Domino’s Not Clear About How Daylight Saving Time Works

Donna decided to be all efficient and stuff. She knew that she needed some pizzas for a high school team event on Monday, November 4th, so she placed the online order the previous Friday. Seven pizzas at 2:30 on Monday afternoon. The pizzas weren’t ready, though. Why? The system had corrected her order for Daylight Saving Time, and it wouldn’t be ready until 2:30.

She explains:

[W]hen I showed up, one worker told me the pizzas weren’t ready because I had ordered them for 3:30 p.m. When I showed her the confirming email I had received, clearly saying 2:30 p.m., she called over another worker. He said it was because I had ordered the pizzas before Daylight Saving Time ended for pickup after Daylight Saving Time ended.

In other words, the Domino’s computer had automatically added an hour to my specified pickup time. And really, this does seem like the only possible explanation. Fortunately, they could still cancel my order, but my team members went hungry. I emailed Domino’s Customer Service to complain, and here’s their entire response:

“Thanks so much for taking the time to contact the Domino’s Pizza Customer Care Team. We apologize for the situation you have encountered and will forward this information to the responsible department for corrective action if needed.

“We are committed to your satisfaction and consider your feedback to be a gift.”

Their mistake had already lost them all my future business, but that blow-off pretty much forced me to send this to Consumerist.

We passed Donna’s complaint on to Domino’s, asking whether this could really happen and whether they could help in any way. Even though it wasn’t evident from the message that Donna received, Domino’s never meant for this to be their only response.

While Donna read it as a brush-off, the way things are supposed to work is that she receives this “thanks for your feedback” note, and then the franchisee gets back to her.

A Domino’s spokesman explained:

I can certainly see why [Donna] believes this to be a “blow off” response, but it’s not truly meant to be. We do like to respond to customers as quickly as possible, to let them know we’ve received their emails.

At the same time, Donna was receiving a phone call from Domino’s. She writes:

I got a phone call from an extremely professional member of Domino’s customer care team who apologized beautifully and offered me a gift card. She couldn’t say whether the problem was Daylight Saving time or not, though she promised to pass the issue along to their IT Department.

I thanked her for the apology, but I declined the gift card, because I’m not out any money and because she was calling only after hearing from the Consumerist.

It’s possible that the franchisee would have offered her a gift card or some other material apology once they got through to her, and getting Consumerist involved just moved the timeline up.

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  1. shmoolie says:

    Why would their system make it 4:30? 3:30 is 3:30 no matter what if the system’s clocks roll back like they should. if they don’t roll back it’s STILL 3:30 but her time would show 2:30. How can it go to 4:30?

    • mongo says:

      Yeah, not only stoopid code, Stoopid systems.

      CUSTOMERS live in local time. They know what the clock says and to set the clock back or forward. If the customer says 3:30, that’s what they mean. THAT’S WHAT TIME WE WILL EXPECT TO EAT. If they were off by an hour some of the team would be too early for pizza.

      That the computer has to adjust an offset of GMT time to get local time has no impact on the customer whatsoever.

      The most Domino’s had to do was add a line to the email reminder to the customer that clocks will be set back an hour.

      On the upside, they saved the team from having to eat Domino’s pizza.

    • nandre says:

      Because somewhere there is a low level library that is handling dates. Maybe it does date adding, maybe it verifies dates after translating them into date objects, but down there, that library is there. Programmers do not bandy strings about for dates.

      To the programmer using this library, they have a chunk of code that calls this low level library, and sets the date, but this programmer does not examine the low level function. Why should they? It’s documented and it’s function is known! Little does he know that down in this function is a chunk of code that some other programmer added, maybe it corrects for daylight savings, maybe it only does date math to test something, but does it in a way where DST sneaks in.

      And thus, a bug exists that no one intended or expected.

      • CommonC3nts says:

        That makes no sense. The date field should be hard coded to the entry and should not be part of a function that updates it with daylight savings time.
        These programmers had no idea what they were doing when they added that function to the field that should never be changed unless a person manually changes it.

        • mongo says:

          What makes no sense is talking the time that the customer requested and doing ANY adjustment on it.

          “I SAID 3:30!”

          If the systems need the time for reminders on messages whatever you adjust THAT – internal -back office – version of the time, not the time the customer requested.

          Think how they could have just sent a copy of the email to the store, “Thank you for order. It will ready at 3:30PM.”

          If they had to adjust the time the process happens, fine.
          You would never need to change “I need my order at 3:30PM” to something else, as in, “Errr, we think you really didn’t mean 3:30, You see, the clocks are going the change…”

  2. C0Y0TY says:

    I guess the computers’ clocks got caught in a… domino effect…

  3. RupturedDuck says:

    Dominos has four months to fix this. Someone needs to order a pizza the first Sunday in March next year. Around 1:30 am, local time.

  4. KevinBlah says:

    It’s Daylight Saving Time. It’s even correct in the quoted part of the post, yet the title, and Consumerist-added text, have it wrong.

  5. Raekwon says:

    I never thought it was that big a deal for developers to handle daylight saving time but after working QA on my company’s software it can be a nightmare. It seems every year we have some issue with DST in the code that takes forever to fix.

  6. CommonC3nts says:

    She does not say anything about calling in the morning to make sure the pizzas will be ready on time. That is standard procedure for anyone ordering pizza in advance.
    What kind of moron would not call in the morning to verify the order will be delivered on time????

    Anyways, dominios are also morons. They should have instantly offered to give her a free pizza party at a later date for doing this. The pizzas cost them like $3 a pizza anyways which is a small price to pay for their screw up.

    • mongo says:

      Yay! We’re back to counting on blaming the consumer again!

    • charmander says:

      Who would call in the morning to make sure the pizzas are ready on time when you have email verification that they will be? The consumer here is NOT to blame.