I wrote the following letter – and mailed it – a few years ago. I’ve decided to re-post on my new blog because I never received a response from the company. Maybe now I will…
McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd.
October 3, 2011
I would like to begin this letter by making it clear that this is the first time I have written to a company with a complaint. Usually, I simply explain my grievance to as many people as possible, and hope that word of my frustration spreads. This time, however, I feel it is necessary to ensure my voice is heard.
For the last eight years, I have not eaten fast food at any chain restaurant – McDonald’s included. It is not a type of meal that appeals to me.
This past summer, I discovered your Dollar Drink Days promotion. It was an unusually hot July afternoon, and my coworker took me through the drive thru. She ordered me a vanilla iced coffee – even though I politely declined – and grudgingly I drank it.
It might have been a combination of the heat, my overall exhaustion, or the employee who mixed the drink, but I can honestly say it was the best iced coffee I have ever had in my entire life. Period.
I have driven to McDonald’s (even when the nearest location was nowhere near my destination) almost every single day since that initial encounter in July. My purchase is the same every time – a large vanilla iced coffee – and some of the employees at the branch near my home have even started to recognize me. I realize that I’m not buying full meals from you, but I am still a paying customer who likes a product.
Enter my frustration.
After work today, I drove through McDonald’s as I normally do to order my iced coffee for the drive home from work. When I was handed the beverage, I knew something was wrong immediately. The liquid was completely discoloured, and looked more like milk chocolate than the caramel tone I was accustomed to.
I asked the employee at the window if something was off with the beverage. He rolled his eyes, curtly replied “no,” and shut the window. As I explained earlier in this letter, I really enjoy your product, so I knocked on the window. When the employee opened it, I asked if he could remake my drink. He rolled his eyes again, and said “lady, there is nothing wring with it.” Then, he closed the window again.
Fuming – and slightly embarrassed at having been denied – I drove away. Sticking the straw into the drink as I entered rush hour traffic, I took a cautious sip.
Awful. Simply awful.
The coffee was either burnt or very, very old. Either way, it was definitely not drinkable. I considered turning around and returning to the McDonald’s branch, but decided against it. At that point, I just wanted to get home. I also decided against calling the branch and complaining, because I didn’t want to encounter another employee who was as rude as the one at the drive thru window.
All I purchase at McDonald’s is iced coffee. It is the best I have ever had – until today – and rivals every single high-end coffee shop I have ever visited. McDonald’s is pushing to be recognized as a coffee shop in addition to a restaurant, and I was on board with this shift. Now, I am frustrated and unsure how to proceed.
I don’t know if I will continue to purchase iced coffee at your branches anymore. I’m very disappointed – both in my treatment by your employee and in the condition of the beverage I purchased. It should have been a no-brainer – make the customer happy and mix another drink.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.