A pair of Floridians probed their attorney friends about potentially spurious charges from McDonald's they'd received while ordering a Quarter Pounder with Cheese… with no cheese. The individuals seek $5 million in compensatory damages for the harms they allege have been levelled against them for far too long.
As requested, the customers have routinely been given the hamburgers without cheese. An issue arose when one of the customers said he'd been getting charged for the hamburger with cheese, a surplus fee he wondered if he should really be forced to pay McDonald's when he never wanted the cheese in the first place.
"I started talking with some lawyer friends, saying, 'What's the deal? They can charge for something I didn't get?' It's not right," said Leonard Werner, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported May 21.
Werner and Cynthia Kissner initiated a lawsuit against McDonald's in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, earlier this month. If the case becomes a class-action lawsuit, as the plaintiffs' attorneys requested from the judge, McDonald's might have to dish out $10 and a free hamburger to 25 million people, or $250 million, Newser reports.
To compound the difficulty of getting charged for cheese you don't want, it turns out that McDonald's mobile app lets customers order cheese-less Quarter Pounder with Cheese items for $0.30 to $1 less than the normal Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
Werner and Kissner allege that they haven't been so lucky to receive this discount. In-person consumers are "being forced to pay for two slices of cheese, which they do not want, order or receive, to be able to purchase their desired product," the plaintiffs said in the lawsuit.
An attorney representing the plaintiffs said that since the cheese-less Quarter Pounder with Cheese is, in fact, sold to mobile-app consumers at a lower price, McDonald's does not have legal standing to charge in-person customers up to $1 more per burger.
The Chicago Sun-Times' Phil Kadner dug deeper into the issue on Wednesday, acknowledging that "you shouldn't have to pay for cheese if all you want is a hamburger."
"I applaud their courage," Kadner opined.
"For at least 40 years I have been doing battle with fast food clerks and restaurant waitresses over the difference between hamburgers and cheeseburgers because I do not like cheese on my hamburger. People who want cheese on their hamburgers should be forced to say, ‘I want a cheeseburger.' I should not be required to say, ‘I want a hamburger, no cheese,' or even answer a question such as, ‘Do you want cheese on your hamburger,'" he continued.
"This semantic battle became outright war at a fast-food franchise one day when I was charged for a cheeseburger after ordering a hamburger with no cheese," Kadner said.
In the columnist's view, things did not end well for the attendant who argued that the customer must pay for cheese on their cheese-less hamburger.
"'Yes, you have to pay for the cheese because our hamburgers come with cheese,' I was told by a clerk who was rendered speechless when I asked if she would give me money for a diamond ring she did not request, and I planned to never give her."