2010-04-20

Pity they didn't keep going

2010-04-15

Pizza Pizza Scam Scam

(Sent 26 January 2010 to sparweez223@pizzapizza.ca; no reply)

Dear sir:

On Sunday 17 January 2010, around 2:10 in the afternoon, I entered the Pizza Pizza restaurant at the Centrum Plaza in Kanata.

I ordered a slice of pepperoni and a can of pop. Whereupon the employee assisting me conducted the transaction illustrated in the attachment 'pizza.jpg', a scan of the receipt from that transaction.



When I was informed the total, I handed over the money to pay. However, since I had been standing there for a minute or two, I recalled that the cash register had been displaying the deal illustrated in the attachment 'IMG00209.jpg', a camera-phone picture of the cash register displaying the promotion "A New Walk-In Special, slice & pop $3.49".



Although I had not seen my receipt at this point, I quickly calculated that the transaction price of $3.49 would not result in a total after-tax price of $4.74. I asked the employee, and I was informed that since I had not requested the deal advertised, I could not have it as the transaction could not be reversed. I was assured that if I requested the deal next time, I could have it.

I completed my transaction, and enjoyed my pizza.

I do note that although the camera phone photo is blurry, the terms and conditions displayed on the offer appear only to limit the deal to certain types of pizza, certain types of clients (ie walk-in), and advise that appropriate taxes will be applied. Nowhere on the terms do they indicate that the customer must specify that they wish to have the deal instead of having the elements charged individually.

So I have some questions regarding this.

1. Is this a general policy to Pizza Pizza, or is it specific to this individual store, that requires customers to specify that they wish to have the deal?

2. If yes to either, why is this policy not posted on the offer?

3. If it is not a general policy, and it is not a policy specific to this individual store, why does Pizza Pizza point-of-sale equipment make it possible for a customer to buy things counter to the current set of promotional offers? Could you provide me with a contact email for the corporate Pizza Pizza person or department which is responsible for point-of-sale policies that might be able to explain this?

I would like to tell you that at this time I still consider the full price of the items reasonable value, and I still intend to visit this and other Pizza Pizza locations in future. However, like everybody else I don't wish to spend any more money than I have to. So if by specifying the offer I can save money, I will do so in future; caviat emptor.

It has long bugged me that even though many point-of-sale devices are completely computerized, the onus is still on the customer to arrange his order in such a way to minimize the expenditure. I work with computers, and I don't understand why if you have a deal that is 'a slice and a pop for $3.49', and the customer orders 'a slice and a pop', the point-of-sale device can't recognize that as a qualifying deal, and charge the deal price instead of the individual prices.

Thank you for your attention; I look forward to your reply.

2010-04-14

Flush Pharma

The Ontario government announced that they want to restrict the price of generic copy drugs to a maximum of 25% of the cost of the original, down from the current 50%. This is an issue because the generic copies are functionally identical -- being a copy of the original and all -- and therefore can only compete on price. The story goes that the current arrangement is for pharmacies to receive "kickbacks" on drugs purchased from particular vendors.

The pharmacies have responded by saying cutting these kickbacks will result in reduced customer services -- ie reduced hours, lower staffing levels, charges for deliveries, increased dispensing fees, etc.

While true, they miss the point.

There is a cost to these services. The services yield higher value to the customer, true, but there is a cost, and the difference is that up until now the customer has not been paying directly for these services. However, through the higher generic drug prices being paid, they are in fact indirectly paying for them.

Having the costs of these extra services laid out for all to see and directly passed on to the consumer is a good thing. Now the consumer can make the choice to have the extra services at an extra cost, rather than paying for services they may or may not actually use.

Memo to the Pharmacies: if you have to trick people into subsidizing services, you are doing it wrong.

2010-04-06

Stick a fork in it, it's an Ex-hibition

CBC: The Ex takes money problems to city

Seems like this train wreck keeps looking for a place to happen. The Central Canada Exhibition, or Super Ex, aquired land on Albion Road back in 2002 but still somehow managed to not get kicked out of Landsdown Park until next year. Now they admit they can't pay $200K from last year, and some articles report that unless the city forgives $600K in debt Super Ex might not run at all in 2011.

Oh, they also have no plan. Even though this year is moving year.

Why is it that these "popular" businesses always seem to need government help?

Sure, maybe the CCE was a viable business back in the '70s and '80s... but it obviously isn't one today.

Shut 'em down.