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Sorry, Domino's - You Shouldn't Need "Insurance" For A Satisfactory Delivery CX

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Brian Cantor

Dominos Delivery

Whether you love or hate the chain’s pizza, you can’t ignore the impact of Domino’s’ ad campaigns.

Years back, the enterprise made waves by openly acknowledging the poor quality of its pizza -- and vowing to do better. The brilliant, candid campaign fueled massive growth for the business, which in 2018 became the world’s largest pizza chain.

Recently, the company piqued interest by advertising “Carryout Insurance.” Through a comedic campaign, the restaurant revealed that it would protect against accidents that happen while bringing the pizza home. If, as an example, someone drops their pizza while getting in or out of their car, Domino’s would remake the order for free.

This fall, Domino’s turned its promotional attention to “Delivery Insurance.” Much like the cold pizza against which it is promising to insure, the ad lacks the heat and impact of the chain’s previous campaigns.

The promise is simple: if there is something wrong with your order (wrong toppings, it’s cold, missing dipping sauce), file a claim, and Domino’s will “make it right.” Per terms on the website, the compensation is either 20% off a future order or enough rewards points for a free pie.

Domino’s touts Delivery Insurance like it is some sort of novel, customer-centric concept. It is not.

By remaking orders even when the customer is to blame, Carryout Insurance is an amazing offering. It reflects a relationship-minded approach to the customer experience: the brand’s interest in satisfaction does not end once the customer swipes a credit card and walks out the door. It also reflects a point of differentiation in the market: no one, at least not a restaurant of this scale, is making a similar commitment.

Delivery Insurance, on the other hand, is simply protecting against the brand’s own mistakes. As restaurants are inherently responsible for errant deliveries, there is no universe in which they could fairly refuse to remedy the situation.

Indeed, Delivery Insurance is a reality of doing business rather than a special perk. It is something just about every restaurant in the world already offers without thinking twice.

If anything, the policy is a regression for the restaurant industry. Typically, when I receive an errant order, I call the restaurant (or let the driver know on the spot), receive an apology, and a promise that they’ll either remake the food (unless I’d prefer a coupon for the future). Domino’s, on the other hand, requires customers to “make a claim” and then choose between a free pizza or discount, both in the future. Oh, and if they want the free pizza, they have to be a rewards member.

Barring an unlikely arbitrage scenario in which someone reports an issue with a $5 delivery and then uses the 20% coupon on a $500 order, there is no ‘special’ bonus. You’re simply exerting more effort to receive delayed compensation.

Though it is not articulated in the commercial or terms and conditions, it is admittedly possible that the Delivery Insurance payout will be in addition to a real-time make good (refund, remaking the order, etc). But even then, the chain should still catch heat for essentially bragging about its willingness to compensate for its own mistakes.

The ad has other flaws. The commercial almost implies that the customer didn’t know Domino’s was going to show up with the make-good, which is weird for two reasons: 1) she filed a claim and presumably ordered her replacement pizza and 2) if she really didn’t know, then how did Domino’s know it was OK to bring her a particular pizza at a particular time? But, there’s no real harm in offering a simplistic look at a process during a 30-second TV ad.

There is, however, harm in sending the message that basic accountability is special.

Prior to writing this article, I asked numerous friends and colleagues for their take. I felt like I had to be missing something; clearly, Domino’s couldn’t be looking for praise for fixing its own mistakes. Clearly, Domino’s wasn’t trying to treat a willingness to provide a coupon for an errant order as a unique selling point. But no one with whom I spoke had an alternative explanation. No one is seeing what I’m not seeing.

Perhaps Domino’s is trying to make the point that it will rarely make mistakes (since the “insurance” costs money, they have incentive to avoid mistakes). But there is a better way to articulate that point: no mistakes or your order is free. Wholly committing to a full refund is a bigger risk than offering a fairly restrictive insurance process that requires additional customer effort.

A glance at Twitter, moreover, finds that some customers are walking away with the opposite interpretation: we make mistakes so often that we have to offer insurance.


Granted, there are things Domino’s can spin here. It can acknowledge the fact that you (seemingly) get to keep the incorrect pizza. It can acknowledge the fact that you get to “make the claim” on your own terms and thus avoid the hassle of complaining to the restaurant at dinner time.

Instead, it is simply focusing on its vow to “make things right.” A vow that, of course, only springs to action when the customer endures the effort of “making a claim.”

Who needs to compete on an amazing customer experience when you can compete on your willingness to assume basic responsibility?