WWU students verbally assaulted at Pizza Time in Bellingham, WA

Hmm…Interesting headline, right? Just for clarification, it’s the name of the YouTube video embedded below.

Here’s a snapshot of what happened…

‘Dude and Crew’ walk into a local establishment, (Pizza Time), with their ‘hidden camera’ (likely a smart phone) to document their “situation” with a delivery driver.  OK, cool (almost)…They walk into the store and  don’t get the response that they want right away so they continue to plead their case. Eventually an employee gives them their money back.  Fair enough…Time to leave, right?  NO?! ‘Dude and Crew’ continue to press the issue with the manager and/or owner and an employee who had nothing to do with the issue at hand…Watch the video.

Look, I’m right there with the customer at the beginning of the video. The delivery guy could have been much more considerate and tactful about the situation in the first place.  If you’re not satisfied with a purchase, yeah, try to get a refund.  In this case, mission accomplished, +1.

The rest of the video is over the top, in my opinion.  There was no need for ‘Dude and Crew’ to hang around and antagonize the staff.

So, I suppose if I must pick a side, I side with Pizza Time with this one.  Feel free to FREAK OUT on me now. I’m on the other end of a 1-800 number. I’m used to it.

Why do I side with Pizza Time in this situation?

#1: I don’t think it was right to “spy” on employees who had nothing to do with situation at large.

#2: ‘Dude and Crew’ eventually got their money back. They could have said thanks and walked.

#3 Bellingham Pizza Time is a PRIVATE establishment that was, for lack of a better word, invaded by a disgruntled group of customers. Yes, the customer may have had a valid complaint.  And yes, maybe the employee and manager/owner could have dealt with the customer in a more productive or appropriate way. However, it is their absolute right to tell anyone to leave their business at any time.  How would this situation make YOU feel if the tables were turned and you were the employee? What would Jesus do? 🙂

#4 ‘Dude’, You might have caught these guys on a REALY bad day.  I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame the company.  Even if you’re a long time loyal customer…Stuff happens. People have bad days.

So what’s the point of all this rant and rave? I’m torn. I absolutely want to support the little guy. In this case, I feel like the little guy is Pizza Time.  Just to put it into perspective, this video as of right now has 7,250 views…IN 24 HOURS!  That’s pretty much viral, ya’ll.  ‘Dude’ got his revenge, if you will.

I want to see wrong made right.  But I don’t want to see wrong made wrong.  In this case, I feel like the efforts by the customer were initially genuine, but the video posted to YouTube is over the top.  Yeah, Pizza Time could have turned the other cheek and made a perceived wrong right, but instead they fought it.  Oh well!

So if ‘Dude’ happens to read this…This is not such a big deal that it should be posted on YouTube for the world to see. Now a bunch of people might boycott this establishment because of your video.  If that’s your mission, that’s sad to me. Regardless of your bad experience, it’s still a small local business with people working hard to feed you and your crew. Even if you feel like you “won”,  I’m not sure if you did.  You just got your 15 minutes of fame by defaming the other guy. Not fair, ‘Dude’.

‘Dude’, I think your immediate intentions were justifiable, but honestly, you are not Michael Moore and Pizza Time is not Enron. Time to move on, because Bellingham Pizza Time is not the problem.


(Plenty of vulgar language in the video…Consider yourself warned!)


4 thoughts on “WWU students verbally assaulted at Pizza Time in Bellingham, WA

  1. Nice first post! I’m glad somebody fleshed out an argument siding with Pizza Time. I feel similarly to you, the customers went over the top at getting their ‘revenge’ for what was a very minor slight. I’ve had several pizza’s delivered late and my anger lasted up until my mouth met the pie. After that I got on with my life. I guess it all depends on what you’re into.

    PS: I just added your feed to my Google Reader subscriptions.

    • Haha! What’s up Ian? Thanks for checking out the post and leaving (the first) comment on my blog. You officially rule. You should see more posts from my blog via your RSS reader in the near future. Hope to see you and your lovely lady soon.

  2. Terence, I look forward to reading your blog posts for years to come!

    As to my thoughts on this, though, I do disagree with you.

    I know you’re very, very familiar with the realm of customer service. It’s something I’ve also been involved in for more than a decade now, too.

    In this instance, these employees basically broke every single possible rule you can when it comes to customer service. While the old adage “the customer is always right” isn’t always an accurate thing to say, it does hold true in an age of social media in which — and just as we’ve seen here — every action you have with a customer could end up on YouTube.

    I think your post does make an assumption about how this video was recorded that may not be accurate. It could be that this was a secret recording. It could also very well be that they were simply holding up a cell phone in plain light or holding up a Flip video recorder. That is simply an assumption, too, so in this case I don’t make an assumption either way.

    While the employees did eventually refund money, the fact of the matter is that the customer service was egregiously lacking. It was to the point that some of these employees, especially the one who got nearly physical at the end and used most of the profanity, should be fired.

    These videographers, who appear to be students had every right to enter this establishment and discuss their purchase with these employees. You emphasize that it’s a private business, but they conducted a transaction with that business and that gives them the right to at least attempt to fix the situation. It clearly was a big enough deal to them that they took time out of their evening to travel to the store and try to have a discussion. You have to assume they knew dealing with these folks might have been difficult if they went armed and ready with a recording device. Why would they have done that if they hadn’t been treated poorly initially by the driver?

    First and foremost, rather than accusing these students of lying within the very first minute of this video, the manager who spoke to them could have simply listened to their concern, informed them they’d have an employee discussion of some kind about this case and then refunded their money. It seems reasonable that the discussion would have ended there.

    Instead, he accused them of lying based on the fact that a pizza delivery driver had worked there for a decade a more. Why even get into that argument? First, you jeopardize the business-customer relationship and potentially lose a client. There was no reason when this video began to just simply say “we can do business without them” because there really wasn’t that much of a fuss.

    As to the argument I’ve seen from others that this was a $7 pizza and they should get over it : It doesn’t matter if the product costs a nickel, they paid for a product and customers have a right to expected a modicum of respectful service from a business they enter into a transaction with. Anything less than a business attempting to make good on a situation — not accusing a customer that had done nothing wrong other than apparently argue with a driver initially, not cussing out customers, not getting nearly physical with them, or yelling at them, etc. — is a business that deserves to lose customers.

    While I appreciate your stance on this, I don’t think it’s a prevalent one, and it seems clear there is a large enough drive here by Whatcom County residents that other businesses are stepping in to snag those potential clients. Just today I see that Pizza Hut is offering 86-cent pizzas for anyone who has been 86’d from Pizza Time.

    I for one, will show this video to anyone who suggests ordering from Pizza Time.

    No customer deserves to be treated this way, based on the video we saw. This was an egregious breach of business-customer relationship and Pizza Time deserves to lose customers. Those employees absolutely should be punished and there should be a revisiting of basic customer service principles by the owner of the business.

  3. Hi Sam,

    Thanks for the reply. You points are valid, but I stand my ground. Yes, in most situations, I would say the driver would and should be fired. However, each business is entitled to have their own culture and philosophy. If Bellingham Pizza Time wishes to put employee before customer, that is their choice.

    I don’t have to agree with that personally, but in this case it seems like a tough choice for the owner. Let me be clear that I do not support this type of mentality in business. I believe in a “thank you economy” (see Gary Vanerchuck) for a prosperous business model. In business, if you don’t have have happy customers, (especially now), you don’t have much of a future…Social media has changed everything and this case proves it.

    What I’m excited to see now is how Pizza Time responds to this situation. I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d print off a bunch of shirts that say “I got 86’d from Pizza Time, Biotch!” I’d make a video featuring those shirts and post it on YouTube as a response to their original video. I’d offer those shirts for free to the kids who shot the original video. They’d probably sell more shirts than pies…At least for awhile.

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