Monday smile – Cheese coercion

Today’s Monday smile comes by courtesy of Kevin Underhill’s fantastic blog Lowering the Bar.

Kevin puts the case: “Two Florida plaintiffs have sued McDonald’s Corp. over its dastardly practice of—and you may wish to sit down before reading this—charging them full price for a Quarter Pounder with cheese although said Quarter Pounder had no cheese of any kind. Did this have anything to do with the fact that Plaintiffs asked for the cheese to be removed? Well, one could argue that it did. Because it did.

Here are some extracts providing a rough outline, but I would encourage you to read the full post on Lowering the Bar (link below). 🙂

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“The plaintiffs, Cynthia Kissner and Leonard Werner (“KISSNER” and “WERNER” respectively, of course) allege that they “regularly eat at McDonald’s restaurants” and, in doing so, “often order Quarter Pounders® and Double Quarter Pounders®….” The Quarter Pounder, “one of McDONALD’S signature products,” was sold as such, sans cheese, for a number of years after its introduction in 1975.


If the customer orders a Quarter Pounder® [by number or by name], they are required to order a Quarter Pounder® with cheese, and order it without cheese. In either event, the customer is charged for a Quarter Pounder® with cheese, and receives a Quarter Pounder® [without cheese]. In all such instances, McDONALD’S overcharges the customers for their desired products, because the customers are charged between [30 and 90 cents] for … slices of cheese the customers do not want, do not order, and do not receive.

Emphasis added.

Ultimately, through these practices, customers who want a Quarter Pounder […] or a value meal including one of these products, have been overcharged, and coerced to order, purchase and pay for cheese that they do not want and do not receive as a condition to their purchase of the desired hamburger.

Emphasis added again. Coerced!

And they are really not joking about this, you guys, because in addition to the usual consumer-fraud and unjust-enrichment claims, they have alleged that McDonald’s is breaking the law because “requiring” cheese to be bought along with a Quarter Pounder is an unlawful tying arrangement that violates the Sherman Act.”

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To read the full post click here.

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