McDonald’s Canada faces backlash for app that drains huge amounts of data

The main Canadian franchise of fast food giant McDonald’s has very unhappy customers across the country as countless users of the burger joint’s mobile app have found themselves paying huge data charges from carriers telephone.

A blogTO reader shed light on the issue, explaining that since a recent update to the McDonald’s Canada app in late June, its data usage has started to skyrocket.

After checking his data usage, he realized that an app used for no more than a minute or two a day was responsible for almost a quarter of his total data.

“Over the past 26 days, I’ve had 4.7 gigabytes of total cellular data,” says the reader, who wishes to remain anonymous. It just breaks down some of its data usage, saying “of the 4.7 total, 1.1 gigs are McDonald’s, 145 megabytes are Instagram. 453 megabytes are Safari, and 400 megabytes are LinkedIn.”

The reader says such data usage “may impact the data plans of people who work with some of these organizations like Rogers or Virgin, where they will go to the end of their cycle, and look at their phone and be like, ‘How the hell did I do 10 gigs?

And reviews on the App Store show that many McD’s customers are experiencing the same issues.

On June 22, an iPhone user claimed that the app drained 800 megabytes of data in just 10 days at an astonishing rate of 80MB/day.

mcdonalds app dataAnother user claims this could be caused by an app optimization error, stating that “over a period of 2 months this app used 2.4 GB of data, I only open this app occasionally just to load my code when I order”.

mcdonalds app data

Negative reviews are mounting, showing that this is not a problem limited to a few unlucky app users. It’s widespread.

mcdonalds app data

The flood of complaints is not limited to the version of the app running on Apple’s operating system, with several similar reviews on Google Play Store.

An Android user says that “this app runs in the background and keeps popping up with blank notifications in the notification area when it’s totally unnecessary for the app’s operation.”

The review adds that “McDonalds customer service says, ‘Our app does these things so it can operate at full capacity,’ which is clearly a dodgy response. It also shows offers that aren’t available in my region, even if I know where I am, like a real waste of time.

blogTO reached out to McDonald’s Canada’s media relations team on Thursday morning, seeking an explanation or even acknowledgment of the issue. There has been no response at the time of writing.

McDonald’s Canada’s data usage update comes at a time when users are understandably wary of fast-food mobile apps, just weeks after a troubling revelation about competitor Tim Hortons’ mobile app collecting data on users.

In June, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada issued a warning statement that “people who downloaded the Tim Hortons app had their movements tracked and recorded every few minutes of every day, even when their app was not open, in violation of Canadian privacy laws” .

About Robert Moody

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