Fool me once….
A “lady” called on Thursday and told one of our front gals that she had received the wrong pizza the night before. She had ordered a Bueno Taco and had gotten a Tree Hugger.
Front gal thought this odd, as that would mean that someone else would have received the wrong pizza as well. Instead of immediately issuing our standard “What can I do to make it better” line, she got her name and number for me to call her back.
I was in Boise buying the last items for our catering gig, and when I returned to the restaurant, she told me about the call.
She then said, “And I took it upon myself to do a little investigating as well. See?”
She handed me a ticket from a four weeks prior that showed an “Owner Comp” pizza. The phone numbers matched. The gal had given a different name, but had used the same cell phone.
I called her and asked for Heather, the name she had left with our Front Gal. After she repeated the same story to me, I apologized and said, “So, Hillary, here’s the problem that I’m having…. wait, is it Hillary or Heather?”
She stuttered a bit and acted confused.
“I was working in the kitchen that night, and don’t recall making any mistakes. Now that’s not to say I don’t make mistakes, but they’re rare. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. So I pulled a report of every single food item purchased that evening, and the only Bueno Taco or Tree Hugger pizza that was made was for a dine-in, not a take-out. Nor did we have any to-go orders at all for either of these pies.”
“Not to mention, Hillary, that you’ve done this before and we actually fell for it and gave you a free pizza. On March third, remember?”
She became flustered and told me she wasn’t sure; that her husband had picked up the pizza.
“Well I’ll tell you what,” I responded, “Have your husband come in this evening. The same staff is working and so if we recognize him from last night, well…. our bad.”
This may be shocking, but he didn’t show up all night.
I hate thieves. Thieves and liars.
I was tempted to tell her to just come in for the pizza, wait until she got there and whip out a camera and take a profile shot. Then I would tell her I was going to hang it on the wall with the words SCAM ARTIST on it for everyone to see. Put it on the front page of my website. My blog. Make fliers and hang them in coffee houses. And if she wanted me to stop? She’d have to buy five $20 gift certificates from our restaurant for me to donate to Community Connections.
I put way too much thought into it after our conversation. I just wanted her to pay, somehow, some way.
I know it’s only a pizza, but people like this don’t just stop at a free pizza. They scam their way through life, screwing over people and businesses. They’re the ones that file false lawsuits. The ones who spill hot coffee or have a “slip n’ fall” at K-Mart.
I loathe liars and I have no respect for thieves.