Pizza Hut Sends Unsolicited Email To Apologize For Sending Unsolicited Email

Pizza Hut apologized for sending an unsolicited marketing email by sending an unsolicited apology email. We’ve all accidentally hit send without ending the world, but the pizza-maker’s flub is all the more egregious because they force customer who place orders online to opt-in to spam marketing. According to Pizza Hut, the error occurred while “testing new functionality.”

Here’s the apology email sent to “valued Pizza Hut customers:”

From: Pizza Hut
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 2:05 PM
To: The Internet
Subject: We apologize for the errant email

Dear Valued Pizza Hut Customer:

You may have received an email on Wednesday that appeared to be from Pizza Hut with the subject line “Sports – 2 Medium pizzas, 1 one-topping and 1 specialty or up to 3 toppings”. We were testing new functionality that will better serve our customers. It was not the intent of Pizza Hut for this email to be sent to you. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused. We value your relationship with us and understand that communicating with you via email is a privilege not to be taken lightly. We have identified the cause of the mistake and have taken steps to make sure this does not happen again.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience or confusion that email message may have caused. We appreciate you as a customer and want you to be 100% satisfied with us.

Pizza Hut and YUM! Brands are committed to your privacy and the privacy of your data. As such, we recently updated our privacy policy. View our Privacy Policy here.

The Pizza Hut name, logos and related marks are trademarks of Pizza Hut, Inc.

(C)2008 Pizza Hut, Inc., 14841 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75254.

Oh, they’re striving for 100% satisfaction, eh? Here’s an idea: don’t force your customers to sign up for unsolicited emails!

(Photo: Scott Ableman) (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)
PREVIOUSLY: Pizza Hut Forces You To Opt-In To Spam Marketing When Ordering Online


Edit Your Comment

  1. BeeBoo says:

    Unlike their competitors, Yum Brands refuses to require their suppliers to adhere to even minimal standards of animal treatment.

    Nothing they do with email, tomatoes, or a cockroach in a pizza can compare to this problem. Consumerist should report on the really important issues as well as the minor ones.


  2. TheDude06 says:

    well, they admitted they did something wrong. but didnt actually compensate me for it, instead they just clogged up my inbox 2x.

    the funny part is the first email came from “” instead of the usual “no replys accepted” address (like the second one came from)

    ill bet hes paying for that mistake with his inbox :)

  3. target_veteran says:

    Wait a minute, I have that message sitting in my inbox, and whoever sent that (purposely) left off the last line:

    To unsubscribe and not receive further emails, click here.

    Maybe I just signed up before the linked article took effect, but I’ve never got email from Pizza Hut until that change took effect, and the first email I received from them had a clear opt-out link.

    So, just to get this straight, the company messed up, realized it, sent out a message apologizing for the mess up that included instructions on how to avoid a similar problem, and it’s a bad thing? I’d say kudos for actually fessing up to the problem and issuing an apology.

  4. ReidFleming says:

    @target_veteran: I think I’m going to have to agree with you there. Not sending another e-mail out would have been the more egregious option, IMHO.

  5. lingum says:

    @BeeBoo: You should try bringing down a calf with an aluminum ball bat. I love veal.

  6. mewyn dyner says:

    I wish I could get them to stop emailing me. The link to unsubscribe never works, and I’ve tried changing my email address in their account preferences page and the mails never stop. So annoying.

  7. DeeJayQueue says:

    I thought the first email was a spoof or a phishing scam, but then I got the second one. The good news is that I was looking for a way to unsubscribe from their email spam, and now I found it. Now to get ebay to quit sending me shit every day.

  8. Hogan1 says:

    I think it’s great they apologized, at least they admitted their mistake. I do feel bad for Mr/Ms Moss and the spam they’re going to get though heh. On a side note every email I’ve received from Pizza Hut with the exception of this one had an opt out.

  9. dragonfire81 says:

    @mewyn dyner: Unsubscribe links are a scam, they simply indicate to whomever sent the message that the email address is active, thus opening you up to receiving more crap. Stick with the spam filter on your email system or just hit the delete button.

  10. How about the problem that we must enter our mailing address just to see the farking menue? Yep, I sure like junk mail with my freshly made cardboard.

  11. UnnamedUser says:

    Who in the world would eat Pizza Hut stuff?

    I get the Pizza Hut crap on a few Yahoo addresses all the time. I report it as spam.

  12. purplesun says:

    @BeeBoo: Well, that’s a PETA website, so while I’d normally say to take it with a grain of salt, the truth of the matter is the entire chicken industry is essentially set up like that. That’s why, other than the occasional trip out to the farmer’s market, we don’t purchase poultry in my family, for health and moral reasons.

    Back on topic: While I think sending out a second email is to apologize for the first email is kinda funny, it does make sense, so you don’t get all frantic trying to stop the spam and unsubscribe. Of course, as a consumer, I would probably gnash my teeth and go, “Well, dang. They do have it set up so they can send spam to me even though I told them not to.” It sort of makes my heart sink a little, even though I’m not overly surprised.

  13. ShadowFalls says:

    They admitted the mistake probably to prevent people trying to redeem the deal that was in the previous email. Don’t think they did it for the sake of their customers.

  14. Hogan1 says:

    @BeeBoo: I really don’t think a discussion on an email spam and opt out policies story should include you injecting your views on animal cruelty.

  15. coren says:

    Company screws up, company apologizes, neither event really inconvenienced anyone (Oh come on, you had to delete two emails? Oh noes!), so what’s the story here? It feels more like another opportunity to complain about the “you can’t opt out” (you can, I have) emails than anything else.

  16. Pizza Hut has lost business from me before, due to the opt-in-to-spam requirement for placing orders on their website.

  17. RoscoePikoTrain says:

    @dragonfire81: “Unsubscribe links are a scam….Stick with the spam filter on your email system…”

    I understand your frustration but this really should only be employed for actual spam. (I’m in email marketing so this is a pain point with me. :)

    When it’s an email or newsletter that you actually did subscribe to but no longer wish to receive, PLEASE first just hit the unsubscribe button and give us 10 days to accommodate your request as required by law. For legitimate companies’ email programs, simply hitting the spam button as opposed to unsubscribing hurts our reputation with ISPs (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) and makes it difficult to deliver the email to others who do want to continue receiving it. Seriously, if it’s a reputable company they will respect your unsubscribe request.

  18. Marshfield says:

    As an IT worker, I found it kinda funny about the first email. It looked a bit odd with that sender address, but I’m glad they sent the second one to clear up the confusion.

    Prbly someone thought they were on the DEV or TEST box and didn’t realize they were on PRODUCTION. Handslaps all around for that faux-pas.

  19. kalikidtx says:

    When I received the apology email I promptly hit the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the emails. Their mistake is their loss….

  20. abooth says:

    People are so fussy about their precious inbox.

    If you are on Pizza Hut’s email list, it is probably because you ordered a pizza from them online. The only emails I receive from them are specials and promotions. If I bought a pizza from them before, then maybe I would like to purchase another one – especially if it is discounted.

    *IDEA* – you can currently get FREE email from about 1000 domains. Setup a “shopping” email address.. ( – use this email for everything on the net you purchase or sign up for. Use a SEPARATE email for all personal communications with friends, family, school. (Although you will probably get more spam in that one because your friends and family have 0 security and you are in their address book)

    The delete key is sooooo convenient and easy to use. It’s not like these people are coming to your door or interrupting your favorite tv show. If it weren’t for advertising and/or profitability 85%+ of the internet wouldn’t exist. Try to grasp the difference between blatant spam and targeted marketing.

  21. Mary says:

    The best part for me?

    I got the email to apologize for the unsolicited email.

    I never got the unsolicited email they’re talking about.

    They’re on top of things over there at Pizza Hut. *shakes head*

  22. I got that apology email, but not the email they are apologizing about. I demand an apology.

  23. coren says:

    Come to think, I reported the original email as a phishing attack since it didn’t come from Pizza Hut, apparently. Oops!

  24. zsta2k7 says:

    So wait… Netflix sends an email to their users apologizing for an issue moderately impacting quality of service, people love them.

    Pizza hut sends an email to their users apologizing for an errant email, they are the worst thing ever.

    Sensing some bias here….

  25. ChelseaCosta says:

    > “We value your relationship with us and understand that
    > communicating with you via email is a privilege not to be taken
    > lightly.”

    Flattery will get you everywhere. [Keep it coming.]

  26. evslin says:

    @zsta2k7: Netflix gets slack just for being a video rental service not named Blockbuster, just like Newegg gets slack for not being Best Buy. As long as they continue to own up to their mistakes and make things right with customers in a speedy and satisfactory manner, they’ll continue to be afforded that luxury.

  27. joemono says:

    I’m not really understanding this. I have ordered online through and the only emails I ever get are the confirmation ones about the order I just placed. Then again, I always uncheck whatever boxes I’m supposed to when I sign up for stuff like this.

    A couple of other things:

    a) I hate spam as much as the next guy, but people need to stop acting like it’s the end of the world. Delete it or set up a filter of some kind and be done with it.

    b) Yes, I eat Pizza from Pizza Hut. And, *GASP*, I like it.

  28. chiggers says:

    That’s weird. I got a coupon code for a free order of breadsticks with my next order. Coupon code is 50RRyPh0R7H35P4M. :)

  29. Onouris says:

    Whining that they apologised, would have whined even more had they not.

    @TheDude06: Compensate you because you had to delete a single e-mail? Holy crap, are you taking the piss?

  30. Charlotte Rae's Web says:

    @joemono: Exactly. We clicked to get the deals from them b/c they often have a good deal. We’ve often got a number of kids or people at the house and it is easy to order pizza’s for delivery.

    Sheesh folks, it was two emails – one boo-boo and an apology. Didn’t bug me at all.