A Belated, Albeit Still Current, Dismissal of Domino’s

November 22, 2011 at 7:00 AM (Customer Service, Food) (, , , )

Yesterday, I saw a tweet about Domino’s introducing their new gourmet cheesy bread to appeal to consumer palates that are “evolving to such tastes.” Won’t lie: if this were to have taken place a couple years ago, I probably would have been eager to try the spinach and feta, or even the supposed souped-up cheese-only upgrade. Instead, today I was only reminded of how long it’s been since I gave up on the chain forever and ever, following a fatal last straw. Curious? Read on.

I used to worship Domino’s cheesy bread. “Party in my mouth” was just one of many, many happy ways to describe how I felt about the carb-heavy, cheesy, garlicky calories. Oftentimes when I called for delivery, I’d only order the pizza so I’d meet the minimum charge required for delivery. Sometimes I didn’t even try to kid myself and just ordered two boxes of cheesy bread. Given that I was still dancing during most of my Domino’s era, I could afford to enjoy this diet and not grow to the size of a house. Yes, life at BU was good.

Then I moved deep into the heart of a Brookline neighborhood, no longer a stone’s throw from BU’s campus. And the Golden Age came to an end.

It was my first night in my current place, where I’ve resided for more than a year, now, and I had no internet, little furniture, and little to no interest in cooking my own dinner. I didn’t worry, however, knowing that approximately 35 minutes were all I’d need before I could enjoy some of my beloved cheesy bread. I called up my local Domino’s and placed my order. When they went to confirm my address, I corrected them with my latest place of residence.

“Oh, uh, we don’t deliver that far.”

“Okay, can you connect me to a store that does?”

“It doesn’t work like that. You have to look it up online.”

“Well, I don’t have internet access. Is there another number I can call to find out who does deliver to me?”

“You could call corporate…”

Fine. I was hungry and still determined to not cook. I called corporate, gave them my address, and took down the number they gave me. I hung up and dialed the number… to find myself back on the phone with the original location who claimed to not deliver to me.

“Hi, I’d like to place and order for delivery, please.”

(After taking my number and address) “I’m sorry, we don’t deliver to that address.”

“I just got off the phone with corporate, and they said you do.”

(A mildly uncomfortable pause) “Okay, well, it’s going to take us, like, 80 minutes.”

“That’s fine” (it wasn’t, but what was I going to do?).

I placed my order – cheesy bread (natch) and a small fancy-pants pizza that was being advertised at the time (tried to see if it still exists, but the Domino’s website wasn’t cooperating) – and sat back and waited. Sure enough, after an excruciatingly long hour and 20 minutes passed, I heard the buzzer. I paid the delivery person, took the boxes and skedaddled inside to feast. I shelved the pizza box, focusing my salivating attention on the smaller box, sure to contain my cheesy bread. I opened it, and –

Let’s take a moment. Do you remember that customer complaint letter to Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines? Let me pull out a particular excerpt with which I identify all too easily, following the experience I’m recounting to you now:

Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat their with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about. Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing.

Buffalo chicken kickers. Buffalo [expletive]ing chicken kickers. After all that back-and-forth and waiting with bated breath, I had, in front of me, a box of food that I couldn’t even eat (buffalo wings are too spicy for my tender palate). To say I was livid would be polite. I called the store back immediately, as the delivery man had already gone, to demand a remedy to this outrage. After being asked what I wanted them to do about it (really?!), I said that I wanted a delivery of cheesy bread – and that I wanted the next cheesy bread purchase comped (this was not the first time my poor culinary delight had been forgotten). I was promised both, and once again I found myself sitting and waiting for my dinner.

Not 30 minutes later, I had company. Before letting the delivery guy go, I confirmed that he had indeed brought me cheesy bread. At last, somewhere between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m., after a long day of moving, I had my dinner. I opened the box, finally beginning to relax knowing that I could still get my fix.

Only the cheesy bread had been rushed through the oven: the top looked like it had barely been heated. Even my trophy for all my efforts was tarnished and I couldn’t enjoy that. I should have called to complain again, or at the very least written my own letter of complaint that would have made Sir Richard think that he had it easy, but I was too exhausted and hungry. Defeated, I sat in my apartment, alone, eating crappy cheesy bread – oh, and that pizza wasn’t great, either. I never ordered that comped cheesy bread. I was done. To this day I still refuse to order it.

So Domino’s, good luck with your new gourmet cheesy bread. Maybe I’ll hear how it turns out through one grapevine or another, because I sure won’t be ordering it – or anything else on the menu – for myself.

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