Monday, July 15, 2013

Why I will be boycotting McDonald's until Aug. 13

Tomorrow, July 16, McDonald's will begin its annual Monopoly game. This year I will be boycotting McDonald's until the game ends Aug. 12. Why? Because of the way the game is designed, it's too easy for the restaurant staff to substitute plain cups, wrappers and boxes for the ones with the game pieces. They could then pass the game pieces that should go to you on to their friends for valuable prizes, maybe even a million dollars!

I can't prove that cheating actually occurs but I can attest that, in previous years, I have received food items missing the game pieces. I complained to McDonald's headquarters when this happened and they said they would deal with it.

How do you prevent being ripped off? First, memorize all of the menu items that you eat that have game pieces (from the Official Rules).

One game piece:

Medium (21 oz.) Fountain Drinks
Medium (16 oz.) Iced McCafé®
Large (22 oz.) Iced McCafé
Blended McCafé
McCafé Smoothies
McCafé Shakes
Small (16 oz.) McCafé Iced Coffee
Medium (22 oz.) McCafé Iced Coffee
Large (32 oz.) McCafé Iced Coffee
Medium (16 oz.) Minute Maid® Premium Orange Juice
Large (22 oz.) Minute Maid® Premium Orange Juice
Extra Large (32 oz.) Minute Maid® Premium Orange Juice
Big Mac® sandwich
Filet-O-Fish® sandwich
10-piece Chicken McNuggets®
Premium McWrap®
Hash Browns
Egg White Delight McMuffin® sandwich
Egg McMuffin sandwich
Sausage McMuffin with Egg sandwich (excludes Sausage McMuffin sandwich)
Fruit & Maple Oatmeal.

Two game pieces come on 20-piece Chicken McNuggets or Large (6 oz.) Fries.

After you have received your meal, check all of the cups, wrappers and boxes that should have game pieces and insure that they do. If they don't, ask for replacement pieces. Of course, near the end of the game, they may tell you that they have "run out" and there's nothing you can do about that.

Personally, I'm tired of going through this routine to avoid being cheated out my game pieces. So I'm going to boycott McDonald's until this game is done.

Update July 17: I was remiss in not proposing a solution. I would do three things: Remove all of the plain wrappers from the restaurant. Put a game piece on every cup, wrapper and box. Not having to think about which items have pieces and which don't makes checking by the customers easier. Finally, I would point out to the staff that an individual game piece is unlikely to have any value at all so there's no point in cheating.

Now, where am I going to eat breakfast this morning?

Update Aug. 18: The contest is over and I will resume eating at McDonald's. I successfully honored my boycott and didn't eat even once at McDonald's from July 16 through Aug. 17. Don't be surprised, though, if same-store sales this quarter are down from the same quarter a year ago. When I didn't eat breakfast at home, I ate at Frisch's Big Boy which has great breakfasts for under $10 (watch for the Breakfast Bar as it costs more).

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