Too Good To Be True?

March 14th, 2006 by Potato

Well, looks like the brief bout of spring weather yesterday was too good to be true, and the snow has come back today. Pity, I liked romping about in a T-shirt.

I got a flier in my mail today for Cousin Vinny’s pizza. On the back, there’s an ad for a $6 large pizza for students (pick-up only). That’s a pretty good deal anywhere, and Cousin Vinny’s pizza is pretty edible here (nice, thick crust, but they’re usually too light on cheese). However, I got virtually the same flier last month and when I went in to take advantage of the deal, they said it was a mistake, and the deal was for a $6 medium pizza. We negotiated on an $8 large, which still isn’t a bad price. Getting the same ad is probably just a result of having them print several months’ worth at once, but it still irks me a bit: it seems a lot like bait & switch. Last time I was there, they didn’t even have a notice in the window or anything about the error, and in fact there were copies of the flier by the cash.

I haven’t brushed up on the law, but I’m pretty sure bait & switch is illegal, as are several other forms of misleading advertising. In practice, I don’t really care all that much, as it’s a pain to file a complaint with the government and all that jazz. Plus, typos do happen, and it’s not reasonable to expect a company to honour a misprint in an ad just to go bankrupt in the process. To my mind, it’s not really all that different than having Cineplex sell you 2-for-1 movie passes that can only be used on mondays, wednesdays, and thursdays (but not for matinees) and only for movies that have been out for 4 weeks or more (if there are any movies left these days that have legs like that). They both lure you in with the idea of a deal that you’ll never reasonably get. But they’ve got to make some steps towards not looking like they’re purposefully trying to deceive. A notice in the window, or a sticker with the proper price on the next round of fliers would be a start. The movie passes at least do have the fine print (oh, how I loathe the fine print).

As long as I’m thinking of pizza places not giving me advertised deals, I’m getting really fed up with just about every pizza place I know not giving walk-in specials to phoned-in orders. It’s really convenient to be able to call in your order as you’re leaving work, having it come out of the oven just as you get there, and then going home to eat. But depending on the current specials, you might pay as much as $5 more for the priviledge of phoning in vs. ordering in person and waiting. I know some of the places like Pizza Pizza have ginormous centralized ordering facilities (seeing as how they have to ask what city you’re in, they presumably serve several). Despite that however, they seem to have the same walk-in specials at every one from Toronto to London anyway, so that potential excuse doesn’t hold much water. Even if the pricing was different from store to store, you’d think their new computer terminals could manage it (even if they can’t always figure out how to get you a plain cheese pizza — more than once they’ve just plugged in a pepperoni pizza for me, then scratched off pepperoni on the printout).

4 Responses to “Too Good To Be True?”

  1. Ben Says:

    You can call in “pick-up” orders here to Pizza Pizza and Domino’s. I’ve been doing it with Domino’s for years, but I think it’s a fairly recent offering from Pizza Pizza (maybe in the past year or so). It is convenient yes, but from my experience ordering pizzas, it’s just one more step that they have to potentially f*ck up your order… which seems to happen far too often considering that all they do all day is MAKE PIZZAS to client’s specifications.

  2. Potato Says:

    Can you call in and get the pick-up prices though?

    E.G.: the large 1-topping special ran for a few years straight at both Pizza Nova and Pizza Pizza, coming to $9.19 (and later $10.34) for a pick-up, but if you called in they’d give you the “regular” price which was in the neighbourhood of $12. If I reminded them about the pick-up special, they’d tell me that I had to actually order it there and wait to get the deal

  3. Ben Says:

    Yes, I always call ahead to order the 5 topping $8.99 meduim from Pizza Pizza, which, as far as I know, is a walk-in special.

    Domnio’s just has lower prices on all their items if you pick them up.

  4. netbug Says:

    All of the places I’ve ever been too distinguish between “Walk-in” and “Pick-up”. Walk-in doesn’t go through the larger corporation so they don’t take a chunk of the profits.