Math is hard, especially when you’re hungry. Thus many customers, when faced with the plastic glow of the McDonald’s menu, choose a Value Meal and assume that means we’re getting the best deal. It’s like bundling internet and TV, except French fries and a McChicken. But a new lawsuit alleged that—gasp—McDonald’s Extra Value Meals can cost more than the same items ordered individually.
The plaintiff in the case, Chicago resident Kelly Killeen, sued because her sausage burrito breakfast meal cost $5.08, while the components ordered a la carte would have totaled $4.97. The Associated Press reports a judge tossed the lawsuit, telling customers in effect to just do the math themselves: “Judge Elaine Bucklo noted that prices for combo meals and individual items are easily visible from the counter.”
The slightly higher price on the Value Meal essentially amounts to a tax on us dumb dumbs who don’t want to add stuff. Sure, the prices are there; we could do the arithmetic if we wanted. But we’re hungry, and maybe we’re a little high, and just pointing to a Value Meal and saying “that one” seems a lot easier. If it costs me an extra 10 cents, I’ll consider that a convenience fee.