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SG takes to social media after Hello Kitty frenzy brings down McDelivery

McDonald Singapore’s McDelivery site has seen outages since Thursday last, as the QSR’s (quick service restaurant) ‘Hello Kitty’ promotion was launched. The frenzy for the plushie – which are available for SGD 4.60 with every purchase of an extra value meal on online orders – was so high that customers complained of McDelivery Singapore site going down and not receiving orders even after three hours.

Even though the promotion was to be “till stocks last” but seems McDonald’s ran out of stocks within minutes. The site saw unusual traffic and people had to take to McDonald Singapore’s Facebook page to complain. McDonald decided to move complaints from its Facebook page (facebook.com/mcdsg), so that posts from last week’s Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning are not seen on the main page.

The Hello Kitty promotion is applicable only for online orders and not for walk-ins. The complaints were still pouring till Sunday late evening. One complaint read as: “Called Mcd hotline but was told delivery not available due to overwhelming of the hello kitty.jam up the whole delivery team,i doesnt want the hello kitty leh but just a meal.what the hell is going on here? want hello kitty just walk-in cannot meh? must only be available via delivery…”

Another complaint on Sunday afternoon read: “Because of the stupid Hello Kitty promotion, I’m STILL waiting for my lunch for close to 3 hours now.”

Besides, people have been complaining of McDonald’s hotline being down too and being kept on hold for more than ten minutes when they have called back to enquire about their orders. The overwhelming response seems to have put pressure on McDonald’s stocks too and some people have complained about the QSR delivering expired sauces. The social media team at McDonald’s seems to be having no answer to the complaints except for the usual rhetoric that the customer’s feedback has been taken and that they apologise for the inconvenience.

Meanwhile, a video – a satire on the frenzy for McDonald’s promotion – has surfaced on Youtube, which claims of a service for customers who are ordering food from McDonald’s only for the ‘kitties’. The video proclaims that while customers can have the kitties, the three brothers will help them clear up the food by using their “energy to eat your McDonald’s”. The spoof service can be availed by dialling ‘1800-EUGENE-EAT-ALL Now!’.

Similar sentiments are being expressed on Twitter too, where people are going gaga over the kitties, but unwilling to have McDonald’s food.

In the month-long promotion, McDonald’s has lined up six of Hello Kitty plushies. It was the ‘Wizard of Oz’ that is going out this week. Next week it’s the turn of Red Riding Hood, followed by The Frog Prince, The Ugly Duckling and The Singing Bone – in that order. The sixth one is McDelivery Special edition.

The country mad about the kitties, seems to be taking on McDonald’s with vengeance for not being able to deliver them their favourite toy. In another long complaint on the website, a customer after having waited for about four hours for her food writes, “… Moral of the story, the Hello Kitty promotion just made you lose a customer. Not that it matters to you right, McDonalds? Still waiting for that call from The Hub though. And my 14 days later refund.”

Seems that McDonald’s has run into trouble with the digital space earlier too. Another comment reads: “Even with past experience, McDonald has not learnt from it and this Hello Kitty available only through online order is a real disastrous idea and disastrous public relation. A lot of customers are real piss with McDonald, for not being able to order online and not able to order through phone.”

McDonald’s seems to be in a fix. It can neither call off the promotion, nor is it able to handle orders. It has also found itself inefficient in contain negative feedback or acknowledge the lapse in a positive spirit. McDonald’s reply to the above comment was monotonous and rhetorical: “Hi there, thank you for sharing your valuable feedback with us. We are always looking at ways to improve on our service and will definitely be looking into this. Thank you.”

The reply isn’t addressed directly by ‘name’ to the commenter. Instead, a ‘Hi there’, seems to be suffice – a sign of a clear copy-paste job for quick responses.

Looks like the experience would go down as a case study on how to handle promotions online and how to contain and how not-to handle negative publicity in the digital world. Certainly not by removing comments, complaints and feedback of customers, when particularly there are bloggers who have screenshots to circulate around and search engine cache to dig into. Deleting comments unless they are abusive and offensive, shows that the brand cares least about customer feedback and the entire feedback policy for being ready to listen is a sham.

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