At the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year my wife received a teacher discount card from Papa John’s pizza. This card entitled my wife to get 50% off any and all pizza orders from any Papa John’s in the county. In fact, there were restrictions of any kind included on the card. There were no restrictions on where the card could be used, nor was there any expiration date on the card. The week that I am writing this, late July and early August of 2008, we called the Papa John’s that we always order from and tried to use the Papa John’s teacher discount card. I was told by the person on the phone that the card no longer offered a 50% discount, but only a 30% discount. Feeling cheated by this sudden and unannounced decision I hung up rather than order.
When I told my wife that we would no longer be taking advantage of her Papa John’s teacher discount card and that, in fact, we would no longer be eating Papa John’s pizza at all (I have a notorious habit of rejecting businesses that do me wrong like Henry V rejects Falstaff in the Shakespeare play) she decided to call up and inquire further. This is where this story of Papa John’s not playing by the rules gets really interesting. I will grant you that an unannounced drop from a 50% discount to a 30% discount is irritating, but not exactly scam-worthy; merely bad business. What my wife was told by the very same Papa John’s employee makes this whole nefarious business a scam of monumentally suspicious however.
My wife pressed Papa John’s to explain and the first thing they told her was not that the decision had been made to drop the teacher discount from 50% to 30%, but that the Papa John’s teacher discount cards were supposed to have been collected before school was out as the decision had been made to discontinue the program. At which point my wife reminded them that they had just told me that the card was still valid, but for 20% less. Which was it? Were the Papa John’s teacher discount cards supposed to have been collected or were they still valid but for less of an amount? That question was never sufficiently answered, but rather the employee tried to say that the decision had come from the home office in Chicago. When my wife pressed them (God, how I love her) for the information on who gave the order she was told it came from none other than John Schnatter himself, the John in Papa John’s. After snickering my wife suggested that she didn’t really believe that Papa John himself had called this franchisee with the order to discontinue the program, did he? To which the manager was forced to reply no, that the order had come from a supervisor.
We’ve got the name of the supervisor and maybe one day we’ll actually get in touch. Until then, I think we’ll be more than content to get our pizza from Hungry Howie’s, Pizza Hut and Figaro’s. After all, Papa John’s teacher discount program is a fraud and a scam and life is simply too short to do business with frauds, scammers and liars.