Customer ServiceIamA former Dominos UK customer service representative, Here to take your orders and answer your questions. AMA!
Sep 14th 2016 by TomDermotBrown • 8 Questions • 2895 Points
EDIT 2PM ET: Thanks everybody! Got to sign off! Catch you on the air! --Tom
I wake up at 4:58 a.m. Monday through Friday to get ready for my show. On Point is a national live call-in show, and we’re on the air from 10AM to 12PM ET. We produce the show at WBUR in Boston.
A few things you may not know about me? I was a dynamiter in Alaska’s oil fields back in the day. I produced Chinese kung fu films out of Hong Kong. And my current job with NPR started as emergency coverage of the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Before On Point, I was a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor, and writer. I spent 10 years in Asia —India, Hong Kong and Japan — starting at the South China Morning Post, then as a correspondent for the Boston Globe. I started my reporting career covering the refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China.
What else? I was raised on a farm in Illinois. I studied American history at Yale and Gandhi’s independence movement at Andhra University, India. I love rhubarb.
Here's a link to On Point: http://www.wbur.org/onpoint
A few of my favorite guests: Annie Leibovitz: http://onpoint.legacy.wbur.org/2007/05/28/photographer-annie-leibovitz Peter Drucker: http://onpoint.legacy.wbur.org/2004/12/08/management-guru-peter-drucker Jewel: http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2015/09/22/jewel-2015-new-album-live-performance Bill Russell: http://onpoint.legacy.wbur.org/2009/05/22/hoops-with-bill-russell
I love your show and one of my favorite things about it is how you politely cut off people when they are being crazy. How did you hone that skill? Is it something you are aware of while you do it? Does it come in handy during family gatherings?
We get a lot of the regular "Draw something on the box" stuff, Had a few telling me to send the cute delivery driver and one contemplating why his wife left him.
Radio techniques do not work for family gatherings! Trust me! On air, I'm always looking to get the value a caller brings. When we've got it, we're done. On Point is not about chit chat. We've got big stuff to wrestle with. But I always try to extend respect, and look for the value, the insight that's there.
How much do you hate it during Freshers week when they give out the free small pizza vouchers?
I enjoy all your shows, but the Friday morning "Week in the News" episode is always an extra treat at the end of the week.
Is it your favorite too or do you prefer the deep dive episodes on a single topic? Quality time with Jack has to tip the scales!!
Thanks for the great work.
We weren't that near a school so we never got bothered by it all. I'm hating the thought of it though. eugh.
EDIT: SCHOOL, UNI, FUCKING WHATEVER
The cool thing about the Friday news round-up is the way we can flay all over the news horizon with smart journalists on our panel. We choose them for their familiarity with the top stories of the week. And in a single hour, we frame up the week. It's excitign to move and groove over a bunch of issues. And Jack Beatty's there! My soul man. Single-subject hours go deeper, but for verve and range, Fridays are great.
Have you witnessed any staff tamper with any of the food?
Is the dough made fresh?
What comes ready made for the oven?
What should we avoid from Dominos?
Can we request for you guys to cut off the crust before its delivered? If we ain't having any fancy crust. Do people do that?
Hi Tom, I really enjoy your show and listen regularly. I'm always amazed at how informed you are given the range of topics you present. Perhaps this comes naturally given your diverse background.
My question is, can you comment on your routine for preparation for the show? Are you actually reading the books you talk about? How much of your shows are prepped by producers? (I've often thought producing talk shows similar to yours must be one of the more fascinating jobs.)
Thanks for your time!
The whole thing about people spitting in your food is total crap, the person you annoy on the phone isn't the person making your pizza and we don't turn round and say "Hey, take a big ol' shit in order #132!" And no one ever messes up orders on purpose anyways.
The dough is fresh, it's not made in store but we have strict guidelines about expiry dates etc. So the dough is always fresh.
Pretty much all the sides that don't involve dough. chicken, potato wedges, cookies etc. all come frozen in plastic bags.
I wouldn't say there is anything food wise to stay away from, the only advice I can give is always try and order one of the deals, you'll save a hell of a lot of money that way.
You can request anything you want, no one really judges you because we've seen all the bizarre orders before. On a busy evening it might not get done because the instructions don't come through the oven with the pizza so the guys on the cut table will treat it normally unless we tell them specifically, and we have plenty other jobs to do.
It's an awesome job. No question about it. But it takes a ton of work off-air. My producers are terrific at doing the research putting together background material for every show. But I have absorb all that, plus the books! I typically spend a couple of hours every night cramming for the next day's shows. I read deeply into every book, and have become a wicked speed reader. And then, knowledge is cumulative. After fifteen years now of doing this show, my brain is loaded for bear! Life experience helps too, right? I've lived all over the world, known the US from the middle and the coasts, and am lucky enough to have friends in high and low places. Low's more fun! And it all counts.
What is the main difference between Domino's UK and Domino's US, pizza wise?
Hi Tom! Recently NPR removed all comments and commenting from their website. How does On Point develop a community around the show, and what do you think the future of engagement with your audience looks like?
Do you think closing down comment communities is the best way for everyone?
Pizza wise I think the US just has... more. larger pizza, way more sides, Whether they taste any different I don't know, my salary wasn't good enough to be able to find out.
I like comment and comment sections, but we do all know they can turn into crazytown. We've always had a very active comment community around On Point, on the web site and Facebook and Twitter. Some people abuse the community occasionally, but overall it's good. We want to engage every way we can.
Why is Dom Pizza Tracker unnecessarily annoying? All he needs to do is tell me what stage my pizza is in and when can I pick it up, what's with the short videos and cringey jokes?
Does Jack Beatty have dirt on you that he uses to keep his hold on his weekly spot?
He became a thing shortly after I quit, I ordered online for the first time ever last week and I'm with you, he needs to make a different noise for progress on the order and his shitty jokes.
In fact yeah, just cut the jokes altogether.
Ha! Yeah, Jack has alllll the dirt. He was in the room three days after 9/11 had called us in to ask for emergency help after the terror attacks. I had never met Jack. So, we shared that foxhole of being birth in crisis. I've come to really value his candor, the way Jack calls it as he sees it. And it gives a continuity of voice to those shows. As long as Jacks famous big hounds don't knock him off his microphone, his chair, up in his place in New Hampshire, he's a stand-up guy. And we've gone through a lot together.
Is there anything we should know about Dominos that only employees really know?
A few years ago you had Russel Brand on to discuss his new political movement and several times you had to reel him in from becoming too intense, but it seemed like you really had a good time with him. Would you be able to expand on what that experience was like?
Big fan Tom. Was excited to hear about this on the show this morning.
Ninja Edit: I accidentally a word.
We work zero hour contracts and it's bullshit, you never know when you're going home. My boss used to keep me until closing every single night when there were plenty of other people who could just because he didn't like me. That's why I quit.
Other than my own personal issues, we get a pretty okay discount, 50% off pretty much everything and if we work more than a 5 hour shift we get a free pizza.
I loved talking with Russell Brand. He's my crack. Wild, free mind and really smart. You don't want to reel someone like Russell in too much. The joy is in watching him run, and running alongside.
I've always wondered whether your voice was something that you've developed with practice or if it is purely natural?
One of the most interesting segments I can recall hearing on your show was a few months ago and was about an issue with design philosophy and was presented discussing the flaws with making seats for aircraft pilots that were made for the average of all the pilots and wound up being good for none of them, while designing for the extremes was a more effective method. I believe you mentioned something about a disability which took me by surprise, as I hadn't heard you reference it before. (I've only been listening on a fairly consistent basis for the past year)
For my job I drive much of the day and your show has always been very reliable as a source of news and interesting info, thank you for that.
It's pretty accurate, there is someone in the store who checks off when an order has been made, going through the oven, and is being delivered.
Quality check means piss all though.
I never thought twice about my voice until I got thrown onto radio after 9/11. Once you're on radio, people pay a lot of attention to your voice and comment on it. It's still kind of invisible to me. In my family, it's quite an ordinary voice. I'm just glad if it works. On disability, I've got none. Well, I did lose a little of edge of hearing in one ear when a crazy colleague fired his huge pistol next to my ear in the cab of an earth mover up north of the Yukon. But that's about it. Glad we earn your ears when you're on the road!
Hi Tom! I was listening to NPR 45 minutes ago! Since I'm the first one to comment... Would you rather fight one horse sized duck, or 100 duck sized horses?
Also, what has been your favorite story to cover?
Audio responses are more than welcome!
Oh, one horse sized duck for sure. I am not afraid of big ducks. You can quote me on that. But little ducky horses really freak me out. Crowds in general, not my fave. And as a tall guy, lots of little stuff underfoot is unsettling. Especially tiny horses. Do they whinny or quack?
Is there an easy, ethical way for me to get free pizza? Unethical way?
Well I guess the most ethical way is to do a BOGOF deal, other than that there isn't really any ways to get free pizza unless you know someone who works there.
Unethically, you can order pizza normally then complain something was wrong, you'll usually be given the option of having your order remade and sent to you or having store credit for your next order. On a busy night the manager won't bother gathering proof that your order wasn't made properly and he'll just say fuck it have a free pizza next time.
We never really had any funny drunk person encounters, mainly because it was always at the end of the night and we were all pissed off and tired. It would always be either someone who takes forever to order something just as we're about to close or a bunch of pissed up lads who won't stop yelling and trying to take selfies with me.
Also fuck anyone who comes in with an open beer bottle and puts it on the counter with the menus and stuff.
What percentage of people actually tip? I've never tipped in my life because it hadn't even occurred to me but I just read a comment from one of our American cousins and it got me thinking whether I should or not.
If you're paying cash on delivery, tip the drivers. If you payed by card, fuck 'em
Hi, I'll have a mighty meaty medium sized pizza please. Actually you know what lets just go for the medium family deal, you know how it is. Thanks.
But seriously tho whats the craziest story you have from your time there?
Plus don't forget about my order.
Craziest would probably be when a delivery driver nearly got arrested for speeding. A policeman came in saying he saw the guy driving too fast down the high street. We managed to calm him down to just giving the driver a warning and giving the policeman a free pizza if he ever ordered from us.
We also had a deranged old man come in asking for fish and chips once...
Is there a rivalry between dominos and other chain pizzerias?
Not really, we have 3 different pizza places on the high street. There have been a few times when it was really busy and people would come in and my boss would tell them to go to Papa Johns across the road because it's quieter.
how often do you have to redo pizzas because of a communication error or something of that sort?
On a busy night it happens a fair bit, when there isn't too much going on it rarely happens and if it does and the customer brings the pizza back we get to eat it :D
How much did Dominos go uphill/downhill after it stopped sponsering the Simpsons on Sky 1 and why?
I think business has only gotten better but not at as rapidly as when they had their logo plastered over the ad breaks.
Why not breadsticks?
We don't sell breadsticks.
Because we spend so much money putting all those leaflets through your door ;)
I worked at Domino's in South East England with Tom. Are you him?
Might be, and your name is?
I kinda like it ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Uhhhh yeah... Sports... for real dude.
Please answer, this will settle a big argument in my house. IS there a freshness difference between normal pizza Base and a stuff crust pizza Base? I. E. Is the normal Base fresher than a stufft crust?
No difference, the same batch of dough is used. Hope that settles it :)
Could you please tell us a fascinating secret about Dominos that they'd really rather you didn't tell us, but yet they cannot stop you?
Not really a fascinating secret, but the branch I worked at used to be a bank and all the supplies are kept in the vault.
In general, there isn't really any. no trade secrets really, no nothing. Just a regular ol' pizza place.
What was the weirdest special request that wasn't fulfilled that someone complained about?
We didn't send the "cute delivery driver".
Hello Tom, is it true that Dominos UK allow their staff to smoke weed?
I'm personally not a smoker myself, and I've never touched a drug in my life. I did get offered cocaine from a large South African man once, but that's another story.
I wouldn't really know exactly because I don't go out the back with people when they smoke. But I really wouldn't be surprised if my manager would've turned a blind eye to anyone smoking weed.
"Do you sell pizza?"
What was the craziest thing that happened in-store? Like any freakouts or anything
I've had people threaten to kill me over the counter, that's always fun. One guy brought his arm up to hit me and I just took a step back because there's a huge counter in the way.
I worked in Pizza Hut Delivery for a while some years ago, also in the UK. All of our meat - toppings and sides - were coming from Thailand, frozen. Is this also the case at Dominos?
I don't know if they come from Thailand, but they all come in frozen, yeah.
Who's the most memorable kind of "Only at Dominos" character you've ever come across in your time? I'm guessing you've dealt with your fair share of drunkards, any in particular worth telling about?
Had a bunch of guys who were really cool and were asking me a lot of the questions similar to here. we played the game of see how many pizza boxes you can balance on your co-workers head when they're on the phone to a customer. I managed to beat them from a lot of practice
Why can't you guys put a decent amount of the double decadence sauce on those pizzas? God damn you to hell with that dry ass shit I always get. Still pretty delicious though.
Dude i knowwwww, I had a DD last night and it was so dissappointing. You can always ask them to put more sauce in it