McDonald’s is widely known for its fast-food chain which is located in 36,000 branches of it to serve around 6 million customers daily all across the world. After Subway, it is the second fast food serving company which has the highest number of locations globally.
When a company works on such a large scale, it is oblivious to face controversies and scandals. Most of us have heard about the hot coffee news of 79 years old Stella Liebeck who was severely burned by the searing coffee served by McDonald’s. She went under medical treatment for eight days and in compensation she received a huge amount by the company authorities to settle the lawsuit privately.
But this is not the only incident, these are five severe crimes which was hugely criticized and turned out some of the big scandals in McDonald’s history:
- San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre
This story begins on July 1984 when James Huberty went through severe mental health problems. He requested a mental health clinic over the phone to take an initial appointment. The customer support replied that he should get a call back from the clinic in the next few hours which he never received.
It was found that the receptionist wrote his name incorrectly as ‘ Shouberty ’ and listed the inquiry as ‘ non-crisis’ which means 48 hours is the time of responding by the clinic. In the next day, he also waited for the call but no response was received and finally, on July 18, he went out and openly fired in McDonald’s. Twenty-one people were killed in this mishap including 19 causalities. Finally, the SWAT team took down Huberty and controlled the situation.
During the court case, the survivors had a heated argument with McDonald’s Corporation and have accused the company for not taking safety measure for their customers.
- McDonald’s Drive-through Intercom Hacks
McDonald’s restaurant in New Bern, North Carolina got hacked on 2016 in this incident. The hackers prime motive was to target the drive-through intercom system and deliver own created messages to the customers. Regarding this scandal, a video was uploaded by a victim customer as a proof on YouTube. The prankster delivered some gauche voice messages to that customer by gaining access to the intercom system.
Mr. Purcell, the restaurant’s owner took the matter seriously and successfully prevented the situation. As a result, there have been no such incidents were reported till date.
- Aggressive Ownership of ‘MC’ in corporate world
When it comes to ‘MC’ prefix, McDonald’s is extremely obsessed with suing the other companies using it as a business purpose. It interference went to an extent where it has dragged those people who has McDonald as their family names.
The company lost a legal fight with McDonald’s Family Restaurant which was opened in 1956 before the establishment of McDonald’s. Ronald McDonald, the owner disagreed to remove the name as it was a matter of coincident and permitted by the legal authorities to continue with the title.
Further, McDonald’s tried to open a restaurant in Fairbury in 1990 which was drastically rejected by the locals.
- French Fries meat-free controversy
The manner of preparing McDonald’s French fries went into a legal fight in 1990 when some vegetarian customers filed a complaint against the company. Many vegetarian were tricked to believe that the fried are totally meat-free.
The company also used beef seasoning to make non-vegetarian fries which turned out to be a matter of doubt by the vegetarian customers. The case went in the court and finally, the company apologized with a compensation of 10 million dollars to all vegetarian customers and religious groups.
- Drive-through refuses to accept orders of Blind people
As we know almost all the McDonald’s restaurants remains open throughout the night. The drive-through facility generally aims to cut the costs of delivery which excludes the nondrivers.
According to Scott Magee, a blind man took a legal action against McDonald’s when the company refused to take the service on foot. Magee claimed that the company policy is against Disabilities Act which violates the right to equality.
McDonald’s has tried a lot to wind up the case but in the end Magee won the case.