Countdown To Showdown: Domino’s Supreme Error And Why Businesses Should Do The Opposite

This article is more than 2 years old .
Getty
When you hear “ Domino ’ second ” and “ supreme ” in the lapp sentence, you could be forgiven for thinking we ’ rhenium talking about the “ Supreme ” on its menu — a pizza loaded with pepperoni, bacon, beef, blimp, mushroom, pineapple, and onion.

But no, I ’ meter talking about a bad business decision : Domino ’ second is petitioning the US Supreme Court to shut down a lawsuit a customer filed when the pizza godhead ’ s web site prevented him from ordering because he is blind :

  • The customer’s attempt: A man named Guillermo Robles tried to order a pizza online from Domino’s. Robles is blind, so to use computers, he relies on a screen reader — a type of app that uses text-to-speech technology to translate websites and other content into audible speech or Braille.
  • The double-fail: Domino’s website is incompatible with screen readers — so Robles failed to get a pizza and Domino’s failed to get his money.
  • The company’s hostile response: Instead of fixing its website after Robles filed the lawsuit based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Domino’s chose to fight back. And it has now sent the US Supreme Court an extra-large petition to quash the case, topped with lots of unfounded claims. (Did Domino’s deliver it in under 30 minutes? We’re not sure about that part.)
  • How this will hurt Domino’s. The company will miss out on opportunities to boost revenues, to improve all customers’ experiences, and to more successfully attract and retain talent. I’ll get to why a little later, but first lets discuss why this is a big deal.

Why This Is A Big Deal For Every Company

Every ship’s company with a web site or app should pay cheeseparing attention to this case because :

  • The frequency of these legal wrangles is picking up. How common are these fights? There’s one new website or app accessibility lawsuit every working hour.
  • It’s happening in every industry. These lawsuits are most common in retail, food service, travel and hospitality, banking and financial services, and entertainment, but no industry is spared — and a whopping 48% of the top 500 retailers have been sued based on the ADA.

Why The Supreme Court Is Now Involved?

Most companies faced with these ADA-based lawsuits opt to settle and make their websites accessible. But not Domino ’ s :

  • In January, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Title III of the ADA and California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act (UCRA) applies to Domino’s websites and mobile apps and reversed the decision of a lower court that had originally tossed the Domino’s case out of court.
  • The case went back to the lower court to decide whether the Domino’s website provides effective communication and access to its products.
  • But before the lower court took the case back on, Domino’s submitted a petition asking the Supreme Court to review the decision.

Domino’s Shareholders Will Lose If It Wins This Case

Anyone who owns neckcloth in Domino ’ mho ( NYSE : DPZ ) should be alarmed. Domino ’ sulfur is burning money and time fighting this case alternatively of channeling its resources into seizing the benefits of making its web site accessible :

  • A massive revenue opportunity. There’s $8 trillion in annual disposable income in the wallets of people with disabilities and their 2.4 billion friends and family who typically prefer to support businesses whose products are accessible.
  • Better digital experiences for all of its customers. Accessibility accommodations have a track record of helping everyone. This is called “the curb cut effect.
  • More success at attracting and retaining talent. Companies Forrester has spoken with that prioritize accessibility find that their employees are more engaged in their work as a result — they value that their company is doing the morally right thing and it makes them proud of where they work.

Seize The Opportunity Of Digital Accessibility

Whether the Supreme Court takes on the character itself or lets stand the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ’ rule, don’t make the same mistakes as Domino’s.
This mail was written by Principal Analyst Gina Bhawalkar and Vice President, Research Director David Truog. It originally appeared here .