April 1, 2009

Internet error leads to 11,000 free pizzas

Domino's Pizza officials said an Internet error led to Cincinnati area outlets dolling out nearly 11,000 free pizzas in a single day.

Tim McIntyre, Domino's vice president of communications, said the company created an online-only promotion in December that would give a free pizza for the codeword bailout, but the campaign never received the go-ahead from senior officials, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.

It had never technically been activated, but we hadn't turned it off, either, he said.

However, he said an enterprising customer discovered the codeword Monday night and it quickly spread via the Internet. McIntyre said an estimated 11,000 free pizzas were given out in the region before the accidental promotion was shut down at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

I started getting calls at about 10 a.m. from managers asking what was going on. I said I had no idea, said John Glass, who owns 14 Domino's stores in Greater Cincinnati. I called corporate, they had no idea at the time. No one seemed to have any idea, everyone was scrambling. It all kind of snowballed.

Corporate officials have promised to reimburse the stores for every free pizza.