Friday, August 1, 2008

A Broken System...

Yesterday morning I took Josiah to work, as it was Thursday and the girls would have piano lessons later in the day. Which, since we moved, we don't live right behind the piano teacher, thus they can no longer walk. So I had the car.

As per usual when I have the car during the summer, I like to go to my mom's to spend the day, and usually pick up breakfast on the way. On such occasions, I typically call to inform them that I will be bringing food and ask if I should grab anything for anyone that we would be eating in front of, as to not be rude. (as a side note, I prefer to go to JitB when I pick up breakfast...I just like their breakfast food more than any other fast food joint who serves breakfast.) Since we would be disturbing my younger brother who likes to sleep on the couch and was not yet awake, my mom suggested that maybe I pick something up for him. He prefers McDonalds sausage McMuffins. I had no problem running to McD's also, as it's right across the street from JitB.

Being the wise mother that she tends to be, she also suggested I get my drinks from there, since they are, as advertised all over town, only $1 for the large. I figure that's probably a good idea, especially if I would be going there anyway. So I order my food at JitB and head across the street.

I already know what I'm going to order so no need to look at the menu.

"I'd like (and this is exactly what I said...) 2 sausage mcmuffins, 2 hash browns, 2 large sprites, and 1 large dr pepper." The lady on the intercom repeated my order, I agreed that it was correct and she kindly told me she'd have my total for me at the first drive through window. I pulled forward, waiting patiently for my turn to get up there to pay. As I was waiting, I decided it'd be best to figure out about what my total would be so I wouldn't have to waste time digging for change once I got to the window.

I ordered 7 things.
Sausage Mcmuffins are $1(x2)
Hash browns are $.99(x2)
Large Beverage is $1(x3).

Using my pretty basic math skills, I figured that after tax my total would be around $8 and so I pulled out a $10 bill and would happily accept the change that would be due back to me.

Atlast it's my turn to pull up to the window and I hear the lady tell me (she spoke english, by the way) "ten fourteen"...hmm, "Ok, let me grab the change" (like I'm sure most people do, we have a little cubby in the car that all loose change goes to when we are given change while in the car...) While I'm sifting through an assortment of pennies (mostly), nickels, dimes, and quarters, I think to myself..."That really doesn't add up...maybe she actually said $7.14 and I just misheard" so before handing her the money I ask, "What was it again?" This time paying very close attention, she replies "Ten, fourteen", so I hand her the money.
(me) "Aren't the sodas on sale for one dollar?"
(her) "yes"
I knew the mcmuffins were $1 so I proceeded to ask about the hash browns because I was not 100% certain how much they were...always just assuming (from previous times that I'd gone through there probably) that they were no more than $1.
(her) "one forty-four"
(me) "hmm, ok"...still thinking that doesn't quite add up, but who am I to question the knowledge of a McDonalds employee?

I almost pulled forward, since I'd given exact change I wasn't expecting any in return, but then thought "oh, let me get that receipt" so I waited for her to ever so kindly hand it to me and grant me a "nice day"...

I look over the receipt and it read as follows: (or along the lines of)

2 sausage egg mcmuffin @$1.00ea= $2.00
2 hash browns @$1.44ea= $2.88
2 large sprite @$1.89ea= $3.78
1 large dr pepper @$1.89ea= $1.89

value menu -$0.20
coupon -$0.78
+ whatever tax it would have been to equal $10.14.

So right off I see that I was charged full price for the drinks. I notice the $.98 (or so) discount at the bottom but again, using my basic math skills, know that that still doesn't remove the $2.67 extra that I was charged for the sodas. So I mention to the not so english speaking girl at the 2nd drive through window as she's about to hand me my bag of food, that I was charged full price for my drinks when the lady at the first window assured me they were on sale for $1. She tries to explain what's going on...something about "because you ordered it in a meal..." but in her rather lacking ability to do so, asks another lady to come and explain it. This lady had even worse english. She then asks who I assume was a manager or close equivalent (who fortunately spoke plain english) to come and talk to me. The conversation went something like this...

(her) "Can I help you?"
(me) "Yeah, I was charged full price for my large drinks and they're supposed to be a dollar."
(her) "Well you ordered them in a meal so it automatically adjusts the price." (me) "No, I didn't order any meals. I just asked for 2 sausage mcmuffins, 2 hash browns, 2 sprites, and a dr pepper."
(her) "Well because you ordered a sandwhich, side and drink, the system automatically puts it into a meal."
(At this point a line is forming behind me and there's even a honk. Also, since the lady from the 1st window was not having to take orders or money because of the hold up, she felt it necessary to come to the front and find out what was going on
(me) "Ok, well I don't want them in a 'meal' I just want to pay the amount for my drink that you have advertised all over town."
(her) "You have to order it all seperately then, or it automatically puts it into a meal"
I tell her I DID, and that I did NOT say meal at ALL during the "ordering" of my food, and then I asked her to re-ring the whole thing seperately if she had to, and give me some of my money back. She huffs away and while standing there re-ringing the whole thing the lady from the back is talking to her, I'm sure about how ridiculous I'm being. She finally hands me some money back, I thank her and drive away, not realizing til I had, that she didn't even give me my receipt back. Which had I noticed before driving away, I would have asked for it, so I could scan it for the whole world to see how broken their system is!

I realize it was only a couple of dollars and probably most of you reading this are wondering why I would even go through the hassle of complaining. My whole point is..."value meals" are labeled just that because they are supposed to be a discount from what you would pay if you order things alone. I mean, am I wrong? I've gone different places many times where I've ordered things seperately and the kind person on the other end states "would you like me to put that into a meal for you, to save you $.20?" And I graciously accept their kindness to save me pennies. But to automatically have it go into a "meal" and add several dollars to my bill?! NO THANK YOU! Please add that magic "meal" button to your system, and only use it when it will indeed save me money!

In discussing this with my mom, she too was always under the impression that hash browns were only $99. So clearly it does something funky, when meal-ing it all up for you. I tried to find a pricing menu for McD's before blogging about this whole thing, but I couldn't. I did google "price of Mcdonalds hash browns" though, and found this site...

So I'm not totally crazy. Yes, it's from a year ago, but for reals, would a hash brown go up .45 or more in just a year?! A HASH BROWN, PEOPLE!!

Also, they gave me less than $2 back. I didn't count the change in my haste to drive away and relieve the pressure of the line that was building up. Had they re-rung it all individually, I should have gotten atleast $2 back!

Anyway, That's the end of my rant. I just wanted to make "drive through-ers" aware of the scams that are being pulled!


scrappiemom said...

When Tanya and I were having breakfast at Dennys this morning, our waitress brought our meal out and saw that it was wrong. She started on how this cook couldn't speak or understand English! I told her we had just talked about that yesterday. I say, if someone is going to be working with the public, they should be REQUIRED to speak, read and UNDERSTAND English! I don't care what language is their own. English is what we speak here. Enough of my rant.

The Reese Family said...

Good job - you were much nicer about it than I would have been. I probably would have taken it inside, given them back their food and demanded all of my money back to go somewhere else. You were so nice about it! I'm with you...we work hard for our $2.00 and I'm not about to give it away, especially to McD's which is worth like 100 Zillion $$!! :D :end rant:

Saint Holiday said...

Is it time for our daily dose of therapeutic outrage? I only stop at McDonalds for the convenience of their ubiquitous mens rooms
(those golden arches are so evocative). If you eat there, you'll need medical intervention and be on a life-support system sooner or later. You certainly won't get good news at your next colonoscopy. Their food will make a quadruped out of you. You must have heard how they buy tons of cow eyes to grind up and add to their products as hamburger helper. Those people would slaughter a petting zoo for profit. My vast experience informs me that constant bliss is unattainable. Believe me, I've tried. However, we can have more of it if we leave the world's behind. I love you.
The Ancient of Weeks
Hippycurean at Large

Hannah said...

I hear you Sarah. I seem to always be getting overcharged and sure it may only be a dollar, but I work very hard to spend as little dollars as possible and want to pay what is advertised.


Jeremy said...

ooo oooo MY TURN!!!

Well good for you!... Now the people who pay and come back later after they have eaten their food or gone on their merry way are the kind of penny pinching whores that need to be shot! I have dealt with many people who think they are entitled to some kind of refund even days after the fact and although we are not talking about fast food purchases here there is a line you cross as a consumer which if after you have made your purchases and found your way onto the other side of that line then i say unto you EFF OFF you sorry pathetic miserable excuse for a money saving LOSER!!!

If you put up the fight at the time of the purchase then good for you! If not, then tuck your tail between your legs and stay in the hole from which you scurried out of is all I'm saying.

Now as far as the employed personnel who can't speak the language... it's not their fault... I say we take pitchforks to the management that hired them to begin with!!! I will do my best to help a person all day long that struggles with the language... but when they EXPECT me to cater to their specific language need then I say they need to turn suicide bomber and lunge themselves at the nearest saguaro or jumping cactus... in a remote desert locale of course...

Ranting is the best fun since Pac-Man!!!

Jenna Consolo said...

I would have fought it too. I get so sick of being screwed over by ignorant employees. The other day Adam went to the grocery store to get his soda. The advertised deal was "But 2 12-packs, get 3 12-packs AND 3 2-liters FREE". The lady at the register wouldn't give him the 3 2-liters free. She said that wasn't part of the deal. Well, it was. And I kept the ad. So guess who went back and got his 3 free 2-liters? So aggravating! McDonald's has jipped us so many times. Adam is working on part 3 of his blog about them. You'll have to check that out once it's posted.

Dan the Man said...

Rachel and I have been constantly vigilant over drive thrus, grocery stores, and bills that come in the mail. It is a weekly occurance sometimes that someone is over charging us. It gets tiring but don't stop fighting the good fight!