| Opinion |

Sonic's Monday Madness Proves to Be Nothing But a Bait and Switch

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​The Sonic Beach in Homestead has lost it. And

by "it," I mean its wow factor, its novelty, its quality, and its mind.

Homestead residents were so eager for its

grand opening that hundreds of people showed up (including me) and waited

in line for hours. And you know what? It was worth it.

Unfortunately, like many other things in life,

once Sonic had established a standard, a reputation, a following, it decided

that laurels were comfortable and worth sitting on.

Not content with simply resting on its

laurels, Sonic Beach has decided it's also OK to consistently make

mistakes on orders and, worse, engage in the old bait-and-switch.

I rarely eat or let my kids eat fast food of any kind, but -- really, people -- everything should be done (or not done) in moderation. So after a long day, I decided to treat my kids and mom to Sonic. One of the major factors that motivated my frugal ass is the fact that it was "Monday Madness" at Sonic -- a day when Sonic offers various menu items at the low, low price of 99 cents.

Or so the Germans would have you believe.

The last time I took my kids to Monday Madness was a few months ago. We ordered mozzarella sticks, grilled cheese sandwiches, Wacky Packs (kids' meals), and a bunch of other stuff -- all for 99 cents each.

Well, apparently, the huge neon sign that Sonic has on one of its outside walls is not to be trusted. First, the cashier informs me the Wacky Packs (such an accurate name I would soon find out) are not included in the special. I let it go (like I said, long day). Then she informs me a few other things which I had ordered on a previous Monday at 99 cents each were also not included.

OK, fine. After ordering 13 items and getting a bill for more than 20 bucks, I inform her that I was billed incorrectly. After disappearing for several minutes inside the bowels of Sonic in order to confer with the manager on duty, she comes back and tells me several of the items were billed at regular price and are not on the Monday Madness (another accurate name -- go, marketing team!) menu.

I ask to speak with the manager and encounter one of the rudest, most unprofessional employees in the service industry that I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. Lanton Boyd (not sure of spelling), manager unextraordinaire, listens to me for about 30 seconds and then just walks away -- without saying a word.

He returns several minutes later and informs me that according to the menu, I was billed correctly. Not only I, but my daughter as well, tell Mr. Boyd that the HUGE NEON SIGN on the wall reads that all the ítems in question are 99 cents. Now, and this is priceless, he says, "I know. I read the sign too."

Hello? Am I in Wacky/Madnessville?

OK, then, Mr. Boyd, then why am I being charged regular price? "I called our district manager and he said that these items are not included in the special."

OK, mayor of Wacky/Madnessville, then why are they advertised on the huge neon sign as part of the special?

Of course, there was no resolution, because as everyone knows, you can't reason with the clinically insane. I told him that they were guilty of false advertising, of committing the old bait-and-switch, and to cancel our entire order.

At this point, all of us were sitting down, leaning back in our chairs, our food open, untouched, and unwanted in front of us. But Mr. Loyd literally hurried, not one, not two, but three employees to clear the food away -- on a night when there was maybe one other table being occupied.

He did not once apologize (for Sonic's error) and hastily rustled up several employees to take our food lest we eat it. Now, I'm sorry, and I am a notorious cheapskate, but I also run several businesses, and if I list the wrong price on an item or service, guess what? I have to eat the loss.

Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.

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