Saturday, July 11, 2009

McDonald's Complaint - One More Time

Gah! I'm beginning to feel like Staurdays are dissolving into my McDonalds rants! I'd like to promise this will be the last one. Can't. But it probably will.

Just a recap, for those of you coming in late.

The last weekend or so in April of this year, I pulled through the drive thru of my corner Mickey D's and ordered a Quarter Pounder meal. The sign said 3.79. I paid, got the receipt, it totalled to 3.99 + tax. The drink was broken out separately. That's standard practice now, the breaking out of the drink price.

I pulled through and asked about being overcharged. The guy got the manager, who stood and argued with me for a couple of minutes, patted his pockets down like I was taking his money, told me he puts the prices up so it couldn't have been wrong, told me it was the tax (I pointed out the tax). Finally gave me a quarter and a hot apple pie.

I didn't want the pie. I wanted an apology for being overcharged and treated like an idiot. I wanted sincerity. I most certainly did NOT want to be treated like I was in the wrong.

Round two.

Two months later I try the same McD's, this time for breakfast, thinking maybe that manager had trained his shift to overcharge. I have no idea how the registers work. I'm since told they just push buttons and prices come up. Same thing happens with a breakfast meal. Overcharged 20 cents.

I was meeting a friend to walk and didn't have time to argue with a manager, so I came home and emailed McDonald's, explaining all that happened. I thought it odd that a store seemed to consistently, intentionally charge an extra 20 cents per meal. Who gets that money? The next morning, early, I got a phone call from a supervisor about my email. She was vague. No apologies. Abrupt. Glad she
could satisfy me. Except she hadn't satisfied me and I said so. She said she'd send me some coupons. Why? To eat someplace I'm never going to again?

Last week I got a letter from a regional person. A form letter. See it?

It's very generic. I emailed McD's again and told them I wasn't pleased, that I would never eat there again, then blogged about it. Almost immediately I received an email from the local supervisor to this effect:

Dated July 8 -
I am writing in regard to your concerns about the previous price issues at
our location at 91st & Memorial. I have tried to reach you by phone but was
unable to do so. First, let me apologize for the impression I left during
our first conversation. I certainly did not intend to come across as vague
or unapologetic. I researched the original complaint about prices on the
menu board being different from what the receipt shows you were charged. I
found that the price for the Sausage Egg and Cheese McGriddle was incorrect
on the menu board. I asked the Restaurant Manager to correct the menu board
immediately. Unfortunately, with the large number of items we offer, we can
miss something in posting pricing. At this time I am not sure what action
you expected from our first conversation or what action you are looking for
now. Based on the information provided I felt that we did resolve the price
issue. We place a lot of importance on the feedback we receive from our
customers. I appreciate the fact that you took the time to contact us in
the first place and look forward to discussing this issue with you again.
Please contact me at the number below or on my cell number, 918-6 (I'm really tempted to leave her cell number intact).
Liz B*******
General Manager
Mar-B McDonald's

That was certainly genuinely caring and apologetic. Not. Same tone as the phone call. I responded with the following and never heard back:

Thank you for your response. This happened not only with a dinner menu, but a month later with a breakfast menu, which is what you're addressing here. The earlier event was a Quarter Pounder meal. Unfortunately I didn't have time to address it with breakfast, as I was running late to meet someone. Also unfortunately, the manager treated me like an idiot the first time I addressed it.

Your response to me was simply acknowledgement that I was unhappy with the situation. Not much more or less. I wasn't necessarily angry, but definitely unsatisfied with my treatment as a human being. I was unhappy with our conversation and feeling as though I got the brush off, as though you simply wanted me off the phone, as though I was a nuisance.

I will no longer eat at McDonalds. I know that you said on the phone that you'd send me coupons (which you didn't - I got a form letter from someone in Texas), but I don't want coupons I won't use.

You say that you're not sure what action I was looking for. I am simply looking for an apology for being treated like I was at fault, as well as an apology for being overcharged. Not excuses. If the manager had apologized and refunded the difference immediately the first time, I would have let everything go. It's not about money. It's about customer service.

Yesterday's mail brought this:

And this:

Can you believe it? Maybe I'm over the top. But I'm giving these two coupons for sandwiches to a single friend today. What a joke. And of course, I'm blogging about it. I'll keep saying it - it's not about the money or the food. It's about the customer service. It's about being treated as a human being. It's about an apology for continued poor treatment, CYA and indifference. Over 20 measly cents, for Pete's sake. Give me a break.

Do me a favor - if you have to or want to eat at McDonald's and you get a meal, pay attention to your receipt? My job today is to figure out how to contact the people as high up in the corporate ladder as I can and give them the links to all these posts. Let them know I'm being vocal about it.

Until I write again ...



Mental P Mama said...

And to think, there are genuinely good souls out there looking for a job.....

Laura ~Peach~ said...

like i told you they do it here too and taco bell was 1 dollar 7 cents over charging us on their charging a meal as individual items... we got money back dirty looks but no apologys... so we simply dont spend our money in those places and told others about it .... most just dont care they feel like 20 cents at mcd's is nothign but like you i see the big picture and how many millions that are being stolen from comsumers.... buyer beware!

Karen said...

I have yet to make the phone call from the follow-up email I got. I'm dreading all this happening, and yet it needs to be addressed. Since when did customer service get bumped off the radar?

Anonymous said...

I called the 800 number while I was parked in the lot of the local McD's.
My complaints were: 1. All of the counter personnel were speaking spanish, looking and pointing and laughing at customers IN SPANISH and not helping the customers. 2: My large order of fries was half full and not cooked.

I got more phone calls, letters and free mealsthan you could shake with a stick. The meals you can have because I said I would never go back to that McD's and I haven't. I later found out from the owner that the day manager had been fired due to my complaints.

Keep up the fight. They are in a service business wether they like it or not.

OHmommy said...

OK, I am there enough to help you out. I will pay more attention and let you know what Ive investigated here in OH.

Karen said...

I actually like reading about this. I want to know that in the end it all is righted. My Son lives for McD's. He asks for it when he wakes in the morning till he falls asleep at night. There are two of said restaurants by my house. One we go to on occasion, the other we avoid. The avoided one has a myriad of issues that I won't hi-jack your comments for. Keep us updated.

Julie said...

omg. I never check my receipts-but certainly will now. We had issues with the Taco Bell near our old house seriously everytime we'd go there they'd leave one or two items out. And when you go through the drive thru what a pain to go in.

The manager who argued with you,probably did so because he didn't understand the receipt and couldn't explain it so he argued.

What an experiment it will be for us to check our McDonalds receipts in several states. I'll let you know if it happens in CT.

MaBunny said...

omg, not again! I can't believe they did that! Customer service nowadays sucks, most of the time. The people who actually value their job actually try to do it well, others just don't give a crap how they treat others...
and btw, I don't eat at McDonalds, and thank goodness that if we do eat fast food,Nicole prefers Wendy's!

Kareen said...

That last form letter is REAL crap on a stick.

Leenie said...

Evil triumphs when good people do nothing. YOU GO GIRL. I am with you on the boycott (not a sacrifice in my case) and I am checking my receipts elsewhere. Only sorry for those who need the jobs.

Indy said...

I will pay attention here too. An idea for you Flea, you could contact your local tv station and have them do a report. They love these kinds of stories. Good for you for catching it and following up. Keep up the fight sista!

Anonymous said...

I was telling TOG about this. He teased me because he knows I don't do McDonalds. But he thinks you should keep going until you're satisfied with their response. I agree. I also think that last letter is crap on a stick. Clearly they don't know who they're dealing with. Call your local ombudsman or the tv station.

MUD said...

I disagree with you. It is a matter of illegal not impolite. This needs to be reported to the police as theft and those responsible charged. IN Kansas I contact the Attorney General's fraud division and file a report. There is a haevy fine for this behavior and that is the only way to get and keep their attention. If you think this is bad, keep track of the price of items in the store and how they are scanned. At Kroger (Dillon's here) they will give yu the item if it is scanned different that the shelf price. I care and I watch what I am charged. I will give them money back when it is wrong in my favor and expect to be treated right. MUD

MIT Mommy said...

Sigh. I've had my own issues with McD, but I still go occasionally, especially when we are travelling. I WILL pay more attention to my receipt, however. I do pay attention, but I'm not sure I would catch a 20 overcharge.

Ellyn said...

You get 'em, Flea. Can't wait to see if they do anything else.

My only question to you is this. At this point, after all the bad service you've received, what could they do to satisfy you? Would it be a formal personal letter from the branch manager or a phone call from the same person? Do you want him fired? What is it that would make you happy now?

And no I am not being b**chy. I really want to know.

David E. said...

Karen, Your experience with thier customer service is the sounding like the beginning of my saga. My 17 year old daughter visited a McD's here in Zion last night and bought a 1/3 pound Angus Burger (she had been wanting one for a while). Now to the saga, after getting her burger through the drive thru, she bit inot it to find some wire, yep wire, cooked into the meat.
She went back into the store and the clerk, who spoke very little english, took the remaining burger back to the on shift manager. The female manager cut the burger open and discovered even more wire!!! They said it was from packaging at the processing plant???
Well, after the manager cut it open, she had the clerk refund her the money for the burger and shuttled her out the door. No request for her contact info for a follow up. Now, I'm a cop and the first thing we get is contact info, so why didn't they, esp when there is a complaint? Well I called the manager, the original one had just left her shift, and the next manager was extreamly unhelpful and started to get rude when I was asking questions. Heck, she couldn't even remember the other managers name or the store owners name!!! Talk about helpful ! So, this morning I called thier 800 number and guess what? I got the same attitude ! I think it changed a little when, right before I hung up, I said I was considering hiring a lawyer, the phone call started to change, but i'm not going to give them another minute of my day. They should have thought of that from the beginning!