Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones Businesses Software Idle

'App Truthers' Question the Accuracy of the Domino's Pizza Tracker (foxnews.com) 205

Despite the fact that 60% of its pizza orders arrive digitally, "A growing number of Domino's delivery customers are casting a critical eye at the company's online pizza-tracking app," reports the lifestyle editor at Fox News. "More specifically, they think it's a bunch of crap." Fault-finding app users -- or "app truthers," as The Wall Street Journal calls them -- are subscribing to the notion that the Domino's pizza tracker is nothing but a bunch of smoke and mirrors. One user who spoke with the Journal claims his app told him that "Melinda" would be arriving shortly with his order, but when he opened the door, a delivery man he already knew handed him the pizza. "Ever since then, I knew everything they said, I felt, was made up," he said.

Another man claims the tracker told him his pizza was en route, even though he could see the Domino's restaurant from his house, and there was no sign of the pizza being out for delivery. Others claim the pizza app told them their food had been delivered when it hadn't, or that there were huge discrepancies between when their pies were supposed to be delivered and when they actually arrived. A whole thread on Reddit suggests that the app is just an automated timer disguised to look like a real-time tracker.

In a statement Domino's blamed the problem on employees not entering correct data, while also insisting that "the vast majority of the time Pizza Tracker works as designed."

According to the article, "A person who claimed to be a Domino's employee also said nearly as much in a 2015 Reddit thread. He/she added that the name of the person preparing the pizza -- as far as the app is concerned -- is usually the manager.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

'App Truthers' Question the Accuracy of the Domino's Pizza Tracker

Comments Filter:
  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 02, 2017 @10:01PM (#55666321)

    Someone who could see the restaurant ordered DELIVERY?!?

    WALK OVER AND GET IT!!!!

    • Re: Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Some places do delivery only late at night

      • I can attest to this. It's not just Domino's that does this with small franchises.

    • Maybe he was testing the Domino's App's accuracy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      sometimes they close the lobby but still deliver.

    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mikael ( 484 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @06:54AM (#55667363)

      Maybe they are disabled or some other medical injury (sprained angle, leg in cast). Hobbling down a flight of stairs and across several corridors isn't going to be practical.

    • WALK OVER AND GET IT!!!!

      Sure in perfect weather on a sunny day and when I'm wearing my going out cloths and have done my makeup I will.

      Or ... since the delivery is free in some cases I could just use the service that was offered, which was a pizza at my door.

  • "More specifically, they think it's a bunch of crap."

    "They" are correct. Why do "they" keep eating it, then?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 02, 2017 @11:59PM (#55666637)

      The tracker has jack shit to do with the food.

      Here I'll break it down for you.
      When you place an order it starts a timer.
      When it's being made it starts a timer.
      When it goes in the oven, new timer!

      The employees don't get any trouble for being slow, they get in trouble for the time on the computer looking bad.
      They are trained to keep those timers under a certain time wether they got to that step or not.

      When all the timers are done they assign it to a driver who's probably still on some other delivery just keep the timer number looking good.
      Then it gets reassigned to the first driver to show up.

      This is called micromanaging and it's retarded in a restaurant,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 02, 2017 @10:11PM (#55666343)

    For sure.

    • This is like zero'th world problems.

      You have to be pretty tightly wound to be spun up when your phone gets the delivery person's name wrong.

  • Duh. They aren't entering in info on every step of the process and transmitting it to a server somewhere. It is just a timer.
    • Couldn't the app use the deliverator's phone GPS to determine distance to target automagically without the deliverator entering data into a server directly?
      • Couldn't the app use the deliverator's phone GPS to determine distance to target automagically without the deliverator entering data into a server directly?

        Only if they supply the "deliverator" a phone.

        • Only if they supply the "deliverator" a phone.

          Nobody does that. When you use Uber, do you think the driver's phone is supplied by Uber?

          • Uber is still going by the illusion that they drivers are not employees so it is reasonable that contractor(aka driver) provides the car and phone.
            However with dominoes the drivers are employees so I would expect they cannot say if a person has a phone much less a smart phone.
            • Re:Duh (Score:4, Informative)

              by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday December 03, 2017 @12:13AM (#55666665)

              Your employer can require you to have a smart phone, at your own expense, in every state but California.

              On the bright side, an employer requirement makes your phone and cellular service a tax deductible expense.

              • an employer requirement makes your phone and cellular service a tax deductible expense.

                How to get audited in one easy step. You would have to prove what percent of the phone usage is for work vs personal.

          • Part of the reason Uber fights having their drivers designated as employees, is that if you require an employee to have certain equipment to perform their job, then you have to provide it to them.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Here in NZ and AU, yes, absolutely [dominos.co.nz] - more precisely, the GPS is on the magnetic 'domino pizza delivery thing' they stick on the car with magnets.

        (In reality, I'm pretty sure the GPS data is delayed - the driver will arrive just as the tracker says they're coming down the street -- and I have a feeling the drivers give themselves a head start and the in-store tracking is... well, often lied to by staff claiming they're further along than they really are.)

      • Couldn't the app use the deliverator's phone GPS to determine distance to target automagically without the deliverator entering data into a server directly?

        If they did, the headline would be "Pizza delivery rights infringed, being tracked on their delivery routes"

        There is a solution to that. It involves an empty Twisties bag.

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        I think it does. I tried out the pizza tracker two days ago. Even made a video using my smartphone. They do use the deliverators GPS. I could see the icon slide around the streets between the pizza shop and my place. The funny thing was watching this slice of pizza wander all around the back alleys of the neighborhood like one of those maze solving AI algorithms. The deliverator was a new driver who didn't know which direction led downtown and which led out of town and ultimately had to call me to get direc

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Which pizza went out with which deliverator? Was that information entered correctly in the tracking app?

      Chad always carries the pizza orders to the sorority (antic ensue). Yours is brought by the fat slob who always steals a slice.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Sure, so they should skip the fake song and dance and just provide a timer. Had they done that, they wouldn't have people complaining now.

    • I used to work there. It's not a timer (unless they changed it since I left, but I highly doubt it, since they use the same system to track internal operating metrics for planning staffing patterns). They are entering info every step of the way, except 'entering' info mostly means hitting the enter key on the computer at that station. One station at the make line when it goes in the over, one when it comes out of the oven and gets boxed, one when it goes out the door with the driver

      All of the scenarios l

  • I will be petitioning for a federal investigation into this scourge of the Application world.
  • sounds like someone has way too much time on their hands
  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Saturday December 02, 2017 @10:31PM (#55666405) Homepage Journal

    Good fucking god!

    As ANYONE who's EVER dealt with a computerized event completion timer knows it's just an ESTIMATE.

    Trying to demand exactitude once you get HUMANS into the mix?

    Seriously, when was the last time you nodded acquaintances with reality?

    Some people just need to get a fucking job. They have too much time on their hands and have to invent stupid shit to bitch about.

    • And if anyone has ever been into a Domino's, you can see them doing the work - they don't hit a button advancing the order between each stage, so we can see it must be mostly made-up. It's obvious from just looking at the process, eg there's no scanner when they put the pizza in the oven after it's made, infact it doesn't even have a label at that stage.

  • That's more investigation into a story than they do if the topic covers politics. Maybe the editor should be promoted to cover those stories instead and get some real news shown.

    (Yes, I'm aware it's a decision made at the corporate level and even if they did any investigation it wouldn't hit the airwaves. Management would quickly kill any initiative shown or have them fired to be replaced by a lackey who says what they are told to say.)

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Saturday December 02, 2017 @10:37PM (#55666429)

    He's an IMPOSTER I tell you!

  • In Japan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theNetImp ( 190602 ) on Saturday December 02, 2017 @10:47PM (#55666453)

    The pizza tracker on their website in Japan is fairly accurate. On busy nights it sits at the first stage until they actually work on it. When it's delivered we have a GPS option to watch the driver. The driver always arrives when they the map shows them in front of the house. I wouldn't be surprised if the US version is faked a bit. The Japanese wouldn't stand for that.

    • Re:In Japan (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday December 02, 2017 @11:09PM (#55666505)

      I think the app just relays entered information. The Japanese pizza guys probably aren't entering fake info to make it appear like they are working hard and following procedure.

      • by ttsai ( 135075 )

        I think the app just relays entered information. The Japanese pizza guys probably aren't entering fake info to make it appear like they are working hard and following procedure.

        I have heard stories of technicians and IT folks in Japan being extremely meticulous in following all steps of a prescribed methodology. In contrast, Americans will skip or modify steps based on personal evaluations of a specific step's significance. Sometimes that's the end result of creativity and independent thinking.

      • by dj245 ( 732906 )

        I think the app just relays entered information. The Japanese pizza guys probably aren't entering fake info to make it appear like they are working hard and following procedure.

        Domino's Japan is an entirely different company than the USA. They ride 3-wheel scooters that tilt around corners. The pizza has a much higher relative cost, and it tastes better than the US versions of the same pizza. They aren't playing by the same corporate playbook, it is not just cultural.

    • Garbage In, Garbage Out; used to express the idea that in computing and other fields, incorrect or poor-quality input will produce faulty output.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The sign on the roof of the delivery car has a GPS and a modem.

    There is a delay as the messages propagate through their system before they end up on the web. The delivery driver can also change literally on their way out the door. So, shit happens. It's not malicious.

    • The delivery driver can also change literally on their way out the door.

      Bloody hell, they hire werewolves?!?

      [Makes note not to order pizza on the full moon]

  • Domino's stores cheat on the numbers to make then look better then they really are.

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Saturday December 02, 2017 @11:11PM (#55666517) Journal

    I know Papa John's pizza has an app with a tracker. Pretty sure Pizza Hut does too. Seems to be a pretty standard feature for chain pizza delivery places at this point.

    I get the idea that all of them are just based on timers, plus some kind of data input in the computer at the pizza place? EG. Tracker starts counting down time pizza is supposedly baking in the oven based on when the sale is processed, and delivery time based on entering some other data that says a driver picked it up and went out the door with it.

    Having it give an incorrect name of the driver supposedly arriving with your order? That sounds like an error made by whoever was keying the info in for it. That kind of thing is gonna happen and doesn't prove the app is "fake".

    But unless each pizza has an embedded RFID chip or something crazy like that, I don't know how you can expect it'll be perfectly accurate all the time? UPS and FedEx have similar "fakery" in use with package tracking. (The package only gets scanned once in a while while in route to you. On stretches between scans, they just estimate delivery times based on when the trucks SHOULD get it from one point to the next in the middle of the route. When packages get lost, the trackers get "brain dead" and often indicate a box was last seen on a truck that it was never even loaded onto. When you call in about such instances, the dispatch people on the phone seem to have a second system where they can pinpoint things better than the user-facing web site data does.)

    • ups uses rail for some of the longer moves and times you see rail delay on the web site tracker.

    • Funny thing is I know a business in the UK. They wanted a realtime map on their webpage that shows how far away their nearest delivery van is. The conversation with the website developers went like this

      Business Owner : Just say the van is fifteen minutes away from wherever they are. That way people are more likely to order.
      Developers : But how can that work? That means we need to fake a location and also that two users using the site in different places will see different locations for the van
      Business Owner : Just say the van is fifteen minutes away from wherever they are. That way people are more likely to order.
      Developers : How about we put a GPS in the van and show that?
      Business Owner : Just say the van is fifteen minutes away from wherever they are. That way people are more likely to order.
      Developers : How about we put a fake van at the midpoint of the locations of all the users currently asking. That way it will be consistent if multiple users in different locations compared notes.
      Business Owner : Just say the van is fifteen minutes away from wherever they are. That way people are more likely to order.
      Developers : How about we have multiple fake vans patrolling so that any one user is guaranteed to have one within fifteen minutes of their location. About fifteen should do it for the size of area you cover.
      Business Owner : Just say the van is fifteen minutes away from wherever they are. That way people are more likely to order.

      And it went on in that general vein ad infinitum. I don't think the 'where's the nearest van?' realtime feature ever actually got implemented.

      Some people are both simultaneously too stupid and too smart for this world.

  • https://amolosdomingos.files.w... [wordpress.com]

    Slow news day, /.?

  • Ask the developers under oath what they programmed. Probably have to fly on the other side of the planet to do that..
    Good luck!

    • Dominoes actually went much closer to home than you think: https://www.detroitlabs.com/do... [detroitlabs.com] Great agile team over there with a commitment to TDD and trying to put out stuff that people have fun using. I'm sure that pulling one over on customers was the last thing on their minds.
  • This could highly be store dependent, most specifically on what that particular store is equipped with. The one near my house is a fairly recent store (within the past year or two). My brother orders from them regularly online. The tracker has been quite accurate for us.

    Another guess from being a developer who writes ecommerce software: you have to account for human error as well. It doesn't take much for someone to accidentally press the "Jill" instead of "Bob" button when selecting the driver for the orde

  • I had an issue last year when my Pizza showed delivered for almost 30 minutes and then I called to find it it hadn't even left the store yet. The manager told me the app works on the average time it takes to make and deliver a pizza. It is not a accurate representation of the Pizza's location. I don't bother letting them deliver it anymore, I'll drive up to the store and wait.

  • âOne user who spoke with the Journal claims his app told him that "Melinda" would be arriving shortly with his order, but when he opened the door, a delivery man he already knew handed him the pizza. "Ever since then, I knew everything they said, I felt, was made up," he said.â

    Come on, we know he was really upset because it ended up being a dude who delivered his pizza.

  • whiny whiny whiny whiny snowflake whine first world problem whiny whiny snowflake.

    I think that covers it.

    • whiny whiny whiny whiny snowflake whine first world problem whiny whiny snowflake.

      Yeah, I too prefer to roll over and take whatever corporate bullshit is shovelled down my throat in the name of the "consumer". When they do something for my benefit and it turns out to not actually happen or be right my first reaction is to scream out "YES MISTRESS I WANT ANOTHER"! /end stupid reply.

      • We're not talking about a corporation abusing a monopoly position to deliver a crappy product to inflated prices. Well, that happens too, but that's not the complaint here. The complaint is about a "tracking" app that CANNOT track anything because anything it could track is completely arbitrary. Please tell me how you would track the status of a fucking PIZZA?

        We are talking about a "service" that adds exactly zero value to a product but makes the user feel like he's in some sort of "control" over the proces

        • We're not talking about a corporation abusing a monopoly position to deliver a crappy product to inflated prices

          Nope, we're talking about a corporation introducing something to the benefit of the consumer which they were *allegedly* actively lying about to the consumer's detriment.

          Only to now realize that he controls exactly fuck all. What changes? Nothing.

          Planning, customer satisfaction. Now I don't actually believe that the system is fake, but since I actively plan my order around the pizza tracker (when do I need to leave to meet them at the gate, when do I need to leave to pick up the pizza etc). If you provide information that changes nothing, then don't provide the information. But the

          • Not knowing exactly where a damn pizza is at every moment in time is not a first world problem, but worrying about handing a corporation the contents of your cellphone to do with the information anything they please is?

            I somehow can't really find the logic in your priorities.

      • When they do something for my benefit and it turns out to not actually happen

        What on Earth made you think that a pizza chain was producing an app to benefit you?

        The purpose of the app is to get more people to buy their pizza. Helping you doesn't come into the equation.

        • Have a think how that second sentence of yours works in conjunction with the former. Think really hard. Think along the lines of: If there is no benefit then why would it get more people to buy pizzas.

          You anti-corporation tinfoil hatters fail to realise that most of these developments rely on something for something. To sell more pizzas you need to provide value. Just like Google actually does care about its customers because if they leave they lose a product they can sell on to third parties.

          • Think along the lines of: If there is no benefit then why would it get more people to buy pizzas./quote

            Have a think on how your whole comment is completely detached from reality. Think really hard. (isn't being a condescending asshole fun?)

            Think along the lines of JC Penny's "No sale prices" strategy. Their idea was simple; rather than price everything 40% higher so that they can have fake sales like very other retailer, they just priced everything at a fair price. And then their sales figures tanked because people don't want a fair price, they want to think they're getting a bargain even when they aren't.

            There's no value in being told something is 'on sale' when it's the normal price marked down from an inflated price, yet that's what most consumers prefer.

            The Dominoes app works on the same principle. It's not real, but it provides the feeling that the customer is getting something even though they aren't. The company doesn't have to provide anything of value at all.

  • You enter an order into the store's system. The computer knows how many orders are ahead of it. The computer knows how long it should take to prepare the pizza, how long it should take in the oven, how long it should take to box it, how many delivery drivers are working, how many have clocked in through the door, how many deliveries are ahead of your pizza, how far roughly your house is from the store and long it should take to get there.

    Then the computer makes an ESTIMATE based on adding up those values

  • "Domino's pizza-tracking app is a bunch of crap." ?

    So it fits their pizza.

  • The restaurant workers have to enter the "status" manually (how else would it get updated?) and don't give half a shit about that OCD control freak app, so whoever walks by the terminal on his way to and from the pizza oven clicks a few orders at random that "deserve" an update.

  • Where I live (somewhere in Midwest USA), the pizza tracker has been either completely unavailable or (when it's not down) very accurate. And, having a former Dominos quasi-manager in the family, I'm certain the Dominos statement is correct: the accuracy of the tracker depends entirely on the employees entering data into it.

  • by Cederic ( 9623 )

    huge discrepancies between when their pies were supposed to be delivered and when they actually arrived

    Wait, we were talking about Dominos and pizzas. Dominos now do pies too?

    Do they do a decent steak & ale in shortcrust?

  • This is the crossroads between advertising and reality. They'll sell it as real, and if you complain, they'll tell you it was just a gag.

    Someone noted that in Japan, they wouldn't stand for this. If it holds that corporations are people, this should be the same in the U.S.

    --
    It's a bird, it's a plane, its superman!

  • Fast food employees often fudge data they enter into systems that track their performance. I've watched McDonalds employees (managers) reset the drive thru clock even though the line hadn't moved. watched as warehouse service clocks magically reset the time spent to get an item before anyone had shown up to find the item. If there is a goal that says service in 5 mins they will hit the button at 5 min whether or not the service is performed.
    Sadly if the corporate idiots implementing these systems spent even

  • is very happy about this.

  • They have this much time on their hands?
  • I picked up pizza for the kids on Friday. I don't usually buy Dominos, but had to get something next door. I ordered online to see a 25-35 minute pickup time. Showered and got dressed, arriving there 25 minutes later. I see a monitor over the counter with three pages of names cycling though, around 10 names per page.

    My name had a pizza wait time of 11 minutes when I arrived at 5:48pm. It was down to 9 minutes by 5:50, then 8 minutes at 5:51. I thought to myself, wow, this was impressive tech. Except that th

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.

Working...