Apple Daily (蘋果日報), one of the best selling newspapers in Hong Kong, reported on Sunday that the 54 years old Mr. Chow (周福祥) and his friends had received some really awful services at a Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong branch of McDonald’s.
In order to bring the unacceptable customer services to the attention of McDonald’s Hong Kong (and possibly the US head office), Mr. Chow launched a creative protest by spending over US$1,000 (HK$8,060) to purchase 1,300 hamburgers to distribute for free in front of the offending store while telling people how awful the store’s customer services are.
Mr. Chow alleged that employees at the McDonald’s store were rude and discriminate against lower-income and working-class customers. Last Friday morning, after learning his friend (see photo below) was ejected from the restaurant for alleged “hygienic” reason, Mr. Chow decided to launch his creative protest. According to Mr. Chow the bad customer services are not isolated incidents and he gave some examples below in Chinese.
店 員 奚 落 長 者 「 買 唔 起 」
他 舉 例 說 ， 有 顧 客 倦 極 打 瞌 睡 ， 店 員 竟 然 報 警 稱 有 人 暈 倒 ， 勞 動 救 護 員 到 場 拍 醒 ，分 明 整 蠱 客 人 。 有 街 坊 的 孩 子 拍 打 玻 璃 飾 櫃 ， 職 員 又 會 惡 言 指 摘 及 恐 嚇 報 警 。 與 周相 熟 的 拾 荒 婦 「 肥 姨 」 買 「 麥 旋 風 」 雪 糕 時 ， 更 被 人 奚 落 「 十 幾 蚊 杯 ， 買 唔 買 得 起 呀 ？ 」 周 不 滿 地 說 ： 「 拾 荒 都 係 人 ， 點 解 咁 睇 唔 起 ！ ？ 」
I think what I wrote in the entry “Local Damage to a Global brand on a Global scale” still applies here,
My point is that the small things that we do locally, or things that others have done to us locally, these things now have global impact. Customers of a global/national brand can easily Google and find problems that others have with your company or products. The is nowhere to hide — for both the bad news and the good news.
McDonald’s is considered a lovemark by some people but its image has now been slight tarnished in Hong Kong (and possibly overseas). I wonder if McDonald’s (Hong Kong) is smart enough to do something to show that it realized it made a mistake. After all, it is not everyday a global brand got front page coverage for its awful customer services and acts of discrimination against its customers.