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McDonald's Is Making Big Changes to Avoid Getting Sued

Here’s your reminder to always read the terms and conditions before clicking accept.

<p>Amelia Manley/Dotdash Meredith</p> Photo: Getty Images

Amelia Manley/Dotdash Meredith

Photo: Getty Images

The apps we all use on our smart devices and computers have frequent updates, and when they happen, we’re often asked to accept the terms and conditions. There’s usually a link to those terms and conditions, but not many people bother to read them. Instead, we quickly click accept so we can get on with using the app rather than take the time to read what we’re agreeing to. It seems McDonald’s is counting on this hasty habit to include language in its terms and conditions that limits the rights to sue the company. Anyone who orders online or through the app agrees to these terms.

We aren’t lawyers here at Allrecipes, and we’re not giving legal advice, but since we often alert you to McDonald’s app-only deals—such as free fries every Friday from now until the end of the year—we also want to bring new language in McDonald’s terms and conditions to your attention.

McDonald’s recently updated its Terms and Conditions for McDonald’s Online Services for U.S. customers, and it has reduced many of the legal rights that online and app users have if they are unsatisfied with service or products.

How McDonald’s Wants Customers to Settle Disputes

Within the legal jargon of the terms and conditions, McDonald’s outlines, in 12 steps, how it settles disputes. And when you click “Agree” to the terms and conditions, it seems you are agreeing to go through those 12 steps.

That language includes the following step before bringing in a third party if you have a dispute with the restaurant: You and McDonald’s will engage in the informal dispute resolution process outlined in this paragraph. First, the party interested in pursuing a dispute related to the online services must give written notice to the other party of the party’s intent to initiate an informal dispute resolution conference.

Basically, if you want to sue McDonald’s you have to tell them in writing before anything else. And the terms you agree to seem to only work more in the restaurant’s favor from there on out. McDonald’s says it has 60 days to respond to written notice. If you can’t work it out with McDonald’s, it will go to third-party arbitration with the company of its choosing. If the dispute is still not worked out, it seems that you agree it can go to the courts, in Illinois, without a jury.

It also seems that since the terms and conditions are for McDonald’s online services, those who have an issue with any service or food that didn’t result from a digital order aren’t bound to these terms and conditions.

What Can You Do About McDonald’s Terms and Conditions?

In short, not much.

If you aren’t willing to accept the most recent update to terms and conditions from the restaurant, you can click no, but then you cannot use the app or the website to order or take advantage of special savings. TikTok user seansvv brought this to the attention of his followers when he—who is also not a lawyer—gave his understanding of how agreeing to these terms limits McDonald’s customers’ rights to settle a dispute.

One of seansvv’s followers noted that choosing to not accept the terms and conditions will leave you without access to any points accrued from past purchases. “I had 40,000 points,” he commented, followed by several crying emojis.

Others said they were deleting the app. “Deleted and uninstalled so fast,” one commented.

With so many fast-food restaurants offering money-saving deals through only apps or online orders, it’s tough to forego the digital method of ordering—who wants to spend more money for their meal than they have to?

If you do choose to stay with McDonald’s methods of digital ordering, or any other time and money-saving app, perhaps the attention that McDonald’s new terms and conditions are getting serves as a reminder to us all to read the terms and conditions we agree to on ALL apps and online sites, as tedious as that may be, and decide on a case-by-case basis what we’re willing to accept.

Read the original article on All Recipes.