Jack in the Box turns the tables on me

Ramit Sethi · February 6th, 2006

Ok, this is kind of a weird story, but why not. Yesterday, I stopped at the Jack in the Box drive-thru to get some fries. I ordered a large fries (we were taking a road trip), but as we drove away, I discovered that they had also charged me extra for small fries!!! How outrageous!!!

We were at the very beginning of a 2.5-hour trip, so with nothing else to do, I called them up and told them had mischarged me. I thought they would just write my name down and I could get some free fries the next time I went in, whenever that was.

Me: I ordered large fries but you also charged me for small fries
Jack lady: When did you come in?
Me: Like 10 minutes ago
Jack: Come back and we’ll fix it
Me: I can’t, I’m already on the freeway

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Here’s where things start to go wrong:

Jack: Well, when do you want to come in?
Me: (Fumbling to think of a date) I don’t know…sometime next week?
Jack: Tell me exactly when so I can tell the manager on duty
Me: Umm…I guess Monday
Jack: What time?
Me: Uhh…afternoon?
Jack: So, 3-5pm?



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  1. Don’t be fooled, they’re just hoping you’ll pick up an overpriced burger and large coke to go with the free fries.

  2. Was it even really worth your $1.10 to call?

  3. I’m reminded of the old adage, “Just because something is free doesn’t mean that you should take it.” Which, modified for the situation, should probably read: “Just because you overpaid for something doesn’t necessarily mean you should get the free fries.”

  4. Just contest it with your CC company. Who needs to deal with people 🙂

  5. Josh Zerin

    Oh come on. You could’ve been more assertive.

    Woulda, coulda, shoulda… didn’t; I know. But you could have asked to talk with a manager who might have had the authority to come up with a more intuitive plan.

  6. This happened to me with a value meal that had no condiments- free value meal. I had to go to the same franchise and had to give a timeframe as well.

    So I picked a date and time I knew I would be in the area. free meal though.

  7. I’ll go grab ’em if you’re too busy to eat free food… 😉

  8. I understand your frustration. It just happened to my wife recently with baggles. She paid for 8 and got 6 in the bag.

    I used to work at a fast food restaurant many years ago. Once in awhile, a customer would return their burger or food after eating most of it. Yes, we had claims like your too, and we refund our customers too. There is no way for a business to verify most claims. That’s just part of the business. Look at it from both sides.

  9. Hmm…is it on the way to the SJC airport? That’d be a perfect stop on the way there next Monday =)

  10. Look in the bag before leaving the drive thru.

  11. Wtf did you think was going to happen?

  12. OH COME ON!!

    Have a little faith in fate, whill ya? You’ll get that dollar back. Maybe you owed it from way back when you found a buck on the street.

    Don’t go back for that.

  13. Allow me to put a positive spin on this situation.

    ** What goes around comes around?
    > > This would imply that you did a similar thing to someone else, expecting them not to turn up, like JITB expect you not to. But you seem to be a nice guy with all the good advice on this blog, so we will dispense with this trend of thought.

    ** Things have to happen for things to happen (This is my line, coined by me, lived by me!!)

    > > This was all meant to be!! karma, fate, destiny call it what you will!! You had to got to that particular JITB and you had to get a wrong charge leading you to having to call and give them a time to come back and get the $1.10 fries (their fries are good, though 🙂 ). You have to be back there on Mon 3-5pm!!

    There, let’s move on to another of this world’s major problems!!

    Nice blog. Will be back here often.

    R J

  14. I don’t see how you’ll get rich this way. Isn’t your time worth something?