Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cooking Up a Kentucky Fried Lawsuit

KFC's been busy pushing their new "grilled" chicken. It showed up in CBS sitcoms such as Gary Unmarried and even made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. In fact, Oprah was so enamoured with KFC's new life-like grilled chicken she offered to buy everyone in America some, either that or KFC paid the day-time talk Queen an ass load of money to push their chicken-like product.

Whichever was the true reason behind the offer, viewers could visit Oprah's website and print off a coupon good for one free two piece grilled chicken meal. The offer is was good at participating restaurants, while supplies last, until 5/19, excluding Mother's Day. (We couldn't quite get our small print as small and undreadable as KFC, but you get the idea.)

The problem for Kansas Citians, KFCs in the area have decided their supplies of grilled chicken no longer last. However, that doesn't stop them from trying to sell patrons their two-piece grilled chicken meal for $3.99.

One can't help but wonder how KFC will avoid a class action lawsuit for refusing to honor a coupon for which their is obviously supply on hand.
bait and switch - a form of fraud in which the party putting forth the fraud lures in customers by advertising a product or service at an unprofitably low price, then reveals to potential customers that the advertised good is not available but that a substitute is.


Anonymous said...

I went to the kfc on parvin rd. It's listed a s place honoring the deal.

But no! They said we gave a 2.5 million chickens away yesterday so no more free chicken. They then offered to sell me a grilled chicken meal, so they had the chicken.

KFC really should have thought this through...

PS Oprah's a bitch

Tony said...

Awesome post Kansas Citian.

I'm linking . . . That's actually a great scoop and you are one of the only people brave enough to attempt to eat at KFC in order to come up with it. Nice.

Stephan said...

It's not limited to Kansas City. I just came from a KFC in Washington, DC and they were handing out papers stating we should fill out the form and send it to KFC for a coupon. The employees there said it was by reason of fraud they could no longer honor the coupon. I asked if they were out of chicken they told me they have chicken but they cannot honor the coupon I have but to send for one instead.

What a Crock!

Contact me on my myspace page if you do decide to file a class action law suit.

chris said...

I just visited Oprah's website and saw the statement by KFC. What a cop out.

We are so sorry, but due to the overwhelming response to our FREE Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal coupon, we can no longer redeem the free coupon at this time. But we will honor our commitment to giving you a free Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal. Please visit a participating KFC restaurant for a rain check form. Complete the form, attach your original coupon, and give it to the KFC restaurant manager or postmark per the form's instructions, by May 19, 2009, and we'll send you a rain check for your free Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal at a later date, plus a free Pepsi with our compliments. Your participating KFC restaurant will provide you with the form you need. Please note that the redemption periods of the rain checks will vary. All other terms and conditions of the original free Kentucky Grilled Chicken coupon will apply. Thank you for your understanding,

Roger Eaton
KFC President
Technically they appear to be willing to give you a free meal, but only after you jump through a hoop and "wait" for a new coupon to be mailed to you. Let's see what is wrong with this:

1 - Bait and switch as the blogger noted.
2 - They get your address which means they will probably sell your name to a marketing list.
3 - They hope not everyone will take the time to request a new coupon.
4 - Like mail in rebates that never send the rebate without a followup call, they probably plan to not send out all the coupons unless the customer calls to ask why he has not received his.
5 - In the end they will probably only give out 33 to 50% of the free chicken they would have given had they honored the original offer.
6 - Time will tell if the publicity they received for this new product is a net positive or negative.

chris said...

This seems even more bush league than the Panera Bread promotion with the KC Royals 2 years ago.