Here’s a little news story I caught during my lunch break. Too bad today’s Friday, and not Monday.
It seems that, back in December, D0mino’s was considering an online coupon offer for ordering pizzas through their web site. The idea was that you’d be able to enter the coupon code — “Bailout” — at checkout, and get yourself a free medium pizza if you drove over to your local Domino’s to pick it up.
Nice deal for the consumer, but here’s the problem for Domino’s.
It seems they were only considering the “Bailout” coupon campaign, AND decided NOT to go ahead with the campaign, BUT someone at Domino’s had programmed the coupon code into the system already, and forgot to, or didn’t, remove it. So the code was in the system, BUT there was no ad campaign anywhere promoting the coupon code.
So Domino’s Pizza had an unapproved coupon code lurking in their system. A coupon code that should have been removed from the system because the campaign had never been approved. Free pizzas were just waiting in the computer.
Then just a few days ago someone in the Cincinnati area, we don’t know who, was on the Domino’s Pizza web site buying a pizza and they just decided to try entering “Bailout” in the coupon code space. Probably as a goof. It was just a random thing. They had no knowledge of the code, supposedly, they just thought they’d try entering the word “Bailout” in the coupon code box on the web site and see if anything happened.
And something happened. They found out they could get a free medium pizza, if they went to their local Domino’s Pizza to pick it up.
Then this person, or someone they knew, started telling people, probably friends, about this coupon code, how to use it, and what they’d get for it; and the word spread like wildfire.
One franchise owner, John Glass, who owns 14 Domino’s Pizza stores in the Cincinnati area, says that by late Monday evening his stores had given away 600 free pizzas. That’s a lot of dough. (Domino’s says they will reimburse Mr. Glass for his losses).
Overall, the report has it that around 11,000 free pizzas were given away before the coupon code was deactivated on Tuesday morning.
You can read the original news report I found at MSNBC, and you can also read one web page that was promoting the secret code at Rick Broida’s “the cheapskate” column over at CNET.com.
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