NEWS: McDonald’s Worker Has To Pay For Customer’s Food Because He Accepted A Fake Coupon

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So the hubby and I went to McDonald’s yesterday for lunch. We never eat there but I had some free product coupons that McDonald’s company gave me so I thought why not use them.

So we went and the hubby order a premium chicken sandwich – which is the exact product that we had the coupon for. The hubs handed over the coupon and the cashier starts staring at the coupon…

For one minute…

2 minutes….

3 minutes….

Finally he finished looking at the coupon and finished the order. He then explained that his “excessive” research of the coupon was because he has accidentally accepted a “fake” coupon and he had to PAY out of pocket for the meal! Do you think that a worker should have to pay for a product if they accidentally accept a fake coupon? I would love to hear all your thoughts on this.


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  • Sandy

    Absolutely NOT! McDonald’s is a huge corporation. They should not be taking money out of someone’s measly little paycheck!

  • Diana

    I think that is crazy that he had to pay for it out of pocket…How much is McD’s worth and what do those workers get paid…company can take that loss. Thats just another reason for me to like chick-fil-A more…

  • Cassandra Perkins

    No. It’s not fair to the employee. The coupons are there to bring customers to that establishment and while it sucks that someone used a fake coupon, the management (and company) should be happy that someone came in. Granted they got free food but the employee shouldn’t have to be the one to pay. I use to work at a grocery store and I would get coupons in my register all the time. I never had time to check each coupon to make sure it was legit and I would sure as hell quit if the manager told me I had to pay for someone else’s product(s) simply because the coupon was fake. Sorry but the register shouldn’t be able to accept it when it is scanned.

  • Alexis Boyd

    Absolutely not! For one it was probably a kid working. For two they work for minimum wage, if they pay for someones meal that means they worked for an hour to buy that person lunch. For three McDonalds makes enough money to allow one or two per restaurant every once in a while. It was a mistake, why take it overboard? Poor kid!

  • Kesha

    My question is what would have happened if he realized it was fake? Would you guys still eat for free? Since the McDonald’s corporation distributed them? Is it a test on their employees? I don’t think it’s very fair….but I see the point.

  • tenille

    that is a bit excessive, they are not detectives, geez, they work at McDonalds for God’s sake! I think it should be considered human error and call it a wash. Do you know how many times they have messed up an order, so they just throw that food away and make the right order? Chalk it up as one of thoses or something, not take a minimum wage working person and take even more out of their check. It might just be a couple of bucks to us, but to them that could be a days bus wage or something… messed up.

  • Margaret

    I do not feel it is fair for them to have to pay for someone else’s fraud. They are trying to get them to move,move,move those orders through and when some people have to wait,even for a minute they freak out on another just trying to do their job. The company should, when they become aware of “fake” coupons, show them quickly before their shift so they are aware.

  • Rose Franklin

    Well that’s really hard to say, because some people will take fake coupons from friends. And that in turn makes it hard on employees that just make a mistake! I had the same thing happen to my son. I had printed a BOGO for the smoothie drinks and the cashier told him they couldn’t take those. I was sick in the bed at the time so I called to find out what the deal was. The manager told me there were alot of fake coupons going around. They had some of them posted in the office as examples. She told me to bring it up there for her to look at but I never caught her working on days I could get there.

  • Stephanie Shields

    I can understand being reprimanded for it but shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for it!! That’s just not right!! McDonalds gives away free stuff when they mess up your order and they don’t make the people in the kitchen pay for it…..

    Whats the difference between a bad coupon and a messed up order??

  • Jeannie Holley

    I would absolutely say hands down no. It isn’t the employees fault so many people are crooked in this world and will go to great lengths to duplicate a real coupon. This is absurd!!!!


    I guess Micky D’s should purchase some coupon scanner! But then again I can’t remember if theirs has a bar code or not? If not I guess that would be a good way to make the work at least check it with an Eagle eye!

  • Ericah Brunner

    I think that every company has rules and must be followed. Is it right? Not really but that is what they decided must happen. I have the same rule at my store (won’t mention).

  • Einya J

    That is awful I feel bad for the employee. No I don’t think he shouldn’t had to pay for the customers meal because he took a fake coupon from a customer. What McDonald’s should do is when they have coupons out for free products they should have a meeting with the managers to inform there employees about the coupons and what they are suppose to look like and have a(an) example(s) of the coupons that is acceptable at the cash register and time clock or anywhere else so that the employee is familiar with them or just let the managers or lead team members handle that. That was an honest mistake anyone could make besides it can be very difficult sometimes someone could have a printed coupon from the internet, from the newspaper, or from the mailings to your home that’s three different printed looks right there. McDonald’s should give that employee his money back it’s not that he meant to do it on purpose or anything. That McDonald’s employee has a blessing coming his way. I have been to a McDonald’s where I go frequently an used an coupon that I received in a flyer gave to the cashier and the cashier called the manager to ring the transaction in.

  • Laura Fisher

    I am so cheap I squeak and redeem many coupons myself and have done so for years. I do not think McDonald’s was wrong to expect an employee to pay for the error of accepting the fraudulent coupon IF they have that printed in their company’s policies. A policy such as that would help keep consumer costs lower and inspire employees to be more vigilant in their jobs which includes awareness of promotional offers. I would like to so more retailers and restaurants that accept coupons adopt similar policies. I’m tired of paying for other people’s dishonesty and inability of employees to do their jobs properly.

  • Bre

    Back when my hubby and I lived in Nebraska, they gave out free product coupons like candy. They would even hand them out if you had to wait longer than a few minutes for your order! We don’t live there anymore, but what I’ve noticed is that the managers had personally signed the free product coupons there in Nebraska. Maybe every location should do that so there is no second-guessing and the employees can’t become responsible.

  • Alex

    I like the barcode idea hahaha and it depends, was the fake drawn in crayon on the back of another MD’s receipt? 🙂

  • nancy-b in Katy,Tx

    If there had been specific instructions on how to verify coupons… then maybe ‘yes’. How else can the employer require employees to be careful? I guess McD could just fire anyone for taking a bad coupon–is that more fair? If there was NO consequence then all my friends could come and give me fakes… and get free stuff cause we would be skamming McD… I am surprized at how much MORE EMPLOYEE theft there is than customer theft–at least with the places I know managers. They fire more kids for letting friends/relatives walk off without paying for stuff….not actually taking the stuff out themselves.

    Where I live many places will NOT take ANY internet coupon that is for a free item. BOGO work in some places but not all. Many many places very wary of coupons tht are printed at home.

  • Kim Cornelius

    I don’t think it’s fair that he had to pay for the food, sometimes it’s too hard to know when a coupon is fake, the customer may not have even known it was fake! The company certainly makes enough money that they could’ve eat that cost, and not take it out of the workers pay, that probably just barely scrapes by! Not cool!!!

  • bohemian babushka

    That’s absurd! Estan caminando con los codos. (they’re walking on their elbows- cheapskates) If you decide to take a collection I’ll be happy to donate some money to that poor employee, and if you start a petition send it over here!

  • Kathryn Hiles Trusty

    NO! Employee should not have to pay out of pocket if he didn’t truly know the coupon was a fake. My one daughter has worked for McD’s for 10 yrs and is mgr. It all comes down to the owner/top mgr of that particular McD’s. She has seen all kinds of things (including VERY racist things) happen but it wasn’t corp’s fault..was the owner/top mgr of that particular McD’s call. That person should/could contact corporation and let them know what transpired and ask for intervention, BUT as we all know any company..once you complain etc you are ‘targeted’ and they will find a way to fire you unfortunately and make it look ‘legal’. So you can just ‘accept’ it and keep your job or call and complain knowing you will be job hunting. Sad, but true. 🙁

  • Melanie K

    I work in food service, so I see fake coupons on a regular basis. It is definitely true that corporate stores send notifications out so stores know of the fakes out there at the time. But it takes a while for anyone to catch it so not every fake is known about. Each coupon typically has a code and unfortunately they don’t always work at the register so even with a legit coupon sometimes we have to manually add it. I could understand if this employee had been taking an excessive amount of fake coupons him having to reimburse the company, but it sounds to me like it was a one time scenario and he shouldn’t have gotten in trouble. Instead management should be glad it was caught so notifications to all employees could be made.

    It would be really cool if a bar code would work, but our registers typically don’t have a bar code scanner and since companies issue new coupons all the time, some registers don’t get updates often enough for codes to work.

  • Jeff

    That is total Bull$#@!. I worked at a fast food place once when supposedly 200 was missing from my till. I quit when this happened. They gave me my last check and said I had to go across the street to their bank cash it and bring the money back. I did go to the bank but I did not go to the bank. They tried to take me to small claims court. I got thrown out because since they paid minimum wage it would be illegal to cut my pay. Also there was no evidence of the money being stolen.

  • Rebeca

    To be fair this could have been a franchise which means they make their own set of rules so don’t get mad at all McDonald’s. I do not think he should have to pay though. I worked there as my first job then again when I was in debt and really you don’t get paid that much so to take their money is just wrong. On the other hand he may have been warned about such situations before and told that if it happened again he would be responsible for the mistake because they were tired of him costing them money. Unless we know all the details it is hard to make a decision.

  • wife2triklz

    While I think that is crazy that they would make that person pay for the meal, you have to keep in mind that a large number of McDonald’s are not owned by the corporation that can afford to write off the loss…they are franchises and owned by a person(s) as a private business that must obsorb the cost of losses incurred at that location. I personally think it should fall on whoever trained the cashier…they should have thought that person how to spot a fake coupon.

    • Samantha

      I agree, Owners of these individually owned Mc’D’s need to make sure their managers R trained 2 teach the other employees how 2 spot bad coupons. If it was my business I wouldn’t want fraud coupons coming because an employee wasn’t trained or didn’t care. We don’t know the whole story though he could have been warned before about this maybe that’s why they docked his pay? Do you think he would have admitted it? Guess we will never know. If it was his first mistake, they shouldn’t have docked his pay, that’s just bad management!

  • Amanda G.

    McD’s already marks up their food 300% and pays their employee’s minimum wage. Greedy is what they are. ONE coupon that sneaks by is not going to hurt their profits by any means. I could see if he was accepting fake coupons from his friends or abusing his power but if it was an honest mistake, then give him a lesson in fake coupons and move on. This is what happens when you pay people to do a job that the managers don’t want to do. You take a risk in mistakes happening.

  • Carli

    No way should he have to pay…unless he continually does it. If it was a first or second time thing then he should be educated by management. Shame on them!

  • Rhonda

    I too don’t think it’s right. However the law allows them to dock it from his pay but whatever they dock CAN NOT bring his salary below minimum wage. So if he is a minimum wage earner, it would be illegal for them to dock his pay. I”m sure he only makes minimum, so most likely his pay was illegally docked. Probably something he should know and most likely doesn’t!

  • Lara

    I went a few weeks ago to a local Mc’D’s because I had a coupon from Recycle Bank for a free premium salad with purchase of a happy meal. It had all the bar codes, www info, ect, even had my name on it. The manager came over and told me it was a fake and I was a fraud! OMG I flipped out in front of everyone, how dare her say that and she said it loudly in front of my kids and customers! She realized she made a BIG mistake and accepted the coupon and tried to appologize. Makes me wonder if the manager was even correct or not or just assumed it was fake!

  • Katharine

    No, that’s absolutely ridiculous. How is he supposed to 100% determine whether it’s a fake or not. That’s so crazy and I am sure the manager would be in trouble with the corporate policy if he knew this happened. You should write McDonald’s and let them know this happened.

  • Christa

    It is not right. i work at Mcdonalds and We don’t have to pay out of pocket for someones meal if we mess up. if we are short 10+ dollars in our drawer we have to pay the over amount.

  • Shana D

    Seriously?!?!?!? How much does McDonalds make? How much does the employee make? Ridiculous! Like a few bucks really would make a difference to the franchise, but it could mean a lot to the person who works there! That disgusts me and I bet it is the doing of a bad manager.

  • Jennifer

    Unless McDonald’s is going to give all their employees extensive workshops on how to spot a fake coupon then heck no!!!
    Just Pitiful!

  • melissa

    i don’t think so they really probably didn’t realize it was fake til after and umm not thinking that crooked people would use one at mcDonalds but there are alot of scammers…………….. they should of just made it a loss and went on.

  • Donna Russell

    Seriously!!!!!!!!! They take orders at McDonalds, they aren’t specially trained to know if a coupon is real or not. Let the manager decide and then he/she can pay if it’s fake.

  • Tina

    Absolutely not. He problably ended up using an hours work of work to make up for this. And no one can tell me that McDonald’s is hurting in anyway that makes this ok…

  • Annabeth Dugger

    I think that is awful of McDonald’s to make that employee pay for the customer’s meal!! I hope that McDonald’s get to see all these comments, that was just wrong of them. Maybe management should do a little more training on coupon acceptance!! Let the manager pay for it…

  • joy

    If the register scans it and accepts it, NO, the worker should not be responsible. If McDonald’s has not taught the workers how to spot a fake, NO. If a worker has a question concerning a legit coupon, they should have management look at the coupon and initial. If coupon should later be known to be fake…let management pay for it out of their pocket.

  • Christina Haley

    If it was his first offense then no he should not have to pay out of pocket. However, if he is a repeat offender and the management is having shift meetings to let the staff know what coupons are out there, then yes he should pay. As long as he has the option to ask management if this is a valid coupon, then he has to be held accountable for some of his actions.

  • Stacy

    The decision to make the crew person pay for the fake coupon was the decision of the manager or Owner of that location. When fake coupons are circulating there is a release to all restaurants in that area a description or a photo example of the coupon. As the System Manager of an Upstate New York restaurant, I have only seen 1 fake coupon and refused to take it. But, if one of my crew took a fake coupon, I would NEVER make them pay for it. We would use it as a learning and awareness opportunity. It’s unfortunate this person was victimized by the coupn presenter then by the management or Owner.

  • wendy

    No I do not think it is fair he had to pay for it. When I was working as a cashier I took a $100 bill,I even used the marker they gave me to make sure it was not fake.

    Well turned out it was a fake but I did not get the $100 taken out of my paycheck.It was an honest mistake.I followed their rules and it still turned out fake.

    I feel bad for that worker.I would of so complained to the higher up manager.I have never heard of a worker having to pay out of pocket for something like that.So wrong

  • sheri cost

    No They should not have to pay for the meal. I can not tell a fake and I look at coupons alot. Poor worker they might not have educated them on coupons and then punish for a fake. Something is wrong with that picture.

  • carrie

    Wow, I am so disappointed in McDonalds. These kids don’t make a lot as it is and a multi-billion dollar company makes them pay. Customer service is their main goal. How can they be expected to know what is fake and what isn’t unless the question the customer and create an incident. Shame on them.

  • Katy

    I work for McDonald’s, and the answer is NO, he should not have had to pay for it nor been asked. What would have happened to that employee if he accepted a fake 20…or worse 100? We rec’d two hundred’s and 3 twenties that were fake, the hundreds were REAL $5 dollar bills that had been washed out so the pens would not have worked. By all accounts they looked very very real. We now look for the tiny words that say US 100 on the little bar code, but the cashier was not forced to pay that money back, we knew which person took the money and that way we know to watch if it ever happens again incase it is a friend who is doing it. I’m sure that there is nothing in the handbook that says they have to ask a manager to verify a coupon, therefore there is no reason to make him pay. At our particular McDonald’s a manager is needed to do a coupon to begin with so we see everyone, but if the company wants to let the employees have that control then they have to accept the consequences of one fake coupon slipping though. How many free food items has that manager or store for that fact given out because a customer complained about their food and lied???? That is just as bad. They should be contacting corporate and complaining, because for the 3 minutes that you stood there while he scanned your coupon he could have waited on 4 more people, how much more business is the company losing than a stupid 6 dollar sandwich one time???

  • Shannon Hinkle

    That is bizarre and ridiculous! Everyone else who presents a fake coupon is charged with coupon fraud! The cashier isn’t held responsible. I can’t believe McDonald’s punished this guy by making him pay for their order out of his own pocket.

  • Samantha

    No, but I can understand McD’s concern, if a employee doesn’t care & keeps doing it- They put out so many coupons what they can afford for advertisement out each month. I can understand its business. Perhaps they could use it as a warning & if he kept doing it either pay then or get fired.

  • Samantha Long

    No, he should not have too pay out of his pocket. That is ridiculous! McDonalds makes MORE than enough money too let a couple of dollars go. The guy probably only makes minimum wage, that is not fair at all to the kid. MAYBE Mcdonalds should make their coupons easier too spot if they are fake or not…

  • Mary Jane

    That is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WRONG! I would be calling corporate and complaining to them and demand that something be done. McDonald’s just ripped the cashier off! Maybe Better Business Bureau or a tv station ought to check this out! Such BS!