Global Voices Online
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
On weekends, Kyiv teems with tourists from Moscow. Train tickets for overnight Friday and Sunday rides between the two capitals have to be ordered well in advance. The number of Muscovites settling in Kyiv permanently to do business is growing, too.
To make the new migrants' lives easier, a special Russian-language LJ community has been created: moscow_in_kiev (aka Muscovites in Kiev, aka The Capital Express).
Below is the translation of an entry (RUS) on pizza delivery, an art outrageously underdeveloped in the Ukrainian capital, written by the community's moderator, LJ user yhn (aka Your Humble Narrator, who has been working in Kyiv since mid-July 2005 and started the community two months after his arrival from Moscow):
Pizza Delivery in Kyiv
In Kyiv, pizza delivery service is absolutely undeveloped. For many reasons familiar to most office workers, pizza is the only way to survive till dinnertime. Judging by my experience, many people in Kyiv fail to survive...
I'm pretty conservative in my preferences. To say more, I'm an ideal victim of a professional marketologist: I'm completely loyal to the brand if I'm satisfied with the quality and promptness of service. Price isn't a decisive factor. And so I tried pizza from three different companies and chose one - "Mamamia!". Good, tasty pizza. Especially with the cheesy edge. It would've been good and tasty, if it hadn't been for their receptionists and delivery:
1) March 17. I intend to sit at work till very late. At noon I order pizza for 3 pm. At 3:30 pm, it's still not there and I call the company: "So, where is my pizza?" - "Oy, we tried to call you but didn't get through." - "How come?" - "Here, we're calling you at this very moment and no one's answering." After a long discussion - with the manager by then - it turned out the receptionist just hadn't noticed that they had my cell phone number written down and were calling a regular city number instead. A 10% discount for the delay.
2) March 22. I'm planning to work till around 9 pm, so at 4 pm I order dinner for 6 pm. Fifteen minutes later, a delivery person calls: "I can't find your building on the map." I explain to him how to get here and then ask: "Do you know that I've ordered delivery for 6 pm?" A pause. " Yes, I know." Five minutes later, a call from the receptionist: "Oy, we've made your pizza now by mistake. Maybe you'll take it?" A 20% discount for the mistake.
3) April 7, today. I'm ordering online. No one calls me back within 20 minutes. I remember my past experiences and call the pizza place myself: "I've ordered pizza on your site but am not sure whether my order has gone through." - "What street?" - "Gospitalnaya." - "Yes, we have your order. But you haven't confirmed it." - "But you haven't called me back." - "No, we called you but they told us..." What follows is a story at the end of which I realize that they called the ground floor of our office. I ask where they got the phone number (I listed my cell on the order). I'm amazed to hear the answer: "via a reference book." To a totally logical question on why they didn't call me on my cell - an amazing response: "We aren't allowed to call cell phone numbers." But I'm here and am ready to confirm my order. But the female receptionist is trying to prove to me that I'm not entitled to a free Coke because I'm making a order on the phone, and [the free Coke] option is available only to those who order online. I lose patience: "I don't need anything anymore!"
No pizza this time. And, I guess, no more pizza at all. Losers...