the chain gang

App Truthers Claim Domino’s Is Lying About Who Makes Their Pizza

“Shahla” is on it, eh? Photo: Domino’s

Domino’s, a chain frequently celebrated as tech-savvy, is now having to convince app users that its so-called Pizza Tracker actually isn’t a digital promulgator of lies. For years, the delivery app has allowed customers to track their orders’ progress in real time, from what time the pie goes into the oven, to the name of the worker handling it.

Problem is, this means many users notice when the app’s delivery status doesn’t match reality … which is apparently often enough to have birthed what The Wall Street Journal, in an important exposé, calls “app truthers — people convinced the pizza tracker is fibbing.” Some of them even subscribe to a conspiracy that the Pizza Tracker is nothing more than an automatic timer with fancy color-changing graphics.

One ex–Tracker fan tells the paper he got to know his supposed Domino’s pizzaiolo “John” really well, going as far as sending him notes of encouragement during the pizza-making process, like “You go, John!” or “Hope the pizza’s good, John!” The app lost all credibility last year when a man named “Melinda” delivered his pie. “I said, ‘Hey Melinda,’” he tells the paper, “and he was like, ‘What the f— are you talking about?’”

His disillusionment is apparently shared by many users. “For at least 6 years now, every pizza I’ve ordered from my local Dominos has been made by ‘Jack,’” one Redditor complained in May. “Is that just a really devoted employee or is it a name they typed into the computers and isn’t a real person?” In fact, dozens of posts on Reddit question the Pizza Tracker’s veracity. The angrier ones resemble this rant by a user who was still pizza-less despite the Tracker marking their order as “Delivered and Completed”:

My concern led me to call Domino’s and ask them what the status of my said delivered pizza was. It was then that I learned through a short conversation with the kind Domino’s employee on the phone that the tracker is based on a 30 minute regular schedule and has no connection or direct correlation to the progress of their pizza making or delivery.

This is an outrage. I feel as though I have been duped. The Domino’s Pizza tracker app was a breakthrough for Domino’s customer service as it gave people the feeling their pizza was being monitored and could be close by. But this is not so. It is merely a 30 minute timer that you might as well ignore …

Are any of you surprised to learn this? Does this make you feel like you’ve been mislead? How can we respond to Domino’s for making this tracker app not truly functional?

Last year, HuffPo reran a Quora post by an ex–Domino’s worker who explained that the system was “only as legit as the people in the store let it be,” saying stores can “game the system” by, say, letting deliverers take more pizzas than they’re supposed to, or entering dummy-worker accounts into the Tracker.

A spokesperson tells the Journal that there’s no way to “go back and figure out exactly what happened” with these people’s orders, but admits that sometimes workers can “make mistakes.” Personally, she’d prefer customers stay mindful of the fact that the Tracker “has worked as intended for nearly a decade for millions and millions of orders.”

App Truthers Claim Domino’s Lies About Who Makes Their Pizza