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Feathers fly over KFC fake coupon claim

[ 2010-04-08 11:30]     字号 [] [] []  
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KFC, the US fast food giant, is under widespread criticism in China after it canceled a promotional activity on Tuesday, claiming that some customers had fake coupons.

The restaurant chain had planned to issue three types of coupons at 10 am, 2 pm and 4 pm on Tuesday to the first 100 netizens who registered at each interval through its official Chinese website.

The coupons were supposed to be accepted through Friday and copies were also intended to be valid.

However, starting at 2 pm on Tuesday, customers who wanted to use the coupons in KFC stores across the country were told the promotion had been stopped following an order from its China headquarters.

Some customers in Nanjing, Beijing and Shanghai had bitter quarrels with KFC staff, resulting in police rushing to the scene to maintain order.

The cancellation was due to fake coupons, KFC China said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the company, at 10 am on Tuesday, 100 netizens successfully retrieved the first round of coupons. But before the second and third round of activities began in the afternoon, stores across the country had already received many customers with the additional two types of coupons.

A preliminary investigation revealed that some other websites had made these two coupons available for downloading without the authorization of KFC China, the statement said.

The company claimed it had made it clear in its promotion that only coupons issued by its official websites would be valid.

"KFC has reported the case to local police and we'll cooperate with the investigation," the statement said. "KFC is sorry for the disturbance. If consumers insist that their coupons are from official sources, they are required to show evidence."

However, the explanation failed to satisfy the disappointed customers. At a KFC store on Wujiang road in Shanghai on Wednesday, about 30 customers whose coupons were rejected sat at tables waiting for an explanation, while a McDonald's delivery boy was called in with their lunch.

Most of the 17 customers randomly interviewed at two KFC franchises in Beijing on Wednesday remained calm when asked about the issue.

Fourteen of them said they were unaware of the fracas, while the rest expressed their discontent. "KFC should explain and apologize to the public. Otherwise, who will believe future coupon activities?" a female customer said.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Feathers fly over KFC fake coupon claim

About the broadcaster:

Feathers fly over KFC fake coupon claim

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.