Friday, August 15, 2008

Wendy's Scams It's Customers?

"I'd like a Stack Attack combo with a Coke, please," I said, taking my turn at the Lafayette Road/Indianapolis Wendy's drive-thru window.

"Medium or Large?" I hadn't expected that question. The menu described the $3.29 value meal as a double cheeseburger, small order of fries and sixteen ounce Coke.

"Medium?" I answered.

"Your total will be $4.12 at the window." As I tried to figure how the sales tax could have added nearly a dollar to my total, I slowly moved forward toward the pick up window.

"$4.12," I was told when I reached the window.

"How does it come to $4.12?" I asked. "The sign says it's $3.29."

"You ordered a medium," I was then told.

"You asked me if I wanted medium or large," I said. "You didn't mention a small."

"That wasn't me," the woman answered, while the woman behind her had a caught-red-handed look on her face.

"Did you want a small?" the denier asked.

"I want whatever is listed on the menu for $3.29."

Stack AttackThe red-handed employee said, "We can fix it."

I received my amended order and started the drive home.

As is typical with most fast food restaurants these days, there was so much ice in my Coke that I was out of drink long before I was out of food. Curious as to just how much Coke was actually in my sixteen ounce cup, I made sure to suck down every drop of Coke and left the cup in the car overnight, giving the ice plenty of time to melt as it sat in the garage.

Upon inspection the next morning, what would you suspect that I found? About eight ounces -- or half a cup -- of water (melted ice). That's right, my sixteen ounce cup actually contained only eight ounces of soft drink.

Not only do I feel like Wendy's tried to trick me into spending more money by only offering me a medium or large combo, forgoing the small option, but they also cheated me out of half of my drink. To me, that's totally unacceptable.

To be fair, as I waited at the pick up window to receive my amended order, I pondered the possibility that I might have just missed the offering of a small combo. Maybe she had asked me, "Small, medium, or large?" and either I missed the beginning or the speaker cut off the first word. It's possible, right?

Except that, as I waited, the car behind me was placing their order, and I witnessed first hand as the red-handed employee asked them, "Medium or large?" No way I missed the offering of a small combo the second time around.

I've always considered Wendy's to be the best of the big three fast food burger joints. Their burgers are bigger, better, and always fresher. I'm just a little disappointed at how this whole thing played out. You say, "But it wasn't even a buck difference." True. But it's more about principle than money.

On Wendy's home page, they have the following statement:
At Wendy's®, we're unrivaled in our passion for giving people what they want — and uncompromising in giving people what they deserve.
It just seems to me that maybe they were a little more passionate about making an extra buck than they were about giving me the small sized combo that I wanted.

Your comments?



Lon said...

You are damn right and I was ust thinking about this today, as the EXACT same thing happened. I ordered a number one with a Coke. "Medium or large?" I was asked. I assumed then, that those were the only two choices. I wonder what they would give me if I said "regular"? Would they have their training designate a "regular" as a "large"? I do not know.

It isn't just them, they all do it now. Taco Bell, Burger king, and McDonald's. There is no doubt in my mind that the big wigs have meetings to come up with these scenarios in which they KNOW they way they ask what you want, afyer you have just ordered meal number X, that the majority will assume that when they ask "medium or large", you will assume "medium" is what the advertised price for the meal is. I have wondered how legal this is, (we know it's immoral), and am wondering if I should start some sort of crusade to call them out on it. They want to nickel and dime the masses, which will add up to millions more in sales.

As far as the drinks go, well they probably just give you a bigger cup, which then holds MORE ice, and probably have the same amount of drinkable liquid in each size. Why do I need a cup 3/4 full of ice in January in Indiana? One way around this is to of course, say "easy on the ice", or "no ice". But then maybe they will begin to combat this by giving you lukewarm soda.How many more fries do you get with the up sized meals? I'd be willing to bet it is negligible

As consumers, we need to fight back. I just am unsure how to do this, other than maybe just brining to the attention of the manager each and every time that I a asking for the advertised meal, and that they are going out of their way to scam us by asking "medium or large", which insinuates that "medium" is the default lowest priced meal. Thoughts?

John said...

The next time they try to trick me, I'm going to make a big, time consuming stink at the order mic and then demand to see the manager when I get to the window.

Time is money, especially smack dab in the middle of lunch hour in the fast food business. If you sit at the window for 10 minutes arguing with them, the line will grow and customers will find somewhere else to eat.

I'm even gonna just turn off the engine so they *know* I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.

suzanne said...

Hey, Joe, I went through Wendy's yesterday and had the same thing happen. I asked for a combo with a lemonade and was asked "medium or large," then saw that a separate drink order flashed up on the screen (for a second) with a separate price beyond the combo. When I asked them why I was being charged extra, they said "You upgraded to a medium." The manager was then the one who showed up at the window to take my money, and I asked him why he thought it was all right to rip me off for the extra dollar. He said "We're instructed to say it that way, m'am."
I said "Well I'm instructing people not to come here anymore."

Can you believe it? You can't even buy a lousy $5.00 chekcen sandwich anymore without someone trying to pull an extra buck out of your pocket!

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