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Feds Investigate McDonald’s Broken Ice Cream Machine

Franchise owners are frustrated with the machines used to make the iconic dessert which they call "overly complicated"

McDonald’s franchise owners want the government to find out why the McFlurry machines never work.

Social media has long ridiculed the burger chain for being unable to serve the popular ice cream dessert.

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached out to McDonald’s franchisees this summer to see what exactly is up with the soft serve machines. Owners of McDonald’s have said that the McFlurry devices, which blend soft serve with add-ins such as M&M’s to make a tasty frozen treat, are overly complicated and hard to fix when they break down,” according to NBC DFW.

To destroy the bacteria, the machines have to go through a four-hour-long, automated heat-cleaning cycle. The machines are unusable if the cleaning cycle fails. Store owners are then required to find a certified repair technician to fix the machines.

“Intrinsic to the interest in our soft serve machines is our fans’ love of McDonald’s iconic McFlurry desserts and shakes … Nothing is more important to us than delivering on our high standards for food quality and safety, which is why we work with fully vetted partners that can reliably provide safe solutions at scale. McDonald’s has no reason to believe we are the focus of an FTC investigation,” said McDonald in a statement to TODAY Food.

In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that encouraged the FTC to create new rules surrounding the “right to repair.” 

The term refers to a “series of rules that in theory would force phone developers, manufacturers of cars and washing machines and the makers of pricey farm equipment and medical devices to publicly post the diagnostic tools and documentation they use to fix products when they break. This would allow everyday people to either fix the product themselves or go to a third-party repair shop, rather than rely on ‘official’ authorized repair centers, which are almost always the most expensive option,” per CNET.

These regulations prevent franchise owners from repairing the machines necessary to offer soft serve and McFlurries themselves.

In addition to allowing capable owners to make repairs, a change in the policies will incentivize competition and, in turn, drive down prices.

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16 responses to “Feds Investigate McDonald’s Broken Ice Cream Machine”

  1. PresidentJ says:

    I have to agree. Biden did a good thing by this. Yeah it should probably be set in stone by Congress but the substance of the order is good.

  2. PresidentJ says:

    My thinking around this is that the FTC is going after them for false advertising. If you advertise you have McFlurries and if you don’t have them available for a period of time then I’d say that would be considered false advertising. But I don’t really know, that’s the best reasoning I could come up with.

  3. KMFC says:

    My real question is why does this even concern government. And on top of that if your machine is broken try to fix it to sell more or don’t sell the product pretty simple. Don’t ask the government permission it might take years back to get a reply unless they are making tons of money off it.

  4. KMFC says:

    I didn’t realize until recently how many people have no clue about mechanics. Most people are just completely ignorant on how to work on shit properly. But everyone has to start somewhere I hope all those cars you fixed back in the day are the start of people who actually started to work on their own stuff later on in life.

  5. Wolv256 says:

    It’s not a massive conspiracy, it’s simple. Cleaning the machines is labor intensive and everyone is fucking lazy and have no pride anymore these days, so the employees don’t clean them properly and then they can’t use them because they’re not clean. And because of this loser mindset our country will collapse. Fuck all of you lazy bastards. Do better!

  6. BFairfax123 says:

    I agree that people should have the right to repair their own property as they see fit . Though as someone who has owned auto repair shops that specialize in German cars since I left the military 20 yrs ago . I will say I’ve encountered many owner repairs that actually made the repair of their vehicle far more expensive in the end . Not everyone is qualified to fix their own things and they never should think they were , it’s what tradesmen do and takes literally years to learn many trades . I think the info should be available but I hope people are smart enough to realize their own limitations . PS I wouldn’t try to code just because the info was on the net to do it I’d hire an expert to do that type of work .

  7. Credit where it’s due. The right to repair bill is a good thing. Though I don’t like that it’s an executive order.

  8. Devilsgun says:

    Figures that ice cream would take a precedence over the many, many other actual problems in our country during a President Ice Cream administration. Remember how the CorpMedia was going apeshit over and over about what kind of ice cream Bumbles was having with their fluff pieces? Full Circle Back, just like Whacky Psaki

  9. Devon says:

    In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that encouraged the FTC to create new rules surrounding the “right to repair.”

    NEW RULES , that does not mean BETTER rules . The way shits been going , I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they some how made it a finable offense to repair equipment yourself if an ” official technician ” observed ” tampering ” .

    But , I’m just talking trash , hopefully I’m wrong


  10. YetAnotherUserID says:

    The real role of government.. to break up monopolies and ensure fair competition. There isn’t much to praise about the current federal government, or government in general these days, but this might be one of them. I ask myself how this slipped past the lobbyists… there must be a reason this is good for the multi-billion dollar trans-national corporations and it just isn’t clear yet.

  11. UppityG says:

    The actual story is about the Right to Repair, which was the norm before large corporations started building in a monopoly for themselves in the replacement parts and repair aspect of their product line. The amount of rapacious pillaging in the tech world is staggering. They’ve gutted the American market so now they demand our govt import our replacements (which our bribed electeds happily do) on top of selling to the globe, cow-towing to communist govts for access to their market.

    Zuckerberg, Dorsey, Pichai and the rest are our un-elected govt and we better snap out of not noticing fast. We should’ve noticed years ago, then we wouldn’t be getting censored like we are now.

  12. UppityG says:

    Likewise and agree.

  13. chickens.forever says:

    Haven’t been to a Mc D’s in nearly 2 years now or frequented any fast food joint in nearly a year and a half as we began growing and harvesting all of our own and at 54 NEVER felt better in my life. This food is garbage that even a starving immigrant won’t eat.

  14. French says:

    There’s WAY more to this story about McDs soft serve machines. A third party company (Kytch) made an add-on for diagnosing the machines, which actually worked and helped franchise owners keep their machines up and running. Then McDs hired third parties to buy these add-on for the sole purpose of reverse engineering them. Then tried rolling them out as their own product.

    I read about that intellectual property theft a few weeks ago and was surprised to find it a bit buried as I looked up that story for Kytch’s name. I suspect McDs paid a PR firm to elevate the FTC story, to bury the Kytch story.

  15. techcrisis says:

    They kinda bury the lead. In my opinion, right to repair is actually a very big thing. Thought I do agree the ice cream machine is not really the best example of why it is important .

  16. JiltedValkyrie says:

    This is what is important in our lives? Go buy a pint from the grocery store and let’s put the taxpayer money somewhere useful. How about repave some roads?