19 February 2009

I Have a Bone to Pick With McDonald's

Time for a little off-topic rant.

First of all, I went into the McDonald's on Canal Street to use their ATM not to buy food. Not that I haven't ever purchased food there. I have. I just don't want to talk about that right now.

So, on to the subject at hand. See the little yellow sign on the McDonald's awning? "Free ATM." How do you take that? I take it to mean: a no-fee ATM. I can use it and my bank account with be charged zip. That is, of course, how everyone would interpret it.

Now let's look at these lovelies, pasted on the doors. "Free ATM." An exclamation point even. And no, I didn't see the tiny letters that said "for participating banks." Why? Because they are FIFTY TIMES SMALLER THAN THE WORD "FREE!"

And so I go in and, Whammo!, here's Mr. ATM, and he says to me (again in yellow) "99 cents," "99 cents," "99 cents." No "Free!" sticker on this baby! You pay money, buster, to touch me!

WTF? Is there a more egregious bait-and-switch in town? And this seems to be new to me, for I remember well when McDonald's used to have signs outside its franchise advertising its ATMs as "Only 99 cents!" Which was true, and cheap. Why change? Why lie? To get suckers like me into your fetid restaurants to graze off your dollar menu, that's why. Just goes to show you—ain't nothing free in a corporate outpost. Even if they take a little bit of your soul, they take something.


MartinD28 said...

C'mon...you shouldn't be using those ATM machines. This is New York City...there's a bank a few blocks away!

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Chinatown's pretty desolate. It was in my path. I didn't see any banks coming up.

ChickenUnderwear said...

It is free to look at the ATM

Anonymous said...

99-cents is still better than any bodega atm or the atm of a bank you don't belong to - I use the McDonald's often, since Wachovia's, outside of midtown, are few and far between. Duane Reade works, as well.

But yes, they should take it easy on the "FREE!!"