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30-Minute Guarantee Under Fire

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30-minute guarantee under fire



Four consumer groups, citing safety concerns, have asked Domino’s Pizza Inc. to stop guaranteeing delivery in 30 minutes or less.

Public Citizen, Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Auto Safety and the National Consumer’s League sent Domino’s owner Thomas S. Monaghan a letter Wednesday saying the guarantee “threatens Domino’s drivers, pedestrians and other motorists.”

Domino’s spokesman Tim McIntyre declined to comment on the letter Thursday, saying he had not seen it.

The letter says that as an alternative, Monaghan could follow the example of a Spokane, Wash., Domino’s franchise that changed its policy as a cost-saving move a year ago after getting permission from Domino’s headquarters in Ann Arbor Township.

The Spokane franchise still guarantees a 30-minute delivery, but it no longer offers a rebate if drivers are late.

Although Spokane stores haven’t ended the 30-minute guarantee, the consumer organizations believe they have a safer policy, said Keith Mestrich, a spokesman for the groups and for People Against Dangerous Delivery, a coalition of groups opposed to the 30-minute policy.

“Since there’s no rebate, it takes a lot of pressure off these drivers,” Mestrich said.

Domino’s has long contended the guarantee is not dangerous, saying it puts its drivers through training that stresses safety.

Mestrich said he had no statistics on accidents related to the guarantee.

Earlier this month, Domino’s reached a $2.8 million settlement with the family of an Indiana woman killed by a pizza truck allegedly speeding to meet a 30-minute deadline.

Susan Noonan Wauchop, 41, of Calumet City, Ill., died in May 1990 when her van was struck by a Domino’s truck.