When you come to live in the Philippines, or any other developing country, you have to get used to a lot of things. Beggars nearly everywhere you go, different attitudes, different ways of treating people and such are all things that require adjustment. I have to say that I have been able to adjust to most all of these kinds of things.
One thing that rubs me the wrong way, though, is when I see people being blatantly exploited. Exploitation comes in many forms and can be done in many different ways. Sometimes people with a little more money exploit those who are in the lower rungs of society. Sometimes local companies exploit their workers.
Over this past weekend, I came across a situation where a major International Company exploited both it’s employees, and amazingly, they also exploited their customers, in my opinion. The company I am talking about is McDonald’s. McDonald’s Philippines is a local corporation and operated as a Philippine Company. But, let’s face it, if the “mother corporation” in the USA lays down a law, I have no doubt that it could be forced on McDonald’s Philippines as well.
It all started a few weeks back when I was doing some research in regards to Philippine e-Commerce websites, their functionality and such, in preparation for an article I was writing on another website. I came upon McDonald’s Philippines website for food delivery in the Philippines. It was a good looking site, so I decided to try it out and see how the functionality was. I ordered ice cream sundaes for everybody in the house, to be delivered. My order was done 100% through their website. After about 10 minutes, I got a call from McDonald’s call center in Manila to verify my order and make sure it was really me who ordered (a fraud prevention technique). The phone call went smoothly and my order was delivered without a hitch, within about 30 minutes. To be honest, I was surprised and impressed with the way the transaction happened.
This past weekend, I decided to place a second order through the McDonald’s delivery website. I ordered some chicken and a few other things. My order went smoothly and after checking out, I got a notice on my screen saying that my order was being processed. However, I got no e-mail confirmation of the order (which I did get on my previous order), and I got no phone call as I had previously gotten. About an hour went by, and my order had not been delivered. I went back to the McDonald’s website to see if I could contact the delivery department and see what was going on, and their website said that it was “Closed for Maintenance.” Feyma and I figured that somehow our order had been lost in the shuffle. We waited about 30 more minutes, and since the order had still not been delivered, we sent our niece to McDonald’s to pick up what we wanted. The total for the items was about P500, about $12. Our niece brought the items home, and we ate.
About an hour after eating, the McDonald’s delivery guy showed up at our house, with our order in hand. Feyma asked me what she should do. I told her to ask the delivery guy what would happen if we refused the order, given that we had already gone and bought it ourselves, and that it had been hours since we ordered. When she asked the guy, he got very nervous and said that if we did not pay, he would be forced to pay himself! Well, let me tell you, P500 is about 2 to 3 days pay for a guy who makes deliveries like that. Can you imagine being out 2 to 3 days pay when you did nothing wrong, but it was the company you worked for that made a mistake. Of course, I told Feyma to go ahead and pay for the food, and just store it in the Fridge for lunch the next day, or whatever.
Now, here, you had a situation where I truly believe that a top rank company was exploiting their worker by forcing him to pay out of his own pocket for food that the company itself messed up on royally. Secondly, I believe that McDonald’s is, in effect, exploiting their customers by putting the customer in a situation where they had to either pay twice for food, or put a lowly delivery man in a situation where he would be docked 3 days pay when it was no fault of his own. Hey, P500 is no big deal to me, and I can assure you that P500 is no big deal to McDonald’s either. But, instead of taking the P500 hit for their own mistake they put the burden on the worker, and then on the customer.
Shame on you, McDonald’s. And, if anybody in the mother corporation in the USA happens to see this article, I really feel ashamed that a US Corporation would accept it when one of their workers would be treated in such a way.
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.