Justice is a pizza best served cold

Oct 13, 2016
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Written by Tiana Podinic

A Domino’s customer has successfully had the cost of his pizza order refunded after it was never delivered 18 months ago. The ordeal was escalated to court after a customer, Tim Driscoll, grew tired of his unsuccessful attempts in obtaining a refund from the company.

It is worth noting that Mr Driscoll is a qualified lawyer, which explains his knowledge of consumer’s rights under Australian Consumer Law. If you don’t feel quite as confident, or feel you have been mistreated under consumer law, LawPath is here to help. We can put you into contact with lawyers experienced in consumer law for further assistance.

What happened?

During Mr Discroll’s ANZAC Day celebrations last year, he placed an order to be delivered by Domino’s at a total cost of $37.35. When he called the store after waiting for an hour, the manager apologised, saying that they had been inundated with orders and a full refund would be provided. To his dismay, 18 months had passed and no refund had been issued. He repeatedly reminded the manager of the money owing and even attempted to contact the Domino’s Pizza board, being a shareholder in the company.

He told The Daily Telegraph that after a year of chasing Domino’s he decided to initiate proceedings in court, filing for a claim in breach of contract.

Court proceedings

In the lead up to proceedings, Domino’s did not acknowledge or participate. As a result, Driscoll was awarded the case by default and the company was ordered to pay $1,203.27 to cover his legal fees and the $37.35 pizza order.

Businesses must keep in mind that issues of refund should be dealt with in a reasonable and timely manner. Even though free pizza vouchers were provided at the time of the incident, the court believed that this was not enough.

To ensure your business has a robust refund policy, Website Terms and Conditions of Use are helpful in limiting business liability for their website when it comes to Australian consumer laws. A lawyer will need to review these terms as they form the backbone of your refund policy.

There could be further consequences

Driscoll’s action against Domino’s doesn’t stop there. TressCox Lawyers partner Alistair Little states that since the refund was never issued, this is classed as not only a breach of contract but also a breach of consumer law. When consumer law is breached, a complaint may be lodged with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), whereas when a contract is breached the individual can take action against a business directly for something that has been done to them personally. The ACCC can take action against Domino’s and has a range of remedies available to it.

Final thoughts

A Domino’s spokesperson has stated that they were disappointed and embarrassed to hear that they had let down a pizza loving customer. This comes as a strong lesson for Domino’s and all businesses to honour the terms of a transaction – even if it’s just over pizza. This matter would have been resolved if Domino’s promptly followed the terms of the transaction and rightfully refunded Driscoll.

Let us know your thoughts on the pizza battle by tagging us #lawpath or @lawpath.

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