Meet The Coupon-Throwing Papa John's Owner From Hell

Papa John’s wouldn’t let reader Adi redeem her coupon for a $9.99 extra-large pizza online, so she trekked over to the nearest store in Weymouth, Massachusetts, where she met the franchise owner from hell. The owner insisted that the coupon didn’t apply to online orders, so Adi asked to cancel her online order and re-order her pizza in person to get the discount. This prompted the owner to angrily throw the coupon at Adi, before throwing away her ready-made pizza. And was just the start of the fun…

Adi writes:

I ordered a pizza online tonight, and since there was no field to enter my coupon, I brought my coupon to the store. The staff member at the register was unsure how to enter it, so she got someone else to help me.

When I showed her the coupon in question, this woman informed me I couldn’t use it. I asked why and she said I ordered online. I re-read the coupon and when I pointed out there was no online exclusion she said it didn’t say it COULD be used online. I said that unless there was a printed exclusion, it should be acceptable. She refused, and I said that I would like to cancel my previous order and re-order my pizza using the coupon. Her answer was, “Fine. You can wait.” She threw the coupon back across the counter and I asked, “Isn’t the pizza already made? You’re going to throw it away and make a new one?” She replied that she was and after commenting that that was ridiculous, I stepped back to wait. She then yelled, “What do you want?” I began to answer and she interrupted me, yelling, “I can’t HEAR you.” I spoke louder and placed my order and she held out her hand for the coupon. I handed her the page of coupons and again she threw it back, saying, “You have to tell me which one.” I pointed it out for the third time, and she typed in the code and then threw the page away. I asked for the remaining coupons back and she snapped, “I’m not your secretary!”

At this point I asked if she were a manager and she informed me she was the co-owner. I was shocked a business owner would take part in such a display of such deplorable customer service. Of course, an employee would be fired in a minute for such belligerence.

When I got home I relayed the experience to my boyfriend, who insisted on calling and demanding an apology. After speaking to the owner, she refused to apologize and he informed her we would be contacting corporate. I realize she is a franchise owner, but I assume she is NOT the sort of person you want as the face of your company, and I suggest action should be taken, perhaps in the form of customer service training. I would also like to be compensated for my time and for the fact that I endured such vitriolic interaction.

I’ve been a Papa John’s customer for a few years, and have never had a problem before, but something of this nature makes me think about never stepping foot in one of your stores ever again.

(Photo: LiveU4)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Pro-Pain says:

    Wow, that’s crazy! Some people are just a mental disaster I guess. Papa Johns is gross though. Here is St. Louis it is considered the WORST pizza joint out of them all.

  2. jusooho says:

    As a Consumerist formality I would like to state the following

    1) You should not buy Papa John’s Pizza, you should go to small hole-in-wall restaurant which is in my hometown and has the best pizza in the world

    2) You should not buy Papa John’s Pizza, you should make it at home for $0.36 a serving

    Now that is out of the way, we can discuss the actual issue, which is that the store did not accept a coupon, and wasted food just to spite customer…

  3. henrygates says:

    Sometimes people are just jerks!

  4. Oface says:

    Wow. What a crazy bitch.

    How much you want to bet she’s not REALLY the co-owner?

  5. dragonfire81 says:

    You likely caught someone on a bad day. If she really was the owner, she’s likely been stressing a ton over money lately.

    Not that I am saying this justifies what she did, but may explain why she acted that way.

  6. Jay Slatkin says:

    Why do people assume that EVERYONE lives next to some amazing hole in the wall pizza joint?

  7. trvstro says:


    if she’s stressing over money then she shouldn’t be wasting food.

  8. MelL says:

    @Jay Slatkin: A small hole-in-wall in jusooho’s hometown, not the OP’s. :p

  9. jpx72x says:

    @jusooho: I laughed.

  10. TWinter says:

    It sounds like that woman had some anger issues that no customer service training is going to solve.

  11. I would have gotten as far as, “You’re going to throw the pizza out?” before I left. Pretty insane… but it’s i Weymouth, which explains half of the problem to me.

  12. acutusnothus says:

    Having done a fair amount of corporate a/v work for Papa Johns in years past, and meeting the conscientious owner himself on a couple of occasions, I recommend you escalate your complaint to PJ corporate and to the man, himself — John Schnatter. Papa Johns tries to instill and maintain a number of standards of its franchise owners and frowns on this kind of behavior. Neither Schnatter nor his underlings will look favorably on your treatment.

  13. muffinpan says:

    @Dragonfire81: Don’t try to explain why she acted any particular way.
    If she was stressing over money as you suggest than she should be nice to customers. Creating good will so that they will return to the store and buy more pizza and perhaps tell others of their experience.
    See thats rational.
    So the only explanation for her action is that she’s a nut job. Everyone should steer clear of that crazy ladies pizza business.
    However if you want entertainment you should have all of your friends go down to the store at the same time and order pizza with the coupons. You gotta fight crazy with crazy.

  14. sven.kirk says:

    Shows you exactly how to use coupons and order online [] .

  15. ColoradoShark says:

    @Randal Milholland: Perhaps the pizza needed to be remade so they could add a “special topping”? Yechh!

  16. AuraSeer says:

    @Pro-Pain: Which is the worst depends on what part of town you’re in. Near my house, the really good privately-owned store just closed down, most of the chains are crap, and Papa John’s actually does really well. But the PJ franchise in the next town over is really rude and gets a lot of orders wrong.

    At least all those places serve something edible, not like that disc of slimy horribleness that Imo’s tries to pass off as “pizza.” =b^)

  17. DAK says:

    @jusooho: Classic.

  18. mgy says:

    My situation with Papa John’s is completely the opposite. For the past 6 months or so, there has been a coupon online for an $8.99 large, one-topping. Not a coupon-code I snatched from retailmenot, mind you, but actually listed on their website as one of the specials once you log in.

    I walk home from work, so one night, I figured I’d get a head start on things and order on my way home so that I’d have food shortly after arrive.

    I called up and the people on the other end of the line simply had no idea what do do. They said that they had no idea about an $8.99 large, had never seen it before and asked me several times if I was sure I wasn’t making it up. They wanted to charge me $11.99 over the phone, so I told them “no, thank you”, and 30 minutes later placed my order online for an $8.99 large.

    The employees are all extremely nice, but you would think there would be some sort of cooperation between the online ordering system and ordering in person. Strange.

    • Kelly Jade O'Shea says:

      @mgy: I used to work for a PJ’s. We were never informed of any online coupons and we really couldn’t give people online prices and online couldnt give them instore prices (we had a student pizza deal that caused all sorts of fun online). There is almost no communication between online and the actual store, the order just pops up on the screen and we make it.

  19. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    Pizza chains are (mostly) bad. I normally make pizza from scratch at home for a fraction of the cost, but for those times we need something fast and easy we try to go to local joints. Recently we went to pick up our order and found that one pizza had the wrong toppings. They made us a new one and also gave us the one with wrong toppings too, no charge, to make up for the extra wait. And they did it all with a smile. That is how to treat customers.

  20. smarty says:

    You forgot #3: You should not use any retail bank credit card to pay for your pizza. Open a credit union account and charge back the pizza, saving $.36/serving and getting a free pizza.

  21. chiieddy says:

    My God, you live in Weymouth. Go to Capones.

  22. ChuckECheese says:

    @muffinpan: This post deserves the bully tag. Some people become franchise owners so they can push others around. Some people just like to be bullies.

  23. @AuraSeer: You know, I used to knock Imo’s too, then I moved away from it. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m getting the weirdest craving for it. :/

  24. ChuckECheese says:

    @mgy: The online systems are created by corporate. The local owners probably aren’t trained or apprised of the online coupons, specials, etc. Of course, the owners should take the 5-10 minutes it would require to find out about them. I imagine local franchises in some manner feel miffed about the online-thing, like they’re out of the loop, or they just like to hate on all things that come from corporate. I’ve had online coupon problems with Papa John’s and Pizza Hut. The local PH makes me print out the online coupons and give them to the delivery person.

    @Pro-Pain: In St. Louis, isn’t all pizza a travesty of crackerlike crust, ketchup-y sauce and Provel cheese, cut into squares?

  25. Skankingmike says:

    why would anybody stick out waiting for a pizza after being screamed at?

    Once they didn’t take my coupon I probably would have just told the woman off and left. Chinese is better anyway.

  26. HOP says:

    we are lucky here…we have a ledo’s up the road a short piece…good pizza and good people…..there’s a domino’s also up the road that will deliver….they can stay up the road and keep their delivery….lousy pizza…..tho i don’t know any of the people, and probably never will…..

  27. @ColoradoShark: Which is exactly why I wouldn’t want it. Anytime I’ve had bad service that involved the server or manager saying, “We’ll have to remake it” (twice I can think of), I’ve just opted to go somewhere else.

  28. dogmaratt says:

    I wouldn’t have taken the second piza home. No telling what that crazy Papa Johns bitch did to it.

  29. Concerned_Citizen says:

    What kind of person hands the retailer a sheet of coupons and expects the retailer to cut out/tear out your coupon and give you the sheet back? That action makes me believe that the bad attitude wasn’t just limited to the store owner.

  30. SadSam says:

    I love the Papa John’s on-line ordering. Basically the only reason I order from PJ is because I can do so on-line.

  31. homerjay says:

    @ChuckECheese: If the franchisee doesn’t want to be bothered with all the corporate stuff she should have learned how to make a decent pizza and opened up her own hole-in-the-wall. It’d probably cost her less.

  32. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Concerned_Citizen: Oh, boo ****ing hoo. The “kind of person” who expects a merchant to do two seconds of trivial work providing a minimal level of customer service is called a customer. Get over yourself.

  33. NapoleonMarigold says:

    I tried to use 3 separate online coupons for ordering from PJ’s a
    couple of months ago, and none of them were accepted by the online
    system. So I called the local place, they said that couldn’t take
    online coupons over the phone. So I get pizza from Domino’s now.

    No other local pizza places around for miles. God, do I miss Philly
    (I’m in Maryland now).

  34. S3CT says:


    I agree. The lady was treated poorly but she knows better than to not tear out the coupon ahead of time.

  35. wtrwlkr says:


    The franchise owner was being a major bitch, and the OP was being patient up to that point. If it were me in that situation, giving her a sheet with 20 coupons out of spite would have been the least I would’ve done.

  36. Preyfar says:

    Yep. I read that and the bulk of the story seemed a bit more questionable. Depending on where the woman lived, driving over to Papa John’s would more than likely negate the cost saving of a coupon. What’s she going to save… $2? And more than likely, she’s going to spend about $2 worth of gas to get there?

    This story doesn’t add up fully.

  37. Preyfar says:

    Also, that makes me wonder… I will fully admit that I am not familiar with how Papa John’s handles their coupons, but it seems kind of odd they would print out a tangible, full coupon sheet and give them to customers that ONLY work for online use. I can’t think of any time I’ve ever seen any other pizza place that gives you physical coupons that can ONLY be used online.

  38. DomZ says:

    There are no lie 25+ pizza places in my township and I assure you I’d never step foot in Papa John’s again if that happened to me.

  39. ClayS says:

    No, bad advice. Chain restaurants are the best. For pizza, go to Papa Johns or Pizza Hut. Hamburgers, Burger King or McDonalds. If the chains weren’t the very best, they wouldn’t be as large as they are. As you know, most people have gourmet taste.

    As for this incident, it seems like the perfect storm of an unreasonable customer and an incompetent fast food clerk having a meeting of the minds.

  40. RetailGuy83 says:

    Awful, after throwing away the first pizza, I would have waited for them to make the second one, and then canceled that order as well. Just so she can waste two.

    Thats ridiculous treatment. And to run your own business so poorly… she deserves to lose that franchise.

  41. imaLttlGrl says:

    @Preyfar: Some people are just coupon crazy. I have seen some people do crazy stuff to get that extra $.50 off even if it means that they have to drive across town to get the coupon and come back to use it wherever. Maybe she is one of those people that don’t really think before they act.

    On another note, never in a million years would I have taken the pizza from them. Possibly the one that was already made if it was right there and already packaged up and that was that, just take it and go. But a new one? Absolutely not. 1. It was an unnecessary waste of food and the woman should be forced to starve for the rest of her life (the worker/and possibly the customer for accepting the new pizza, which shows even though she put up a fuss, she really didn’t mind the action b/c she went ahead and paid someone money who acted like that). and 2. Waiting for it caused even more unnecessary communication. I think we all know the possible contaminations she was eating that night. Eew.

  42. RetailGuy83 says:

    @ClayS: From someone working in retail, expecting a coupon that says “Papa Johns” on it to work everywhere despite how you order it is NOT unreasonable, I wouldn’t have thought twice about overridding that price.

    Seriously, before the customer asked, I would have seen the sheet of coupons and already be in the middle a price adjustment before she asked me about it. I might have even asked her what the promotion on the coupon was so she didn’t have to bother to stress over it.

    But hey, when a company writes me a paycheck, I take their reputation personally and do everything I can to keep that reputation respectable.

  43. I completely believe the OP’s story.

    But I don’t understand the whole “write to Consumerist before trying to contact corporate” thing.

    I’m not blaming you, OP. Consumerist doesn’t discourage this and you’re just following what other people do. But it makes no sense for Consumerist to post complaints where customers haven’t even tried to resolve the problem. Isn’t Consumerist supposed to be teaching consumers how to solve problems???

  44. ClayS says:

    Since she wasn’t able to enter the coupon when ordering online, that should have been a clue. She could have called to ask if the coupon could be used. Beats ordering, driving out to the store and then finding out.

    As far as the clerk, she was a co-owner, so she had the latitude to honor the discount or do something else to satisfy the customer. A little flexibility in a situation like this makes sense.

  45. macinjosh says:


    It would seem that the above account was sent to corporate (emphasis mine):

    “I realize she is a franchise owner, but I assume she is NOT the sort of person you want as the face of your company, and I suggest action should be taken, perhaps in the form of customer service training. “

  46. Sherryness says:

    @jusooho: “Now that is out of the way, we can discuss the actual issue, which is that the store did not accept a coupon, and wasted food just to spite customer…”

    Ok, go ahead……. We’re waiting. Oh, you don’t have anything on-topic to contribute?

  47. Mike8813 says:

    Kick her in the face and eat a P’zone.

  48. GregGates says:

    Papa John’s put up two franchises in my neck of the woods about five years ago. They were gone within 6 months to a year, which stinks because I liked rotating in some of their pizza now and then for variety. Every time we went in, the price seemed to be floating. We would usually get a 2 large pizzas for $11 deal, but sometimes when we asked for it they would tell us that wasn’t the price so we had to pay $11 each. It was shady.

    During one of our last remaining trips there the guy running the shop looked hella depressed, like he was sweeping up before heading home to swallow a gun barrel. It sounds like you caught a person who was in a similar and stressing the numbers. I don’t think you made things better by being confrontational towards someone who was so clearly going to be aggressive. I am never standoffish with people who make food that I then eat.

  49. donkeyjote says:

    Blame the “victim”. Have you no pride? After the first or second time she yelled, or first or second time she threw the coupons back, you didn’t leave and go somewhere else, well, you have no spine. People shouldn’t have to take that crap, and if that means having to go somewhere else for food, then so be it. Do not willingly give them money for bad service then complain about it.

  50. badgeman46 says:

    Some people, especially in new england, are not cut out to be seen in public, let alone deal with them. We used to have a Dunkn Donuts where the night manager wouldnt toast anything after 10. Also we had a Cumby’s where the lady refused to learn the lottery machine. Both of these women were your typical 60 something cat ladies. I assume the woman mentioned above is the same.

  51. Wormfather says:

    @Jay Slatkin: Hear, hear.

    Although, fortunatly for me, I live in Stamford, CT, I swear if you open up the phone book to pizza and throw a dart, you are going to get a great pizza 99% of the time. It’s just uncanny how many good italian/pizza places there are.

    Now if you get one of the three Dominoes in our little city…

  52. DeltaPurser says:

    You’re an asshole, and the employee reacted to your bitchy attitude… I can’t stand people like you! She would have done well in refusing you service, told you to go packing and banning you from the store for life. How much did you save with this stinkin’ coupon, anyway? Was it worth it?

  53. Wormfather says:

    @DeltaPurser: Relaaaaaax, step away from the flame button, slowly now. Theeeerrreee ya go.

    The store was in the wrong, the only exception is the whole not taking the cuoupon out here self, while the owners “I’m not your secretary” response was classic, it could have been improved by adding the word “f*cking”, however, as the representitive of the buisness, it was utterly inappropriate.

  54. Smorgasbord says:

    I had a problem with Papa John’s coupon codes not going through too. I called their customer service and was told that coupons that are also on their web sight won’t go through. All you do is click on the special and order that way. I didn’t know they also had specials at the bottom of the page for you to click on. My local PJ also told me they don’t get information about on-line specials. This is a corporate error, not the retailer.
    I have owned a business, and was surprised how customers can be. Any store that uses coupons asks the customer to notify them first. This is so the coupon can be used when the product is bought. All the grocery stores ask you to keep the coupon with each item, not give them the coupons at the end of the sale. That is how the computers are set up.
    To do what the customer wanted in this case, the store had to cancel the order and then re-ring it again. Something tells me this custom is one of those who expects businesses to do what they want because the company wants their business. There were several customer we were glad we never saw again.

  55. I would’ve have returned wearing nothing but a pair of BVD tighty whiteys and cowboy boots. My face covered in pizza sauce and twisted with the words from the good book. Rambling about the sins of mankind and the need for the blood of the lamb I would raise my bible over my head and begin slamming it down upon the countertop ’till they called the police or gave me my damn pizza at the discounted price.

  56. MrsLopsided says:

    1) I’ve seen it before – corporate marketing comes up with a brilliant marketing/coupon promotion to boost sales, but the cost is born entirely by the franchisee with no corresponding reduction in corporate fees. It creates franchisee/corporate tensions but it shouldn’t be taken out on the customer.

    2) My local Little Caesars Pizza had a “Hot ‘n Ready 30 Second Guarantee” (“Pizza and a smile within 30 seconds”) on their wall. When I asked about it after waiting for 10 minutes their response …was to take down the sign. No smiles.

  57. donkeyjote says:

    @Smorgasbord: Every grocery store with a electronic register can accept coupons in bulk at the end, atleast in NJ. Also in NJ, every grocery store has electronic registers by now.

    Pathmark for example, you can scan every item, then at the end, your pathmark card, THEN 20 coupons, and it won’t even flinch. Ah, the joys of the computer age.

  58. donkeyjote says:

    @MrsLopsided: Hell, I would have taken it down, then with a huge shit eatting grin, have said, “what sign?” :P

  59. TurboWagon00 says:

    Yep, personal experience, having ordered through their website (PJ) I know get twice weekly spam PLUS at least bi-monthly paper mailers. The coupon codes on the paper mailers are not accepted on the website and have to be phoned in (the website uses “promotional codes”). So yah, completely retarded, in the true sense of the word.

  60. donkeyjote says:

    @TurboWagon: The paper mailings are local ads, while the email spam is national ads. And you would be getting the paper ads if you had called up anyway.

  61. GrandizerGo says:

    Really people, wasting the second pizza would not have been needed…
    Most of these places now fix / prepare the pizza where you can easily see everything…
    Hence if the pizza was “tampered” accept it and take it to the nearest police station and count your windfall of 200,000 dollars…

    The Dominoes in my area is near useless as well for online ordering..
    The Online site retrieves the prices for the order from the store, different stores have differing prices, however the one by me is FAX only for online orders, that means that their online system does not ever show you a price for what you ordered, when you go to checkout, it swears that there is nothing in your cart as the total is $0.00…
    I found this out after emailing the website master…

  62. GrandizerGo says:

    Is it me or has anyone else noticed how “corporate” seems to do things like Online specials and so forth without telling the local franchises???
    It seems common sense to me that Corporate and / franchise owner would be all over that information… If they have a special on pepperoni pizzas, but the local uses sells sausage, you might run out of pepperoni???
    It seems there needs to be more communication well in advance, for ordering purposes, so that franchises don’t get blindsided…

  63. @macinjosh: Eh… It sounds like she is complaining to corporate through Consumerist. But it’s pretty unclear.

  64. @twophrasebark: Eh… It sounds like she is complaining to corporate through Consumerist. But it’s pretty unclear.

    CC’ing the Consumerist on EECBs is standard practice.

  65. forgottenpassword says:

    I have had the same runaround from various other establishments in regards to coupons. In other words….made up rules were suddenly applied when I attempted to use a coupon.

    My fav was an ihop shift supervisor (not the manager) who decided I was using too many coupons (I’d use 2 a week [one coupon per order]). I later contacted Ihop headquarters & was assured that the supervisor was in the wrong & I was right & the matter would be taken care of… it was.

    Miserable SOB.

  66. LostAngeles says:

    @Randal Milholland: @Randal Milholland: Seriously, I moved from Weymouth to L.A. and I deal with substantially less crazy people and assholes. As soon as I saw, “Weymouth, Massachusetts,” I had a fair idea what was coming. But I’ve been on the other side of the counter in that town, as well.

    When they’re good, they’re very, very good, but when they’re bad, you find yourself mentally setting them on fire.

    As for, “amazing holes in the wall,” I can still name off a few there that should still be there. Actually, there’s a fantastic one just over the Braintree line in the Landing.

  67. djanes1 says:

    What a

  68. ldavis480 says:

    I’ve NEVER liked Papa Johns pizza restaurants — I don’t know what the problem is but they all seem to have some kind of attitude or something. After a couple bad experiences ordering from them in Arizona I decided to boycott them and haven’t ordered from them in over 10 years now. I don’t miss them, there’s plenty of other pizza restaurants to chose from and they need my business more than I need their pizza.

  69. hejustlaughs says:

    I blame both parties here.

    The “co-owner” is a bitch.

    The customer actually put up with her shit and then bought from the place regardless.

  70. LexineCalliope says:

    “You likely caught someone on a bad day. If she really was the owner,
    she’s likely been stressing a ton over money lately.”

    If she was stressing out over money then why would she THROW OUT her

  71. @Pro-Pain: Papa Johns is gross though. Here is St. Louis it is considered the WORST pizza joint out of them all.

    I live in St. Louis too and all I have to say is… WHY does everyone insist that!? Then in the next breath they tell me that Imo’s is GOOD? Imo’s tastes like butt. I LOVE Papa John’s. (Bellacino’s pwns all though)

  72. BrianU says:

    What would get a man fired, put under 72 hour psychiatric observation, or arrested in common behavior among woman – that no one wants to deal with.

    Woman absolutely resent having to work. Combined with either their Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or self-loathing, and the general anti-man attitude of radical feminization, the situation in the workplace is volatile. Any wonder why any business is likely to fail soon after attaining a employee roster that is 50% or more female?

    This was a pizza shop employee, if you really want to find woman in the “work” place with a mental/emotional condition and/or a real bug-up-their-ass attitude, go to any Government office, especially one with a woman in charge.

    The links are very humorous, and very true: [] and []
    You should check out [] too.

    Feminism is a hate movement that has made both men and woman miserable and has crippling effects on the economy.

  73. meadandale says:

    Some people seem to be so caught up in ‘getting a sweet deal’ that they don’t see the forest for the trees.

    When the manager began treating you horribly, why the f*** did you stay and wait for the pizza to be remade? I’d have walked out and bought my pizza or my dinner somewhere else…

    Sometimes you have to be willing to let go when you see an item on sale or you have a coupon. Yeah, it sucks, and yeah, the companies and managers deserve to be vilified on the net and on the Consumerist…what they DON’T deserve is for you to stand there and take it and then have you still give them your money.

  74. halo969 says:

    It’s not just corporate who pulls this bullshit. A local non-franchised “hole in the wall” Mexican joint near my house was offering coupons in the Entertainment Book. Not just once, but twice, the employee taking our order refused to honor the coupon. Needless to say, we don’t eat there anymore. It’s too bad because they had the best steak tacos. However, I refuse to be abused by a place where I’m spending my money (which is why I’ve boycotted Best Best for over five years now). If the owner can’t inform their employees about the coupons or explain to them how they work they clearly aren’t concerned about getting repeat business.

  75. halo969 says:

    Ahem, that should be Best Buy. I hate that place so much I can barely type out the name. ;)

  76. forgottenpassword says:


    I think a lot of people wait to whip out a coupon after they recieve the bill because they think the business will take the coupon & then ring up the bill higher to compensate. When I deal with contractors/mechanics…. I do this so they cant jack up the bill beforehand.

    I have found that a lot of businesses HATE customers who bring in coupons.

  77. exkon says:

    Thank you consumerist.

    It’s much better to see the blame falling on the franchise owner than the WHOLE company.

    It’s refreshing to see the blame properly placed.

  78. theczardictates says:

    @jusooho: Full’o’win

  79. theczardictates says:

    I’ve noticed that many people don’t seem to think of driving somewhere as a variable or optional cost. Even at $4/gallon, they don’t seem to figure gas as part of the cost of a trip (let alone all the other costs of their car). Instead, people seem to behave as if the gas cost really occurs only at the time of filling up, and what they do in between visits to the gas station is effectively “free” since the tankful of gas is a sunk cost! Yes, it’s bizarre and irrational, but it does explain a lot of weird sh!t, like people driving across town to redeem a $2 coupon. There’s probably a social sciences PhD thesis in there for somebody…

    @BrianU: Not gotten laid in a while, huh?

  80. MrMold says:

    Oooh, there are no scams involving coupons. People never scan in old coupons and attempt to re-use them. And Ms Entitled is telling us the entire story.

    The tell in this tale is “I’m not your secretary”. That should indicate Ms Entitled is leaving important bits out…just like a third grader.

  81. Lucky225 says:

    Fill out your complaint online and on their toll-free number. I did this when my wife was told by a more-than-rude employee who told her to “clean out her ears”. My wife also spoke to the District Manager. Needless to say he was fired, and we got $60 worth of free food.

  82. spinachdip says:

    @exkon: Corporate *does* deserve some of the blame, if not for this incident, for the culture that allows shit like this to happen. Franchising allows corporate to create a willfull disconnect between themselves and the customers.

    They love franchising because it passes on the really inefficient costs like supplies and staffing to the franchisees, and come up with marketing and discount schemes at their whim, and leave it to franchisees to nickel and dime and cut corners. And when something like this happens, they can simply shrug their shoulders and say, “How were we to know this independent business owner was a psycho? Here’s a $20 coupon for your troubles!”

    Just as Comcast is complicit in the actions of its contractors, Papa John’s is partly responsible for the way its franchises treat their customers.

  83. Life_Sandwich says:

    I’m not saying this is the way it is where you live, but around Grand Rapids, there are a lot of low-profile locally owned pizza places where you can get a one-topping for under nine dollars. They range from tasting relatively the same to outstanding, but at least they use real cheese.

  84. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Even Dunkin Donuts makes better pizza than Papa John’s.

  85. philgrad says:

    “I live in St. Louis too and all I have to say is… WHY does everyone insist that!? Then in the next breath they tell me that Imo’s is GOOD? Imo’s tastes like butt. I LOVE Papa John’s. (Bellacino’s pwns all though)”

    Try Blackthorn, just south of Tower Grove Park. Or Cecil Whitaker’s, which is sort of a chain…it’s Imo’s style, but with homemade sauce, decent toppings, and actual mozzarella rather than provel. Now that I think about it, it really isn’t like Imo’s at all…

  86. ChuckECheese says:

    @homerjay: I agree with you 100%. My comments weren’t to defend the local franchise. As an aside, I learned 2 weeks ago that in Texas, the Cici’s restaurant franchise fee is $600,000. How will you ever earn back that kind of money on $6 pizzas?

    @twophrasebark: Consumerist, in addition to pulling public service as a consumer-advocacy site, also has side businesses that include group therapy, driving slowly along the freeway looking at car wrecks, and complaining about Best Buy. Everybody loves complaining (admit it, you do too). Consumerist is like a big basket of puppies, a few of whom are carrying blades. Way more fun than writing corporate (and waiting for a reply).


    Some people, especially in new england, are not cut out to be seen in public, let alone deal with them.

    Thank you badgeman, for pointing this out. It reminds me of the time I visited Maine.

  87. LostAngeles says:

    @BrianU: That’s hilarious since nearly all of my incompetent or brain-dead supervisors have been male. Don’t get me wrong, when I was in Weymouth, we had plenty of chicks who up and took off to FL right before they were supposed to work and then got their job back when it didn’t work out a week later.

    But not only do I have a vulva, but I go to work and put in the best damn performance I can give and so do many other women.

    Can you back up any of your allegations or that of your links with anything verifiable? Because otherwise, I’m just going to have to conclude you’re a troll, think you’re, “edgy,” or just a misogynist.

  88. RetailGuy83 says:

    @ChuckECheese: It’s the buffet.

    $7 a person (buffet plus drink 4.99+1.99), never shy of 40 people in the place. Open 12 hours a day, 360ish days a year. 7X40X12X360= $1,209,600, call in 1.2 mil.

    Standard operating profit for a sit down restaurant is around 40% – leaves $480,000. Pay yourself 80K as the owner, and the franchise fee is recouped within the second year.

    Your probably totally free and clear of all your loans after 30-36 months. Then enjoy your half-mil income.

  89. RetailGuy83 says:

    @LostAngeles: He’s clearly an ass, which is why no one has responded to him.

    However, I would steer clear of posts that start like yours. When you counter the argument with a “No, Males are worse” stance, it really weakens your overall effectiveness, and mitigates your outrage. Which, by the way, is completely justified.

  90. JollyJumjuck says:

    Eh, probably best that you didn’t get the pizza. I hear that Papa John’s pizza in Weymouth is like eating a hot circle of garbage.

  91. rellog says:

    Ok, not that the the Papa John’s worker wasn’t completely in the wrong…. but how bad did the OP want the freakin’ pizza??? Come on, you make situations like these continue by actually supporting establishments that operate in this manner. What you SHOULD have done, is walk out without any pizza, and taken your business elsewhere… THEN called corporate and complained. What kind of self0-esteem issues do you suffer from that compels you to accept that type of abuse?

  92. LostAngeles says:

    @RetailGuy83: I didn’t mean for it to come off like that. My best coworkers are actually sorted by shithead and not-shithead and not my gender. Thanks for pointing that out though.

  93. LostAngeles says:

    @LostAngeles: “By,” not, “my.” Oy. I’m normally more careful.

  94. theczardictates says:

    @RetailGuy83: Hey, I responded to him. I pointed out that his perspective is distorted by his involuntary virginity.

  95. crazylady says:

    @GrandizerGo: not happening with the shittier franchises. why? people actually go buy this stuff because of a coupon. the franchisee has to deal with the discount. they have to pay the franchise a royalty not based on the discounted amount. more money for the franchise, more win. :

    @RetailGuy83: Oh god I laughed my ass off at your comment. Why and how you think that back-of-the-envelope calculation is accurate is unbelievable. The idea that a franchise would let you start a business with a loan for that much (honestly, if you don’t have that plus more in property/other businesses/money in general, even…), the idea that 40% is profit, the idea that the world is all perfect and gas isn’t $4.50/gallon and that (again) you can even get a loan.

    God, my sides hurt.

  96. donkeyjote says:

    @crazylady: Gas is 3.80/gallon.

  97. RetailGuy83 says:

    @crazylady: Fair enough.

    Sorry about the awful link (cici’s website is down right now)
    CiCi’s Franchise Info

    This site looks like it may not have been updated in a couple of years but, revenue is ~1 mil and adjusting for inflation, I’d say I wasn’t very far off.

    Looks like CiCi’s is projecting profit at 20% though. So I was off here, however, I was guessing based on 600K startup costs. Looks like Franchise fee is 30K and liquidable required cash in the 100K area.

    So paying everything back in the 2.5 to 3 year time frame is still VERY doable. Even if my rough math made you sad, I still was pretty close, and as you said, it was pretty much off the top of my head. :P

  98. RetailGuy83 says:

    Sorry, found info about franchise fees and start-up requirements here

  99. RetailGuy83 says:

    @theczardictates: Copy that, sorry missed you before :)

  100. RetailGuy83 says:

    @crazylady: Sorry to keep adding things, but I have at least 2 friends that have started up companies with 1 mil+ bank rolls from VC’s and paid them back within 3 years. North Texas (just so happens where CiCi’s is HQ’d) is the small business capitol of the world. A solid business plan and half a head on straight can get you going around here. And, quite honestly, 40% margin is NOT crazy for the service industry. In many cases the low volume requires the margin to be that high or higher.

  101. The OP is stating one side of the story. The OP’s claims are not substantiated.

    Oh, I am quite sure there are jerks working for Papa Johns, just like there are trolls that work for Pizza Hut. But without some subtantiation it is always a bit hard to believe these stories.

  102. 4ster says:

    @befrugalnotcheap: Or you could just tell on them to your mom,

  103. meadandale says:


    Gas may be $3.80 in BFE where you live but it’s 4.45 at the station nearest my house and 4.43 at the station across the street.

  104. Lambasted says:

    Sorry Adi, I feel must confess to you that I laughed all the way through your story. I feel terrible for having done so. It’s not that I am not outraged at the deplorable treatment you received. I am. But the visualization of the clerk standing there saying, “I cannot hear you,” and then you actually talking louder, was too much for me. I simply couldn’t contain myself.

    And the part where she threw your coupon book in the trash and she then declared, “I am not your secretary” when you asked for it back made me split my sides. I am not sure what typing 80wpm has to do with returning your property but it was pure comedy nonetheless.

    But what really had me in stitches was when she threw the perfectly good pizza in the trash and opted to use some of her “co-owner” profits to make a new one just to spite you. (Ummm…you do know she spit in it, don’t you Adi?). I am sure the financial idiocy of throwing the pizza away didn’t hit her until she was home sitting on the toilet wondering why she hasn’t made much money yet.

    I am sorry you had to go through this experience, Adi. DiGiorno makes an excellent frozen pizza (not the thin crust one though). Perhaps you may want to keep a few in your freezer for the next time you get a pizza urge.

  105. oldscud says:

    This is one of those cases where I’d like to hear the other side of the story. If it were me, and there was no where to enter my coupon code online, I would not just assume the coupon was valid. How hard is it to pick up the phone and ask?

  106. NoWin says:

    If you’re in Weymouth, you have more than a few local pizza shops other than chains to try out. Those have a tried and true, albiet old fashioned, nifty ordering system called a telephone.

    Unless for some reason you like the taste (or lack thereof) of a chain shop…

  107. Me - now with more humidity says:

    RetailGuy83: You’re nuts. Typical profit margin for a restaurant is 4%, not 40%.

  108. amyschiff says:

    @Jay Slatkin: seriously. All we have are a bunch of boring “somewhat okay” chains.

    And as for the making pizza at home… I’m all for it, but usually when I’m thinking about ordering pizza it’s because I don’t feel like cooking that evening.

  109. backbroken says:

    I wish we could ban forever the use of the phrase “I would like to be compensated.”

    It grates on so many levels.

  110. nybiker says:

    Boy, am I glad I live here in the Big Apple. (Yeah, there are other days when I’m not so glad). But we’ve got plenty of the holes-in-the-wall for pizza. We’ve even got full-blown pizza joints in the wall.

    As I’ve mentioned in other posts, no college bowl game naming rights companies for me. So, no PJ’s. And, yeah, all their local ads hanging on my doorknob are not fun (we have to recycle so I can’t just throw them in the trash – I have to be sure to throw them into the paper recycling bin).

  111. Gopher bond says:

    Agree with the people that say the best thing you can do is not buy pizzas from that store anymore. You can get bad customer service anywhere. There’s a private restaurant within walking distance of my house. I took my family there 3 times and all three times it took about 20-30 minutes before we saw a server. Then 30 more minutes for the meal. And I swear all three times the owner was explaining to someone that he’s sorry about the wait, but the kitchen was small and he had only one person cooking the food. WTF? Hire someone else!

    And one of the times, we got thrown out of the “game” room because he didn’t allow children under 12 in the game room, where the video games are, as I was trying to distract the kids from the hour long wait for our food.

    Resolution, that restaurant won’t see another dime from me. Too bad too, the food was pretty good.

  112. darkryd says:

    If you have to buy corporate pizza, use pizza hut. Tens time better in my opinion.

    Then again, local pizza shops are always the best option!

  113. vdragonmpc says:

    I dont know maybe I deal with these situations differently as
    people dont get like this with a 6’4 large guy who tries to be nice… Until its time not to be nice.

    Honestly I would have handed the coupons to her and calmly said “keep em I do not need to do business here ever again, thanks for showing me that coming here was a huge mistake. I will be sure to tell all of my friends and customers how this business operates.”

    If she had said she was not my secretary I would have replied “obviously not with that personality”


  114. MMD says:

    @backbroken: And your suggested replacement phrase is…

  115. emis says:

    I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the several Papa John’s I’m a regular at in my area, or even the handful around the country I’ve gone to while traveling.

    It’s too bad about this person’s experience, I wonder if she doesn’t speak english as her native language and the PJ’s employee was being a complete prick about it (the speak up comment)

  116. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Concerned_Citizen: Honestly, the way this seems to be going, the “owner” would likely have claimed that the coupon was counterfeit if she didn’t have the whole sheet.

  117. HeartBurnKid says:

    Oh, and on the general subject of Papa John’s, IME, consistency is not their strong suit. The Papa John’s near my house is a good place to get a decent, if unspectacular, pizza at a good price. I ordered from a different one while visiting my uncle, however, and we got a greasy mess.

  118. nick_r says:

    I vote “bad consumer” for expecting good customer service in Massachusetts.

  119. ParkerJenkins says:

    I sent in this story, and I’d like to reply to some comments: first off, the
    coupon wasn’t online-only. I *ordered* online because my cell phone was
    acting up. Secondly, the last time I used a coupon at Papa John’s, they
    handed me the entire sheet back. Why rip out the coupon if I can re-use it?
    Third, Papa John’s is the only place I know of near where I live that will
    make a white pizza, and I had a terrible craving for one. And lastly, the
    coupon was four bucks off. The drive was five minutes. It was worth it.

    We usually order from local places, such as Napoli Pizzeria, but the last
    time we ordered from there the delivery took half an hour longer than
    promised and they sent me meat sauce for my mozzarella sticks–I’m a
    vegetarian. It’s no good driving down there, as there’s never any parking,
    and last time I parked illegally I got a ticket.

    I’m not asking for this woman to be fired or fined or anything, all I want
    is a free pizza for my trouble and to never deal with her again. I don’t
    think it’s unreasonable. A lot of you said I should have left. Why? That was
    exactly what she wanted. She was just a bully and I can’t bear to let a
    bully get her way. In the end I got what I wanted, right? Oh, and I watched
    them make the pizza. The only time it was out of my sight was in the oven.
    There were no “extra toppings”.

  120. ParkerJenkins says:

    I sent in this story, and I’d like to reply to some comments: first off, the
    coupon wasn’t online-only. I *ordered* online because my cell phone was
    acting up. Secondly, the last time I used a coupon at Papa John’s, they
    handed me the entire sheet back. Why rip out the coupon if I can re-use it?
    Third, Papa John’s is the only place I know of near where I live that will
    make a white pizza, and I had a terrible craving for one. And lastly, the
    coupon was four bucks off. The drive was five minutes. It was worth it. We
    usually order from local places, such as Napoli Pizzeria, but the last time
    we ordered from there the delivery took half an hour longer than promised
    and they sent me meat sauce for my mozzarella sticks–I’m a vegetarian. It’s
    no good driving down there, as there’s never any parking, and last time I
    parked illegally I got a ticket. I’m not asking for this woman to be fired
    or fined or anything, all I want is a free pizza for my trouble and to never
    deal with her again. I don’t think it’s unreasonable. A lot of you said I
    should have left. Why? That was exactly what she wanted. She was just a
    bully and I can’t bear to let a bully get her way. In the end I got what I
    wanted, right? And the post I submitted was verbatim what I sent to
    corporate. My first step is always to complain to the specific store (which
    I did), then to the corporate office, and then my boyfriend (avid
    Consumerist reader) suggested I contact Consumerist. Oh, and I watched them
    make the pizza. The only time it was out of my sight was in the oven. There
    were no “extra toppings”.

    Adi Covino

    P: 877 942 4276

    F: 781 995 2242

    Charm Medical Supply

    880 Corporate Park Dr.

    Pembroke, MA 02359

  121. missmicrophone says:

    @Pro-Pain: @Pro-Pain:

    Okay, I disagree. IMO’s is way worse than Papa Johns. Slimy Cheese Pizza. YUCK.

  122. IC18 says:

    I make sure I have the food in hand before pissing a restaurant worker/manager off.

  123. AMetamorphosis says:

    Papa John’s Pizza prices vary month to month where I live.
    The cost is @ least 12 a pizza and they are slow as snails delivering.

    Pizza Hut & Domino’s are no different and as a result I am enjoying keeping our LOCAL, independant pizza joints open …

  124. krom says:

    @sven.kirk: Um, that specifically is talking about email coupons, not the real paper coupons the OP was using. Nice snark attempt but no.

  125. backbroken says:

    @MMD: Anything that doesn’t make you sound like an opportunist or that you sat on the stick of entitlement.

    How about constructing a specific and reasonable request?

    “I would appreciate a coupon for a free pizza as I would like to give this store another chance at winning my future business.”

    There you go.

  126. mexifelio says:

    Sounds like they are in desperate need of a secretary.

  127. joellevand says:

    @BrianU: Aw, did your girlfriend dump your ass recently?

  128. Wet_Baloney says:

    Fast-food chain pizza is no better than the frozen stuff you can get at your grocery store or half the price, and often is worse. I can’t understand why people patronize these places.

    As for this particular owner, anyone can be an @$$hole — There is an epidemic of @$$holeism, and it is not restricted to the owners and employees of franchise food operations.

  129. agit says:

    someone may have beat me to this but….

    If you get Pizza in St. Louis, take the trip to Soulard, and grab one of the pies @ Joanies. I still crave her Grilled Chicken BLT double crust (stuffed), too bad I live 2.5k miles away now =( It can be a little pricey but EVERYTHING is super fresh.

    Not to mention Joanie is nice as can be, and appreciates the business.

    Imo’s is trash, I worked for them for a couple of years and wouldn’t even eat the pizza if it was free.

    Not sure how Talanyas (sp?) is these days but it was literally a roach trap (as in running across the table) when it was across from Wash U.

  130. Pancakes?? FRENCH TOAST!! says:

    @donkeyjote: you do realize that people from all over the good ol’ US of A read this, right?

    Did you know that current prices in Seattle are around $4.25?

    Obviously not.

  131. JohnOB1 says:

    @jusooho: Good call jusooho, I’m sure that would have come up sooner or later. And remember, don’t shop at Best Buy as well.

  132. lakecountrydave says:

    The nearest Roccy Roccos to me is in the same town as their “World Headquarters”. I know their pizza is awful, but the wife likes it. It is by far the worst one I have ever been to. I have been in there at 6pm on a Friday and they had no pizza cooked (and an empty store). I do miss the food in Chi-town!

  133. Vanguarde says:

    This is just another reason why I record on video with sound every single transaction I make. Of course it’s a hidden cam, so it does not change the behavior of the person.

    I have dozens of clips I personally have taken that are amusing. I might upload them to someplace or send them to Consumerist someday

  134. radiochief says:

    I live a block away from the Papa John’s in question.

    There are many good pizza places in this area. I can understand the cheap price. But damn, if you like doughy crusted-expensive pizza that’s what Domino’s and Pizza Hut are for.

    Good God, there’s Athens, Capones, Gio’s all within 3 min of PJ’s… There is even the vastly superior Papa Gino’s a block away. Walk in the the Stoppie or Shaw’s and get a refrigerated UNO’s pizza.

  135. BettinaBurlington says:

    No worries… not all the owners and employees are that bad! We might
    not 100% love our jobs (or sometimes customers), but we take pride in
    our business to know how to (or not to) treat our customers. That woman
    doesn’t seem to care if they have repeat customers or not and that’s
    very unprofessional of her. Corporate should be able to deal with her