McDonald's Charges More For Sweet Tea With Anything Less Than A "Full" Cup Of Ice

Reader Greg had his first run in with the notorious “no ice” fee, something we’ve been hearing about more and more lately. This time the culprit was McDonald’s and they got around the “Ok, fine. I’ll just have one cube of ice” tactic with a sign that specified a “FULL” cup of ice. Clever, McDonald’s. Very. Clever.

Greg says:

So I decided on my lunch break from work I wanted some Mc Donald’s…. I went into this new store for the first time and well…. here’s my email to Mc Donald’s corporate….

I visited this store for the first time. I placed my regular order and when I said “and a Sweet Tea with no ice” I got met with resistance from the cashier and manager. The cashier called over her manager and they spoke in spanish, not english like I was speaking. The manager then said it was $1.69 for the sweet tea even though right above her head it say $1. She claimed it was because I didn’t want ice. I stated at every other restaurant I have never been charged 69 cents for “having it my way” without ice. She then pointed to a sign hung on the wall that stated ” $1 Sweet Tea with ice only otherwise regular price”. First, I never knew Sweet Tea had any other price than $1 and the big sign behind didn’t show that. So I then said “Ok, I’ll take ice in my drink, 1 ice cube will be enough.” She then said it has to be totally full of ice, and then pointed to a different sign that said “$1 Sweet Tea with FULL cup of ice only. Otherwise regular price. No Refills.”

For as long as I have been buying food at Mc Donald’s I have never been charged for not taking ice. Thats like charging me 50 cents because I don’t want mustard on my burger.
Is this normal practice? Is this a new rule about sweet tea? If so I am very disappointed in Mc Donald’s and your marketing strategies.

PS. I also do have photos of the two signs they used as proof to try to charge me more money.

I am yet to hear back from Mc Donald’s and doubt they will say or do anything in regards to this, but I think its getting a little outrageous how these companies can just start adding fees and surcharges for something as simple as no ice…. Its not like an employee has to stand there with two forks and manually grab the ice out of my cup, just don’t put it in to begin with…. shouldn’t they give me a discount for not having to spend the time to put the ice in the cup…?

Oh, no, Greg. Don’t you see? You’re not paying the fee for “convenience,” you’re just a dirty scammer who was trying to get a tiny amount of “Sweet Tea” for free. McDonald’s is on to your little game. You’ll take your ice and like it! Oh, wait. Have you tried asking for your ice “on the side?”

In any case, Greg says that the two signs were tucked away in non-obvious locations. He says the one pictured here was “behind the work area of the employees on a side wall at about 7 feet high” nowhere near the menu. Sneaky.


Edit Your Comment

  1. drjayphd says:

    You’re not paying the fee for “convenience,” you’re just a dirty scammer who was trying to get a tiny amount of “Sweet Tea” for free.

    And here I thought the issue was that McDonald’s, along with other chains, tends to give you a cup of ice with just a splash of sweet tea.

  2. logicalnoise says:

    a “full” cup of ice would make your drink 85% water. your actually now paying a dollar for water with some tea in it, terrible.

  3. Youthier says:

    Okay, I have to give this McDonald’s props for anticipating the “Okay, give me one ice cube” thing. The sign creator is sort of an evil genius.

    And to be fair Greg, McDonald’s doesn’t promise that you can “have anything your way”.

    But seriously, that’s pretty dirty.

  4. snazz says:

    this would be ridiculous for their fountain sodas, but the sweet tea is brewed, right? (or is it syrup from a canister with water?) I would expect this from something that is brewed or pre-made… like apple juice. seems right to charge you more for a ‘small’ apple juice with no ice, than with ice. you are getting different amounts of beverage.

  5. Nayrlladnar says:

    Ice on the side? I’ll have to remember that.

  6. Anonymous says:

    anything to charge more for sugar water.

  7. ptkdude says:

    As far as getting a response from McDonald’s, I have gotten a response every time I’ve contacted them, usually with some coupons.

  8. RodAox says:

    I usually just get the ice and tell them to hold the tea… oooh I am hoping to get a no tea discount next time… sweet crunchy ice… hmmm

  9. Joedel263 says:

    this mcdonald’s is surely a franchise, expect the owner to get into a bit of hot water with corporate.. they are free to charge whatever price they want, with the exception of advertised promotions (2 for $3 chicken, $1 sweet tea, etc.) I just wish I knew the exact policy on ‘free refills’

    Now if we can just convince them to ditch the Styrofoam cups..

  10. beavis88 says:

    FFS, either way they’re charging over a dollar for a few cents worth of product. If they’re willing to pull crap like this on tea, I wonder what sort of corners they cut on important things (like, say, observing expiration dates on stored food, just off the top of my head)

  11. cigsm says:

    They’re nazi sweet tea practices are becoming out of control.

    In my neck of the woods (Delaware), if you get a meal with a $1.19 sweet tea, they will actually charge you MORE for the Sweet Tea to make the price the “meal price”.

    For instance, if you have a 6 Piece nugget meal with medium fries & soda, the total is $4.95. The soda part of the price is $1.50. Logic would dictate that the nuggets & fries are then $3.45.

    If you order the 6 pc nugget meal with medium fries & a sweet tea (which comes in one size, btw: LARGE)they will charge you $1.50 for the *MEDIUM SIZED* Sweet Tea, even though you could order the Sweet Tea ala cart for $1.19. Again, logic would dictate that your meal should be $.31 less, as your drink costs .31 less. But McDonalds doesnt follow logic – they charge you the $1.50 soda price & give it to you in a MEDIUM cup.

    It’s really great when you upsize your meal to a large & then they add .49 to the $4.95.

    How is this legal?

  12. Bourque77 says:

    Considering cup and all the tea costs McDs about 25¢ they are being anal about the whole thing

  13. HFC says:

    I hate ice. I only use ice in water, unless the iced tea is fresh brewed and still hot. That’s like forcing me to use a straw, which I also hate.

  14. evslin says:

    Thats like charging me 50 cents because I don’t want mustard on my burger.

    Not really, because whether you get mustard on your sandwich or not the sandwich is still the same size. A cup without ice has much more space for your drink than a cup full of ice.

    This is still pretty stupid though.

  15. Jabberkaty says:

    I hate ice in my drinks. It hurts my teeth. Hmm… I wonder if my tooth sensitivity has anything to do with drinking that kind of sugary stuff.

  16. Eels says:

    I recently visited a McDonalds on a hot day and bought an iced tea. It was at a franchise with self service beverages, and there was a sign saying that the tea was kept at room temperature, and to get the right flavor profile or something, the cup should be filled 2/3 full of ice. Had I wanted to stay there, I would have been allowed refills. I think this is just an issue of a cheap manager or franchise owner.

    It also allowed me to mix unsweetened tea with a splash of sweet tea, which made for a tasty, slightly sweet tea. I am pretty sure the sweet tea is actually just tea bags soaked in HCFS.

  17. tripnman says:

    By my reading of the sign, looks like for $1 you are entitled to a cup of Sweet Tea, PLUS a separate full cup of ice. Or, as others have said, ice on the side. Gonna have to try this.

  18. wickedpixel says:

    I would ask for the ice cubes to be made out of sweet tea.

  19. xwildebeestx says:

    Thats like charging me 50 cents because I don’t want mustard on my burger.

    No, it’s like they’re charging you 50 cents more because you want extra meat on your burger. Ice takes up space in the cup, giving you less tea.

  20. MikeB says:

    This isn’t an issue at a McDonalds where you get your own drink. Also, from the way I read the sign you are getting the tea at a “discount” when you get the ice.

  21. JohnDeere says:

    my mcdonalds charges more for unsweet tea than it does for sweet tea hold the sugar. but you get to put your own ice in it so i guess its all good.

  22. timmus says:

    I hate ice. Not only that, but those of us who grew up in Texas are well-familiar with the phrase “slime in the ice machine”, and there’s a good reason that catchphrase exists.

  23. techstar25 says:

    “The cashier called over her manager and they spoke in spanish, not english like I was speaking.”
    I love that line. It’s so unintentionally funny. Nice choice of words.

  24. Murph1908 says:

    Wow. At the threat of getting disemvoweled…

    The poster is missing the point A LOT.

    Thats like charging me 50 cents because I don’t want mustard on my burger.

    Its not like an employee has to stand there with two forks and manually grab the ice out of my cup, just don’t put it in to begin with. Shouldn’t they give me a discount for not having to spend the time to put the ice in the cup…?

    The issue is not refusing to make it your way, or charging you for not doing somehthing. The issue is that a cup of tea with no ice has a lot more tea in it than one with ice. They offer a special price, but when people ask for no ice, their profit margin is cut. Like it or not, McD’s is there to make a profit.

    And your “1 cube” retort would have gotten you kicked out of any restaurant I ran.

    Complaints like this will more likely cause the end of such promotions for everyone than reverse a decision that was make, likely hesitantly, in the interest of staying profitable.

  25. bostonguy says:

    @Eels: I’m pretty sure the sweet tea is actually brewed using real sugar. (That’s what my friend told me, and he manages a McDonalds in the Boston area)

  26. ObtuseGoose says:

    Exactly how much does it cost them to fill up a soda cup full of sweet tea? 10 cents? I hope this McDonald’s doesn’t go out of business due to the thousands of dollars lost from sweet tea thievery.

    If they can’t afford to give free tea refills (or no ice), then maybe they shouldn’t be in business.

  27. harlock_JDS says:


    don’t order the combo with a tea. Order the items individually (and if the cashier punches in a ‘combo’ tell them not to.)

    of course you might get a cashier that ONLY knows to punch in the combo number, in those cases get a manager.

  28. coren says:

    @Murph1908: Really? Kicked out of a restaurant for asking for just a single cube of ice? Remind me not to patronize the places you run.

  29. DeleteThisAccount says:

    I was just b!tchin’ about something like this with starbucks and their iced soy chai the other day… One sip and its gone, but that is a 4 dollar drink. You can ask for light ice at least.

  30. jefflewis says:

    Just don’t go to McDonald’s.

  31. Jabberkaty says:

    @timmus: Ew. Now I hate ice even more.

  32. APFPilot says:

    @xwildebeestx: Ice and Mustard also cost money.

  33. spenc938 says:

    @DirectAnon: How was he racist? Because he didn’t like them speaking about him in spanish? That is not racist at all. They were the ones that were rude.

  34. SabyneWired says:

    @DirectAnon: I really don’t think it’s such a huge issue to want to be able to understand what people are saying when the business pertains to you. If the two employees were just sitting on their break chattering in Spanish to one another, I doubt the OP would have batted an eye, but since they were discussing something pertaining to him (his getting charged the correct amount for his tea), then I can understand being annoyed at his inability to understand.

    And I think charging extra for drinks without ice is silly. Some of us genuinely don’t like ice in sodas or teas. When I used to work food service years ago, if a guest asked for a drink with no ice or “light” ice, I was happy to give it to them, no questions asked.

  35. Gorphlog says:


    Why not just make the cup smaller then instead of watering down the flavor when the ice melts. Also a lot of people have teeth that are sensitive to very cold stuff and may not want a FULL cup of ice. I think if they are being cheap they should just serve it in a smaller cup

  36. shufflemoomin says:

    I can kinda see McDonald’s point on this. No ice means more liquid, which means higher cost. People are making baseless assumptions on what profit McDonald’s are making on this. If it’s a franchise, then they’re buying this stuff at who knows what price and have to turn a profit. It’s unfair to assume we all know what the profit margins are on this. It does come across as unfair, but I can see the point. You’re getting more of the product, inadvertently I give you that, but it’s still more and why shouldn’t it cost more? If he wanted no mustard on a burger, that’s fine, but expecting more meat to make up the weight loss for free wouldn’t be fair, would it?

  37. mike says:

    This is just sad. Soda is where most restaurants make their money. Hell, the cup usually costs more than the syrup and carbonated water!

    I guess since iced tea is brewed and not from syrup, it costs more.

  38. BeeBoo says:

    I can get 100 tea bags for 99 cents and make 8 1/2 gallons of good strong iced tea out of it. The energy required to freeze ice and keep it frozen vs. boiling water to make tea concentrate is most likely more than the cost of the tea.

    The McDonalds would probably come out ahead financially if customers took more tea rather than more ice.

  39. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    I know Greg is pissed at being told there is an extra cost for a custom order… but come on 69 cents?… is this worth the fight? Is it worth the frustration? Is it worth your time, money, blood pressure?

    Anyway, pick your battles carefully. Now when you get the suite certified as class action… let me know.

  40. thelushie says:

    @coren: Most people will do that just to be a jerk. Not because they really want one piece of ice. Because of the amount of jerkiness, everyone would have to pay the price…no one piece of ice even if you are sincere. No, you don’t have a right to hold up the line to be a jerk.

    I hate warm tea. Either hot or cold. If it is to be cold, the entire cup of ice is usually needed. That stuff never cools off.

    But if you don’t like what this place is doing, brew your own and carry it with you. Get your McD to go.

  41. mariospants says:

    This is probably not official McDonald’s policy; let’s keep in mind that freezing water into ice, storing it and dispensing it probably costs more than a straight, full cup of drink without ice.

    A&W refuses to sell drinks with ice due to the fact that it “dilutes the flavor”. I’ll go with that.

  42. tape says:

    @shufflemoomin: you know what’s unfair? FILLING a cup with ice and then pouring a beverage in it. this results in a 32 oz. cup that actually only has 12-14 ounces of beverage in it. that’s what anyone I know would call “a racket”.

    I just ask for a sweet tea with half ice, and they give it to me, and everyone’s happy. maybe I’m lucky in that every location around me isn’t run by beverage racketeers.

    besides, having that much ice makes the tea too damn cold, it hurts my teeth.

  43. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    Wow, I’ve been in multiple states, and I’ve never been inside a McDonald’s where you couldn’t get free refills. Even the tea. I’m sure there are more, but outside of New York City, I’ve never been to a city where bottomless beverages weren’t the norm-I mean there are always a few anomalies, like the Japanese place I like that has cans instead of a soda fountain (which pisses me off).

  44. mrbill says:

    The sweet tea at my local McDonalds definitely comes out of a pitcher/jug, because it’s room temperature and only gets cold after I slush it around with the ice a bit.

  45. Raere says:

    @spenc938: How is it rude to speak in Spanish? Chances are it was their native language, and they were holding a private conversation. Maybe if they were speaking Spanish while pointing and laughing at him, then he might be offended.

  46. InThrees says:

    @Murph1908:      The profit margin on drinks is outlandish anyway, and since most people don’t request no or less ice (In my area at least, I’ve never noticed anyone ask for it, but I do) I would say beverages are still a healthy profit line.

    I think the issue here is TEA. They have to brew the tea, and people asking for no or low ice means more brewing more often, with possible periods where they are completely out.

    Regardless, an establishment pulling this on me would just result in the loss of my patronage. I don’t like paying 90% or better profit margins on principle, but beyond that, I don’t like a lot of ice in my drinks, because they quickly turn into somewhat-drink-flavored-water.

  47. Aristeia says:

    @spenc938: how is it rude for coworkers to speak in a language they both understand thoroughly?

    Is it rude for them to try and communicate rapidly?


    Racist or not, I think it’s rude to demand that people all speak English, esp. when they’re not even talking to you. Oh how dare they not speak American, a hyuk.

    As for this post…

    I don’t think it’s ridiculous for McDonald’s to charge more for a no-ice cup of tea. I mean… yeah, sure, it’s cheap enough that it doesn’t matter either way, but hey, it’s their bloody choice.

    Is it so ridiculous that they charge you more if you ask for more? When you ask for extra meat on a sammich, you pay extra. Is this really so insidious?

  48. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    I hope “full cup” just has to do with to do with the language barrier and is not literal. When someone wants ice, it is reasonable to fill it a little more than halfway, maybe two-thirds of the way full. But up to the brim with ice, and that’s starting to encroach on my soda

  49. BrianDaBrain says:

    @Murph1908: First off, charging anybody $1 for a cup of ice with only a hint of drink is ridiculous. When you buy a beverage at a fast food restaurant, you are paying for the cup, not the beverage. the beverage itself costs McDonalds a couple of pennies per fill. The average cost of a beverage at a fast food restaurant (brewed or otherwise) with ice versus without is fractions of a penny per drink served. Charging an extra $0.69 is outrageous.

    And would you mind sending me a list of any restaurants you run so I can make sure to avoid them? Kicking somebody out for asking for a cube of ice is about as awesome as charging $0.69 extra for an ice-less drink.

  50. @Murph1908: Can you give me a list of restaurants you run, with addresses, so I can avoid them and warn all my friends?

  51. balthisar says:

    Sweet tea without ice is just disgusting. In fact, sweet tea just isn’t my cup of tea. Wait; this does have to do with McDonald’s. Twice I’ve gone through different McD’s drive throughs and ordered regular, non-sweet, plain iced tea, and on both occasions have been given that disgusting sweet crap. This isn’t the American south, and it’s not Ontario. The damned default should be normal tea, and doubly so when I specifically ask that it not be that syrupy, sickly, oversweet crap.

  52. Jevia says:

    This kind of thing wouldn’t be a problem if the restaurants didn’t fill the cup up to the brim with ice, then add the drink (which ends up being only about 1/4 of the cup). If they give you decent value for the money, they’d only fill the cup 1/2 or so with ice, so you’d get at at little more than 1/2 cup of drink. You wouldn’t have as many people (yes, there would always be some) trying to ‘scam’ the restaurants with the whole ‘no ice’ bit. I don’t mind getting a drink with ice, I just don’t want the whole damn cup to be ‘just ice’ with only a splash of drink.

  53. TWinter says:

    @cigsm: For instance, if you have a 6 Piece nugget meal with medium fries & soda, the total is $4.95. The soda part of the price is $1.50. Logic would dictate that the nuggets & fries are then $3.45.

    Ummmm. I hate to defend McDonalds, but I don’t see how you’re coming up with this math.

    It looks like you’re just subtracting the price of a single soda from the cost of the meal to figure out the cost of the food. But you can’t do it that way. The price of the meal is lower than the cost of all of the individual components added up, the meal cost usually runs around $1 less than the sum of the parts. Some of that discount would have to be assigned to the soda, so the cost of the meal soda is something less than the $1.50 cost of a soda outside a meal.

  54. huginn says:

    This nails it pretty well. You get WAY too much ice!

  55. vivelafat says:

    OK, so how much space are we thinking the ice takes up? Half the cup. So when you buy an ice tea at McDonalds, or any other drink for that matter, you are really paying full price for only half a glass of liquid? Let’s say a large soda is $1.50, I’m supposed to be paying $.75 of that for soda and $.75 of it for ice? Bullshit. If I buy a large soda I am expecting to get a FULL GLASS of soda for my $1.50. They are just lucky that I like ice.
    @Raere: Because they are running a business in a country where the primary language is English. If they were just hanging out in the supermarket it wouldn’t be a problem, but if they want to discuss business, it should be done in the back regardless of the language.

  56. chemmy says:

    I thought it was just me.. I’ve been seeing this in a few NYC area McDonalds as of late and assumed that maybe they were from the same franchise?

  57. dequeued says:

    Christ a full cup of ice??

    What are you paying for? Five tablespoons of fluid?

  58. Wireless Joe says:

    Our local McDonald’s won’t substitute sweet tea for a soda in their value meals, even though they’re both available separately for the exact same price of $1.

  59. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @DirectAnon: No, it’s not racist. He had just complained, they were speaking presumably about him and his complaint. So they were speaking in front of him and about him in another language he couldn’t understand. That’s apt to make him confused, and perhaps defensive, thinking they’re trying to hide something. Mindless chatter is a different story, but there’s nothing wrong with expecting English,especially in the service industry, in this country. And to defuse any self-righteous comment about me being a bigot, know that I am Cuban. Not that it matters, I’d have every right to make that comment anyway

  60. donopolis says:


    Wow, the racist card played on this, please explain in what way this could be perceived as racist…I did see complaint about another language being spoken, but nothing about race.

    Also, does the menu say “sweet tea”, “iced tea”, or “sweet iced tea”

    if I order a sweet tea, then the ice level should be based on my preference, not their profit margin. If they are that concerned alter the cup sizes (shrink ray).

    This is obviously a franchise thing and not a all McDonald’s thing. I doubt if it will be considered cool by corporate.


  61. BloggyMcBlogBlog says:

    Tea prices are actually reaching an all time high:

  62. CaptRavis says:

    I think the electrical cost for the ice machine all day would cost more than the sugar used in the sweet tea for the same period. I would expect McD’s to hang on to every last cube that it could.

  63. twotondawg says:

    Bad food. Bad service. Bad policies. I’m lovin’ it.
    And technically couldnt an argument be that your ordering a “SWEET TEA” and not an “ICED TEA”? Sweet Tea implying that ice is not included.

  64. Mr. Guy says:

    try asking a bartender for a mixed drink and say “make it strong”. The bartender will not like you very much. Actually, try this- ask for a vodka tonic, but say “hold the tonic, AND the ice. Actually, if you could just fill the glass with vodka, then pour it into a shaker and shake it over the ice, then strain it back into the glass with a twist of lemon, that’s how i really like my vodka tonic.” See what happened there? sounds like the person ordered one thing, but they actually ordered another.

    Same thing here. When you order a standard sweet tea, you’re ordering half a cup of ice, and half a cup of sweet tea. when you order a full cup of tea with no ice, you’re not ordering the sweet tea that’s on the menu. you’re ordering something else. totally fair for mcdonalds to charge you to reflect the fact that you’re asking for twice as much tea as comes in a regular order.

  65. wgrune says:


    Nicely put. I don’t wander around demanding people speak English but when dealing with a complaint I would think it would be helpful for everyone if they were all speaking the same language.

  66. steveliv says:

    the mcdonald’s around here advertise a large sweet tea for $1.00 (A large soda is $1.49) however when you ask for the $1 tea, they just give you an empty large cup and expect you to take care of yourself.

  67. Cyco says:

    I recommend not waiting for a response from the email. I’ve had issues with a couple of Micky D’s in the past and I called their support # and had results really fast, including a free gift card. I would get the store # or location and call them. You will get some type of result alot faster.

  68. HogwartsAlum says:

    When the cup is full of ice, you get less of the beverage, as several people have pointed out. Also, it IS too cold for a lot of people. And chewing ice is terrible for your teeth, btw (even though it’s fun).

    If I feel like I have to go to McD’s, I get it to go, and don’t get a drink. I hate melty, watery soda. I live close enough to a McDonald’s that I can just go home and drink milk, which is better for me anyway. Or make my own tea. The exception is breakfast; I usually get orange juice with that.

  69. Mr. Guy says:

    also, look on the bright side, when you get ice you get the same volume of liquid but less sugar and calories. yeah, it tastes a little watered down, but when you’re downing 1000+ calories and dozens of grams of fat in a mcdonalds meal, it’s not the worst idea to save a few where you can.

  70. HonestNigerian says:

    I’m so sick of this ice issue. I NEVER want ice in anything because I get cold the minute I drink anything with ice in it. I hate people thinking I’m just trying to get a little more by asking for no ice. they are ones who are deceptive. Nobody ever said I was buying ice with splash of whatever… geeez… I don’t want ice is I don’t want ice.

  71. EBone says:

    Scam involving sweet tea? Is Chris Hansen investigating?

  72. ct_price says:

    Just to let everyone know…Chick-Fil-A has the world’s best quick service restaurant lemonade and they have no problem serving it to you without ice. I’ve ordered it from the franchise owner at my local in Atlanta and never a word against it. Not so much as a grimace even. And I can guarantee you that lemonade costs more than sweet tea. They know how to run a business.

  73. techman01 says:

    All the Mcdonald’s on Long Island, NY give free refills and don’t care how much ice is in your sweet tea.

  74. HonestNigerian says:

    I think they just need to tell us how many ounces we are paying for. don’t tell me you are selling me a 20 ounce drink but only if I have ice in it. then it’s really not 20 ounces is it? Let people know it’s only 10 ounces and the remaining 10 ounces is ice. that way when I order sans ice I still get my 10 ounces.

  75. drjayphd says:

    @EBone: (takes a seat right over there)

  76. 1) you eat at McDonalds. Enough said.

    2) ice-making machines in fast-food fry pits, most actual restaurants, and the companies that supply bagged ice to stores are rarely cleaned and are often contaminated with bacteria and algae. Yum. I briefly worked at an ice supplier in SoCal; half their customers had busted ice machines and the rest had been cited by the health dept for dirty ones. Ugh.

  77. madanthony says:

    The $1 sweet tea is a promotional price. I don’t see it as being dramatically different than, say, the Mexican restaurant near me that has combination plates and doesn’t allow substitutions. Since it’s one size (I guess medium?) that’s a buck, they don’t want people ordering a $1 tea with no ice to get the amount of tea that’s in a large for less than the nomral price of a medium.

    As far as discussion of “hey, it only costs them 3 cents for soda”, that doesn’t take into account all the other costs – labor, building, insurance, ect.

    Although they probably should make the signs more prominent…

  78. Mercurywaxing says:

    Ok, I can see how some people say that they have the right to charge you more for no ice. If that’s the case, then they should charge me a penny less when I ask for no mustard, and cut off a nickel for no onions.

  79. roshambo says:

    First off, Have it your way is Burger King’s slogan not McDonalds.

    Second, I’m not sure where this McDonalds is, but around me, most of the McD’s have the Sweet Tea out at the beverage centers for you to get free refills. You can also put as much or as little ice in your drink as you please. The odd time I have gotten one through a drive through it has been 1/3 to 1/2 full of ice. My guess this is definately limited to certain locations and is not the standard McD’s way. At the same token, for the places that don’t have it out and don’t offer refills, I understand. It is a special promotional menu item that is already being offered at a discount. $1 for a large drink is a decent price.

    As many others have said though, it seems people need to pick their battles. If everyone keeps complaining about every small annoyance like its the end of the world, it’s no wonder companys are taking things seriously.

  80. chris101d says:

    “Have it your way” is burgerking lingo! Watch you’re marketing slurrs!

    and there is, in the new foam cups, a fill line..that you can see visibly inside the cup that says ice. This is because the sweet tea DOES need ice to a degree otherwise its warm, as it is not refrigerated like the fountain drinks.

    If they were putting it up to the relatively low fill line, then fine. But this restaurant seems like its full of scroungers.

  81. TorrentFreak says:

    Memo to all the people saying no ice means more product and therefore more cost.

    Using the same logic than no mustard on my burger is less product and should then therefore be less pricey.


    In reality it doesn’t work that way because they want to make the most money and give you as little as possible without a huge PR stink.

  82. vivelafat says:

    @Mr. Guy: THANK GOODNESS McDonalds and diet police are watching out for us. I mean, it may taste worse, but at least I won’t get FAT right? Give me a fucking break. When I buy a soda @ a fastfood joint, on the menu it says LARGE DRINK. It does not say LARGE DRINK WITH ICE. If I am only paying for the large drink half full, then they need to fucking say so.

  83. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Bad franchisee! No bone!

  84. vivelafat says:

    @Mercurywaxing: Word. And they should discount me when I ask for extra ice.

  85. FYI, it costs Mickey D’s about 10-20 cents to dispense a fountain drink, including the cup, lid, straw and ice. So them bitching about a loss of profits is pretty much bullshit.

  86. RhodyDave says:

    Why even go to McDonalds in the first place? They are dirty, and the food is gross. There must be better choices.

  87. vivelafat says:

    @roshambo: What is it that Frederick Douglass said? Oh yeah, “Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” You can submit if you want, I won’t. Pick you battles my ass.

  88. tourpro says:

    Whenever I go to these types of places – fast food, big box, chain restaurants, I try to never deviate from SOP.

    The employees usually are not the most motivated or independent thinking types and any deviation from their strict automaton training increases the likelihood of the dreaded order screw-up.

    I think the McDonald’s sweet-spot in terms of price/value is the Med QP Meal.

    What the heck is Sweet Tea anyway?

  89. coan_net says:


    If places are going to start to charge more for no ice – then they need to start giving refunds if I don’t want pickles – or lettuce – or ketchup on my burger.

  90. thelushie says:

    @roshambo: Same with the McDs around me. It is self-serve. There is one in the area that is not that way but it is a very old one. In fact, that is how all the new ones were. So a new store without a self-serve bev center is certainly unusual.

  91. taylorb says:

    Ice machines in fast food restaurants have been shown to have more contaminants than their respective bathrooms. I wouldn’t take the ice if it was forced on me.

  92. Matt_C says:

    Several months ago, an analyst from CNBC reported McDonald’s could sell nothing but sweet tea for 2008 and still be profitable.

    Kinda crazy how much profit margin this simplistic item commands. Even more reason to avoid the “99 cent heart attack”.

  93. MrEvil says:

    Y’know, if I could get a good look at the power consumption figures on the ice machine. I reckon the ice costs more to make than the beverage inside the cup. HOWEVER. With fountain drinks, often the machine has it’s own refrigeration unit for the lines going to the dispenser. Not only is it a freaking expensive piece of equipment (2 spout soda fountain with one runs ~$3000) it uses electricity as well, might not be as much as an ice machine, but it would be pretty close.

    Now, for my Kegerator project, I’m just going to buy the $600 2 spout fountain with a cold plate and have the fridge chill the soda in the lines.

  94. Skeptic says:

    Well this is stupid. Ice costs money. You have to use electricity to make it. I suspect that restaurants aren’t factoring that cost into their calculations.

  95. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @ct_price: Chick-fil-A is amazing. That lemonade is crazy delicious, and the chicken is simply delectable. Esp the sangwich with the pickle (don’t like pickles due to texture but they give it a good taste). And the waffle fries omg! And the cole slaw. Salads aren’t bad either. And they tend to be clean, although maybe it’s just my area

  96. kaptainkk says:

    @TourPro: That is so true. Never have them deviate from their SOP because you will get screwed. I never make any effort to change things the rare times that I do have fast food. I order it just like it’s on the menu and never make any substitutions and/or additions. Sort of like going thru the “Soup Nazi” line!

  97. @cigsm: How is this legal?

    Well, you see, McDonald’s is a peculiar type of institution, known in some circles as a negocio that operates in a esoteric economic system called a mercado libre. In the mercado libre system, a negocio is commonly able to set their precios as they see fit.

  98. Phexerian says:

    @TourPro: Sweet tea is tea with sugar in it. We drink it like the fountain of youth down here in the south east of the US. If you came down here and asked for “tea” at a restaurant, one would get sweet tea.

    This is ludicrous. The overall cost of a 12 ounce cup of pure tea is 4 cents. The cup costs maybe 4-5 cents. Maybe 2 cents per cup for electricity and water costs. So the total is 11 cents for that cup of tea. Take some of the tea out and add in ice, and the cost is about the same or probably less, but I would assume it is probably the same since most places have left over tea at night and they throw it out. Guess what? The ice costs money too. I don’t know the price of a cup of ice. One could assume it may cost more, since you need constant electricity to keep the ice frozen where as a tea machine is only run every so often.

    Pissing off the customers for such a small increase in pennies is not a good idea. Bad for business and overall will cost Micky D’s some money.

    -3rd Year PharmD / MBA Candidate

  99. mrgenius says:

    Does it say what size the cup has to be? Perhaps a good compromise would be to utilize the different size cups. You can get a 16 oz cup with ice or an 8 oz cup with no ice for $1. It would avoid the appearance of a surcharge (even though you are getting more product, so I wouldn’t really consider it one).

    I feel a bit conflicted about this post. I am inclined to take the side of the McDonalds (though I find it an abhorrent company and would never step foot in one). The difference between this franchise and say, Comcast is the fact that while the McD’s may have a policy you don’t like, the other has policies that they routinely BREAK.

    If I were to disgree with a companies policies, I would choose not to make a purchase there, just as I choose to have Directv over Comcast. Such is the nature of consumerism. You know, the whole supply and demand thing. McDonalds is not a utility and no one is required to eat there (thankfully).

    As long as they spelled out their policy clearly, and I’d say they did, and they are not doing anything illegal like not serving you because you are a minority, I think they are acting within the implied merchant-consumer contract.

    Again, it’s a dumb policy, and you SHOULD bring it to the manager’s attention that you think so. But I can’t say that it rises to the level of outrageous. Even the marketing says that participation may vary. Just vote with your wallet!

  100. TorrentFreak says:


    I think it has more to do with the principle of the matter. Mickey D’s is trying to nickel and dime us (just like every other company out there today) and people are just plain getting pissed off about it.

  101. morganlh85 says:

    I wrote in about this happening to me a while back also. I had figured out that the employees were filling the cups with a ridiculous amount of ice and like 1 ounce of tea, so I began asking for light ice, with no problems.

    Then I visited a different location and they wanted to charge me $1.59. I gave the manager a piece of my mind and emailed McD’s corporate, who of course just responded that “franchises can do whatever the hell they want, we don’t care.”

    Now I just only go to stores where the tea is in the front of the store rather than behind the counter, and fill mine up with as much tea as I want.

  102. morganlh85 says:

    @incognit000: Exactly…all of should do NOTHING, buy NOTHING, shop NOWHERE, and we wouldn’t have ANY consumer problems to report on this website! PERFECT SOLUTION!!!

  103. Parapraxis says:

    go to Chick-Fil-a.

    Better service, and the tea is leagues better.

    Plus, the employees there seem genuinely happier.

    I’ve never been turned down for a no-ice request there.

  104. mrgenius says:


    Principles do matter, I agree. In fact, I would have no problem if the OP decided never to eat at McDonald’s ever again. If I felt I was being nickel and dimed somewhere, please believe I’d find another alternative if one existed. In this case, there are several alternatives, the most logical of which would be to stop patronizing that company.

    This is more directed at the class than you in particular, but it blows my mind that there are people that say “well, McDonalds did this to me, so now I only go to the other stores…” As if this money doesn’t get back to McDonalds Corporation! Granted, not patronizing THAT franchise may make THAT franchise go out of business faster, but to me it still begs the question: why ultimately support a corporation that allows for the nickel and diming to go on?

    To me the OP is just as complicit in the nickel and diming as McD’s if he or she keeps spending his or her money there.

  105. DeadSerious says:

    @Mr. Guy: I would agree with you if your analogy wasn’t significantly flawed. If I order a “vodka tonic,” I would expect a glass filled with vodka and tonic. If I ordered a vodka “straight up,” I would expect no tonic. If I ordered it “on the rocks” then I would expect ice. At McDonalds, they don’t advertise selling “coke and ice” (at least not at the ones near me), they advertise Coke. I would argue that the ice is in the same category as condiments–things that are added to improve the taste. If you like your burger salty, or with mustard, or without mayo, you can get it that way. Most people like their drinks cold, so the ice is provided, unless you specifically request otherwise. Yes, ice does take up space otherwise occupied by soda, but I’ve always seen it as a trade off–less soda for the pleasure of a cold drink (which I happen to like).

    And for the person who claimed 69 cents wasn’t worth getting upset over? My response whenever someone makes a statement like that is to ask them to try this: Next time you go to a restaurant, store, etc. try paying all of your bill EXCEPT for 69 cents and see how the restaurant takes it. Don’t forget to remind them that 69 cents is not worth getting upset over.

  106. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @balthisar: Sweet tea is normal tea.
    You can ask for and get that brown water (‘unsweet’ tea) at EVERY restaurant that has sweet tea.
    Maybe I like having more choices than you want me to.

  107. evslin says:

    Curse you all and your Chick-Fil-A. Nearest one where I live is like 80 miles away.

  108. This is so funny. The other day I had ordered an ICE Tea, drank it while I went to work. Finished it surprisingly fast. I looked inside the cup, full of ICE. Damn…. I live in FL, so I left the cup in my car to measure the how much water would remain. Inside the cup is an “ice marker” which the water was way above. In all I may have gotten 6OZ of tea. Havent tried the no ICE thing Ill give it a try to see the reaction.

  109. lalaland13 says:

    I don’t drink soda anymore, but I do have the occasional sweet tea. What I hate is when I get the tea and it tastes like feet. Fresh? Not so much.

    And yeah, I do think this is pretty ridiculous. Sometimes you sacrifice a few cents because you figure bad PR will cost you more.

  110. girly says:

    Why not just measure what amount they’re willing to give you without ice and have that be the regular serving so you’re covered whether or not you order w/ice?

    I have mostly ordered drinks without ice ever since I can remember because I think drinks usually are cold enough without the ice.

  111. yagisencho says:

    This particular franchise owner is clearly CHEAP with a capital C-H-E-A-P. I recommend eating elsewhere. (Which I’d recommend anyway, seeing as this is McDonald’s we’re talking about.)

  112. GoPadge says:

    @balthisar: Hey where I come from (eh, so it’s the American South) normal tea is sweat and iced.

  113. sean77 says:

    Th cshr clld vr hr mngr nd thy spk n spnsh, nt nglsh lk ws spkng.

    thnk fnd th prblm. Y’r dck.

  114. halo969 says:

    Man, McDonald’s is really getting stingy. It’s bad enough they don’t give you salt, ketchup or napkins when you go through the drive-thru unless you specifically ask for them, and now this? Just raise the price of the food a bit and stop nickle and dime-ing everyone to death! I will gladly pay $2 for a burger vs $1. Yeesh!

  115. forgottenpassword says:

    I am gonna sound like a real psycho with this comment, but I HATE being treated like I am some cheapass because I want a beverage with no ice. I dont generally drink anything while driving in my car. I usually wait til I arrive at my destination & THEN put ice in my drink. Ice melts & dilutes the taste while I drive to my destination THAT is why I dont want ice in my drinks bought at the drive-thru.

  116. DirectAnon says:

    Myb f y wrn’t rcst jrk y cld’v hd th t wtht c fr 1 bck wtht ny trbl.

  117. swagv says:

    Face it: American consumers are pigs. We’re fat, overweight, we have no manners, we’re snobby and demanding, and a great deal of us just try to find angles to scam as much as we can off a good thing.

    No wonder why places are now trying to patch holes in their policies. Abuses are rampant.

  118. incognit000 says:

    thnk fgrd t th sltn t ths prblm!

    ll w hv t d s NT t t McDnlds! t’s s bvs, cn’t blv ddn’t thnk f t bfr!

  119. forgottenpassword says:

    Oh and I gave up long ago ordering tea anywhere. I found that it was either WAY too strong or WAY too weak. My ideal tea is the “lipton pureleaf sweet tea” (technically “Black tea… sweetened” ) in bottles. I LOVE that stuff! Addicted I am!

  120. pine22 says:

    i would suggest going to another mcdonalds, there are i think six mcdonalds within 5-10 miles of my home. im sure its just this one mcdonalds that is being stingy.

    i usually dont care, but occasionally i ask them to go light on the ice cause im feeling extra thristy. i find is quite comical that someone brought up frederick douglas when talking about not getting 5-6 oz of sweet tea.

    cry me a river, consumer activism isnt about bitching over 70 cents and a few ounces of tea, go to another mcdonalds, its not like there arent thousands of them…

  121. I am the low life sonofabytch that orders a beverage with no ice and a seperate cup of ice.

    I am cheap, and my seperate cup of ice allows me to receive more of the beverage than other customers.

    Sure it only “costs” the establishment a few pennies, but those pennies were coming directly out of the owner’s wallet.

    Finally fastfood establishments have caught on to my ice scam and charge for the cup of ice. My solution? Bring a thermos filled with ice cups and my own plastic cups. I am still getting more beverage than others so the fastfood establishment needs to be more proactive in their pricing programs.

    Oh well.

  122. AI says:

    Was this on-site brewed sweet tea or was this something like Lipton Brisk from a fountain? If it’s from a fountain, it should be no different from any other pop, as the syrup all costs roughly the same. I’m not familiar with American sweet tea though. Where I’m from in Canada, it’s only called iced tea and is always sweet (except at a couple of fancy restaurants), and comes in two main forms. There is crappy fountain iced tea, like Lipton Brisk or Nestea Cool that is overly sweet and processed, and then there is glass bottle type iced tea (which Lipton and Nestea also make) that is less sweet and tastes like actual brewed tea that is cooled and has some sugar added.

  123. vivelafat says:

    @pine22: First, learn to use the reply button, I brought up Fredrick Douglass so you should be polite enough to reference me when you are speaking about it.
    Second, I didn’t know you were the person in charge of what consumer activism is about. Thank goodness we found you. I haven’t gotten my consumer activism newsletter in some time, can you get on that please?
    @swagv: This is a joke right? Right?

  124. Android8675 says:

    Who gets tea without ice? Commie!

  125. evslin says:

    @forgottenpassword: My ideal tea is the “lipton pureleaf sweet tea” (technically “Black tea… sweetened” ) in bottles.

    That diet Lipton green tea with citrus flavoring has been like crack for me recently. It’s just too damn tasty.

  126. sophistiKate says:

    Can I just chime in with @evslin, here? More and more I see references to Chick-Fil-A in the Consumerist comments that make it sound like some sort of Nirvana, but I doubt I’ll ever get to try one of these heavens-on-Earth. And I so love chicken fingers. You’re all tormenting me! :(

  127. DoctorMD says:


    Only if. You mean hydrolyzed corn water

  128. SuffolkHouse says:

    Two things:

    1) Anyone who gets a refill of the bucket-o-tea probably needs to see a hematologist. That shit is so rich with sugar, you are bound to get diabetes from it.

    2) I have to believe that this is a franchise, privately owned store. Often, stores get to decide for themselves if they will honor nationally advertised offers (e.g., Only at participating stores). This sugar drenched fatty is not entitled to his refills. Nor is s/he entitled to ice-free.

  129. CaptRavis says:

    Overseas you get looked at funny if you want ice in your drink.

  130. starbreiz says:

    I get a lot of salads at McDonalds… i was noticing the drive-through puts a ton of ice in the Sweet Teas, so I started going in and placing my order at the counter. I did notice that they don’t put the Sweet Tea with the soda fountain… you have to ask for it, so they determine the amount of ice.

  131. ltx says:

    New commenter here.

    I work at McDonald’s up in Vancouver, Canada and have for the past three years, so I know a bit about this business and can explain some stuff for everyone.

    First, the reason they’re freaking out about the “full cup” thing is because less ice = more tea. It’s not about being charged for not consuming ice, it’s about getting more tea in the cup. Sounds like either this particular restaurant location is a franchise and does whatever it wants, or if corporate-owned, the managers don’t care. It really depends where you go. I’ve been to some bad McDonald’s, and I’ve been to some good ones. Mine happens to be one where the managers actually care about the customers (as well as the employees).

    In response to cigsm, the reason that you get charged more for the drink like that is because (I’ll use specific examples from my restaurant, prices there are probably different) something like a Big Mac meal is listed on the menu for $5.59. Breaking that down, the Big Mac (in a meal, the price is reduced to give a better deal) is $2.21, the fries are $1.69, and the drink is $1.69. $5.59 is the minimum we are going to charge for the meal. If you want a drink that’s less than $1.69, we’re still going to charge you $1.69 for it because that’s how it is listed on the menu.

    My McD’s doesn’t charge if you want no ice in your drinks. We’re cool like that.

  132. FromThisSoil says:

    What McDonalds fails to realize is that the ice isn’t free. Water, the machine that makes the ice, and electricity cost money – probably about the same for the extra 5oz of “sweet tea,” which I’m assuming is mostly water and HFCS, anyway.

  133. pine22 says:

    @vivelafat: sorry lol i didnt think you’d be that offended. my point to you was that i think its rather absurd to quote frederick douglas in this particular situation. to equate the works of douglas as an abolitionist, writer, and civil rights pioneer to not getting a couple of ounces of sweet tea is insulting to anything he had accomplished in his life.

    anyways…as i said, go to another mcdonalds, im willing to bet that 99% of mcdonalds would not care if you asked for no ice in your sweet tea.

  134. tracygee says:

    Look, virtually EVERY restaurant in the South manages to serve sweet tea with unlimited refills without any type of problem. I’m talking every chain, every mom and pop restaurant, every fast food joint. Down here, it’s just expected…if you order “tea” it’s coming to you sweet, with ice, and in unlimited quantities. And waitresses fill those glasses all the time.

    If they can do it and manage to keep their doors open, how in the world is a McDonald’s franchise suddenly going to be brought to its knees if the occasional customer asks for their cup of tea with no ice? That’s just crazy.

  135. oldheathen says:

    They did submitter a favor…3 oz. of “sweet tea” would put most human beings in a coma for the rest of the day. It’s the default choice here in the South and you have to be very specific about requesting “plain, unsweetened tea with no sugar, thank you so much” and even then you get some strange looks.

  136. redknight says:

    Do they have sweet tea outside of the south yet? Nothing is worse than having to dissolve 48 sugar packets in cold, bitter tea.

  137. ShadowFalls says:

    I know the company point of view but I don’t see why this McDonald’s needs to create such an issue. You list a beverage on the menu as a price, it is that said price. I like some ice in my drinks, but not anywhere near half cup. I prefer cold, not frigid.

    Some people like their tea more warm than others do. This person wasn’t unreasonable in asking for no ice. The odd part is, every McDonald’s I have been to has been self serve inside. You can just fill it up yourself, this seems to be not the case in this one who has the intention of always overfilling with ice.

    Since the tea is free refills, why do they care? I could just keep coming back… Defeats the purpose.

  138. Dyscord says:

    This seems like it’s more of a local policy than a national one. Every McDonalds here in SW PA has self serve drinks. The sweet tea is the only thing they actually serve you and you can still get that with or without ice.

    The thing is though…the tea is kept in a container that isn’t the coldest in the world, so why WOULD you want a tea without ice? Plus, Sweet Tea comes in a supersize container and at least here, they’re pretty generous about the amount of tea they give you.

  139. Sarcasmo48 says:

    “The cashier called over her manager and they spoke in spanish, not english like I was speaking.”

    My favorite line.

    BTW, I can’t believe that this post (and many others on the site) inspire as much vitriol and argument as they do.

    My two cents: As someone who has worked with many retail foodstuffs management people (not in store, but corporate) I know this much is true: they make an absolute killing off the drinks. Taco Bell makes almost no money off its food. All drinks. That $1.59 large soda costs them about 8 cents total. That’s why they can even offer free refills, because even if you drink 32 ounces of soda and then drink another, they’ve still made more than a dollar pure profit off you! Ice only increases the margin.

    So this sweet tea must cost McDonalds a few pennies more than soda, maybe that’s why they’re sensitive about it. But still, you’re talking about maybe 1-3 cents difference in cost for ice versus no ice, maybe. Besides, no ice means its not cold for longer than 5 minutes.

    I always order my soda (hate sweet tea) with “not too much ice”… just to let them know I know their little trade secret.

  140. fonetek says:

    I don’t understand why you would have to pay extra to freeze your front teeth? I hate ice in my soda, but I would have paid just to “accidently” spill my tea on the counter.

  141. headhot says:

    Ice has a cost too. It takes energy to make it, and then that heat is dumped into the restaurant which then must be cooled by AC.

    Its my conjecture that the ice costs as much as the tea.

  142. Wubbytoes says:

    Man, that is really stupid. Tea is mostly water anyway. Even if McDonalds gave him the tea with no ice they wold still be making a nice profit on it.

  143. frugalgirl says:

    Since I’ve moved to the South I’ve experienced both Chick-fil-A (love it) and sweet tea (hate it). However, no one has ever given me any trouble about asking for no ice in my drinks.

    The OP could have walked out, and I’ve done that in places that wanted to charge me for a cup for water.

  144. Waaaaaa! I’ve been crying all afternoon for this poor guy who couldn’t get his sweet tea warm the way he likes it. What a shame. Were I in the same situation I would have just PAID the extra 69 CENTS to get the non-special.

    It reminds me of the people who came to the restaurant I used to manage who complained that we would not bring them a limitless amount of FREE lemons and FREE sugar to go with their FREE water so they wouldn’t have to pay for lemonade.

    Also, it is extremely rude for employees at any business to speak a foreign language in front of a non-speaker–customer or not–in order to hide from that person what they are saying. They should at least excuse themselves before doing so.

    My next door neighbor, Miguel, who is from Mexico, is very conscious of this. But only because he got busted talking shit about a client not knowing that they understood Español. He’s very careful what he says now in whatever language he’s speaking.

  145. planetdaddy says:

    Some people bitch about most anything. If having to get ice in your tea is your only problem then perhaps you have acheived enlightenment and would like to share with the rest of us.

  146. vpsychward1 says:

    what they should do is fill the cup with ice and tea and then scoop the ice out.

    That is a tea without ice, like a burger without ketchup.

    They could even pre measure this so that they dont waste the ice. Like making it a medium without ice

  147. vivelafat says:

    @pine22: I get your point. I don’t think that Fredrick Douglass is ever inappropriate, nor do I think that something is too small or too trivial to be used with that quote.
    You are willing to submit to that level of injustice, no matter how small it seems, you are willing to submit to it. That’s your choice. But don’t tell me I’m an idiot for not submiting to it. It’s the people that aren’t willing to submit, whether it be against tyranny or bad business practices, that bring about a change, IMHO.

  148. camille_javal says:

    The sweet tea isn’t like the soda – I haven’t been in a McDonald’s in years where you didn’t get your own fountain drinks. The sweet tea is brewed, and I believe uses 1) tea, and 2) sugar. It’s probably a more expensive product to sell.

    And, seriously, sweet tea without ice = simple syrup. Eck.

    (the spanish/english comment is fucked up, honestly)

  149. Dansc29625 says:

    @BeeBoo: I think that its not the price of the cup, or the price of the ice or of the teabags. It is the fact that they have to do something to brew tea. Ice comes out automatically. Those overgrown coffee drip machines that they brew this stuff in are pretty easy to use so I’m missing what is so hard about brewing tea. I wonder if they use sugar or HFCS. I’ll have to eat at McD’s to see if I can taste the difference. I can’t figure out how they can put a slice of lemon on the picture but not serve it with a lemon wedge.

    Just my thing when I go anywhere (restaurant, store etc) and they are sign crazy, that is the first indication that I don’t need to be spending money there.

  150. farker says:

    @HFC: Calm down, Nancy. Nobody’s forcing you to use a straw unless they hold a gun to your head. Using a straw to drink soda or tea is not only more convenient, but better for you as less sugar lingers on your teeth as you drink.

    I prefer going to Sonic over McDonald’s as Sonic has no problem doing half the regular ice amount (“EZ ice”) or no ice if you request it.

  151. forgottenpassword says:


    Hmmm… no wonder whenever a fast food place screws up my order & I catch it…they offer a free drink as form of comphensation.

  152. cockeyed says:

    Glad I don’t eat at McD’s! I always tell Starbucks to go light on ice, and they have absolutely no prob with it. See, there actually is a significant amount of drink that’s lost with the full cup of ice. At McD’s I decided to try their coffee, since I’d heard they were competing with Starbucks. I said light ice (because she literally was filling it with as many ice cubes as she could fit in there) and because I asked, she filled it with sweetener, which I didn’t ask for, because, I guess, my no ice did not make the allotted amount come up to the brim.

    I have a feeling McD’s coffee is bad anyway, but this stuff was undrinkable.

  153. arcticJKL says:

    Will they charge me less in London for the drink if I ask them to ADD more ice?

  154. indymommy says:

    Ok, I can understand both sides of the argument. Ultimately though, McDonald’s will come out ahead if they just give the guest the tea with no ice. It’s hot anyway with no ice.
    Some people will always try to scam for something. Some people have braces & can’t drink ice. Some people like their sweet tea warm.
    But some people will always try to scam for something, but it doesn’t pay in the end to try & fight with them. Especially if they can just make one phone call-they say ANYTHING they want & it’s taken as the truth-then they end up getting free food, drinks, etc…
    On the OTHER hand, I know a lot of places who offer items for a discounted promotional price & say “no substitutions”. That means it comes how it comes. If you do not like how it comes, you may choose another item on the menu. period.
    People will come up with anything “I’m allergic” or “I don’t like this” or I’m a vegetarian” I understand all that, but if you don’t like something, you don’t get to make up yuour own item for the same price. Not saying this is the situation with the ice thing, but where do you draw the line??

  155. Crovie says:

    @cigsm: It’s like this everywhere. Obviously the highest profit margins are on the soda. People always complain that restaurants make a killing selling you soda for those prices but that money has to come from somewhere. If they sold drinks for 25 cents a cup they’d have to add that other 1.50 to another piece of the meal.

    And how is this a story? Asking for a drink that is primarily ice with less ice is basically asking for more drink for the same price. Why else would you not want ice? Ice only melts and dilutes the drink if you have a tiny bit of it, allowing the ice to warm to melting point. If you have a lot it won’t melt at all.

  156. ajlei says:

    @TWinter: I have to say, every time I go and order something, I’ll see “[hamburger] combo” as some price, and then “med coke” at the price on the menu. So, they’re bundling the burger/fries, but the soda has always been rung up for me as a separate item. Which, when totalled, adds up to whatever the “meal” would be. So I can see cigsm’s point.

  157. Jabronimus says:

    I dont know if this is a McDonald’s only thing or what, but the McDonald’s in my area (Ann Arbor, Michigan) have started charging me 15 cents every time I ask them to put extra tarter sauce on my fish sandwiches. Really? An extra wad of tarter sauce is 15 cents?????

  158. balthisar says:

    @doctor_cos: Nope, didn’t want to take away your choice. I’m only pointing out two things:
    1) This is Michigan. Normal iced tea in Michigan does not contain any amount of sugar. The “default” when asking for tea therefore should be iced tea; not syrup water. Again, here in Michigan. It’s not a north vs. south (and Ontario) thing, but rather having an idea of what cultural norms and expectations are.
    2) When I specifically ask for normal, non-sweet tea, and I’m given sweet tea, that’s just flat out, plain wrong. Especially when I go to sip it and expect something refreshing, but instead get a mouthful of hydoscopic sugar solution. That’s not refreshing on a hot day.

    Again, I’m not culture bashing. When I indicate “normal” tea, it means “iced tea,” i.e., tea that hasn’t been sweetened, here, in Michigan (and in most of the country).

  159. Murph1908 says:

    @BrianDaBrain: @AbsoluteIrrelevance:

    The point here is, he was told that no ice is not part of the special. He then tried to be smart and cute and asked for one piece of ice.

    That was a smart-ass move, and I wouldn’t want his business.

  160. kyle4 says:

    The tea only costs them 5 cents to make but they don’t profit off the ice so why not fill up the beverage with a lot of it so there’s less drink. I would try asking on the side but damn do they love their profit.

    Also, congrats to the Consumerist, this site seems to be getting lots of hits that I haven’t been seeing on other Gawker sites. 10,000 and over for the last three topics alone.

  161. generalassembly says:

    “That’s like charging me 50 cents because I don’t want mustard on my burger.”

    Well, that isn’t true at all, but it’s still pretty stupid for this to be going on.

  162. Goutnout says:

    What people should be informed about is the price includes cost of labor, rent, utilities, mcdonalds franchise fees. It may only cost a couple of cents for the actual tea but the tea and the cups had to be stored in a warehouse before it was shipped to that mcdonalds in diesel burning trucks. How about a little more consumer education and a little less sarcasm/discretion consumerist?

    The price point for every product is based on things like how much ice will be in the cup. They may consider a large to be 24oz of tea and they give it to you in a 32oz cup to have room for ice. Just because it is served in a large cup doesn’t necessarily mean the product portion is 32oz. Maybe they should change the price of the drink to reflect a 32oz portion, then you will have a 100 posts claiming “I ordered ice and still got charged full price.”

  163. smonk says:

    Not sure what’s wrong here. It Reads $1 when cup is filled with ice, regular price otherwise. I would think the $1 is less than regular price. It looks like they are offering a deal. What am I missing?

  164. bagumpity says:

    When I was a teen (too long ago to admit), I worked at a fast-food place. I vaguely recall getting yelled at by a manager for not filling a cup to the line (our cups had lines for ice and no-ice fill levels). Apparently, the bureau of weights and measures mandated that a cup with a certain volume MUST be filled with at least a certain number of liquid ounces.

    Of course, quoting an obscure state regulation to a fast food drone will only result in a blank stare and mumbled response about “store policy.” Unfortunately, you can’t argue with stupid. Stupid only knows what it believes or has been told. Stupid can’t follow an argument to its logical conclusion, and even if it could, when the conclusion contradicts its belief, stupid rejects it. Never argue with stupid.

  165. HFC says:

    @sophistiKate: Chic-fil-a is OK, a little overpriced, maybe. The thing that pisses me off about them is that they are closed on Sundays. If I’m going to eat fast food, it’s more than likely going to be lunch on a weekend. The place is closed 50% of the time I’m likely to go there. Screw them!

  166. dogmaratt says:

    I love to go to Whataburger. They never give me a problem when I order a large Diet Dr. Pepper with no ice, and a seperate cup with just ice. For the same price, I’m getting almost two to three times the soda. (Even though I can almost buy two 2-liters for the same price)

  167. ehlaren says:

    I just want to respond to all the people trying to make the point that it may be remotely justifiable, or is talking about how the presence of the ice takes up space so if you order without the ice it is costing a business more.

    First, tea is like 20 cents in bulk most likely.
    Second, I’ve worked at fast food places and drinks without ice give a whooping less then an inch from the top of the glass down of drink. Also, there are employees that will not fill up your glass if you order without ice.
    Third, businesses should be sued for false advertisement since it says X ounce sided sweet tea. Not X ounces of sweet tea including Y ounces of ice.

    Yah, its ridiculous that fast food chains want to rip people off on drinks (especially when I worked and they tried to force you to give someone 75% of a cup because they didn’t order ice). It is ridiculous because out of every item on the menu the most profitable are drinks. $1.50 for a drink that costs them less then a quarter and they are still so stingy.

  168. Cyco says:

    @Parapraxis: While that may be true, I did get a dirty look from a manager when I asked for LESS ice in my large lemonaid. Kinda surprised me cause before that no one ever cared that I wanted an extra three sips from my drink.

    I vowed I would never go back to that Chick-Fil-A and I have kept that promise to that day. Never mind the fact that it was located in an area I never visit and only found it cause I got lost, but it’s the principle that matters.

  169. Johnyq1982 says:

    God not this again. The last time this came up it was because the disclaimer was too small, this time it was posted clearly but wasn’t right under the sign??? You can order any other drink on the menu without ice no problem, and in this case you can get your drink without ice at the normal price, seems fair to me.

    Your soda/iced tea comes with ice its assumed to be part of the product (notice the word iced in its name)and it’s clearly labeled that you can’t get the discount if you ask for no ice, so where exactly is the problem here?

    Instead of paying the extra 70 cents you go home and write E-mails about it. This person isn’t a consumerist, they’re just cheap.

  170. campredeye says:

    @Youthier: “And to be fair Greg, McDonald’s doesn’t promise that you can “have anything your way”.”

    I think he was referring to how he could have gone to Burger King instead.

  171. kickarse says:

    If it ever really was that way. That it was fairly half ice and half tea. But it’s usually not that way. Usually they fill the cup up FULL with ice and then put in tea until it reaches the top.

    SO I guess then you can always ask them NO ICE and fill ONLY TO HALF WAY. That should appease them? No? Or ask for a medium with no ice.

    I do agree that it’s shady to do something like this. People expect to be able to say no ice or w/ ice. And still get 1/2 liter of fluids, whatever fluids they want.

    I mean really, if they didn’t put so much sugar in the sweet tea it’d still be considered sweet just less sweet and less expensive.

    I’m surprised I haven’t heard someone say that he got tea bagged!

  172. anachro882 says:

    Shouldn’t the headline read, “McDonald’s Charges Less for Sweet Tea if You Get it with a Full Cup of Ice”?

  173. mkn1972 says:

    So… I went and did some calling around and managed to get ahold of my local Mickey D’s franchise owner. Cost of the “sweet tea”? Roughly 18 cents a cup. With or without ice.

    Hrmm.. Sounds like bullspit to me.

    As for the talking in Spanish thing–yes, that was rude, and you would have been perfectly within your rights (and not a racist) to have said, “Excuse me, I speak English, and as you are discussing an issue involving me, you need to be speaking it, too.”

    Basically, what you can do is just let Mickey D’s know what happened and don’t patronize this particular one any longer.

  174. surfandsun says:

    I’m not sure what the issue is here? Not to sound like a crank, but it’s a free country. There’s nothing illegal or misleading about this policy, so buy your drink somewhere else if you don’t like it.

  175. Krustey says:

    Blame it on the people that just want to get a something for nothing -same folks who want 10 ketchup packets, 50 napkins(to stock their glovebox) and 3 packs of sweet and sour sauce for their 6 piece nuggets!

  176. ltx says:

    @Crovie: Exactly. I’m a student that works at McDonald’s and we LOSE money on everything except fries and fountain drinks. Pop costs us so little, that’s why we can give free refills. A business has to make money somehow.

  177. Tonguetied says:

    I’m glad that they at least let you know it would be a higher price rather than do what I’ve seen done quite a few times; where they charge the higher price and don’t say a word hoping that you won’t catch it.

  178. LogicalOne says:

    The MacDonald’s(s) in my area seem to go out of their way to make their customers happy. I have no problem “having it my way.” If I want no ice, then I can get it no ice. This is true not only of sweet tea, but of anything on the menu. They’d rather lose a few cents profit on a sweet tea sale than lose a repeat customer. And isn’t THAT what business wants? Repeat customers?

    There are plenty of MacDonald’s around. Stop patronizing this one and find another who’d be happy to sell you sweet tea w/o ice.

  179. ilovetmobile says:

    Unfortunately higher margins are just as good as low volume. No doubt, this is a manager in an underperforming store, trying to tweak numbers and maximize profit. Corporate will probably take care of these “Problem Children” but as long as they’re pushing numbers higher, they’re making more, and probably don’t care.

    I’ve seen a McDonald’s that has a 50 cent menu, which has a McGriddle bun and egg only. There are other concoctions that use only parts of official menu items. I’m sure that if they weren’t doing good numbers, this would be frowned upon.

  180. Atsumi says:

    @beavis88: That actually makes me remember a story my boyfriend told me.

    He used to work at McDonald’s, and when he read the manual or whatever it said all food should be thrown away after 30 minutes of sitting. When he did this, he got yelled at for wasting money.


  181. stinerman says:


    I’ll give you that, but the only reason why he’d say that is to dredge up some anti-furriner sentiment.

  182. stinerman says:


    Same at BK. When I worked there the times for throwing out food were not hard and fast rules. If you threw out anything without a manager’s approval, you got in trouble.

    Hamburgers sitting in the steamer for too long? Throw a new bun on it and serve it.

  183. imxres says:

    There is a line printed on the side of the cup anyway for ice and for the drink itself. Its not supposed to be filled completely with ice, the mark is lower than half way on most cups for ice.

  184. chris300zx2 says:

    As the nephew of the Vice President of a major fast food chain — I can say with certainty that drinks are one of the biggest profit makers in the business. On average a large coke based product cost around 1 cent for the cup AND beverage. Coke offers the ridiculously priced syrups, service, and machinery for next to nothing to chains, so they will only use their product, and perpetuate their brand.

    Granted the tea isn’t a coke product — but I can’t truly imagine that the cost for them is much about 10-15 cents per cup including labor. The “ICE” is just another way to make their advertised “32 oz” product a 12oz product. Sickening.

  185. TheMadCow says:

    I love how the race card is tossed down immediately. As if “white” American is supposed to go run and hide when accused of being racist. Go f*ck yourself. You speak the language that was spoken to you. Anything else is rude, but then, we’re not talking manners here, are we?

    Noticed the “racist” tomatoes rotting at the market lately? There’s a reason why things are the way they are. Doesn’t mean you have to like it or even accept it.

  186. Nerys says:


    You miss the point

    “Complaints like this will more likely cause the end of such promotions for everyone than reverse a decision that was make, likely hesitantly, in the interest of staying profitable.”

    First I am not buying ICE I am buying SWEET TEA. ICE is not part of the tea. Its an addition a luxury an OPTION.

    You say they will end such promotions. Sorry man its my money. MY WAY or NO WAY. Period.

    You see I WILL NOT buy a cup full of ice and 4 sips (yes I counted) of tea.

    SO me NOT buying it or them ENDING the promotion is an irrelevant difference to me.

    I WILL NOT pay $1 for a cup full of ice (and its SMALL ice cubes so they consume EVEN MORE space than normal cubes)

    I can goto Walmart and get a 10lb BAG of ice for less than $2

    If they can not profit from $1 for a cup FULL OF TEA thats there problem not mine.

    Precedents like this should be SHOT DOWN fast hard and nastily to prevent corporate entities from getting any ideas.

    I walked out of a mcdonalds once because they wanted to charge me a “fee” for sitting in. I put all the food back on the counter and demanded a refund the moment I saw the reciept.

    They offered to remove the fee I said no thanks full refund.

    I am sick and F*(*^&ING tired of it becoming status quo to BUILD the cost of business into the price of your products AND THEN ALSO surcharge the cost of business ontop of that with FEE’s

    If your too stupid that you can not figure out what you should be charging and then let the markets work it out then YOU DESERVE to be out of business.


    You used to get Fudge above and below the icecream. Now its only on top off course we ask for extra NOW they charge 15 and now 25 cents for extra. I stopped buying it all together.

    Taco bell started giving less and less lime sauce on the taco so I asked for extra NOW they charge for extra after THEY REDUCED it first to begin with PROMPTING ME to ask for extra. I no longer buy those either.

    I got a 20 piece nuggest and I asked for 3 sauces (just enough barely for 20 nuggets) they wanted to charge me extra for the third. I said either I get 3 or I do not want anything at all. I never got charged for that third sauce again.

    I SET THE TERMS. NOT the business. If the business does not like MY TERMS they are welcome to do business somewhere else or not at all. thats there problem.


    People need to start CHANTING THIS when they wake up in the morning.

    Say it with me folks. My favorite 3 Mantra’s

    #1 Those that would give up liberty for percieved safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    #2 Its MY MONEY so its MY TERMS

    #3 YOU(gov) WORK FOR US.

  187. buhrad says:

    I am a restaurant manager, not for McDonald’s, but a manager none the less. The place that I manage does not hold to a policy like this at all. You can have your drink however you want it. However, I see my product orders every week that include, quantity and price and prices on 90% of my product change from week to week and more often than not it is an increase in price. Now while I can see getting pissed about this policy at this McDonalds location, I have to say that they are trying to maximize profits. You have to factor in everything to fully understand the situation. Labor costs are going up because of high rates of pay, utilities are up, food cost, and service fees, all in direct correlation with fuel and oil costs. Thats the fact of life and so long as those things keep going up, you will see more policies like this put into place AND you will probably see price increases, or prices will be the same but you will be getting LESS product than what you are used to, be it 1 oz less dressing or thinner sliced cheese.

  188. Troublesome_cat says:

    To all the people who have pointed out that asking for no ice means you get more sweet tea for the same price, congrats, you can do basic algebra. But why does that matter. McDonals has advertised a cup of sweet tea for $1. Therefore, they should give you a cup of sweet tea (with a reasonable amount of ice) for $1. If you choose to ask for 3/4’s of your cup to be filled with ice and topped with sweet tea, that’s your choice, you can overpay if you want to.

    We’re not cheating McDonalds out of their profit by being upset that they are using false advertising. If the cup contains more ice than sweet tea, they can’t very well advertise cups of sweet tea for $1, now can they?

    And to the poster who wrote
    “Complaints like this will more likely cause the end of such promotions for everyone than reverse a decision that was make, likely hesitantly, in the interest of staying profitable.”
    I don’t call $1 for a cup of ice a promotion, do you? If you do, come see me, I’ll give you lots of promotions. You’ve fallen into the trap they wanted you to. You see it as a promotion, even though it’s blatantly obvious you’re getting ripped off. So in that case, yes, I hope companies do stop offering ‘promotions’ such as this. Maybe then people will actually get what they ordered.

    And to the people with the ice cubes made out of sweet tea idea, brilliant.

    Or, prove to McDonalds that even ice costs them something. For every drink you order, ask for 5 cups of ice. See how long it will be until there are signs proclaiming drinks are only served with 1 full cup of ice. McDonalds will always find corners to cut. Find your own. Cut away.

  189. @Murph1908:

    Dude… you as a consumer have a choice of whether or not you want ice. The fact is that when you take ice you, the consumer are getting screwed. That 16oz soda cup only has perhaps 8 oz of soda when it’s got ice. The fact is that by offering a 16 oz soda (or iced tea or coffee or whatever) for a stated price you should in fact get 16 oz of soda/coffee/tea.

    A soda cup w/ice is the equivilent of the grocery store shrink ray, except it’s completely hidden. I would say that this is fraudulent advertising. TIf the ad says large iced tea for 1.00 and a large is 16 oz, then you are entitled to 16 ozs. If they try to charge you more because you don’t want ice then the ad is a falsehood.

    It would appear this is a local practice, but if they ever tried to make it their corporate policy, then I think they’d be asking for a call from the AG or the consumer advocate or some such governmental watchdog.

  190. jeffsters says:

    Hey, next time ask for extra ketchup, salt, sugar, etc., etc., then proceed to dump it all into the trash so they can see.

  191. hcharger says:

    I would have asked for a discount and given the manager a fillet of fist for refusing. If he/she still didn’t co-operate I would have kicked the McShit outta the place until everyone McBarfed. If they still refused me I would’ve called them all a bunch of McChickenshits.
    Glad I don’t eat at McDonalds.

  192. meltowne says:

    I know why they do this exactly. I work at a restaurant. I fill cups with ice every day. This is your classic physical science lesson. If you fill a cup with dirt half way, and fill the other half with water the water fills the cup to the top and the looks full. The dirt is taking up mass. The “dirt” in this case is ice. When I fill my cups at work with ice, I fill then 3/4 the way full. Then you add soda. You only get about 1/2 a glass of soda. The less ice the more liquid.

    McDonald’s is not going unaffected by the recession. Items like sugar(the main component other than water in Sweet Tea) have had their price increase as of late.

    They are making you pay more for your drink because you are getting more liquid and less ice. You don’t question buying your morning starbucks for 3.65 or your Monster energy drink for 2.29… But we all cry when McDonald’s charges another 65 cents…

  193. trixare4kids says:

    I order ALL my drinks sans ice — not because I want more of the drink, rather because I’m super sensitive to col; it hurts my teeth, my throat and I’m very prone to brain freeze. I’ve never been charged when I ordered my drink with no ice, though. If food places start charging me more when I specify no ice, I will simply ask them to serve me less drink in the cup.

    But, okay, how many people actually order with no ice? I can’t imagine that number is very high. So the few people who order with no ice get a few more ounces but given that not many people order it that way, I can’t imagine it would cut into profit. Heck, they’d save more if they just stopped giving everyone 8 packets of salt, 10 packets of ketchup and 20 napkins with every meal.

  194. TACP says:

    The McDonald’s I go to was actually out of ice for a week, because their machine was broken. Customers were getting mad because they couldn’t get ice. Of course, it was about 95 outside. Most McDonald’s I’ve ever been to let you get your own ice, and have free refills.

    BTW, I don’t care if they speak Spanish, either. I speak it too, even though I’m a blue-eyed gringo.

  195. danieldelaney says:

    While I understand the need to be profitable, I think it’s important for McDonalds and their employees to recognize the steep competition, and the value of a good customer relationship. In-N-Out or Chic-fil-a are great examples to look at in this case. They go out of their way to accommodate their customers, happy to make changes and custom orders. The result? A satisfied consumer which equals a repeat customer.

  196. sixcolors says:

    Doesn’t it cost more to freeze and cube ice than it does to made a cup of fake syrup tea?

  197. glothin says:

    So, I am still confused. If you wanted that product, why didn’t you buy it at the price they were willing to sell it?

    Did you want tea that wasn’t cold, or did you want more tea than you normally get? They certainly were trying to make whatever you wanted. You should have ordered it without the ice, paid extra and then purchased an extra cup of ice.

    You could really determine whether or not you are getting the better of them with knowledge gained from the above experiment.

    Ice probably costs more to make than Tea, but they do not have inventory data to control it like tea.

  198. crowquill says:

    Several years ago I had a standard 32oz cup from McDonald’s that I drank quickly enough that the ice hadn’t melted much. Later when I went to get it out of my car I realized that it was almost half-full of water. Considering water displacement and the fact that water expands when frozen I felt cheated out of the $1.69 I’d paid for 32oz of Coke. I’ve ordered without ice ever since.

    Sure it costs them a bit more without ice, but does it really happen enough that they have to post signs? I’ve waited in many long lines during lunch rushes and it’s extremely rare that I hear someone else order a drink without ice. Most places have a self-serve bar anyway.

    Is anyone else familiar with the McDonald’s drink robot? The McDonald’s drink robot doesn’t have a problem with no ice. It even compensates and fills the cup up most of the way when the cashier enters a ‘no ice’ order correctly. I think tea has to actually be poured by humans, though.

  199. Fireball74 says:

    You know, I had a similar issue, but it was on refills. There was no sign posted, but when I went to refill my bucket-o-coke (44 ounce I think) the cashier stopped me and said she’d have to charge me full price again for it. I looked at her like she was nuts, then shrugged and poured it out and threw away my cup. I wasn’t going to fight with her, but I will never go back to that particular McD’s again. When they get knit-picky about $.05 worth of coke (or any drink, and tea costs less to make), they have bigger issues.

    I don’t eat at McDonald’s anymore, more for personal health than ideals. It’s not just the trans-fats people should be worried about. It’s the sugars, additives and other junk they add to their food to make it taste good people should be worried about.

  200. malgwyn says:

    There is at least 12 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup per cup, maybe they don’t want you or anyone else to have a diabetic seizure and/or liver failure in their store.

    Nutrition factoid: Fructose unlike other sugars can only be broken down by the liver.

  201. SaravatiBabania says:

    I ordered a burger and I wanted mayonnaise instead of ketchup and was
    charged .$25 cents for the mayo.  Think I’ll be staying away from Micky

    Also, has anybody else noticed that both Burger King and McDonalds are
    cutting back on the amount of syrup mix in their sodas.  I drink Dr.
    Pepper and it tastes nothing like what you get in the bottle.  Both Burger
    King and Mcdonald’s claim that they have an outside company set the mixture
    of soda syrup to carbonated water (probably to their own specs).

  202. Mike Harris says:

    Damn it, Consumerist is disemvoweling comments now? Guys, this is an extremely bad idea.

  203. Chundara says:

    @AngrySicilian: All the Starbucks here in Seattle could care less if someone wants a luke warm iced drink that has no ice. Employees at Starbucks are expected to remake a drink if the customer is not happy with it. That has to cost way more than a little extra milk in a few drinks.

  204. Chundara says:

    Those signs look like they were made in word or notepad on someone’s PC, no way those are official corporate instructions. If they were meant for customers to see and follow then they would have been from the company like all the other signs and such are. This is probably a way this specific store owner thinks he can save a little money. That is lame as hell and reminds me of the way a lot of Subway stores handle cheese. :(

    Why not just have a disclaimer that if you order a drink without ice the cup won’t be completely full? Companies should be honest with their customers. I hope this guy goes out of his way to shop at a different store and gets better service.

    I also agree with a lot of people above me. Ice and ice machines are not free. I hate ice in drinks since I tend to wonder off and forget about it thus letting it melt. Ew, I don’t want a watered down beverage.

  205. Murph1908 says:


    I completely agree with your point about choosing not to do business with any establishment who’s policies you don’t agree with. I do the same thing.

    But consider this. The ice is not a luxury. Sure, it’s an option, but it’s a standard option for the restaurant industry.

    The sign is saying, “tea, with ice, $1.” I have no problem with that.

    By saying “no ice”, you are in essence asking for more tea. It is the equivalent of ordering a drink, but asking for more of it for the same price.

    Ice comes in drinks at restaurants. That’s what the pricing is based on.

    If I order a vodka on the rocks, I get an ounce of vodka in ice, that almost fills my highball glass.

    If I order a vodka neat, I get one ounce of vodka that doesn’t come close to the top of my glass.

    Now, in most cases, restaurants will give you your soda without ice. In these days of free refills and self-serve fountains, they have set their prices accordingly.

    In the case of this tea, you don’t get free refills, and the price is for an amount of tea, in a cup, with ice. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it.

    I too get annoyed going to a fast food place, getting a soda, and seeing if filled to the brim with ice. Now, I go inside to make my own. If I don’t have that option, I go elsewhere.

  206. Anonymous says:

    I was charged extra at the Mickey D’s in Kings Mountain NC because I wanted EXTRA ice!

    I tried to point out they were making more money because I wanted the extra – that ice was cheaper than sugar but they never did get it! :)

  207. Anonymous says:

    I am a Manager at a McDonald’s in Seattle. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!! Here’s why they are able to do this to you.

    There are two types of McDonald’s in the US, corporate owned and owner-operated. While the corporate stores have stringent policies and fixed rates, I’m guessing you encountered a privately owned McDonald’s where anything goes.

    The rule (w/o amendments) is $1 for any size Iced-Tea with refills while you are in the store. The food cost for the tea is not that much, so I’m surprised this was such an issue.

    Here’s the important thing to remember, you can’t be upset with the employee or the manager. The person to be angry at is the Owner of that McDonald’s. They are the ones that create the modified rules and enforce them. Without much surprise, people’s jobs are more important to them than customer satisfaction. It’s the owner you have to go after, and that contact information shouldn’t be hard to obtain with a phony-friendly phone call to the store during the day (while the manager is working).