Priming users for disappointment

I took this screenshot at 8.16pm tonight.

A firezza pizza order processing page full of lies

They said the pizza would be with me by 7.52pm. At the time of screenshot it was 24 minutes late. The pizza finally turned up at 8.21pm. Nearly 30 minutes late. I was feeling really frustrated by this point. Which was both a bit childish, and totally avoidable.

In total it took 1 hour to arrive. For a Saturday night , that’s not unusual. It was what I thought it would take just before I ordered in fact. But they showed me a possible 30 minute delivery time. With the language “your order will be at your door step by 7.52pm”. They surprised me and got my hopes up, with very confident language.

At the top of the page they’ve got that little progress area. It had ticked over to “Ready for delivery” a bit before 7.50pm but then just sat there. Making me worry that my pizza was sitting there getting cold. More frustration.

I kept refreshing this page, thinking there was an update that my phone hadn’t seen. But no. Every unsuccessful refresh just added to the frustration.

Then I spotted the text at the very top saying “Mathew, we really appreciate you”. That was less frustrating and more insulting. Clearly they didn’t or they’d have delivered my pizza as promised.

As I say, in the end it did get here, and in just under an hour. Fine for a Saturday night, but that childish level of frustration was stoked completely by them making unnecessary promises and using such confident and seemingly caring language.

Their service this evening could have been better for me if I didn’t have an order info page. I’d have been totally pleased if all there was only a note on the email receipt, maybe saying ‘deliveries can take up to 1 hour on busy nights’. Perfectly fine service.

Sometimes, good service just about meeting expectations.

A service that over promises and under delivers though just shoots itself in the foot.

Note. I say I would have been pleased with the 1 hour delivery time, but in fact the pizza was cold when it arrived. THAT is a bad service. Even if delivered in 10 minutes.

Key take away of this post: never serve cold pizza.

Oh, and don’t design a service you can’t deliver.