Customer blasts Papa John's for 'gaslighting' her about her boneless wings order

@wowthatsrandomofficial/TikTok Ken Wolter/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘These are the wings I ordered’: Customer blasts Papa John’s for ‘gaslighting’ her about her boneless wings order

'I would’ve drove my car through the building.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Feb 18, 2024

What companies advertise isn’t always what the customer receives. It’s why there are false advertising laws. Like let’s say you’re Dodge-Jeep-Fiat-Chrysler—you cannot make a commercial that states we won’t make a car with a shift dial that lies about being in park when it’s actually in drive or neutral that’ll roll back and kill world famous actor Anton Yelchin, as that would be a lie.

For some reason, however, there are some industries that seem to get away with promoting certain items/products in a particular light that aren’t lived up to by their real-world counterparts, like fast food. We’ve all grown up seeing commercials promising delicious, perfectly stacked burgers with just the right amount of ketchup dolloped on strategic locations with golden, airy buns.

However, as some TikTokers have pointed out, the reality of fast food rarely lives up to the expectations set up by their respective marketing departments. Which is something that Leanne Potter (@wowthatsrandomofficial) was confronted with after ordering some wings from Papa John’s.

She posted about her less-than-stellar ordering and subsequent customer service experiences in a viral clip that’s garnered over 2.8 million views on the widely used video sharing application. Folks who watched her video were shocked at how Papa John’s attempted to “gaslight” her into thinking that the wings she ordered were identical to the ones they were advertising.

@wowthatsrandomofficial @Papa Johns #fail #wings #papajohns #thiscantbereal #fyp #fypシ #gaslighting ♬ original sound – WowThatsRandom

“I think I’ve just been gaslit by Papa John’s,” Potter says at the start of the clip which shows a marketing photograph for the chain’s wings, with a side of ranch. They appear to be plump, juicy, and coated with a nice portion of sauce. Just waiting to be picked up off of their white ceramic plate, dipped, and enjoyed.

But as is often the case when it comes to fast food expectation vs. reality, she had her own Michael Douglas Falling Down Whammyburger situation, minus the violence.

“These are the wings I ordered,” she stated, before her clip transitions to a photograph of what she actually received at Papa John’s. “These are the wings I got.” The image is a starkly different one: A black Tupperware filled with dry looking nuggets drizzled with a bit of barbecue sauce greets the viewer. She was unhappy with her purchase and reached out to the restaurant to let them know that the wings served up to her didn’t exactly meet her consumer expectations.

“So I decide to send them a message. They told me both pictures are the exact same,” she says with what sounds like a sarcastic laugh, showing off her chat message history with the pizza chain. In it, the TikToker places the same images side by side along with a text that reads: “These are the bbq wings on your page I ordered. The one on the right is what I received.”

Papa John’s support wrote back to her: “Good morning, Leanne. Both pictures are the same. Can you resend the picture of the Boneless Wings you received? Thanks!”

Commenters who responded to Potter’s video seemed just as perturbed an bewildered as she was: “I would’ve drove my car through the building,” one person wrote.

Another quipped: “They gave you hush puppies with bbq drizzle”

One user offered up a way for Potter to get back at the customer service team by letting them know what she thought of their reply to her gripe—by hitting them with a sick burn: “Send back a pic of their logo and a pic of a clown and say ‘spot the difference now,'”

“Corporate needs you to find the difference between these two pictures,” someone else joked.

It seems that the negative press surrounding Papa John’s on TikTok as a result of Leanne posting this video finally made it some higher ups at the fast food pizza retailer. The official TikTok account for PJ’s reached out to Leanne and offered her some replacement wings as an olive branch: “Oh no! We apologize for the mixup. We will make sure you get some new wings!”

Leanne didn’t seem to allow the slight to go over so easily: “Which wings will I be getting?” she asked, adding eyes and laugh emojis.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Papa John’s via email and Potter via Instagram DM for further information.

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*First Published: Feb 18, 2024, 8:20 pm CST