A British man is accusing McDonald’s of “patronizing” him after the fast food giant offered him vouchers as compensation for receiving a burger with a moldy bun.
Edward Porter, a 33-year-old account executive at a software company, told the Daily Mail he received the burger earlier this month at a McDonald’s in the Holborn area of London. He said he wants the company to properly compensate him for his experience, but he doesn’t know how much is appropriate.
He has now posted photos of the sandwich to Facebook, where they have reportedly been shared more 31,000 times.
“So I was served this burger at McDonald’s in Holborn,” Porter wrote in the post accompanying the photos. “Look at the mould [sic] on the bun…Having complained they sent me £15 vouchers. I said to them to that I would go viral with the pictures, so here we go….I wonder how the power of social media could affect them?”
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Some Facebook users expressed surprise that mold was found on a McDonald’s bun.
“I didn't even think it was possible for the buns to mold, maybe this is a good sign,” wrote user Tom Watson, according to the Daily Mail.
Watson was likely referring to the occasional stories that suggest McDonald’s food is so laden with chemicals and preservatives that the food fails to rot.
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The Daily Mail itself has run a few of those stories over the years.
In 2010, it ran a story about a New York artist who kept a McDonald’s burger and fries for six months and the food reportedly never showed any sign of decay.
And more recently, in January of this year, it ran a story about an Icelandic man who has a nearly 6-year-old burger that “seems to show no signs of decomposition.”
But Porter said he is sure of what he saw.
He said he noticed the mold on the bun just as he was about to bite into the burger on June 4. He told the Daily Mail that he took the sandwich back to the counter where the manager offered him a full refund and another burger.
“She was going to give me a refund on the meal and a fresh meal but I didn't accept the refund,” Porter said. “I did however take the new burger as I was hungry, and then I left.”
The next day, Porter said, he called McDonald’s “head office” and spoke to customer service and lodged a formal complaint.
He said that, through a series of email exchanges, a “senior customer services manager” sent him two sets of vouchers worth 15 pounds each — a little over $45 in total value.
“I said to her that I thought her response was patronizing, and I said you need to compensate me properly,” Porter said, adding that he doesn’t have a figure in mind.
“I have no idea what fair [compensation] is in these matters, so I will leave it to McDonald's. I haven't asked for a specific sum,” he said.
But a McDonald’s representative reportedly said Porter does have an idea of what would be fair and he and the company simply don’t agree.
“Mr Porter has received a full refund and 30 pounds of vouchers,” the unnamed representative said, according to the Daily Mail. “He has made a claim for a significant amount of compensation which is considered unreasonable.”
“I haven't suggested any amount of money,” Porter countered. “I have given them the opportunity to give me what's right and fair. I certainly haven't demanded a certain amount of money or anything.”
McDonald’s said the burger in question was part of a promotional menu and is no longer available in its restaurants.
“Of course what happened was unacceptable, and it shouldn't have happened,” a company representative said. “Incidences like this are incredibly rare due to the importance we place upon food quality.”
Photo Credit: Edward Porter/Facebook, Divv Walsh/Flickr