Houston man launches crusade against “dishonest” Burger King upselling

Glen Tharp does not want to Supersize that, thank you very much.

Car driving through Burger King drive-thru
Photo: Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald (Getty Images)

It all started when Glen Tharp went to order a delicious combo meal from a Houston Burger King. “The girl automatically said, ‘Medium or large?’” Tharp told local news source Click 2 Houston. “So I said, ‘I only want a number 6.’ And she said, ‘medium or large’ with a higher tone.” Of course, Tharp could have just asked for a small—but, as he told Click 2, by failing to mention the small option, Tharp thinks Burger King is “tricking” customers into upsizing their order.

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“To me, it’s not right to do that to the customer,” Tharp told the news source. “I think it’s dishonest.” As Click 2 reports, the difference between a small combo (small drink and small side) and a medium (medium drink and medium side) is 54 cents. But as Tharp explains, “It’s the principle about it.”

Click 2's consumer advocate reporter launched her own investigation, visiting seven Houston-area Burger King locations to order a number 1 combo meal. The news source reports:

“At five restaurants, the employees did ask us if we wanted small, medium, or large. At two locations, employees didn’t mention the small, asking only “medium or large.” When we replied asking if a small was available, the employee said yes.”

Click 2 then emailed Burger King’s corporate office about Tharp’s concerns. No one replied, but the news source did recommend that customers check their receipts to make sure they weren’t upcharged. “If the clerk doesn’t ask you what size you want, the meal should automatically be a small,” Click 2 writes. “Check your order and receipt to make sure you were not upsized without your consent.”

Honestly, bless Glen Tharp. I spent my teen years working at a shaved ice stand, the very pinnacle of old-fashioned Americana landmarks—but, even there, we automatically asked if customers would prefer a medium or a large. Tharp’s crusade is a helpful reminder to ask for what you want, even when it’s hard. Good on you, Glen.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.

DISCUSSION

manicotti
Manic Otti

This is a constant problem I have with McDonalds, in that if you order a “combo meal” they try to auto default it to large, not medium, unless you specifically tell them, and then, they still do it half the time anyway. I’ve literally thrown half a drink and fries in the trash so many times that I’ve basically stopped going there because of this issue. Look, if I want the large combo, I will specifically say “THE LARGE COMBO”. If I do not say it LARGE, then, I do not want it LARGE.