March 8, 2009

Calling 911 Over McNuggets


I have always said that nothing people do ultimately shocks me, but then someone will come out and do something especially stupid or ignorant that will leave me wondering how on earth people dealing with that level of stupidity keep from killing themselves on a daily basis.

Earlier this month, police in Fort Pierce, Florida responded to three 911 calls made by Latreasa Goodman, who called to report that she had paid for a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets at her local McDonald's, the restaurant ran out and refused to issue her a refund.

Yes, calling 911 over this is absolutely ridiculous, particularly when you consider that Ms. Goodman's calls took the 911 operators away from potentially life-threatening calls. It definitely sucks when you get yourself in the mood for some Chicken McNuggets or whatever and you get there and they are out. Crazy, really, because how could they run out? I suppose the same way they run out of milkshakes, or how often the milkshake machine appears to break when you really would like a milkshake.

Anyhow, the story made the national news, being touted as a woman calling 911 because McDonald's was out of Chicken McNuggets.

What I find interesting about the story is that Ms. Goodman paid for a food item that McDonald's did indeed sell to her, only to be informed they did not have it and they refused to issue her a refund. This is what prompted the 911 calls, silly as they were. I want to know how McDonald's could refuse Ms. Goodman (or anyone else) a refund when they sold her a product they did not have. Whether it's a dollar-something Chicken McNuggets or a $500 t.v. set at an electronics store, is it right that the business can refuse a refund for selling something they do not have to sell? I don't think so. I think it smacks of fraud, quite frankly.

The cashier working at McDonald's told authorities that she refused to give Ms. Goodman a refund on the McNuggets because it was against McDonald's policy, but offered to give Ms. Goodman a different item, or even a larger portion of a different item for the same price, but Ms. Goodman became irate. This seems nonsensical to me. If McDonald's does not want to issue refunds, what is the point in offering the customer (who wants a refund for a legitimate reason) a larger portion of a different item for the same price? Isn't McDonald's losing money this way? And ultimately more than they would have lost by simply refunding the customer the original price? I understand not wanting to issue a refund on an item the customer simply didn't like, on principal, and offering the customer another choice, at McDonald's expense. But when the item advertised and sold is not available, they should give the customer his or her money back, period.

Incidentally, Ms. Goodman was cited for misuse of 911 and McDonald's issued her an apology as well as the refund she wanted, along with a complimentary meal.

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