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May 12, 2009

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Good point on squandering the opportunity. How do you feel about them backing out of the Oprah promo? It seemed like a major mistake to me. They took a bunch of good press and turned it into a negative experience for them. Even if the cost was more than they bargained for, giving away one piece of chicken now could reap a new customer for life.

Travis --

Did they back out totally? I thought they simply issued rainchecks. If they did back out completely, I agree, it's a big mistake. They could have won a ton of customers, but instead made a lot of people angry. Someone should have suspected that a free offer on Oprah would generate a lot of traffic. ;-)

I had no problem with the promotion. I got a drumstick and thigh along with the sides. I went through the drive through and my wife and I had a nice free meal. However I will add I went on the first day of the promotion before everything got out of control.

That is awful! When I went to our local store, I was told I could choose any piece I wanted. I chose a breast, and they gladly put it in the box for me to take with me. So sorry to hear of your experience.

I still have my coupon for the free meal from Oprah - someone had mentioned that if you take it to the restaurant, they will compensate you somehow, even if they won't offer you the free meal.

FMF -

KFC is giving rainchecks, but they are making it so difficult that most people won't bother. From what I read last week, you have to go into the restaurant with the coupon and get a raincheck form from the manager and fill it out. The completed form is then turned into the manager are mailed in to KFC. Once processed by corporate, you are supposed to receive a new coupon with a specific date range to redeem your coupon. Of course this is assuming that your request doesn't get "lost" along the way somewhere like mail-in rebate requests often do.

Of course most people won't know this and will go into KFC upset that they can't get their free chicken now. When I go to a restaurant it is because I'm ready to eat NOW, not because I want to fill out some form and then figure something else out.

I'm not really sure what the fascination with KFC is anyway. Their chicken is so bland, like the Colonel was really a Yankee or from somewhere in the mountain west. Popeye's is the only restaurant fried chicken worth eating!

I received a KFC coupon in the AJC for a free piece of chicken and had no problems. The manager gave me a piece of breast and I was quite pleased with the new grilled chicken. Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

I don't typically go to a KFC and on the rare occasion that I do it is because the parents are in town (from Thailand) to visit and they love KFC's fried chicken. But the last two times I have gone there for the 10piece chicken buckets had been both dissapointing and infuriating. The first time it happened the girl that was working must not know how to count since she only put in 8 pieces instead of 10. I wondered why the bucket didn't look full but didn't question it and went home, only to find out I'm missig a couple of pieces.

About a year later, again the family is visiting and I went back on their request. This time I had the complete 10 pieces but they gave me 1 thigh, 1 breast and the rest are wings and legs.

Now I'm willing to forgive one bad experience, but considering I don't go there THAT often, the two bad experiences also happen to be the only two times that I went to KFC. Is that coincidence? Fool on me and never again.

Honestly, I don't know why KFC bothers to put an 8-piece in a bucket! It doesn't fill halfway up. They are so tiny, like squab or something, and often tough and greasy. Popeye's is best, followed by Bojangles. Both competitors offer much larger pieces, better tasting biscuits and side items. About the only thing I kinda like is the lunch buffet, but often it's messy and fly-infested.

This past weekend when I visited my sister's kids we had coupons for the free two piece meal. Apparently, they were honoring the coupon but only from 1pm to 4pm.

I had taken my niece and one of my nephews to the library and lost track of time. After leaving the library and picking up my other nephew (from their home) we arrived in the store exactly at 4pm (give or take a minute). By the time we actually got to the counter it was past 4pm. The manager came to the front and basically told everyone interested in the free deal to go home and come back Monday (Sunday being Mother's Day, a day in which they were NOT honoring the deal).

I tried to argue that I was inside the doors by 4pm. I tried to go over the manager's head by "appealing to a higher authority" only to have him say that his actions were authorized by corporate.

I'm not a regular KFC customer. I was only going because of the deal. I was a little annoyed about having a coupon that didn't have restrictions (like must be used between certain hours and holidays)in the wording having them created "on the fly". I think being anal about a couple of minutes combined with the aforementioned "wing" story just screams cheapness on KFC's part.

I'm not sure if a free grilled chicken meal (even under the best of circumstances) would have been enough to convert me into a loyal KFC customer (I usually get my fried chicken from Mrs. Winners, a cheaper alternative to KFC for the most part) but seeing how they dealt with the Oprah promotion, reading the negative stories here and my own personal experience has made it very unlikely that KFC will be my first choice for fast food/dining out.

I once went to a KFC, I think it was in Stamford Connecticut, about a decade ago. Totally inedible "food", the place stank of grease, full of screaming kids. Just an awful experience. I've eaten fast food since but haven't been back to a KFC, and likely won't be. One experience can definitely lose you as a customer.

For heart-attack food give me fish and chips or a bacon sandwich with a beer or something instead any day :)

KFC lost me as a customer the time I got a whole cooked chicken lung in one of my breasts. The manager wouldn't even refund me my meal although I was totally grossed out and didn't want to continue eating. This has to be over 10 years ago and I've never been back.

We should have known KFC would pull the old SNAFU The local Porterville, Ca KFC wouldn't honor the free grilled chicken meal coupon, said to mail coupon to coporate and get a rain check, they said, it might take a couple of months to get it. The manager said, the local KFC still doesn't have to honor the rainchecks (it depends on demand and inventory).

HOW CAN YOU NOT ANTICIPATE THE DEMAND AFTER THE DENNYS AND QUIZNOS DIASTER ?

Wow,

When I read your post I was going to comment along the lines of "well you get what you pay for", but reading these comments it looks like KFC really blew it!

It's all about setting expectations and how well they deliver on this. Clearly they failed. What a waste of resources to generate bad press!

The operations people should be hung out to dry...

-Mike

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