The lesson of the pizza delivery man

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.

Here’s a lesson for dealerships that run security cameras in the F&I office and elsewhere: Treat all store visitors well.

A used-car dealership outside New Bedford, Mass. probably regrets -- an assumption, because the store’s not answering the phone -- chiseling a pizza delivery guy out of a tip, an episode captured on security cameras that somehow made its way onto social media last week and went viral, including postings on a Facebook page for F&I managers.

In the video, the pizza guy walks in after being called back to the dealership. He hands over $7. He says he thought it was a tip. The dealership employees thought he took off with their change. Considering the uproar, it would have been a whole lot cheaper for the dealership to let the guy keep the $7.

One dealership employee behind a desk warns the pizza guy, “I’ve got you on camera, audio, video, everything, buddy.” As he’s leaving, a female employee threatens to kick his behind, to put it nicely. Then a third employee says they should call the pizza place and not let up until the delivery guy gets fired.

This supposed “mistreatment” burned up social media feeds.

“[That dealership] would never get my business!! Share this so those in the NB [New Bedford] area don’t buy cars from them. If they treat a delivery person this way, imagine how they might treat a customer not agreeable to a sale price!!,” says one Facebook post.

“Hell hath no fury like the Internet avenging a pizza delivery guy,” reads a headline on dailykos.com. Another headline, “Pizza delivery man has to deal with insufferable jerks at a used-car dealership,” on a reddit.com video link showed more than 500 comments, one reading: “Je suis pizza delivery guy.”

Not ones to miss an opportunity, the guys at Quirk Chevrolet in Braintree, Mass., posted a parody of the “mean” video, in which they summon a pizza delivery guy back to the dealership and shower him with money, gifts and praise.

“Here at Quirk Auto Dealers, we like to treat our pizza delivery men like we treat our customers: Excellent!” the dealership employees say.

You can reach Jim Henry at autonews@crain.com

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