I grumped when Burger King down-sized their burgers a few years ago. However, I used to be in business myself, and I know all about rising costs. I also know that some companies, rather than be straight-forward about it and raising their prices, lessen the quality or quantity of their goods or services to save money in place of upping prices. Examples of that are Burger King’s shrinking burgers and, more recently, leaving off the second piece of cheese on a double cheeseburger. Never in my life have I ordered a double-cheeseburger and received only one slice of cheese—until Burger King started down the low road. They now charge you and extra 20 cents if you request an “extra” slice of cheese on your double cheeseburger.
I have no doubt that sales are off at fast food restaurants, less because people are getting more health conscious, than due to our “improving” economy that keeps making the poor poorer and middle class non-existent. Supposedly, as a way to recapture part of the market and of course “to help people out,” they’ve expanded their dollar menu. Although we’d had lunch at home today, my wife and I had been out running errands long enough that we were getting hungry again. Since we had plans to just “piece around” this evening, rather than fix an actual supper, we decided to get a dollar sandwich apiece for us and the dog.
Inside, the girl at the counter did her job as instructed and asked if I wanted cheese on my rodeo burger, to which I replied to the affirmative. My first suspicion was raised when she didn’t call it back “rodeo burger add cheese,” but “rodeo cheeseburger.” Sure enough, after the girl gave me my cup, change and receipt, and walked off to fill the order, I looked at the receipt and found a case of old-style bait and switch, except that I hadn’t been told about it. It turns out that rodeo cheeseburgers cost $1.49, NOT a dollar plus 20 cents for the cheese.
I questioned the manager standing nearby and she said that was the correct price. I told her my “beef,” and she agreed that it wasn’t good business and offered to refund my money. I told her that wouldn’t be necessary, but that it wouldn’t happen again. She understood and told me that I wasn’t the first to rightfully complain. I asked her to pass it along that an irate customer complained about the rip-off, and she assured me that she would. I’m slightly acquainted with the young woman from doing occasional business there, and I believe that she will. The question is whether it will do any good.
One reason this country is in the mess it’s in is because we have people running the government, and many of the corporations, with no respect for honesty and honor. This little bait and switch isn’t something being done at the store level. You know very well that it was planned from the top as a way to up-sell their dollar items. That says a lot to me about the moral character of the people now running Burger King. It wasn’t the 29 cents; it was the deliberateness of the bait and switch that peeved me. And if you’re tempted to say, “Hey, it was only 29 cents,” you’re right! But multiply that 29 cents times millions of customers, and it’s no longer minor dishonesty; it’s major corruption. Maybe it’s time that I do a little comparison shopping. © 2014