Which now stands for "Playmobil, or it didn't happen"
A Florida woman has earned herself an appearance before the beak on a misuse of 911 rap after calling cops three times to demand they rush to a McDonald's outlet and satisfy her lust for Chicken McNuggets. According to the Stuart News, 27-year-old Latreasa L Goodman, of Fort Pierce, ordered and paid for a delicious ten-piece …
It was the second and third call that got her in trouble.
She would have been well advised to retain a lawyer instead fo settling. Causing her to be arrested for complaining seems to be standard american procedure, its one wayt to lower the number of reported crimes.
Paris cause its her birthday
If a company offers a product and accepts payment for said product, and then refuses hand over aforementioned product, one is entitled to a refund of the purchase price. Refusal to relinquish said monies, despite claiming a sale to be final, would then constitute fraud, under the premise that money was obtained with no intention to fulfil the agreed contract.
At least that is my understanding of fraud law. Now if it was in Blighty, the offending 10peice would have been substituted for a filet-o-fish followed by a 2 hour wait, which would still be shorter than the time it would take for the rozzers to show up!
Penguin as its the closest to a chicken!
To be fair if McDonalds had just taken my money, not given me any food and then refused to give me my money back I'd feel like I'd been robbed as well. Although isn't traditional American way with this sort of dispute was to sue for emotional distress, rather than call the police out?
Americans are really a bunch of morons.
I mean if you are into eating McRubbish (I'll admit to doing so before when lost somewhere and desparately hungry) then I'd say she was getting quite a good deal, a ;larger portion for the same money but whatever she needs to be slung in jail for wasting police time.
Never mind, I'm sure ahe's well on her way to achieving her ambition of becoming a McFatty.
This is a tough call.
I maybe wouldnt call the police in such a situation. I would probably refuse to leave the counter and make it clear that the cashier wasn't serving anyone else behind me until the situation had been resolved to my satisfaction. If the cashier didn't like it then I would let McDonalds call the police. Resolving this should not have been difficult.
Technically if the value of the alternative is less than the order then she should be entitled to a refund of the difference. If the alternative is unsuitable then she should be entitled to a refund on the product that can not be provided or allowed to cancel.
Then again here in the UK we have statutory rights and consumer law that guarentees this.
The flame icon because I would always get a flame grilled BK over anything on the McBollox menu any day of the week.
Technically not robbery, but theft since there was no force or threat of force. She wasn't arrested for complaining, but for abusing the emergency services number. Even the 1st call to 911 should have gotten her arrested. Absolutely reasonable to call the cops for theft, but *not* the emergency services number.
Mine's the one with the legal dictionary in the pocket, thanks.
So let me get this straight.
The officer DIDN'T have enough time to deal with McDonalds bait and switch. But DID have enough time to arrest her for calling the police?
If they didn't want to send officers, then why did they tell her an officer was on the way?
McDonalds has admitted their mistake, so it's clear they are in the wrong. So why did the officer fail to realize that? Did he even attempt to get both sides of the story?
I'm sorry, but I'm with her on this, it's no different that if a man on the street pulled a bait and switch scam. She should have been entitled to get her money back and having been told an officer was on the way the first time, it's reasonable for her to call 2 more times to find out where the officer is. I see it was a black woman, was it a white officer?
In the US, 911 is a number for emergency services (police, fire, ambulance, wilderness rescue, etc) in case of an actual emergency. Being shorted $4 is not a life or death matter. She should have called a non-emergency number for her local police department. She wasn't arrested for contacting the police. She was arrested for misusing the emergency contact system for a non-emergency situation. There is a great deal of difference between settling a theft or fraud dispute and someone's life being in imminent danger.
ON one hand it does seem like abuse of the emergency service number, on the other how else are you supposed to report theft?
@Florence et al: How do you suggest she should have got her money back? Or do you think that McDonalds should be allowed to steal from people?
The police are paid, by the tax payer, to uphold the law -- that includes enforcing laws against confidence tricks.
she got tasered.
I can see it now.
Customer> They won't give me my McNuggets!!!!!!!!!!
Cop> I'll give you some thing.
Customer> Oh Goodie.
Cop> Regular or extra crispy?
Cop> Tzzzzzzzzzzt; TZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzrrrrrrrrt.
Cop> Damn, the batteries are flat.
If it was staffed by the normal level of expertise and businesslike managers these places can have, in all likelyhood no-one knew how to override the point-of-sale software and open the til without selling something else.
And before we get any more high and mighty UK residents mouthing off about McDonalds, I should like to point out that awful as US fast food can be, the British had a far more potent weapon in the disgusting food, filthy conditions and rude staff deployed against diners at your typical Fortes motorway service station *years* before McDonalds penetrated (ooer) the UK market.
As an Ex-pat who travelled the M6 and M1 on a regular basis for years, I speak from experience here. When coupled with the ultimate in highway landscaping first prize has to go to Newport Pagnel. Lousy food, generally cold and congealed, served in conditions that make lunch in a coal bunker look palatial by comparison by staff whose attitude ranged from British Rail Ticket Seller to Attila the Hun, all in the heady ambience of the five-years-and-STILL-not-finished Contra Flow.
We could also discuss the "food" served up in your average British Rail terminus, but I'm going to eat in an hour or so so we won't.
I'll take McDonalds over those examples of home-grown hell any day.
@Paul C. Hartley
You'd rather have a BK because Micky D's is rubbish... lol @ junk food snobbery; I'm lovin' it! That's like the Trainspotting scene with Begbie; pint in one hand, fag in the other saying "there's no way I'd fill my veins with that sh*te"
Since when are peppers vegetables?
So what is the non-emergency police number? Does anyone know it?
A large percentage of calls to 911 are not emergencies. A call like this really doesn't put much of a drain on police resources. In a situation like this they will show up no faster than if she called the non-emergency number.
The real issue is that she tied up an emergency dispatcher. They don't just answer phones, they also provide emergency first aid instructions. When someone has a child who stopped breathing the last thing you want if for them to be on hold because its a busy night and some idiot is unhappy with their fast food order.
Part of the problem is that there is no single nation wide non-emergency number. Most of the time people are not being stupid so much as too lazy to look up the proper number, or too cheap to pay for directory assistance.
"Yes indee-dee!!! Trashy McDonalds eating scum."
Weird, all I can see in the picture is her face, which looks perfectly normal -- by the way, what is the look of "trashy whatever eating scum"?
Or are you saying that just because she is black? I can detect no other commonly displayed reason for prejudice (clothing, fatness, etc.?) in the picture, so I assume it's just racism.
"ON one hand it does seem like abuse of the emergency service number, on the other how else are you supposed to report theft?"
Hint: it's an emergency number. The key word here is *emergency*.
Report theft? Is the cashier robbing everyone at gunpoint? Are people's lives in danger? Nope. Then report it via the other police channels.
In the U.S., a distinction should be made between ordinary police phone lines (which put you in touch directly with the local police department) and the 911 service (which essentially connects you to a dispatcher for ALL local emergency services, including police, fire, medical, etc., by using one phone number regardless of your location). Calls should be placed to 911 only in cases of dire emergency; otherwise, you can get in trouble for abusing the service. That seems perfectly reasonable to me.
I feel that Ms. Goodman was entitled to a refund, and I agree that she had good reason to be upset when the cashier refused to return her money. But calling 911 was not the appropriate course of action. Other options were available. For example, calling the local police department through their own local phone number would not have been an abuse of emergency services. However, it's questionable whether a police officer would have been dispatched to the scene of the, er, crime. It was more of a civil matter than a criminal matter--another distinction that is made in American jurisprudence. Surely those of you in the UK have heard of tort law, as distinguished from criminal law?
Yet another option would be to call McDonald's corporate headquarters, at the district, regional, or national level. I haven't been to a McDonald's "restaurant" (if you can call it that) in a very long time, but I'm aware that other fast food restaurants have a toll-free (1-800) number on display next to their cash registers that you can call if you are dissatisfied with the service you receive. Savvy consumers are aware that similar options are available in other industries as well. For example, if you do not receive satisfactory service at a local post office, a call to the USPS Consumer Affairs Department can yield swift and effective results. It's just a matter of going up the chain of command until you reach someone who can set the rest of them straight. If the phone number is not readily available, directory assistance and the operator are always available.
>The officer DIDN'T have enough time to deal with McDonalds bait and switch. But DID have
>enough time to arrest her for calling the police?
Her offense was criminal.
McDonald's offense was civil and therefore the police had no jurisdiction. It wasn't theft. McDonalds had a verbal contract they made in good faith by failed to deliver on, thus civil.
Now often the police will try to mediate disputes that are civil, but they won't waste too much time on before telling the parties it's a civil offense and if they can't get along, go sue each other. Have a nice day.
"In the US, 911 is a number for emergency services (police, fire, ambulance, wilderness rescue, etc) in case of an actual emergency. Being shorted $4 is not a life or death matter."
911 is not only for life and death matters. The dispatcher told her an officer was on the way, so the dispatcher thought it was worth forwarding even if the officers didn't want to respond to it. Should the dispatcher be arrested too?
"She should have called a non-emergency number for her local police department. She wasn't arrested for contacting the police. She was arrested for misusing the emergency contact system for a non-emergency situation. There is a great deal of difference between settling a theft or fraud dispute and someone's life being in imminent danger."
She's not a lawyer, and saying an officer is on the way confirms to her that she is right to call 911. If the dispatcher thought she should call the local police for that, why didn't she forward her to the local police, or tell her the number or at the very least say so?
As to whether this is a police matter, well if it wasn't Micky D's but a scam artist on the street that pulled a bait and switch would you expect her to call 911? Micky D's are not special you know, they don't have special corporate rights.
To me if the police had time to arrest her for calling 911, they had enough to deal with this matter. Getting all high and mighty about which crimes they will and won't pursue just smacks of inflated self egos getting in the way of the job.
"IT workers eat junk food."
Not this IT worker. Eating healthy is cheaper & easier, when you know how.
"What's the matter with you people?"
That would bee my question ... Why do supposedly intelligent IT folks refuse to learn how to cook? It's not exactly rocket science, after all ... Humans have been cooking longer than pr0n has existed!
IT angle? She used a cell phone to call the emergency services network. Duh!
"To be fair, if the poor woman had paid for the McNuggets, then McDonalds should have stumped the dish or given her the money back. Calling the cops is a bit excessive, though. She could have responded in the traditional local manner by simply shooting the cashier and taking her cash back."
ROFL too true too true
Whats an Odd and Sod? :P
/Just hand me the coat with the Glock in it I need to get a refund.
Yeah abusing 9/11 isn't fun but come on. Nobody knows this ladies entire situation. Perhaps she just lost her job, you know how good this food is, all she probably wanted was her nuggets. I still can't figure out if they were out of nuggets all together or just that size but in either way if she ordered something, they didn't have it and they refused to refund her i'd be irate too.
I haven't been to a McDonalds since a snotty pimple faced kid at the window made a remark to me one time. His scrawny as* is lucky I didn't go inside and show him what it's like, instead I just never went back to Mcdonalds. That's been about 4 years now.
I can remember as a child going to fast food places and being told they didn't have what I wanted, was always upsetting. You really would have to tell me how this womans abuse of the 9/11 system fits into the other 9/11 calls they get on a daily basis. How many other 9/11 calls do they get where officers are dispatched to do nothing. Im sure theres alot of nonsense calls that just aren't seen as nonsense since it doesn't involve chicken nuggets.
911 is not always an emergency only number depending on where you live. When my car was broken into (Dallas, Tx). I was told to call 911 to get an incident report number for my insurance claim. Apt security had already notified the police since five other cars were broken into at the same time.
"McDonald's offense was civil and therefore the police had no jurisdiction. It wasn't theft. McDonalds had a verbal contract they made in good faith by failed to deliver on, thus civil."
She called 911 in good faith, the dispatcher did not inform her it was civil matter and out of the jurisdiction of the rozzers. So why should people be locked up for calling 911 in good faith?
As to whether it's a civil matter, if she had eaten at a restaurant and failed to pay they would call the police. It would not be a civil breach of a verbal contract and the officer would not arrest the restaurant owner for making the call. It is reasonable for her to expect to be treated with equal respect.
I bet there are no end of ways the officer could have dealt with this that were more professional than his chosen route.
How distastrous a fast food emergency is - I took 4 under 5s to McDonalds to discover they were fresh outa Mcnuggets. Oh, woe. Michael Douglas in Falling Down times 4, and without the good humour. And surely the IT angle is that McDonalds is to food as Microsoft is to operating systems?
Calling the Police? Yes.
Calling 911/999/000? Moron.
And as for the "do you know the number" question: no, I do not. But I (and presumably Ms trailer-trash) have a mobile, with directory assist. One quick call (in my case) and they can look up what I require, send me the details via SMS to integrate into my contacts, and patch me through immediately. And no, I'm not on a special "platinum service" contract.
So no, there was no reason for this idiot to call 911 - the calling of which for non-emergencies (in America at least) is a Federal offence.
an abuse of the emergency number. I know of at least three other emergency numbers in the world, but due to the 'merkin propaganda machine to my knowledge 2 of them have had to install a divergence for 911 to the correct number! If I was to call 000, 111, 999 or any other in the states would it be diverted, or would that be an abuse of the emergency call system?
The oldest system is (according to Wikipedia) 999. 911 is obviously an unauthourised derivative under copyright and should be banned, or at least have to pay punitive damages of $150,00 per call.
If you don't know the law, it's probably best to refrain from offering your theories.
McDonalds didn't commit fraud, nor did it commit theft. The matter is a civil matter, and the action that the woman would be able to sue under is breach of contract or unjust enrichment. She was wronged by the McDonalds, up until she decided to call 911.
WTF, "all sales are final." The cashier is as big an idiot as Goodman, who should have just demanded to speak to a manager and refused to leave the counter. Even at DickeyMe's a sale is only complete after a full exchange of product for money. As the customer never received any merchandise, the sale was never completed and therefore it could not be final. If the managing McMonkey refuses to adequately resolve the situation, then escalation to public nuisance is warranted. I'd wager 90 seconds into a nice tantrum or scream thief a few times and things should start looking better.
Oh, nuggets are technically 70% poultry. Granted it's mechanically separated chicken slurry but hey nobody tosses what's left after the boneless breasts, drumsticks and chicken wings are gone.
"It's not junkfood. Bacon is a vegetable."
Bacon in all it's forms is a staple. When over-utilized, it's junkfood.
 Except "watery bacon", which is a bastard child I never even knew existed, until the kind commenters here on ElReg enlightened me ... Thanks. Now I have yet ANOTHER food related thingie that you Brits have managed to cock up to look out for ...
"And as for the "do you know the number" question: no, I do not. But I (and presumably Ms trailer-trash) have a mobile, with directory assist. One quick call (in my case) and they can look up what I require, send me the details via SMS to integrate into my contacts, and patch me through immediately. And no, I'm not on a special "platinum service" contract."
You would pay the ridiculous 118 toll charge? Screw directory enquiries, its too expensive.
She handled it in a bad way, I would have asked for the manager, and if that didn't work, I would have taken the names down of the server, and owner, and asked for the details of their lawyer, and the Franchise holders details.
Reminds me of the woman that called 911 because BK wouldn't give it "[her] way". BK had apparently put in an unwanted ingredient (onions or something like that). The women become so indignant as to waste tax payer money on something she could have fixed herself in 5 seconds.
What McDonald's did was not criminal, but I'm of the opinion that they should have just given her a refund. Now, I do want to make some comments about what others have posted:
"As to whether it's a civil matter, if she had eaten at a restaurant and failed to pay they would call the police. It would not be a civil breach of a verbal contract and the officer would not arrest the restaurant owner for making the call. It is reasonable for her to expect to be treated with equal respect."
- Yes, they may have called the police but NOT 911. If she had tried to run out on the check then it would be criminal (i.e. theft). If she had intended to pay but informed the restaurant that she couldn't (e.g. forgot her wallet) then it would be civil and up to the restaurant to decide how to work it out (e.g. have her wash dishes or kick her out and ban her from the restaurant). In the later case, the police would give her a warning but not arrest her.
"As to whether this is a police matter, well if it wasn't Micky D's but a scam artist on the street that pulled a bait and switch would you expect her to call 911? Micky D's are not special you know, they don't have special corporate rights."
- It depends on if it was understood or McDonalds had posted a sign that states something along the lines of "All sales are final. Items not in stock my be substituted with items of equal or greater value as McDonalds' discretion" then there is no bait and switch as 1) the McNuggets were out of stock, 2) McDonalds offered an item of greater value. Also, unless she was put in danger by the scam artist, she still should call the local police and NOT 911.
She had the right to over react to not getting her food or a refund. She had the right to be treated better by McDonalds. She has/had the right to be stupid. She did NOT have the right to be stupid on 911!
It doesn't matter which shop and which cash register I would have been in front of. If I hand a clerk money for goods, the money is taken out of my hands, then I'm told "Sorry, tough luck. We don't have the goods and we're not giving you a refund..." There would have been a lot of yelling and screaming. Matter of fact, it would be the manager of the store calling 911 to remove ME from the store. The woman was robbed. Screw the McNuggets.
911 is drilled into people's heads in the states. I doubt most people even know there's such thing as police non-emergency numbers.
If you want an IT angle, the reason this woman probably didn't get a refund is that I'm sure most cashier point of sale systems make it exceptionally inconvienent to do a refund. It's designed this way so the minimum wage workers there can't do fake refunds and take the money. If you get a cashier that doesn't want to deal with the hassle (which surpirse, may happen often when you're dealing with apathetic teenagers!), or simply doesn't have the authority because the only slightly higher paid supervisor is out for a smoke, you get a situation like this.
Anyone who has ever tried to do anything like a return or exchange at any major store should know what a big process it is. The cashier can't just open their register and give you back your money. I'm not even saying it's a bad system, but people should at least be aware of how things work.
It may help the bottom line for the company, and it may very well deter internal theft but it's a pain in the ass if you sell someone some nuggets and then it turns out you don't have any.
Was not because she called the Emergency number, but rather, because she called it 3 times. The first time, when the Cop finally arrived, he would have sorted it, if only to the point of informing them that it's civil, not criminal, and to sue each other. After the 3rd call his plans were changed to "get the nutjob off of the phone".
The phone number for the "vehicle crimes squad" (which is different from the "auto theft unit") in Dallas, TX is 214-670-5817. Look here for more DPD phone numbers: http://www.dallaspolice.net/index.cfm?page_ID=2317&subnav=51 There, you didn't even have to pay for phone information.
Dallas PD's web site does advise all crime reports to come through 911 in a place or two. They'd probably still be upset if you called three times about some chicken bits. That's abusing the system even if they do accept non-emergency calls at that number, and she wasn't reporting anything the second and third calls. She was just whining about not having an officer on scene yet.
I stand by my guns. Bacon is a vegetable, not a staple nor a ruler or a pen or any kind of small office consumable. The hint here is that it's _edible_, y'see.
Over-utilized? You can't over-utilize vegetables. Especially not bacon.
And my diet is perfectly balanced.