If we ran Pizza Hut, we’d adapt to the 21st century better


Well it took 20 years but I finally had a bad experience with Pizza Hut. And it happened when we tried to venture out our usual method for ordering.

Usually we phone in an order but this time we used the web to take advantage of any promotions they may have on the site. The ordering process was initially easy enough. But the first problem came at checkout when I couldn’t use a credit card. I was having my cousin pick up the pizza from the Pizza Hut by his place ( in Laurel on Route 1 by Whiskey Bottom Rd – no Pizza Hut delivers in my parents’ house’s area) and I wanted to be the one who paid. But it said I couldn’t pay online at checkout.

But alright fine… I’ll get him to pay up and I’ll pay him back. Ruins some of the “It’s on me effect,” but again, alright fine. Simple problem.

And the good news is that you can create an account after you finish where you can store your credit card info. From there, going forward, you’re good to pay. Which would be the case… If I could create the account. Unfortunately my house address wasn’t checking out with their address verifier program. And this house has been around for almost 8 years.

So much for creating the account. And then the error page had no back button and the page locked up so I had to close the window. Oh well.

I called up Pizza Hut to see if I could pay for the order I placed over the phone. And I was informed they had no record of that order. So they asked me to re-place it. Annoying. But fine- I placed the order again. Oh, and I still couldn’t pay for the order over the phone.

Then 10 minutes later my cousin calls and says there are two orders under my name and he needed to know which one to pick. That was double annoying because 1) my online order did go through, making my re-placing of the order pointless, and 2) the Pizza Hut people couldn’t identify that the orders were identical. Anyways, they figured it out and that was that.

Alright, so as far as the scope of this post goes, the events I’ve described so far should adequately make the point of why Pizza Hut needs to adopt to the 21st century. So I should just end the post here.

There’s no reason to get into the other events happening that night including Pizza Hut not sending the entire orders (yeah my cousin should have checked, but still). Or that the pizza was cut after we instructed for it not to have been (religious dietary restrictions). Or the initial offer of the manager to only refund the cost of the items they forgot to give us and nothing for the runaround (luckily they ultimately refunded most of the money – which they were also luckily able to do trouble free since the order was paid for via a credit card. God forbid the order be paid for via cash).

Naa.. No need to get into all that.

If we ran E-ZPass Maryland, we wouldn’t fine $25 per violation

If you pay a credit card late, you could be looking at.. what is it $40 fee? I don’t know if the credit card fees are still ridiculous, but even then, at the least, you would just be dealing with a $40-ish fee one at a time.  E-ZPass seems to think that like a credit card company, they should charge a hefty fee too if you make the mistake of not paying a violation within 30 days.

Fine, let’s say that’s moral.  The problem though is that with E-ZPass, you could have quite a few violations at one time if there’s an issue with the transponder or some other error.  That’s what happened to me in December. I had just gotten my new car and traded in my old one.  I called E-ZPass NY to notify them of the new vehicle and they told me that they can’t add on a temporary tag and have to wait until I get a permanent tag.  Well I didn’t get my permanent tag until late January so between late November and late January, on the few instances that the E-ZPass Maryland toll booth didn’t read my transponder, it couldn’t match my license plate to a transponder and sent me a violation.

All in all, there were 5 violations in question.  And when I didn’t pay within 30 days, a $25 fee was put on FOR EACH violation.  so on a toll which could be as low as $0.55, there was a I-don’t-know-how-many-thousand-percent increase violation.

I thought E-ZPass MD’s customer service might be helpful. Surely talking to humans who make simple human mistakes too would be a cause for understanding.  But alas, best she could do was reduce the fees down to $5 per violation.  A nice drop but still, that’s $25 for something which wasn’t my fault.  Yeah I didn’t pay the violation on time, but that original violation wasn’t my fault – it’s EZ-Pass NY’s policy. I don’t know how they handle it.

This is sort of off-topic but while we’re here, I may as well point out how sucky E-ZPassMD’s customer service is.  After a crazy long hold time (they tell you at the start it’ll be longer than 6 minutes – that’s it, the only detail they give you), I spoke with someone named Marika who first offered the 80% price drop proposal.  I asked to be transferred to a supervisor and after another crazy long wait, she said she found someone and transferred me. But that was of course voicemail.  I left my voicemail message for I don’t know who and then had to call back E-ZPass Maryland, wait a crazy long time again, and finally speak to someone again.

This person was more helpful. Her name was Lydia (ID# 10846). She explained better that the 80% drop was all they could do on their end, but also made me aware of the option to dispute with the MDTA.  She gave me their address (which is P.O. Box 17600, Baltimore, MD 21297 – I’m making you aware of it because when you come to this corrupt state and get a ridiculous fine, you too will need to reach out to them).  Also, she took down my complaint for the previous rep Marika not telling me she was transferring me to the voicemail of a supervisor and gave me a reference for the complaint. That was nice.  While I’m mad Marika didn’t give me enough details nor make me aware that she was transferring me to a voicemail (so I could have stopped her), I am more mad there was no supervisor around for me to talk to during both calls at 4-something PM on a Thursday.

Anyways, I paid the $25 violation fine plus the toll fees (the latter part I of course don’t have a problem with).  I emailed E-ZPass NY to see if they would be willing to help but if they don’t, I can live with $25 down the drain just to pad Maryland Transportation’s wallets.  And if I get a chance I’ll do a dispuate with MDTA.