A promotional giveaway by pizza giant Domino’s has turned sour amid customer complaints about tech issues and misleading conduct.
The promotion offered to give away 10,001 free pizzas to customers who made a booking through the company’s website in a bid to promote its latest menu changes.
However, in scenes reminiscent of the 2016 Australian Census debacle, many customers were frustrated at being repeatedly given error messages when trying to access the web page.
The website issues prompted a flurry of comments on social media, with the initial Facebook post about the giveaway receiving more than 5,000 comments.
“Got an error message whenever I tried to get the free pizza and now missed out,” wrote Jules Crow.
“So, entered email and allowed coupon access to my profile. Then nothing... care to comment Domino’s Australia?” added Isha Jazmine.
Other customers lambasted the fine print of the promotion, calling the whole stunt “misleading”, and suggested Domino’s had actually lost their business as a result of the blunder.
“So they forgot to mention the fine print. You can’t even get free pizza because you need to spend a minimum of $22 even on pickup! What a joke. This is why I prefer Pizza Hut. At least they don’t lie and mislead their customers,” said Aaron Thompson.
“This makes me laugh... now i want pizza, and dominos is crashing for me on every platform. guess i'm going pizza hut or gourmet [sic],” added Lauren Wager.
My Business had verified error messages were received by customers, with a 404 error repeatedly displayed when we attempted to access the site at the time of the promotion.
The incident led many people to question whether Domino’s had indeed honoured its commitment to give away the free pizzas.
“Just a marketing gimmick, with no free pizzas given away!” Dilligaf Noway wrote on Facebook.
In a bid to diffuse the mounting tension from would-be customers, Domino’s posted a generic statement on its Facebook page, which it repeated several times in response to feedback about the technology problems.
The statement read:
“UPDATE: Hi all, we have partnered with one of the world's leading providers in online competitions, and the demand from our fans has been amazing. We do apologise that there is some slowness in accessing the site. The competition has received unprecedented demand, vouchers are being provided to customers, and we encourage you to keep trying, as there are many free pizzas still available. Thank you, and enjoy your free pizza.”
A Domino’s spokesperson issued a pre-prepared statement in response to My Business’ request for comment on the matter, which read:
“We had unprecedented demand from pizza lovers across Australia, and 10,000 +1 lucky people received a free premium pizza – more than 100 every minute.
“We do apologise that it took multiple attempts for some customers to receive their voucher and that some customers did not win a free pizza. Our fans are so hungry for our new menu, and free pizza, that they almost broke the internet.
“We partnered with one of the world’s leading providers in online competitions and the response from our fans was amazing. More than 100,000 people logged on in the space of 90 minutes. Almost a third of those people who received a voucher have already enjoyed their free premium pizza. We look forward to their feedback on our new menu.”