Recently, a bizarre scandal surfaced involving South Korean McDonald’s home delivery service. The chain of events was set in motion when a university student living in Seoul’s Mapo district made a phone call to order two hamburger combos, then waited for his order to be delivered. Little did he know that in doing so he was about to become entangled in a scandal that caught the attention of most of Asia.
・Dude, where’s my burger?
The wait normally should have been about 20 minutes, but it seemed that the university student’s order was never going to arrive. He had to explain where he lived to the delivery guy over the phone—not just once, not twice, but four times—and when his food finally arrived it had taken more than 40 minutes to get there. Just after he’d finally polished off the long-awaited burgers, however, he allegedly received the following email message…
・Hamburger with an extra topping
“How did you like that hamburger with my spit in it?”
Shocked, the disgruntled diner got in touch with the call centre. In return, he was contacted by the manager of the branch he’d ordered from, but they were reluctant to accept that a delivery person would send an email openly admitting to having spat in a customer’s burger. This called for further investigation!
・Yep, turns out it was…
Dissatisfied, the student pushed the complaint forward. The identity of the email’s sender was checked with the cell phone provider, and the person who’d sent that email turned out to be… yes, the delivery guy. Four days after the incident occurred, McDonald’s finally apologized and accepted the blame. Apparently, the delivery “problem child” had already resigned, so had gotten off scot-free.
・Korean internet up in flames
Two days after the apology to the disgruntled customer, McDonald’s Souoth Korea put an apology up on its website. Here’s a rough translation:
“We deeply apologize for any annoyance caused by the recent incident in which an email with inappropriate content was sent by our delivery person.”
In addition, they are conducting thorough staff training, but the Korean internet was already in a huge uproar, and boiling over out of control.
・Say you’re sorry… with coupons?
Actually, McDonald’s tried to offer the customer discount coupons as a way of smoothing things over, but he refused them. The company then ramped it up by offering him even more coupons… but this response was criticized as “breaching good faith”. Also, some critics made themselves heard with comments like “How do you plan to educate your staff—by teaching them not to spit?” Looks like this storm in a McDonald’s beverage cup won’t be dying down anytime soon.
[ Read in Japanese ]