Friday, June 7, 2024

Gaming the System at McDonalds

 I wrote about Gaming the System Gaming the System  Simply put, Gaming the System is taking advantage of the rules of a system in a way that provides you an advantage that others do not receive. Rather than break the rules, there are often ways to take advantage of unintended consequences of the rule design. 

And honestly, the McDonald's app deserves to be gamed for all it can.  You cannot use your reward points for more than one item, even if you have enough.  You cannot use your rewards points in conjunction with a deal.  When the app isn't working correctly, you can only upload one receipt per month, even if you go to McDonald's multiple times -- and those of us with kids will visit McDonald's more times than we should.

Last Friday I wanted to buy my kids some McDonald's French Fries as a supplement to their lunch.  On Friday McDonald's give you a free medium order of fries if you purchase anything else for a dollar.  

Once again the app was acting up.  It wouldn't honor it for the McDonald's closest to us, so I punched in the coordinates for the Mickey Ds at the other end of town.  By the time I got in the car and was heading there, it rerouted to the close McDonalds.  That's fine.

After picking up my purchase, I drove around in the parking lot and tried to cash in my reward points for a free quarterpounder.  I didn't realize but it sent the order to the Mc Ds at the other end of town, so I canceled the order.

The app took my rewards points but didn't refund them when I canceled the order.  So I contacted support, which in itself was a difficult process; a feature, not a bug.

Long story, short, they wouldn't refund me my points but they enabled the app to reward me with a free quarterpounder.  

So today being Friday I went through the drive-thru and ordered my sandwich.  After getting it, I then used the app to order a lemonade and a free order of fries.   The people inside were a little confused that I went through the drive-thru twice but there was nothing they could do.

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