Friday, March 6, 2009


I know that we have all heard the story about the woman who called 911 because McDonald's ran out of chicken nuggets. But someone sent me an e-mail that examines this issue from another perspective. I am reposting it here. I'm trying to find out who the original author is and will update with credit. What do you think?

It seems to me like the media is focusing on the wrong part of this story.

Latreasa Goodman called 911 after she bought a 10 piece chicken nugget meal. She paid for her meal, got her change, and then the cashier told her they were out of chicken nuggets. She asked for her money back and the cashier told her all sales are final.

What sale?

Latreasa called 911 because McDonalds stole her $5 and wouldn't give it back after she found out that chicken nuggets were not available. The cashier said that she could have another item off the menu, but she could not have her money back. Latreasa called 911 (she did specify she needed police only in the phone conversation) to report that McDonalds took her $5 and wouldn't give her the chicken nuggets or her money back. The police department arrested Latreasa.

"The manager just took my money and won't give me my money back, trying to make me get something off the menu that I don't want, I ordered chicken nuggets. They don't have chicken nuggets, and so I told her, 'Just give me my money back,' and she tells me I have to pick something else off the menu. She is not going to give me my money back, and she don't have the right to take my money."
So is this about chicken nuggets or theft? How many people know their local police number (a much better option, but still...) $5 was obviously very important to this woman - which brings the next question...

Was this discrimination due to class?

If you walked into Home Depot and bought $1000 in lumber and they loaded your car with something else and refused to return your money because "all sales are final" then what would you do?

What if it was a $100 radio that you bought and then found out that it was out of stock - no returns!

What if it was $5....

Where is your limit?


  1. Stopping by via SITS. Fascinating story when you have the whole picture. You ask some very interesting questions. For what it's worth, I think McDonald's is wrong here. The woman should have been told they were out of McNuggets BEFORE the cashier took her money. Barring that, she most certainly should have gotten her money back!

  2. Wow, what a story. You were in the comments of SITS so I thought I'd pop in a wish you a happy weekend.....

  3. I noticed this aspect of the story as well. Mickey D's was clearly out of line on that one... but the whole 911 thing three times probably wasn't the best course of action either... maybe the regular police number instead of the life-threatening emergency number...

    I bet McD's will have a new training module on offering customer refunds after they got slapped with the 25 million dollar lawsuit she filed yesterday.

    Thanks for posting this. I think it's an important point that is getting glossed over in the media.

  4. I think this version of this story is interesting. Obviously they should have given her the money back right away. Dialing 911? Not bright.

    It's funny, though. I've had this happen at McDonald's before and they've always offered to give me my money back right away. So maybe different stores have different policies. And I hope THIS McDonald's has changed theirs!