I just returned from a 1:00 am Mother’s Day run at the 24-hour Walmart near our house, and next to the 24-hour McDonalds. Before you start calling me cheap, just know that my wife received a Ninja Kitchen System 1200 (which retails at $159 and is something she’s wanted for awhile now), the highest quality silverware Walmart has to offer (about $45), and a dozen red roses that look Conroy’s quality. I also bought Claim Jumper gift cards for my mother who will be here early in the morning to celebrate with my wife, her mom and her grandmother at her annual Mom’s Tea Party. It wasn’t a cheap trip, but I can’t think of anyone more deserving then moms.
After the midnight run, my rumbling stomach reminded me that I had not had a chance to eat yet today, aside from some chips at my sister-in-law’s graduation ceremony. The day was spent rushing out the door to meet a client in Newport Beach, rushing to Cerritos for a graduation, and a caused-by-exhaustion crash nap from 7:30 to 10:30. So, I decided to roll through the neighboring McDonalds to grab a burger on the way back home.
I pulled into the McDonald’s drive-thru at 1:30 am. There was a line of cars that had already ordered and one super nice looking Acura in front of me. Had I know I’d be trapped in that part of the line for 15 minutes, I would have just hit a 7-11 and grabbed a bland sandwich. Two cars pulled up behind me; I was trapped.
10 minutes went by so I decided to turned my engine off. 5 minutes later I was giving my order. I’m usually a pretty easy going guy. I have no enemies and can adapt to any circumstance. However, 15 minutes just to order was ridiculous, so my mouth veto’d my brain’s virtuous patience and released a snide remark: “I can’t remember the last time I had to turn my engine off at a drive-thru.” Crap! I hope they don’t do something to my food. Maybe she didn’t hear me? I quickly followed up with my 4 cheeseburger and medium fries order. I don’t think she heard the comment, whew!
By the time I got to the window it was 2:26am. Yes, if you’re counting, that is an hour wait. The lady at the window was polite and extremely attractive, but I waited and hour and was pissed. I knew something was wrong when I noticed the clipboard and my order written in pen. There goes Mr. Mouth again, but this time he was tripped by Mr. Brain who turned a rude comment into a simple request for answers. “Wow, you must be down staff tonight?”
The lady, I think she was a manager, saw my debit card in hand and replied “you don’t have cash by any chance do you? Our machine is down.” Sure I had cash, earlier, before the concession stand at the graduation and Chevron decided they needed it more than I needed a burger. “No, unfortunately I don’t. Can you just write my card information down?”
Even though it was 2:30 in the morning, I’m pretty certain that I felt a ray of light shine through the sky as the manager said, “that’s okay, you’ll still get your meal.” Wow, maybe I won’t write on my rant blog when I get home, after all I did get a free meal. Wait, the story’s not over.
Nearly 6 minutes later (as though they didn’t have burgers sitting under a lamp), she comes back to the window. Not with food, no, apparently their system came back up, so now she wanted payment. It’s $6.44, so I didn’t fuss (how could I after spending 300 bucks at Walmart?), but wasn’t I just promised a free meal? Hey, at least I have a receipt to warrant my complaint now, right?
She brought the bag to the window and said politely, “sorry again for the wait (this was actually the first time she apologized), at least your food is fresh.”
Okay look, complaining about an experience at McDonald’s is somewhat petty, I know. But you have consider the responsibilities I have in my life and how hard I work with the hours I have in a day. My nap earlier wasn’t just a nap, it was all the rest I was going to get this weekend thanks to some urgent support my consulting clients need after Google’s latest Penguin update scared them half to death.
My clients pay between $150 – $375 per hour, depending on the specific consultation rate, retainer agreement and contract duration. The work I had planned to do from 2am – 8am was work my clients paid approximately $200 per hour for. And it’s worth it when you run a delta report on their online marketing after 6 months of working with me.
So there you go, McDonald’s took away my hour, was an Indian giver on my free meal, and frustrated me to the point of writing this rant. I’m doubtful that they have an ORM team, or even care about what people say online, but it’s out there now. I read awhile ago that McDonald’s was on the only franchises to actually thrive during last year’s recession, most because of their leadership. Hopefully greatness trickles down and I’ll get someone’s attention.
For the record, my receipt information is below:
1400 South Beach Blvd
La Habra, CA 90631
KS# 5 May 13’12 (Sun) 02:26
MFY SIDE 1 KVS Order 87
Guys, we call it fast food because we expect it to be fast. If your system is down, have the courtesy to send someone outside with the clipboard to notify patrons that the service will be 10 times as long and that you are only accepting cash. Also, once you tell someone they are getting a free meal, even if your system comes back up, honor it.
That’s how I killed a day on the morning of Mother’s Day at America’s largest fast food chain, McDonalds. Have you had a similar experience with McDonalds? Share your comments and feedback on McDonalds below.