An Open Letter to Pizza Hut – Round II

Update: I apparently forgot to update this post after I managed to talk to customer service at the highest levels, where the ongoing customer service issues were finally addressed. What would have been a $2 gesture of good will ended up generating over $60 in expenses for Pizza Hut between the 2 coupons for free pizzas and the $40 in gift cards corporate sent my way.

As some of you may have seen, I posted an “open letter” to Pizza Hut a week ago (see the original post here). Although the initial issue has been addressed, there are several other issues that have not been addressed, nor has anyone connected with Pizza Hut Executive Customer Relations reached out to me.

It all started with the $10 per pizza special that Pizza Hut is running. On the coupon I found on Pizza Hut’s own website, it does not mention any exclusions except for double cheese on the up to 5 toppings that are included. In fact now, the offer is even better — $10 any pizza any size any toppings (see http://www.pizzahut.com/deals.html if you don’t believe me). Although the original issue that started the complaint process has been addressed, the continuing issues with the customer satisfaction hotline have not been addressed by anyone, including the internal escalation line and whoever responds to emails on the customermaniac email address and the twitter account.

What it boils down to is that on January 5, 2012, I called the Customer Satisfaction Hotline for Pizza Hut to ask why my original complaint of December 30 had not been addressed (since they specify a 3 business day or less response time). Imagine my surprise when the best they could do was mark it as “urgent” that the individual respond and re-send it via email. As I was not satisfied with the response, this is where the fun began — the initial call was a grand total of 2 hours and 14 minutes long — 4 minutes of that was actually talking to a person, with the other 2 hours and 10 minutes being the on hold time. At no time that night, despite trying to get to a supervisor from 5:30 pm until 9:06 pm did a single supervisor take the call, nor was the original call ever picked up. In fact, several agents told me that there were people that had been holding for a supervisor longer than me.

I did finally manage to get what one of the agents called an “internal escalation hotline” and the corporate office phone number after making numerous calls (I counted a total of close to 30 calls that night). Also that night, after numerous live tweets of my experience on the customer satisfaction hotline, the @pizzahut folks replied more than 2 hours later.

At 9:33 pm on January 5, I sent an email to the email address they provided (and let me tell you, I’m underwelmed by the lack of “personal” attention the email response provides, as it does not provide a name or phone number, being simply signed as the “Pizza Hut Cares Team”). By the next morning, after several wrong starts to the 800 number (as the customer satisfaction hotline has no idea when their own corporate office is open), and to the customer satisfaction hotline (which apparently doesn’t open until 1 pm), I was finally able to reach someone via the internal customer satisfaction hotline. That person assured me that my concerns would be addressed, and that someone would get back with me.

By this time, the original complaint has been addressed, but it’s amazing how easily Pizza Hut overlooks issues with its own mechanism for customer satisfaction and the failure to respond in a timely fashion.

I received a response from the Pizza Hut Cares team on Monday, January 9 at about 10:15 am — it’s pretty clear that they didn’t bother to read the email I sent, and that it was a form response. I replied back, again requesting that someone higher up in customer service contact me to discuss my experience with the Customer Satisfaction Hotline — as of tonight, there has still been no movement and no response to that email.

I’ve forwarded along the email, due to lack of response, this time cc’ing the CEO of Yum, Pizza Hut’s parent corporation. We’ll see if and when I receive a response to my email.

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