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What would you do if the customer was short .25?


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Initial post: Oct 20, 2012 6:48:19 PM PDT
SPQQKY says:
We recently went on an outing from work and one of the guys mentioned that he also delivered pizza at night. He said that if a customer was even .25 short that he would not leave the delivery. The company policy is all or nothing, so he is expected to have the money for the complete order upon his return or the returned order to be shared by those working or thrown away. The 3 women on the outing all said they would put in the .25 rather than deprive a family of a meal, but the 3 guys all said they would not leave the order because the customers are told their order total, and the person should have adjusted their order once they were told the price (drop a topping or soda, or order smaller), and if they are already short a quarter then you're not even getting a tip for delivering. The only exception being a regular customer that you delivered to. I thought it was strange that of the 6 people the 3 women all agreed as did the 3 men. If you were the delivery person would you put in the .25 or return the order?

Posted on Oct 20, 2012 6:59:37 PM PDT
No tip and lose a quarter also? I can see how he could be a little pissed. Depends on how rude the customer was, some people will try to get away with whatever they can.

As far as company policy, I would think the company would rather take the money minus .25 than waste a whole pizza for no money.

Posted on Oct 20, 2012 7:09:49 PM PDT
Green Meanie says:
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Posted on Oct 20, 2012 7:20:12 PM PDT
HJ1115 says:
I can't imagine it happens all that often, so yeah, I would probably throw in the quarter. Now, if it started happening all the time, I would quit doing it. Pizza delivery drivers don't make enough to be doing that...

But overall, I think it's up to the driver and whatever they are comfortable with. If someone wants to do it, the company shouldn't care. If they don't want to do it, they should be judged negatively for that either.

Posted on Oct 20, 2012 7:40:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 20, 2012 7:41:04 PM PDT
Serendipity says:
I don't see why anyone would order a pizza knowing they were .25c short. If you order online it system tells you the price minus the tip, and if you order by phone/text, you can always ask the price minus the tip. So there's no excuse!!! Of course as one poster said some people will try to get away with anything, but at least the company and the delievery guys are wise to it.

Posted on Oct 20, 2012 7:58:22 PM PDT
I would probably not give them the pizza. I don't have the money to chip in and not get anything every time someone didn't check to make sure they have enough money before the order is finalized. If it were a regular customer who usually tips well, then I might, if I had it on me.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 7:58:56 PM PDT
Well, being that pizza delivery doesn't pay much, I would say "one moment" head back to my car pizzas in hand, call my boss to see if he wanted to kick in the quarter. In the meantime, I bet cheapo at the door is looking for that quarter and a tip, praying nothing bad is being done to the pizzas. I'm not the type to do something, but would want him/her worrying over it.

The next time I delivered there, if no quarter, I would say "one moment" head back to my car and drive away.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 8:17:12 PM PDT
Firefly says:
Piss poor excuse for a spoof on another thread; however, it appears to be working as a troll thread so I guess congrats are in order after all.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 8:20:41 PM PDT
So now the driver has to essentially pay THEM to take the pizza?
How exactly could that work over the long haul>
NOt sure if it was a gender thing, but I would NOT just give it to them. But maybe the women that your surveyed just didn't want the drama. When I have ordered in the past, many of the drivers will hand over the pizza first and then take the cash (so that their hands are free to count it). Many have walked down the stairs WHILE counting it. If it was short, they would have to come all the way back and ring the bell for the quarter. It might not be worth it in the short term. Better (IMO) to just black list that address when you get back.

But I do agree with all that stated that the cost of the delivery is told to the customer before the call has ended so there really isn't much of an excuse to not have the money. The driver was not depriving the family of the dinner, the caller who did not have the money was the one who did that.
If they would have told the person on the phone when they placed the call, the order taker probably could have found an option that fit within the budget. (i.e. one topping instead of two, no sodas, smaller pizza, no breadsticks or what have you). Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that NO ONE IN THE HOUSE had any change lying around someplace. Since most deliveries take at least 20 minutes there was plenty of time to locate change in the ashtray, in the couch cushions, the piggy banks....
If that was a no go, what about a checks? They could even call the store and pay on the phone and the driver could have just had them sign the reciept.... If money is so tight that none of those options were viable, they probably should not order out.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 8:33:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 20, 2012 8:34:30 PM PDT
self says:
This type of thing seems to be a growing trend and it's not cute. Three times recently I've been at check out lines and the person ahead of me will have something, usually a hot food item, and not have quite enough to pay for it. Then look to me or someone else to pay for it. I always tell the clerk I will make up the difference just to get my order paid for and get going. The clerks will usually refuse my few cents. The clerks have seen it all before and are not amused. Neither am I. It is hard to be sympathetic when you feel you are being scammed. Even if it just a few cents.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 8:51:05 PM PDT
>>>>
I thought it was strange that of the 6 people the 3 women all agreed as did the 3 men.
<<<<

Was gender the only commonality?

How about age? Job history? Marital and parental status? Income level?

>>>>
If you were the delivery person would you put in the .25 or return the order?
<<<<

It's more complicated than that. The actual delivery person in this story is someone who's working a second job. Money is obviously tight for them. They're trying to make extra money, not perform charity work. A quarter her, a quarter there can make a big difference in their life.

On the other hand, I'm not in that same financial position, so a quarter might not mean as much to me.

>>>>
The 3 women on the outing all said they would put in the .25 rather than deprive a family of a meal
<<<<

So it was for a family meal? That might make a difference to me. A family with hungry kids, and a father who's going to be humiliated in front of his kids over 25-cents is different than some other possibilities.

The story changes if it's:
>A single, 30-something guy in a nice condo
>A grandmotherly woman with an old man hollering at her from the other room
>A flirtatious cutie with a nice cleavage
>A snot-nosed, bratty teen who's parents don't seem to be home

All those things could make a difference to me.

Another way to look at this story is that three people empathized with the person ordering the pizza, and three people empathized with the broke guy who's trying to make ends meet by delivering pizza.

And, btw, this isn't an isolated situation. It happens many times in retail situations. And not just involving food.

Generally, I'm going to side with following the rules. The line has to be drawn somewhere. But I'm also open to the idea that there could be exceptional cases in which there needs to be some flexibility.

But let's not forget, it wasn't just 25-cents short. It was 25-cents, and no tip, and it impacts someone who needs money so badly that they're delivering pizzas for a second job.

Posted on Oct 20, 2012 9:41:19 PM PDT
A customer says:
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Posted on Oct 21, 2012 6:49:36 AM PDT
B. Perry says:
The driver should open the pizza, take a big bite out of a slice and put it back in, and pay the quarter. The buyer will have sufficient money the next time.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 7:06:25 AM PDT
B. Bachman says:
Does nobody see the obvious here?
It is redistribution of Pizza and delivery guys money. Come on this is normal now!

Sorry couldn't resist....

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 7:15:01 AM PDT
GadgetDon says:
I'd probably kick it in once (per customer). A second time, probably not. If it's a regular customer (who normally has the money and particularly if they normally tip), absolute kick in.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 7:35:05 AM PDT
gotmoretoys says:
They aren't .25˘ short, they are $2.25 short. Delivery folk don't have a lot of discretionary income and it invites abuse.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 7:38:19 AM PDT
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Posted on Oct 21, 2012 7:44:55 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 7:55:04 AM PDT
Gratitude says:
You know the price of the items when you place your order so although it may be uncomfortable in dealing with conflict, I think it's appropriate to not leave the order. Perhaps offer to remove a soda, a side or one pizza so that they have enough for at least some of the food. Even if I had to explain that after being faced with this several times of paying the difference out of your own pocket and then getting taxed on the tip that you aren't receiving, you are losing money delivering in situations like this. If it happened ONE time in my delivery career, I could easily cough it up but if it happens several times and to your colleages, then I think it's happening a bit too often. You don't walk in a grocery store and expect to leave with all of your groceries if you are 25cents short. You put something back. Same concept.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 8:19:11 AM PDT
Not a good policy at best. Good will should come into play."Next Time We Will let you give us the Quarter.".
I doubt the veracity of this employee, the driver.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 9:26:44 AM PDT
WakkyWabbit says:
I would not make a big deal out of it, smile and thank him. I would either deduct the quarter from tips or make a personal donation. I feel it is better to take the initial small loss with the potential gain of a repeat, well tipping customer by leaving the patron with a positive customer experience.

Since I am not a delivery driver, it is easy for me to make such a statement. I imagine they must have to deal with a multitude of frustrating customers and situations. After seeing the way some of my co-workers treat delivery drivers, I am surprised that local eateries will still deliver to them.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 9:42:37 AM PDT
c---kuta says:
Most places charge delivery.

With that said, I'm not that much of a prick that I wouldn't give a quarter or a dime or a nickel. I have done it before in other settings and I am sure I will do it again.

However if I were a pizza man and a fat pig of a person answered the door and could not fully pay for the pie I would have no problem denying that person his meal. His fat reserves can provide for him until he can earn more funds.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 9:56:38 AM PDT
Kim says:
.25˘ = 1/4 ˘ where 25˘ = $.25 = a quarter.
Just something I see a lot and it bothers me. Two people on this thread used the .25˘
but you can see it at stores too.

If the people were nice I would give them the quarter if I had it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 10:07:44 AM PDT
>>>>
I doubt the veracity of this employee, the driver.
<<<<

Well now that this issue has been breached...

While there are pizza delivery drivers who are of great character, this sub-entry-level job will have some who do not have great character. If you're the employer, can you allow your employee to short you on their word that there was good reason? How do you know the driver isn't making it up that the customer was short, and the driver is just pocketing some money?

So essentially that means that the restaurant isn't going to take the hit. The driver is going to have to take the hit as a matter of policy.

>>>>
Good will should come into play.
<<<<

People who have to deliver pizza for a living are not well-off. A quarter here, and a quarter there is not something they can afford. And as pointed out by others, there's no tip, either, so this is more like $2.25 here, and $2.25 there for someone who likely can't afford it.

>>>>
The driver should open the pizza, take a big bite out of a slice and put it back in, and pay the quarter.
<<<<

While there's a level of justice to the concept of the driver essentially holding back a quarter's worth of the order, this implementation is just gross, and a violation of health codes.

There might be a situation in which offering to leave the pizza if they give you a slice might be a good compromise. It allows the customer some dignity in that they're not getting a hand-out they don't deserve, and the delivery person gets something of value in lieu of the missing $2.25, but it's not an overall good policy.

First, it would be predicated on the delivery person not already having access to free pizza. He may have just split a mistake back at the restaurant. He may not want to eat more pizza. He may have heath issues that preclude snacking on pizza outside of mealtime. In those cases, holding-back a slice of pizza is of no value to the driver.

And if it became known that this was the policy, some guy might say to himself, "Hmmm. I'm short 50-cents, but I'll just go ahead and order because they'll just keep 2 slices, and I never finish the pie anyway." That can lead to the customer who's short from being a once-a-week (or even less frequent) issue that the driver faces, to being an issue they face multiple times a night.

>>>>
I would not make a big deal out of it, smile and thank him. I would either deduct the quarter from tips or make a personal donation. I feel it is better to take the initial small loss with the potential gain of a repeat, well tipping customer by leaving the patron with a positive customer experience.
<<<<

That's one possibility of how it could play-out long-term. But it certainly is not how it always will play-out. I'd suggest that this may even be an unlikely result.

Reconsider it in this light: If on your next payday, your boss said to you, "I was $25 short this week," how would this affect you? Would you just shrug it off, and hope that your relationship with your boss will be stronger in the future because of the positive experience?

The line needs to be drawn somewhere. There may be situations in which some flexibility may be called for, especially when there may be doubt as to where a line is. But in this case, the price of the pizza is known. The price plus appropriate tip may be a little foggy, but the price of the pizza is known.

And it's not the pizza restaurant that has to make-up the difference. It's not coming out of their margin. It's coming straight out of the pocket of someone who has to deliver pizzas to make a living.

I would suggest that in most situations, someone who is ordering pizza for delivery is better-off than many pizza delivery drivers. Expecting the pizza delivery person to donate money to someone who may be better-off than they are is just not cool.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 10:21:38 AM PDT
you don't know it's their second job, it could be their first job.
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Discussion in:  Gold Box forum
Participants:  59
Total posts:  114
Initial post:  Oct 20, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 29, 2012

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