Nostalgic Rumblings
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May 2009
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How KFC Screwed Up. Twice

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 3:49 pm

KFC is promoting the hell out of their unfried chicken…and made a deal with Oprah to promote it with a free two-piece Kentucky Grill Chicken dinner. All you had to do was go to Oprah’s website, download the coupon, and print it. (No more than 4 times, please.)

Yeah, no one can see a problem with that coming…

Gee, Oprah is kinda popular. Lots of people watch Oprah. Lots of people ran to their computers and printed out coupons; emailed friends and co-workers to let them know about the free lunch. KFC retail locations are clearly going to be shoveling out a lot of free meals. What’s a company to do?

Simple. Refuse to honor the coupons.

Seriously, how bone-headed is that from a public-relations perspective? We stop by KFC frequently (I’m partial to the meal bowls, Katie likes the twisters) for a quick meal when Annie’s running late from work. Last night, after an art show at school, we stopped by for a meal; Annie had a two-piece coupon, so we would only need to purchase two meals and sides instead of our usual three. But, “not so fast there, bucko, since we screwed up and offered way too much, we’re not accepting the coupons we ourselves promoted, and instead must demand specific demographic information from you on this form and we will mail you a coupon. Of course, we can’t promise we’ll honor that one any more than we did this one, but at least we’ll have your personal information this way.” I decided to decline their offer, and headed across the street to another chain for a fast dinner.

So KFC screwed up twice. I’m pretty sure they won’t miss our $20-30 a week, but it’s still going to be a loing time before I go back to that fast-food restaurant…and I won’t be stopping at Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers, or any other Pepsi property for that matter. Clearly, those companies not only have no ethics, they don’t have the courage to stand by their own mistakes, instead blaming their customers for their screwups. If enough of us stop bending over, allowing companies like this to screw us around, maybe they’ll get the idea that they exist to serve us, not the other way around.

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