As we wrote about yesterday, some KFC fast food restaurants had been declining to redeem the free grilled chicken meal coupons promoted by Oprah on her show Tuesday.
They are now issuing 'rain checks' to those who jump through a few hoops. If you downloaded the coupon, you can print it out and take it to your local KFC, they, in turn, will give you a form that you'll have to fill out and mail to KFC. KFC says that they will then send you another coupon for a free grilled chicken meal (and a free Pepsi) that can be redeemed during certain dates listed on the coupon.
Their goal here, of course, is to try and spread out the dates during which people will be coming in to the restaurants for free meals.
I'm sorry, but a company as large as YUM! Brands (KFC's parent company) should be grown up enough to know what kinds of promotions their restaurants can handle and have the marketing smarts to be able to predict the kind of response they're going to get.
This is a shameful business failure on the part of KFC/YUM! Brands.
Oprah has changed the message on her KFC Coupon page to reflect the new 'rain check' policy.
Below is a video of KFC's President, Roger Eaton, apoligizing and explain the rain check system (the text of his statement is also below). (By the way, what is a
Rain Check Policy from KFC
We are so sorry, but due to the overwhelming response to our FREE Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal coupon, we can no longer redeem the free coupon at this time. But we will honor our commitment to giving you a free Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal. Please visit a participating KFC restaurant for a rain check form. Complete the form, attach your original coupon, and give it to the KFC restaurant manager or postmark per the form's instructions, by May 19, 2009, and we'll send you a rain check for your free Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal at a later date, plus a free Pepsi with our compliments. Your participating KFC restaurant will provide you with the form you need. Please note that the redemption periods of the rain checks will vary. All other terms and conditions of the original free Kentucky Grilled Chicken coupon will apply. Thank you for your understanding,