Sure, a McDonald’s Extra Value Meal sounds like a great deal, but is it really? One Illinois man did the math – and McDonald’s may not be so happy with the results.
James Gertie of Des Plaines, Illinois filed a class-action lawsuit last week against Karis Management Group, which owns more than 10 McDonald’s franchises in suburban Chicago.
McDonald’s Extra Value Meal By the Numbers
In the complaint, Gertie claims he purchased a McDonald’s Extra Value Meal from at least five of Karis’ restaurants between Oct. 14 and Nov. 13. The meal consisted of two cheeseburgers, a medium French fry, and a medium soft drink. Each meal cost $5.90.
However, the suit alleges that if Gertie purchased the cheeseburgers, fries, and drink individually, he would have paid $2.50 for the two burgers, $1.99 for the fries and $1 for the drink. This adds up to $5.49. That’s $0.41 less than the Extra Value Meal.
“The pricing makes the meal “no ‘value’ at all, let alone an ‘extra value,’” the lawsuit said.
The franchise owner has not commented on the suit since it was filed in Cook County Circuit Court Dec. 13. Phone calls by other news sources, such as Fox News, were not returned.
Class Action Impacts
Not only is Gertie seeking to recover his own money, he’s hoping to put it back in the pockets of others who may have been impacted by the misleading marketing at McDonald’s. The lawsuit asks the court to award other impacted plaintiffs the amount they were overcharged, paid for by Karis Management. The lawsuit also requests punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
Gertie says he’s not necessarily after the money. He wants to send a message that misleading customers with deceptive prices is not acceptable.
“The reason that I am doing this is not about the 41 cents,” Gertie told the Chicago Daily Herald. “It’s because of the principle. A value meal is supposed to be a cheaper price. That’s the whole point of a ‘value’ meal. I believe in the principle of true advertising. If a company advertises something to be a value, then that is what it should be.”
It is unclear how many people may be impacted if the suit is elevated to class action status, or how much the suit is asking the franchisee to pay. Regardless, McDonald’s was caught trying to pull a fast one. Hopefully, they will have learned their lesson!