By Michelle Mortensen, Investigative Reporter - email
LAS VEGAS - Fifty million people in the U.S. eat fast food every day. It's fast, cheap and sometimes free, if you have the right coupon.
Nedra Wilson tried to use such a coupon from a book she purchased as part of a Las Vegas high school fundraiser.
"I attempted to pay using this one - the ‘free, no purchase necessary,'" she said. "The gentlemen at the window said, ‘We can't accept the one that's no purchase necessary.'"
Wilson, who says she paid $15 for the coupon book, asked the cashier why he wouldn't take her coupon.
"He said, ‘Well someone has been reprinting them and giving them away.' So, they were losing money," she said.
Wilson says she didn't believe the explanation.
"We drove off and went to another fast food restaurant, and at the same time, we called 8 on Your Side," she said.
8 on Your Side reached out to Carl's Jr.'s corporate headquarters. Representatives say they do not have to honor the coupons, because the franchise owner claims people were coming in with handfuls of free coupons and getting $50 of free food at a time. In other words, some bad apples ruined the whole bunch.
Wilson thought she deserved compensation. Carl's Jr. agreed.
"When you guys got involved, I got a gift card… for twenty bucks, which is more than what I paid for. So, I felt like I got my money's worth," she said.
All was forgiven, but not forgotten. Wilson says she hopes others learn from her experience.
"I just want people to know that they should not be purchasing these unless they know exactly which charity it's coming from," she said.
Wilson bought a legitimate coupon book. As 8 on Your Side learned, however, each individual franchise decides whether to accept coupons. Just because you have one, doesn't mean it's worth anything to you.
If you have a problem you would like investigated, call 8 on Your Side Monday through Thursday at 702-650-1907.