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back to article US cops called to McDonalds menu cock-up

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 …

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Neologism

POIDH

Which now stands for "Playmobil, or it didn't happen"

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IT Angle

Err..

So what, pray tell, is the IT angle on this one?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Err..

IT workers eat junk food. What's the matter with you people?

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Unhappy

Please tell me these people aren't serious

Poll alongside the original article:

Would you have called 911 if a fast food place was out of what your ordered and wouldn't refund your money?

Yes. 24% 615 votes

No. 73% 1865 votes

No opinion. 2% 69 votes

2549 total votes

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Bronze badge
Flame

She looks the type.

Yes indee-dee!!! Trashy McDonalds eating scum.

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Paris Hilton

The woman had clearly been robbed.

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

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Happy

The BK story was better

http://www.snopes.com/crime/cops/burger.asp

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Tim
Linux

Sounds like fraud to me.

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!

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Anonymous Coward

@Sarah

IT workers eat junk food, but McDonalds isn't junk food, it's worse.

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Silver badge
Coat

I must protest in the strongest possible terms

Your article describes McNuggets as 'poultry-based nourishment'. Wrong on both counts, I fancy.

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Is it just me ...

... or do some people have a serious problem in understanding the concept of "Odds & Sods"?

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Happy

@Florence

Now it's

Yes. 24% 653 votes

No. 72% 1924 votes

Lets get that yes vote higher

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Call the cops....

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?

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Anonymous Coward

The leader of the free world

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.

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hmmm

to be fair as said if you order something, they advertise but cannot provide you are entitled to a cash refund.

who cares about the bloody IT angle? jesus. some of you lot are such geeks. dont we all just come here to toss off some work time?

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Anonymous Coward

Thank goodness this doesn't happen in Blighty

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/7819213.stm

..."one caller even dialled 999 to complain that he had been waiting too long for his meal in a restaurant"

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sorry but I call error

"only to be told there weren't any pieces of poultry-based nourishment left"

it has been proven that mc food has no nourishment in it whatsoever

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Anonymous Coward

its her

err, isnt that Charlie from Big Brother?

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McNuggets

"[McNuggets] are dunked in barbecue or hot mustard sauce."

The best place to dunk them is the bin!

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Flame

Tough Call...

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.

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Coat

@The woman had clearly been robbed

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.

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Coat

@Sarah Bee - Wednesday 4th March 2009 15:23 GMT

>IT workers eat junk food

Hey! Pizza isn't junk food - it's got fruit (tomato) AND veg (jalapeno) on it!

Mine's the one with a pizza delivery menu and a US "refund acquisition utility" in the pocket, as suggested in the bootnote...

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Better link

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0303091mcnugget1.html

Not only is there her mugshot, but there's a copy of the police report and you can even listen to her phone calls.

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Thumb Up

Dang she was lucky on 2 counts....

As she avoided having to eat at MickyD's and didnt get a tasering from the local law enforcement officers when they turned up. Lucky break or what.

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Anonymous Coward

Why was she arrested?

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?

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Stop

@ Sarah Bee

Calling McD's junk food is a bit rich, ins't it? More like toxic waste!

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Entirely Predicable Poll

It's good to see that 689 (24%) other people would behave in exactly the same way to this travesty of culinary justice.

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@markthebrewer

As this story's been linked from El Reg you can assume that some of those 689 (24%) are (rightly) taking the piss

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Unhappy

Re Re: Err..

You've been moderating for a while now. About time they let you write some articles again.

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Alert

911 is an EMERGENCY number, not a general police number

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.

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Unhappy

Re: She looks the type

"Trashy McDonalds eating scum"

I have to disagree. Although it's only a head shot I'd guess she is 200 pounds too light to meet that description.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re Re: Err..

Nah, there hasn't been much Tasmanian devil news lately.

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Coat

@Why was she arrested?

Probably because the local plod eat in there and probably get a discount for this exact reason.

... Ouch, OK, OK, I'm Going, Ouch

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Tough call...

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.

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Coat

Please tell me...

she got tasered.

Please!

I can see it now.

Customer> They won't give me my McNuggets!!!!!!!!!!

Cop> I'll give you some thing.

Customer> Oh Goodie.

Cop> Tzzzzzzzzzzt

Cop> Regular or extra crispy?

Cop> Tzzzzzzzzzzt; TZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzrrrrrrrrt.

Cop> Damn, the batteries are flat.

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Silver badge

Bah and Double Bah

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.

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@Edwin

Yes was very amusing.

The current BK ads here in Blighty are quite amusing

http://www.visit4info.com/advert/Dive-King-Deals-from-Burger-King-Burger-King/69242

You'll feel like you robbed us

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@@Sarah Bee - Wednesday 4th March 2009 15:23 GMT

No no no - the humble jalapeno is clearly a fruit as well.

In fact if you had pineapple on there as well it'd by 3 of your 5 a day.

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DT

which part of the bird....

@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"

@Nic Brough

Since when are peppers vegetables?

@All

So what is the non-emergency police number? Does anyone know it?

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Unhappy

People are idiots.

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.

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IT Angle

IT Angle

If you don't want people questioning the IT angle, get rid of the icon !

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Flame

So that she could sue them of course!

How on earth was she meant to sue them, if they didn't give her Chicken McNuggets with the complimentary fried chicken's head?

http://salmonella.co.uk/chicken-mcnugget.jpg

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Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Someone that stupid deserves to be put in some secure hospital somewhere, simply for the benefit of everyone else's sanity!

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J
Paris Hilton

@She looks the type.

"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.

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Flame

Re: Tough call...

"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.

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Boffin

Call the local police if you must, but not 911

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.

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Civil not criminal...

>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.

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Anonymous Coward

@911 is an EMERGENCY number

"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.

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Silver badge

@Sarah & IT angle

"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!

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Coat

@Author

"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

@Geoff May

Whats an Odd and Sod? :P

/Just hand me the coat with the Glock in it I need to get a refund.

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