Will “McDonald’s Breaks Teeth” Be The Next Viral Video Nightmare?

Posted on August 3, 2011


I Said Eat It

Will “McDonald’s Breaks Teeth” Be The Next Viral Video Nightmare?

Man Breaks Tooth On McDonald’s Burger Containing A Bone. Mickey D Jerks The Guy Around. Now It’s A YouTube Video.


A good friend of mine, Kevin, called and told me a horrible story about biting into a McDonald’s burger, hitting a bone in the meat, and breaking his tooth. When he broke his tooth he talked with the restaurant manager about what happened, and showed her the burger.

The manger filed out paperwork, took it all very seriously, apologized, and said she would alert her bosses to the situation, etc. Kevin asked if the manager wanted the burger, but the manager said no. Kevin figured everything would be taken care of, but right now he was in a great deal of pain. His tooth required dental attention to the tune of about $1,300 bucks.

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Billions And Billions Served. So, Get Lost.

That’s when things went from bad to worse. McDonald’s contacted him the next day. The insurance representative’s response to his pain and suffering, broken molar, and dental expenses was to ask if he had the alleged bone.

He said no. He had swallowed the bone. “Well, then,” said she told him. “We have nothing to talk about since you have no evidence, and therefore no claim.” The call ended. Kevin was bewildered at the turn of events. He had gone from injured customer to what, a nuisance? Where had he gone wrong? Why was McDonald’s now treating him like an unwelcome relative come to visit?

He informed the rep that he actually may still have the bone, somewhere inside, but he would retrieve it if it would mean they would consider taking responsibility for his damaged tooth. She told him that if he could retrieve the bone, they could continue the discussion. Taking her at her word he “retrieved” the bone, and called her back. “I got the bone. What do we do now? Should I send it to you?”

Psych. Just Kidding.

“Ewe yuck….,” she said. “You can’t send that to me. That’s hazardous waste. We can’t consider that evidence.” Kevin asked her why she hadn’t mentioned that before he went and retrieved the bone. She informed him that she had only been kidding when she suggested that on the previous call.

She had said she needed the bone to reimburse his expenses, but she would not accept a digested bone, even though it had been cleaned probably far beyond any standards in a MacDonald’s meat packing plant.

She gleefully informed him, “Well, then you have no evidence. So, we have nothing to talk about. I’m sorry, we’ll have to close this case.”

A Viral Video?

Deeply frustrated at his shoddy treatment and run around from the Golden Arches he asked me what I thought about doing a video. I asked what was his goal in dealing with the Clown. Kevin said he just wanted to get reimbursed. After a brief hesitation he said that an apology wouldn’t be too bad either since they had jerked him around, and they didn’t seem to care about his misfortune at their hands.

I told him I thought a video was an option, but I highly recommended legal action in small claims court. A video is a lot of work. Depending on what you say, even if it is true, McDonald’s might take legal action against the video and the film makers. In small claims court he could get expenses back and maybe a few dollars for his pain and wasted time.

I figured it was easier for McDonald’s to settle out of court. The best a video would do is likely just get his expenses back and a late apology.

No, Kevin said to a legal solution. He had evidence. He had the receipt from his meal. He talked to the manger at the time of the incident. The same manger who earnestly took a report when Kevin broke his tooth. He presented the damage inflicting hamburger to that very manager. He had a bill from the dentist, and he had a broken tooth in his head. Clearly, this was just a misunderstanding, and McDonald’s would be reasonable if he just explained the situation one more time.

No dice.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Gentle Man Scorned

Kevin is one of the smartest brand strategists I know, and one of the nicest guys I know. He doesn’t get mad, and when someone does him wrong he usually takes it in stride. Of all the years I have known him I think I have seen him mad once.

However, apparently breaking his tooth and then making fun of him is over the line. Go figure.

This is where his stepson Andrew comes in. He wasn’t going to let his Kevin get run over by the corporate behemoth. Andrew is a talented artist and very creative. He also writes and preforms rap songs for commercial use. The video is his work, and I think he did it well.

Will the video have any impact? Will McDonald’s serve a cease and desist letter or take down notice? Will McDonald’s finally do the right thing and reimburse Kevin. I hope so. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

So, as I write this the video has only a few hundred views. (I just checked again and it is well over 800 views.)

Do you think the video has what it takes to go viral?

Watch the video here

About Steve Farnsworth @Steveology
Steve Farnsworth helps technology-enabled service and product companies teach their employees to take strategic advantage of New School Marketing to increase customer preference for their brand and shorten their sales cycles.

* New School Marketing
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