e-mail may not always be the best solution. Sometimes, putting a company’s flaws and failures out in the public domain instead can achieve better results for customers.