Sunday, December 29, 2013

False Advertising Ripoff at McDonald's

Upon returning home after a Christmas trip to Aurora, we found some McDonald's coupons for discounts on breakfast and burger options.  With grocery shopping to be done and nothing for breakfast at our house this was a perfect opportunity to retry the McDonalds in Wal-mart (450 Terminal Avenue, Ottawa) after not being impressed with this location on previous visits.

We arrived to the McDonald's location at 10:20ish to be second in line to order.  This McDonald's had been renovated and upgraded to the new corporate McCafe look after a six week shutdown during this past summer of 2013.  Hopefully service and cleanliness would improve as well with the newly revamped restaurant.

McDonald's 2 Can Dine for $6.48 Breakfast Coupon
We reached the front of the line and I pointed out the promotional coupon to the supervisor that was serving us for the promotion of 2 can dine for $6.48.  My wife ordered her part as I seperated out the coupon along the perforated lines from it's brethren and handed it to the supervisor.

The Order: 1 Egg & Sausage McMuffin with Hashbrown and Large Green Tea plus 1 Sausage McMuffin with a hashbrown and small coffee.

The only difference between the coupon and what was ordered was a Large Medium Green Tea for my wife.  This doesn't change the price of the items ordered as any tea, whether small, medium or large is the same price and actually is cheaper than a small coffee.

The supervisor printed our receipt and placed it on the counter to the left of the cash register.  The kitchen employee took a little while to prepare the McMuffin sandwiches, hashbrowns and drinks.  He came out, put out a tray and placed everything on the counter on the right side of the cash register.  The only problem? He had forgot the coffee.  He doubled back to get it after pointing this out.  While he was fulfilling the order with the missing coffee, I retrieved the receipt from the opposite side of the cash register and put it on the tray.  The coffee followed and I was off to find a table.

The cleanliness had not improved.  My wife and I searched a couple of spots that were still greasy and/or salty from the previous days french fries or that mornings breakfast.  There appeared to be only two employees working that morning at the McDonald's, the supervisor and the kitchen guy who served us.  Nobody was apparently available with a cloth to wipe the tables.

Add to that Wal-mart customers with full grocery carts littering the aisles.  A fire hazard if there was one as some of the carts blocked the entire space between the tables.

We did fine a table that required a moderate use of a napkin to expunge the detritus.  Upon sitting down and distributing the food to my wife and myself spots at the table I reviewed the receipt.  I saw that each meal was separated out into sandwich, hashbrown and drink.  This is normal for McDonald's receipts so nothing fishy so far.  The first thing that caught my eye was the price of $3.29 repeated twice.  A rough mental calculation alerted me.  I scanned down the receipt to the sub total before taxes $6.58.

Was the coupon not "2 Can Dine for $6.48" plus tax?  Yes, so why was it $6.58 sub totaled?  I thought about going back to the cash to inquire about being overcharged. But there was a line up of three customers deep with the supervisor serving them.  Considering it was the same supervisor who rang it up, I would probably be told it was a cash register issue or a coupon misprint by corporate. In other words I was most likely to get every excuse under the sun instead of a rightfully required refund from this McDonald's.

We ate our meal in peace knowing that at least it was only $0.10.

The two McMuffin sandwhichs were adequate in temperature but a little greasier than normal.

The hashbrowns were unexpectedly hot but tasty.

Overall, this McDonald's may have had a renovation, but it's like putting a lipstick on a pig in the restaurant industry.  The insides may look different but the same old issues of service and cleanliness remain.  On top of that this location has added the dubious issue of not properly honouring coupons correctly as set out by corporate. Beware this location for coupon value, it turns McDonald's coupons into false advertising ripoffs.

Update: McDonald's management responds plus I return, see the full story here.

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