Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ronald's redemption

Oh, I sent the letter alright.

You better believe I sent the letter.

After posting it here Monday night, I called the head office at McDonald’s Canada on Wednesday after trying unsuccessfully to get any kind of an e-mail address.

Turns out you can’t complain to McDonald’s via e-mail (at least in Canada) because only three people work in the customer service department and they would be overwhelmed if it were actually convenient for people to communicate with them.

Does that sound snippy? I meant it to. Also snippy? When I said I completely understood that a small business like McDonald’s couldn’t possibly afford to hire more than three customer service representatives.

Anyhoo…I did get a fax number and I faxed the letter out over on my lunch hour. I included the address for this site and explained that in the day and a half since it was posted it had received several hundred views and dozens of angry comments. I included my full name and address and advised them I expected an immediate response.

When I returned home about 5:30 p.m. there were two messages on my answering machine. One was from a woman at McDonald’s head office who apologized profusely and said she would be contacting the owner of that restaurant and advising her to contact me immediately. The second was from said owner who was also very apologetic and expressed a desire to speak with me directly. I figured I would call her today on my lunch.

My husband called me at work this morning. Call these McDonald’s people back, he said, They keep calling!

I called the owner, a woman named Lori, right away.

Lori said she was devastated by how we were treated. She said she’s worked in and around McDonald’s since she was a young girl and her father owned that restaurant before her. She said she has a five-year-old and hasn’t been able to sleep since she read my letter and watched the security tapes because she’s so upset and embarrassed.

Lori said she is dealing with a new management team and that she already had an emergency meeting with them to discuss the situation. She said the manger was woken from a sound sleep by the worker’s call and didn’t fully grasp the situation or the severity of the storm. She said the woman had offered up her job, so guilty did she feel about giving the worker such terrible instructions.

Lori said she had a long talk with her staff at that meeting about using common sense and trying to apply the values, of family and community, that McDonald’s espouses, in everyday situations.

Lori said she was very, very sorry.

And you what? I believe her.

Also, I forgive her and the manager and the silly girl who delivered the manager’s orders. I think they get it. I don’t think it will happen again and Graham and I are home and safe. All I really wanted was a sincere apology and I got it.

Lori also said she was sending something to me and Graham as a token of good will and that’s all very nice and I’ll be sure to let you know when it arrives, but that’s not why I feel so good today.

I feel good today because I feel I have proven, in some small way, that there is power in words: real power. I feel like maybe one day Graham will read this and feel reassured that when people speak up, they can and will be heard.

Thank you all, my friends, for adding your voices – if you are ever in Don Mills I’ll treat you to a Big Mac.

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65 comments:

InTheFastLane said...

And as good as free stuff is, you got what was the most important, and apology and a commitment to change. In some way, I am glad no one lost their jobs and everyone was willing to be a part of the solution. Your words worked!

Mary said...

Good for you for speaking up!
And I'm glad you are happy with the result. Apologies are very hard to find these days. Someone is always trying to place blame on someone else. Glad you got yours :)

Just Janice said...

That's awesome that the staff at McD's was so responsive to your letter. Your letter was very well written and I bet that helps. Way to go!

Jen said...

Wow, I am so glad they responded to you and in such a positive way. That's great!

Karen MEG said...

I'm glad that they bent over backwards for you. I felt bad at first for having my McMuffin (I hadn't read your other post before I had that treat the other day), but now I feel much, much better :)

If more people did something about it, I bet a lot of things would improve in this world.

Llama Momma said...

That is awesome! Makes me want to complain to someone. :-)

Melissa said...

I'm glad you got a favorable response! I hope next time something like this happens they remember your situation!

Beth said...

Way to go! I'm glad you spoke up and I'm glad Ronald came through and did what's right by the customer!

Ms. Porter said...

That was quick, and I respect the way things were ultimately handled. Even more so, I think it's great that you followed up with this post, the fact that you were satisfied in the end and told that part of the story means just as much as the complaint.

Corey~living and loving said...

rock on with your sassy self. I am glad you said something. :) well played.

Dawn said...

Yeah for you! That had a good outcome and it does feel good to hear that a person can speak up and make a change even with a big company like that.

Someone Being Me said...

Its wonderful when a company accepts responsbility for poor behavior. It seems like customer service is a dying profession. I'm glad this was resolved for you.

Holly said...

You spoke up and that was important. Free stuff is always good, but more importantly, I think that the apology is even more important. You were the catalyst for some change, hopefully for the better. I'm glad to see that they accepted responsiblity for their awful behavior. Good for you!!!

newduck said...

Damn, I hate it when corporate types do good. I prefer to Hate The Man. Did you see the drama-rama on my blog about Linda Murray's comment in the NYTimes about pregnancy "ruining" women's bodies? One of my readers wrote to her and GOT A RESPONSE. I'm in shock, and proud to have accomplished something through my blog.

Melisa said...

What the heck?? I just did a super long comment and it didn't post. That'll teach me to run on and on...

I wanted to congratulate you for standing up for this and sending your letter!

I also mentioned that I was going to offer to drive down the road for about 15 minutes to Oakbrook, Illinois (that's where McD headquarters is) and kick some ass for you, but you did an awesome job all by yourself! ;)

jennwa said...

You go girl !!! You made a difference. That is good to hear that McDonald's was so upset about the bad press. Maybe they really do like to see us smile.

lattemommy said...

Good for you! I'm so glad that you actually sent the letter. When I read it, I thought you were just venting on your blog. You were right to send it to them, and I'm pleased to see that they took you seriously. Customer service seems to have become a thing of the past in a lot of places - I'm glad to see that McDonald's isn't one of them.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

That is so cool...

painted maypole said...

great end to this story.

OHmommy said...

I am going to SUPER SIZE my meal tomorrow.

I love happy endings!

Family Adventure said...

Kudos to McDonald's for fixing a wrong. And doubly so to you for pointing it out in the first place.

Heidi

Brittany said...

Thank goodness there are good people in the world, still! I am glad this Lori woman was so apologetic! Kudos to you, for sending the letter!!

Are You Serious! said...

♥ That's great news. She did sound like she really took care of everything and did it FAST!

Kat said...

You just earned my utmost respect. I am glad you spoke your mind and I am surprised that they got back to you so quickly.

Believe me I have worked in Customer Relations for a major German Airline for years and I know that there is a thin line for huge companies between sounding sincere and just trying to get rid of a customer and their problem.

Glad that their apologie came over as sincere and I think they really and truly meant it.

Have a great day.

Laura said...

EXCELLENT. I know from personal experience that McD's usually comes through...so glad they are clearing the air.

krissy said...

I don't want a BigMac but could you come to South Dakota and yell at a few people on my list???? Please, Please! Okay, then just write them a letter for me! My letters are littered with foul cuss words b/c that's all I know how to do!!!! :-)

I'm happy that the owner was so concerned and sincere! I believe she was sorry too!

sky girl said...

Awesome! So many big companies don't take individual complaints seriously. I am pleased to see how seriously this was taken. Good for you. You should be proud.

ewe are here said...

I'm delighted to hear about their response. This should never have happened; hopefully, it won't happen again.

Jenifer said...

I am impressed, I never expected McD's to respond so promptly, actually I had doubts they would at all.

Words do hold power and when presented in a rational way they can evoke change.

Great news.

mamatulip said...

I believe her too.

That post hasn't left the back of my mind since I read it. I was genuinely surprised to hear of the treatment you received there because, like I said in my comment on that post, I worked at McD's for many years, at several different locations. It may not have been the best job, or the best paying job, but there was a very high 'family' standard that was upheld at each and every location I worked at. The treatment you expected to receive from that store the night of the storm is treatment you should have received, and it's treatment that each and every customer should expect to receive from McDonald's.

I'm so glad you sent the letter. Bravo, DMD.

Amy said...

i am glad you sent the letter. it is nice to know that you actually talked to an actual human, and she had compassion. it gives me hope in this world!

Kimmylyn said...

Happy to hear that you actually made a difference!! Great news!

Jen M. said...

I read that story with my jaw open. UNBELIEVABLE!!

I hope they send you a car. And a new house. Or at least a voucher for some free french fries.

GoMommy said...

That's great! I hope they do the right thing next time- you may have saved alot of people alot of headaches in the future!
Go Diva! Go Diva!

Maria said...

I believe them too, but I also think you definitely did the right thing by sending the letter to them!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I've tagged you with a meme. Don't hate me. :)

Hetha said...

Way to go DMD! I think a lot of folks would have just complained and left it at that, but you wrote a brilliantly articulate letter and sent it. I'm not surprised by their reaction, they *should* have been mortified! And I agree, an apology was all that was needed. But a few free big macs will go a long way too :-)

Karen said...

Okay, I somehow missed that horrible McD situation, but I'm so thrilled that things worked out. It reassures my faith in humanity.

Magpie said...

Wonderful follow-up. Good job.

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Wonderful! It's nice to hear about someone giving a true and heartfelt apology. So rare nowadays, too.

Linds said...

I'm so glad to hear that you were apologized to. Good work!

wheelsonthebus said...

That ROCKS! Next time a student tells me that learning to write well will not serve her in later life, I will bring up this example.

Kathryn said...

Good for you! And ya know what, I feel better too! Sometimes all you want is a sincere apology. And it helps. Yeah!

Lisa said...

You're awesome. You know why...because instead of just bitching about something you did something about it. I think if more of us did just that our world would be a better place.
And I'm sincerely glad that Lori did what was right. Kudos to Lori. I'll order my kids some chicken mcnuggets in her honor!

Kyla said...

That is wonderful! Look at you! It is so nice to hear it was well-received and taken to heart.

common mom said...

That's great! So many times I've wanted to write a letter, but just never do it. However, I'm more than willing to write those letters of thanks and praise when something really good has happened in similar situations. Good for you for stepping up and making your voice, and the voice of many others who didn't say anything, heard :-)

I hope you get something good . . . like a free hot fudge sundae . . . yummola ;-)

angie said...

I'm so glad you got that well deserved apology. So glad.

LoriD said...

I firmly believe in the power of words. While I've rarely had such an immediate and perfect response, it still feels good to get it off my chest.

Tot's Mom said...

In a world where corporations are judged by how much they make and value to their shareholders, it's hard to expect compassion most of the time. But I guess, in this instance, you have pushed the right buttons and they are in damage control. Well, never underestimate the power of blogs...

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Kudos to McDonald's for a quick and appropriate response!

the new girl said...

DMD:
That is so great that you brought the POWER OF THE BLOG to the world! So, so many times I write a pissed off letter and then leave it, only to get pissed again when I come across it.

Good, good for you.

tommie said...

I am so glad I saw your link on another blog today. I realized I hadn't 'caught' up with you recently!

I am so glad you sent it and got the response that you did. I think people really do want to do what is right, but get caught up in the moment of just wanting to be done with the day.

Now sending people out in a snowstorm might have made her think she would be getting home sooner, but in hindsight realized it wasn't the smartest move.

Yeah for you for sending the letter. BTW, can I just get some nuggets?

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

I am so happy that they responded in such an appropriate and timely way. Good for the McD's.
I am so impressed that you stood up for yourself in this way.

Rachel said...

well hells bells woman.
i'm sorry i've missed all this!
Glad you were treated well and that compensation is imminent.
Yowza. You go DMD, I'm so proud of you for sticking up for yourself like that!

Heather said...

You're my hero. (heroine ? Now that just doesn't look right) Anywho! What I mean to say is you rock for sending the letter and getting results. Hopefully that won't ever happen to anyone else. (The getting told to get out, not the getting results.)

I really am literate. Sometimes.

Teachin' this mommy new tricks! said...

good for you!!!!!!!

Damselfly said...

I read the letter and this post too. Good for you for sending that letter. Too often, consumers just take the corporate crap because we are too busy to go through their hoops to complain. I'm glad you got an apology, too.

And now I want to go and eat some fries.

Suzanne said...

I'm glad you sent the letter. Happier still that they did the right thing and apologized.

caramama said...

Yea!!! I'm so glad to hear that you got a good resolution to this! Sometimes, all it takes is a "I'm/we're sorry. We will fix it." :-)

Leanne said...

Glad to hear it. Becareful about offering up the Big Macs though, I'm only about 45 minutes away... :)

Victoria said...

Phew - I'm glad you got a satisfying reaction from them. Apologies count for something, right?

Can I trade in my Big Mac for Chicken Selects? =)

kittenpie said...

Fantastic. Good for you for making sure they knew this was not some small not-enough-ketchup slipup and keeping with it. And hey, good for them for stepping up in a way that seems like they really think it mattered, too.

Andrea said...

I'm glad you got what you wanted in the form of an apology...'cause the free 'stuff' you got wasn't much! :)

Again, good for you for speaking up. I'm glad they seem to genuinely realize how wrong they were in their actions.

Mo said...

I just read the letter, then this response post. I worked at McDonald's for 8 years, and I cannot believe they did that to you. It is horrible to even consider turning people out in a severe storm. I'm glad they apologized and were sincere about it, and I'm more glad you guys got home safely.

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