Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More broken teeth at Burger King

Angry Whopper
To the right is the offender — a Burger King Angry Whopper

I'm finding more folks who have suffered broken teeth at Burger King. Here's one from Bloomington, Illinois:
I stopped at the Burger King on Veterans Parkway on my way home from Bloomington. I live in Lincoln 30 miles away. I purchased a sausage/egg biscuit and when I took the first bite I knew my tooth had broke off. I pulled over and found that there was a bone in the sausage and it broke off 1/2 of my upper right molar. We do not have dental insurance and I am extremely upset.
Here's another:
I was very upset Friday, May 27/05 when eating a Whopper Burger I bit into a piece of bone and chipped the crown of a tooth I had fixed recently. I complained to the staff. I was told the Manager wasn't in. We said the Manager could call at home as we were in town for a wedding on Monday. I did not get a phone call yesterday. Where do I go?
And another:
I really know how this you feel, I am also a victum and will never eat at burger king. I brought so chicken nuggets and inside the nugget was a bone the bone chipped my tooth and i had to have the tooth pulled.

Burger King refused to pay for the tooth that i had pulled and told me they did not know where the bone came from. this company needs to get on the ball with customer service. I am looking for someone to tell me who i can call because the tooth i had pulled did not need to be removed from my mouth.
And another:
An Orange County [Texas] woman has filed a lawsuit against Burger King, claiming the fast food restaurant served her a burger with a rock inside, a court clerk confirmed.

Tabatha Clifton filed a lawsuit in the 128th District Court on July 22, claiming lost earnings and mental anguish from a tooth she says broke when she bit down on the rock.
And another:
I ate at the Burger King #4457 in Riverview, Florida and got more than I wanted.

I ordered a hamburger w/ no pickle and ended up with a metal pop can tab inside.

It broke my tooth off at the gum line and my insurance does not cover it. I asked the insurance adjuster to send me to a doctor and she told me that I would have to pay for it myself and the Burger King Corp. doesn't want to return my phone calls. Please if anyone can help me please email me.
I am reading FOOD, INC. now with the anticipation of seeing the film when it comes out on DVD, which I plan to show in the Introduction to Film class I teach at Minnesota State University Mankato.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009 - No reponse yet

Since I have not yet received a response from Mr. Chidsey or anyone from Burger King to my letter dated July 31, 2009, below, I thought I'd share my letter with anyone who wanted to see it on the internet. Perhaps others have had similar experiences.

The issue is greater than one broken tooth. The issue has to do with corporate responsibility and how corporations, which are licensed by the state and federal governments, have gained an inordinate amount of power — more than individual citizens — and have a habit of dismissing individuals whenever possible unless (of course) they can make a buck from them.

As I state in my letter, I actually have fond memories of taking my kids to Burger King while they were growing up. (They are now both in college.) It's unfortunate that this one experience has soured my thinking about it.

Letter to John W. Chidsey, Chairman and CEO, Burger King

July 31, 2009

John W. Chidsey
Chairman and CEO
Burger King Corporation
5505 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, Florida 33126

Dear Mr. Chidsey:

In your letter on corporate responsibility posted on the Burger King website you write:
As a corporation, we define corporate responsibility as looking beyond a strong bottom line to consider the impact of everything we do. It’s about doing the right thing as a corporate citizen in today’s global marketplace while successfully meeting business goals and objectives.
Unfortunately, a recent experience of mine with one of your franchisees has proven otherwise.

Earlier this year I cracked a tooth while eating one of your hamburgers at a Burger King in Mankato, Minnesota. At the time it occurred I didn't realize I had cracked the tooth, though I distinctly remember biting into something hard and small in the sandwich and hearing a distinctive crack. It wasn't until several weeks later when I went into my dentist that I learned the tooth had been damaged.

In dealing with your franchisee, Duke and King Acquisition Corp., the response I got was (and this is a direct quote), "You can't prove that," which was repeated to me several times by the company's representative. Nevertheless, he agreed to pass along a claim to its insurer, Travelers Property Casualty Company.

The Travelers representative stated that she felt Duke and King was not liable but that she would pass along the claim to the company's suppliers. They, of course, denied any negligence.

After this I called Burger King's Consumer Relations department to relay the incident. They said they would get back to me within a few days, but the only response I received was a form letter from a Quality Assurance Analyst saying that I should contact Duke and King.

My tooth is capped though still painful. While my dental insurance picked up some of the cost, I am still out several hundred dollars — a value equal to about 100 Angry Whoppers, the cause of the problem. (What did this Angry Whopper have against my tooth?)

While I'd love to have my money back — and my insurer would probably like its back as well — there is a larger issue involved, and that is, as you write, "doing the right thing as a corporate citizen."

In this case, Duke and King Acquisition Corp., Travelers Property Casualty Company, and Burger King Corporation have all done the wrong thing.

This is a difficult time for the United States. Many of its major corporations, once long admired in the world, have not lived up to their corporate responsibility. I need not list them by name as they have been foremost in the headlines over the past year.

While my recent experience with Burger King hardly measures to the level of a derivative-induced market meltdown, it is indicative of the buck-passing mentality — and the refusal to accept responsibility — that has poisoned American corporate culture.

Actually, I have fond memories of my earlier experiences with Burger King. I often took my sons there when they were small, where they spent countless hours in the play areas in between bites of french fries and burgers. I also met friends there, other parents with whom I have maintained contact for nearly 20 years. So my thoughts of Burger King are not all bad. It's just that this re-cent experience has left a very bad taste in my mouth about a company that once provided the opposite.

I am copying this letter to those involved in this unfortunate experience, to my Congressional representatives, and to others who have expressed an interest in this story.

I would certainly look forward to a response from you, as well as an appropriate action commensurate with the corporate responsibility report entitled "BK Positive Steps" that you so proudly advocate. Perhaps then we can both create a positive result out of what has now turned into a truly unfortunate experience.


Leigh Pomeroy