Ok...before I begin this tirade that I'm about to launch into I want to make something abundantly clear: I am not the type of person who likes to return things. I feel bad returning things. I can count on one hand the number of items I've returned in my lifetime. I am also not the type of person who gives people who work in the service industry a hard time. Even if I get bad service, I have always just given people the benefit of the doubt. I try to take into account that everyone has rough days, maybe they don't feel well, and so on. In restaurants I always tip at least 20%. A server would have to flat out take a dump on my plate for me to give them any less. I am not saying all this to brag about how great I am. In fact, I'm not an overly nice person. But I have worked retail. My husband has had an extensive career in trying to placate customers. Our combined experience has taught us that, generally, John Q. Public is an asshole who likes to make himself feel important by giving people in the service sector a hard time. We go above and beyond to keep ourselves out of that group of people. Having said all that, let the tirade begin.
We've been ordering pizza almost weekly from Nero's here in Gainesville for about a year and a half now. For the first six months every pizza we got was awesome. Plus, every Thursday is buy one get one free night. Add to that the fact that we love to support local businesses, we really thought we had found our pizza place. But within the last nine months or so the service has gotten kind of iffy. At first it was no big deal....simple things like messed up topping orders, or "funny" tasting crust. Then the problem escalated and we got a pizza with raw bacon on it. All this time we never said anything, we didn't complain, we didn't return it asking for our money back. We just hoped they were having an off day and things would be back on track soon. What happened today though was the last straw.
Before leaving work, Jay called in our order and planned on picking it up on his way home. (Nero's is just a few minutes from our house and about twenty minutes from his store.) When he arrived, there was some type of inspector looking at the gas ovens. While our pizzas were in the oven baking, they turned off the gas so the inspector could get a good view of everything. When it was time to turn the gas back on no one could figure out how to do it. So our pizzas were left in an oven that was off for about fifteen minutes. Once the gas situation was fixed and the pizzas were done, they were brought to Jay so he could take his pizzas, pay, and leave. The waitress showed them to Jay and he noticed that one was single pepperoni and it was supposed to be double. He mentions this to the girl and she says, "Oh, I'll go fix that for you." She takes it back to the "chef" who throws some cold pepperoni on it and looks at Jay and says, "There. Don't say I never did anything for you." When Jay asked him to warm it up, the "chef" acted like Jay had asked for a lung.
Now let me interrupt this story for a moment so I can add my two cents. When Jay saw the pizzas he could tell, that since the baking had been interrupted, they weren't going to be good. But he also knew the kids were hungry and wanting dinner, and he didn't feel like waiting around any longer. But wouldn't it have been nice if the folks at Nero's had offered to give us a discount on the sub par pizzas, or make us two fresh pizzas instead? They didn't offer to do either.
When Jay got home we all anxiously dug into the pizzas---and it was bad. I couldn't finish mine so I threw it to the dog, who also turned her nose up at it. Keep in mind, this is the animal that regularly eats poop out of the cat box--she isn't real picky. After the girl just got up and walked away from the table, we decided even the kids weren't going to eat them so we should just return them, get our money back, and go to Dominoes since we had coupons anyway.
When Jay gets to the restaurant, the "manager" looks in the boxes and says, "I can't give you your money back--these pizzas have been half-eaten." To which Jay replies, "Of course they've been eaten. My family was starving so we all took a piece but couldn't finish it because it's awful. I can't believe that you, knowing what happened to these pizzas, are giving me a hard time about this."
Now here is where I present Jay with the award for Best Smart Ass comment of the day. He takes the Dominoes coupon out of his pocket, flashes it at the guy and says, "And to prove to you that my family is still hungry, I'm taking the money you are returning to me and I'm on my way to pick up two Dominoes pizzas---and everyone knows Dominoes is gross!" Needless to say, he got his money back.
Again, I want to reiterate how my family does NOT normally do this sort of thing and I hate that I have to speak so poorly of a local small business. I go out of my way to spend my money locally whenever I can. But really, how much more should we have put up with? It was no longer just an isolated incident here and there. It had become a series of shitty pizzas and appalling service. Well, no more. There are a few other local places we frequent and when all else fails we can always go to Dominoes. Because, even though their pizza is pretty gross, at least I know what to expect.