Class Action Lawsuit — and Check Your Receipt With Buy One Get One Free Deals

The airplane just landed at the airport and pulled up to the gate. You are hungry and have little time to eat; so you decide to pick up some fast food — especially as you have a coupon with you with which you can buy one item and get the second item for free.

Satisfy your hunger while saving money seems like a win — but is it?

Class Action Lawsuit — and Check Your Receipt With Buy One Get One Free Deals

Koleta Anderson had a coupon from Burger King with which she could get a sausage, egg and cheese Croissan’wich — which is a breakfast sandwich on something attempting to resemble a croissant — for free if she purchased one at regular price.

She entered the Burger King restaurant on Silver Hill Road in Forestville — which is a town located in Maryland several miles southeast of the District of Columbia — and purchased two Croissan’wiches on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 7:58 in the morning. The second Croissan’wich was free with the coupon; so she paid $3.38 in total, which included tax.

Two Croissan’wiches initially seems like a great deal — until she purchased a single Croissan’wich exactly one minute later at the same restaurant with no coupon or discount. She paid $2.29.

Why was Koleta Anderson charged an additional $1.03 when she purchased the two Croissan’wiches?

Perhaps this was an isolated error; so she visited a Burger King restaurant on Connecticut Avenue in the District of Columbia on Saturday, April 15, 2017 and used an identical coupon to purchase one Croissan’wich and get the second one free of charge at 7:19 in the morning. The second Croissan’wich was free with the coupon; so she paid $4.61 in total, which included tax.

She then purchased a single Croissan’wich less than one minute later at the same restaurant with no coupon or discount. She paid $1.10.

Sensing a pattern, Anderson visited a Burger King restaurant at Kingstowne Center in Alexandria — which is a town located in Virginia across the Potomac River southwest of the District of Columbia — one week later on Saturday, April 22, 2017 and again used an identical coupon to purchase one Croissan’wich and get the second one free of charge at 8:19 in the morning. The second Croissan’wich was free with the coupon; so she paid $3.17 in total, which included tax.

She then purchased a single Croissan’wich one minute later at the same restaurant with no coupon or discount. She paid $1.90.

Koleta Anderson decided to file this class-action lawsuit against Burger King on Tuesday, May 2, 2017; but prior to that, the law firm she hired sent an investigator to a Burger King restaurant on South Dixie Highway in Lantana — which is a town located in Florida several miles south of West Palm Beach — on Friday, April 21, 2017 and used an identical coupon to purchase one Croissan’wich and get the second one free of charge at 10:10 in the morning. The second Croissan’wich was free with the coupon; so the investigator paid $3.69 in total, which included tax.

The investigator then purchased a single Croissan’wich nine minutes later at the same restaurant with no coupon or discount; and the investigator paid $2.45.

Summary

There is no indication at this time as to how widespread this alleged deception by Burger King has been perpetuated — but if you intend to use a coupon to buy one item and get the second item free of charge at any establishment, take a moment to carefully check your receipt against the menu price of that item to ensure that you are not being overcharged…

…and while a difference of $1.03 to $3.51 may not seem like a lot of money, multiply it by potentially thousands of transactions over an unknown duration of time at who knows how many restaurants — and the extra money very easily could total millions of dollars of ill-gotten revenue.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

7 thoughts on “Class Action Lawsuit — and Check Your Receipt With Buy One Get One Free Deals”

  1. JS says:

    This is the same scam employed by Mens Warehouse and Jos A Bank in selling suits: get second for free or half-off but only if you pay full price for the first suit. Often, you can get a better deal if you just purchase multiples separately.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I think this is a little different, JS.

      With the examples you gave — as well as with many other businesses, which certainly includes the travel industry — there are ways to get a product at a discounted price which is not “published” or “publicly known” without having to use a coupon…

      …but with Burger King, I am not sure that “published” discounted items — such as two Whoppers for five dollars as an example — qualify for further discounts with coupons.

      When a lodging company advertises a room rate with free breakfast which is $30.00 more than an room rate with identical features without breakfast, that irks me…

  2. Sean says:

    Moral of the story, don’t eat garbage

    Lol

  3. DaninMCI says:

    Burger King doesn’t have a good track record on law suits. My favorite is how they sued a “Burger King” restaurant in Matoon, IL. years ago because they used their name. They found out later that this local small restaurant actually had used it longer and they lost the case.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I did not know that, DaninMCI.

      Thank you for the interesting trivia!

  4. Kristy says:

    This is nothing new. People need to be educated consumers. Those buy one get one coupons always say that you get one free when you purchase the first one at full menu price. The full menu price is almost always higher than what you will pay for just a single item, since most places are always running some type of special. You don’t get the special price if you are using a coupon. It’s the same with almost any fast food place that puts out coupons. If you go to Dominos, you can buy a large three topping pizza any day of the week for $7.99. If you have a buy one get one free coupon at Dominos, you will pay the menu price for the first pizza which is around $14.99. So in the end the coupon really doesn’t save you much if anything. Another example would be McDonald’s. You can buy a sausage and egg McMuffin 2 pack for $3.99, but if you have a buy one get one free coupon, you have to pay The menu price for the first item, which just so happens to be $3.99. So the coupon literally saves you nothing. People need to read the menus, and the coupons, and figure out what deal works best for them to save the most money. Don’t blindly make purchases, and then go back and try to sue because you didn’t read.

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