McDonald’s customer refuses new bag charge. This is how they bring her food out instead

@amber.in.wonderland/TikTok Chatchai/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘I would take my sweet time’: McDonald’s customer refuses new bag charge. This is how they bring her food out instead

‘I’m not loving it.’

 

Brooke Sjoberg

Trending

Regional efforts to create less waste may cost customers pocket change—and their sanity.

One Alberta, Canada customer of McDonald’s says she was unhappy with her most recent experience in the convenience food chain’s drive-thru when asked if she wanted a bag. She thought this to be an odd question when ordering in the drive-thru and answered with an instinctual “no.”

In her video posted to TikTok, Canadian content creator Amber (@amber.in.wonderland) says her local McDonald’s charged $0.15 for a paper bag for to-go orders. If customers did not want to pay that fee, she says the alternative is unpleasant and inconvenient.

“We have got to talk about something,” she says in the video. “Have any of you guys been to McDonald’s in the last week or two? I don’t know how long it’s been going on, I went this last week. Did you know they are now charging you for the paper bag that your food comes in? You know, the bag that holds your food—your burgers, your fries, your bag fries—there’s a charge now. I went through the drive-thru and they’re like, ‘would you like a bag with that?’ I said no, because I was confused by it, and I got to the window and do you know what they do if you don’t get a bag? Because if you get a bag, it’s $0.15, heads up.”

She says that when she got up to the drive-thru window of her local McDonald’s, she was handed a tray not to keep, but to transfer her order into her vehicle.

“But if you don’t get a bag, they hand you this clear plastic container with all of your food in it into your car, and then you have to sit there,” she says. “They’re staring at you while you empty your fries, your burger, your condiments out of it trying to find a spot for them in your car while you’re trying to hurry up because there’s somebody behind you waiting. The guy in the drive-thru is just sitting there waiting, because they want that container back, right.”

She says the experience was frustrating enough that she might not return to the chain knowing that she will have to pay a small fee for a bag to take her food home in or provide her own.

“Whoever thought this was a great idea, whoever thought, ‘Let’s start charging people more money at McDonald’s and take away the convenience of drive-thru,” she says. “I’m holding fries, burgers in my lap, there’s food everywhere, and I’m trying to throw this container back at the window because I want to get out, the guy behind me is waiting. I’m not paying the $0.15, but I ain’t doing that container again, so McDonald’s, you better figure this out if I’m going to come back. Is this all across Canada? Is this in the United States as well? Australia, Europe? Where is this happening, because this is happening in Alberta, Canada. Tell me. I ain’t happy.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Amber via TikTok direct message regarding the video, as well as to McDonald’s via email.

The fee may not be up to McDonald’s. As previously reported by the Daily Dot, nine U.S. states have passed laws banning the use of plastic bags, causing many businesses to institute a fee for each bag at the customer’s expense. In 2021, a nationwide ban on single-use plastics—including plastic bags—went into effect in Canada, and a motion to discontinue the ban is still playing out in the courts. It is unclear whether the fee is due to this ban and resulting policy changes, but follows a pattern seen in other parts of the world that institute a similar policy and experience resulting fees paid by consumers.

In 2023, customers also shared their frustration in Edmonton, Alberta, when it came to a local effort to ban single-use plastics and other items. McDonald’s customers also reported that they were handed individual items with no bag if they did not opt to pay the small fee.

As one customer noted, the cost of offering the single-use paper bag was passed on to her, instead of the company paying to provide them or simply roll the fee into the total cost and raising prices.

So, while some McDonald’s locations do have to charge a fee for their bags, it does not appear to be a company-wide policy.

Some viewers shared their creative methods for coping with the bag charges.

“I’m the proud/guilty owner of 4 McDonalds trays, one for each car and a spare,” one commenter wrote. “Their faces when you hold it out for them to put your stuff on. my damn teenagers r brilliant!”

“Just do what i do, drive off with the tray and add it to the decor in the kitchen cupboard,” another said.

“Just take the container, I must have have a dozen baskets from Canadian Tire cause they won’t give me a bag lol so I take the basket,” a third commented.

@amber.in.wonderland What's the deal @McDonald’s Corporate ?? #mcdonaldscanada #Alberta #mcdonalds #amberinwonderland ♬ original sound – Amber in Wonderland

Others wrote that it may be in her best interest to take her time retrieving her order from this basket, as eating into the productivity of the drive-thru could influence the company to make different choices.

“Please everyone take your time w/ this. they care a lot abt drive thru wait times. – Former McDonalds employee,” one commenter wrote.

“Just don’t rush, take your time,” another commented. “You’ll eat into McDonald’s 15cents of productivity so they will figure out it’s not such a good idea.”

“Oh, I would take my sweet time,” a third added. “They get timed on their drive thru times. They will change that real quick.”

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