Sunday, October 30, 2016

Little Old Lady vs. Big Mean KFC - BUSINESS

Maybe you've seen the headlines, or maybe you've seen a recent tweet of mine, but in case you haven't heard, a woman is suing Kentucky Fried Chicken in the amount of $20 million for deceptive advertising. Here's the story:

Anna Wurtzburger, 64, went down to her local KFC in Hudson Valley, NY, and ordered the $20 Fill Up Meal which includes a bucket of eight pieces of chicken and sides. When she got home, she was quite disappointed in what she saw.

"They're showing a bucket that's overflowing with chicken," she told the New York Post in reference to the advertisement. "You get half a bucket! That's false advertising and it doesn't feed the whole family. They're small pieces!"

She called the headquarters to complain, they explained that they prop up the chicken so that it's visible in the ads. They also sent her $70 worth of gift certificates. She returned the gift certificates in protest, then called a lawyer and filed suit.

In an official statement, KFC said, "The guest received exactly what she requested. She purchased an eight-piece bucket of chicken and she indeed received eight pieces of chicken. Our menus and advertising clearly show our $20 Fill Up meal includes eight pieces of chicken."

I've looked, and it is clearly stated in both the advertising and the menu that the Fill Up bucket includes eight pieces of chicken. And yes, in all the pictures the chicken is shown clearly over the top of the basket. But I have a ton of questions for this woman, including:
"When you picked up your order, why didn't you notice right away that the basket wasn't overflowing with chicken?"
"Why $20 million? Did your lawyer suggest that amount? How much of that amount does he get?"
"If you really are on a fixed income, you know you could have gone to a local grocer and bought multiple full chickens for amount. Why didn't you?"

The motivation here is clear - this is a money grab. This lawyer is looking to use this case to fluff his resume, and this woman is looking to improve her lifestyle into something it never was. At the very least, it figures that KFC will settle this to make it go away, which is a still a loss for them and free enterprise.

It's these kinds of lawsuits that cause companies to put warning labels on their coffee to warn you that it's hot, or that you shouldn't take Drug XYZ if you are allergic to Drug XYZ. I fully believe in a system which allows people to bring grievances to a court to settle, but honestly this is abuse to the system and encourages other frivolous lawsuits. Should I sue Campbell's because their Chunky Soup doesn't alway leave me full like the football players who proclaim it leaves them full? At what point have we crossed the line between honest litigation and abuse?

The lesson here is, like your bag of potato chips isn't 100% full, neither will your bucket of chicken. But you will get what is advertised, and if that isn't good enough for you, then go to the grocery store instead.

Until Next Time...
For the historically minded, here is a 1985 cooking training video from KFC.
Litigiously Yours,
Michael