On December 24, 2007 I had the following experience at 2230 Decker Blvd, Columbia, SC 29206 which left me humiliated, intimidated and wholly angered. The person in charge and decision-maker was named Jacqueline. This incident began at about 10:45 AM and ended at 11:10 AM.
I pulled into the drive-thru at about 10:45 AM with my four kids for an early lunch. I ordered five small French fries, four double cheeseburgers and four small drinks. I pulled to the first window and paid with my debit card. I pulled to the second window and the employee gave me my drinks and asked me to pull forward. I told her I wouldn't pull forward because its a very simple order and if I pull forward it will take a much longer time to bring me my family's food. She asked again and I said no again explaining that McDonalds exists to serve burgers and fries in a quick manner and that everyone behind me is probably ordering basically the same thing.
I explained that my experience with pulling forward at McDonalds creates an extensive wait for myself, much longer than if I don't pull forward. (I haven't pulled forward since about 1991.) They should be able to produce my order in a timely enough manner since it was so simple. I never raised my voice, used profanity or acted belligerent. I simply said, no as she asked me repeatedly to pull forward.
Then she called in Jacqueline, her superior, who told me to pull forward a few times. Jacqueline then threatened to call the police. I asked what law I was breaking. Jacqueline said interfering with a business. I asked either give me my order or a cash refund and this would be over. She asked for my debit card and I refused.
I wanted cash refund because the debit would post immediately and the refund would take several days to post. I did not want to be short the money in my account. Plus, I would have to take my kids to another restaurant and post a second debit putting myself out double the money until the refund posted. At this point Jacqueline told someone to call the police. Jacqueline also told employees to carry orders to the vehicles behind me and tell them that I was refusing to pull forward.
As a result, when the two vehicles immediately behind me pulled away my family and I were subject to profanities, threats and sentiments of misgivings to myself. The driver of the first vehicle shouted f**k you, a**hole to me and shouted other things. The driver of the second vehicle said f**k off, I hope you go to jail and something about me deserving to die. Employees of this store must have told them the police were called to deal with me.
My oldest child is nine and none of my children should have been subjected to this intimidation. As other cars pulled away, people in those cars continued to stare at us. This prompted my eight year old daughter to day, Those people are really mad at you, Daddy.
Very shortly after Jacqueline instructed someone to call the police, an employee came towards the window with my order and Jacqueline refused to let them serve my order to me. At some point I watched and heard Jacqueline tell someone to get my refund. One employee said my debit card was needed and Jacqueline responded to that employee, Just get the money.
At that point, Jacqueline did not again ask me for my debit card. Shortly after Jacqueline had refused to allow my order to be served, an employee appeared with my cash refund on top of what appeared to be a refund slip. However, Jacqueline would not let anyone give me my refund and sent the money back to the register.
Prior to this, Jacqueline and the first employee had both expressed great concern for the customers in vehicles behind me and their service. If she was so concerned with customer service to the others, she would have served my food or refunded the cash to make her restaurant fully operational instead of waiting for the police. Rather, she caused me to wait for the police at the second drive-thru window. I could not leave as I had neither food or refund. This also demonstrates that she was not interested in resolving the problem, but rather in trying to get me arrested.
At about 11:00 AM, a Richland County Deputy Sheriff arrived. I stayed in my van while he talked with Jacqueline. The Deputy waved me into a parking space to which I complied. I waited further until he finished talking with Jacqueline. When finished, the Deputy asked me to step out of the car. I recounted the events described above. The Deputy said I had mind and Jacqueline's stories were the same and he wanted to find a compromise. The Deputy said that a charge of trespassing was a possibility. I said that Jacqueline never asked me to leave the property or mentioned trespassing so I didn't believe that was an issue. The Deputy did not comment.The Deputy went inside the store and told me to wait outside.
At this point, my older daughters opened the van door to tell me that my six year old son was afraid I was going to get arrested. He was crying. I had to comfort him while waiting. The Deputy appeared and asked for my debit card for a refund. I complied. A couple of minutes later, the Deputy waved me in and I was given a cash discount. I read Jacqueline's name on her badge and wrote it on the receipt. Jacqueline told me to make sure I spelled her name right as I was writing. I asked for a customer service number. Jacqueline did not provide a customer service number and instead stared at me and mumbled incoherently. The Deputy suggested I look it up on the Internet. I agreed and left.
My children still wanted McDonalds so I took them to the store at 5480 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC where I received fast and friendly service, inside, from an employee named Carolyn. The franchise owner contacted me about this incident after I submitted a formal complaint to McDonalds corporate and offered me only an apology. I contacted McD's corporate after that and they said they will contact the franchisee, again. He never contacted my a second time.
Columbia, South Carolina
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