Monday, January 21, 2019

Week 3 – Hold the cheese, reduce the price?

Kissner v McDonald's
Case number 18-cv-61026-WPD
Southern District of Florida 

On the McDonald's app, you can order a Quarter Pounder with cheese or without cheese.  If you go inside a McDonald's store, you only have the option of buying the Quarter Pounder with cheese.  Sure, you can customize and request it without cheese, but you won't receive a reduced price.

Two Florida customers didn't like that.  On May 8, 2018, they filed a class-action lawsuit against McDonald's for $5 million.  “McDonald's practices of forcing customers to pay for cheese they do not receive as a condition of purchasing a Quarter Pounder ...” is alleged to be a violation of several laws.

On November 2, 2018, the court dismissed the lawsuit, noting that Plaintiffs claimed McDonald’s had been unjustly enriched “to the extent of the amount it receives for cheese that is not delivered to its customers. First, this allegation is nonsensical as the cheese 'not delivered' to the customer has been requested by that customer to not be delivered ...”

“If a particular McDonald’s restaurant does not list an item on its counter or drive-through menu, and a customer placing his order at the counter or drive-through requests a customization of the offered product, a customer is not being deceived or otherwise treated unfairly by not being charged less.”

Bottom line – the price includes certain ingredients.  The customer can choose to remove some of those ingredients, but it's not illegal for the price to remain the same.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Legal Intelligencer

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