By Christopher Elliott
Jonathan Sklar orders a meal from KFC through the fast-food restaurant’s app. He says the order went to the wrong store. Can he get a refund?
I am trying to get a refund from Kentucky Fried Chicken. I placed an order on their app recently. The order went to the wrong location.
I tried to get help at the restaurant, and they did not know what to do. When I called the 800 number to speak to a rep, KFC put me on hold for 30 minutes. I decided to call back the next day, but when I did, I got a message that said the inbox was full.
Can you help me get a refund of $33 for the meal I never received? — Jonathan Sklar, Novi, Mich.
KFC should have sent your order to the right place. As someone who orders coffee online frequently, I worry about this, too. What if Starbucks sends my request for a grande Americano to the wrong location but charges me anyway?
I have good reason for my concern. Many online apps use your GPS location to determine the closest store. If you’re not paying attention, or if there are multiple locations in your area, you can easily send an order to the wrong restaurant.
Is that what happened to you? If so, it’s impossible to reverse-engineer the error that caused the problem. But KFC should have at least responded to your complaint and found a way to fix the problem — rather than putting you on hold and then sending your call to a full mailbox.
Here’s what KFC says about mobile orders: If you don’t check in on the order you placed with the wrong restaurant, you will not be charged. “You may see the order in your pending transactions, but it will be automatically canceled within five working days,” the company says on its site. (It’s unclear if this policy applies to KFC restaurants worldwide.)
For some reason, KFC charged you for an order you never picked up. Although this is a rare problem, I’ve seen a few cases of customers getting incorrectly billed for meals they didn’t receive. When that happens, you can either call KFC directly or send an email to [email protected]. If that doesn’t work you can also contact one of the Yum Brands executives I list on my consumer advocacy site.
I reached out to KFC on your behalf. It turns out the order was sent to the correct address after all, according to KFC.
“The food was prepared at the requested location, but it was ready later than anticipated and he never received it,” a representative told me. “So we went ahead and processed the refund.”
Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy (https://elliottadvocacy.org), a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Email him at [email protected] or get help by contacting him.