Fast food scam: artificial intelligence as a tool for complaining about McDonald’s

5. 03. 2024 | Natalie Bezděková

In an episode of All Things The Podcast, recorded in November 2023, Gage, one of the show’s co-hosts, detailed his personal approach to defrauding the fast-food giant using throwaway receipts. His method was to use these discarded receipts to create fictitious complaints, which he then submitted through a customer satisfaction survey conducted by McDonald’s.

The process was relatively simple: Gage posed as a “very dissatisfied” customer while completing the survey and then created a complaint, using artificial intelligence, specifically ChatGPT, to make the complaint seem authentic. He claimed to have had a bad experience eating at McDonald’s. This process ultimately led to him being issued up to four meal tickets per receipt.

Gage’s approach was quick, efficient, and controversial. Not only did it involve the abuse of the fast food system, but it also involved the use of artificial intelligence. Without ChatGPT, a similar result could have been achieved, but the process would have been slower and less practical.

However, there is an ethical dilemma associated with this method. How might such a practice affect the establishment? Negative reviews generated by AI could lead to a drop in footfall or even the closure of the restaurant. Furthermore, such an action could also have a negative impact on the mental health of employees who would be constantly exposed to negative reactions and complaints.

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Author of this article

Natalie Bezděková

I am a student of Master's degree in Political Science. I am interested in marketing, especially copywriting and social media. I also focus on political and social events at home and abroad and technological innovations. My free time is filled with sports, reading and a passion for travel.


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