This McDonald’s Happy Meal has turned into a very unhappy meal for some customers who have decided to add a milkshake or frozen dessert to their orders – so unhappy that even the Feds are getting involved.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Trade Commission contacted McDonald’s franchise owners over the summer for information on the fast food giant’s McFlurry ice machines, which have had well-known operating issues such as they’re supposed to.
As reported by NBC’s Today Show, the problem has become so widespread that there is even an online tool – the “McBroken” map – that allows you to track failed machines across the country. McDonald’s has recognized the problem, but some of its franchisees are growing impatient. Some complain that McFlurry machines are too complicated to operate, often fail during the nightly cleaning cycle, and are difficult to repair when they fail.
The WSJ report, released Wednesday, says the FTC has contacted McDonald’s franchisees for more information about the machines.
But as NPR noted, McDonald’s USA said in a statement it had no reason to believe this was under an FTC investigation.
“Nothing is more important to us than meeting our high standards of food quality and safety, which is why we work with fully approved partners who can reliably deliver safe solutions at scale,” indicates the press release.
The FTC news comes as the Biden administration is examining whether manufacturers are preventing homeowners from repairing broken products themselves. The so-called “right to repair” movement aims to relax the rules about when and how machines can be repaired by franchise owners.
Meanwhile, the McFlurry case has provided a lot of food for commentators online. Here are a few things various wags have said on Reddit:
“I literally went to McDonalds yesterday and their ice cream machine was broken. I ask for justice.
“… is there a McDonald’s next to the FTC headquarters?” “
“This is the classic SSaaS – Soft Serve as a Service.”
“Ironic when McDonalds was robbed from original owners by a predatory Milkshake machine vendor”
As for the FTC: it did not respond to requests for comment from various media sources. But in July, the agency said it would increase law enforcement efforts against manufacturers that place repair restrictions on businesses, government agencies, workers and consumers.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Redditers step in as FTC investigates broken McDonald’s McFlurry machines