I was so irritated that I wrote a letter to McDonald’s. Only to find that their online “contact me” form has a (very small) character limit! So I posted it on Planet Feedback instead, which I’ve never done before. Hopefully it will get addressed.
For your amusement, here’s the letter I sent. I’m sure some will say I’m overreacting, of course, but I don’t feel that I am.
(FYI, I have already sent this letter, so there is no need to copy edit it.)
My family and I enjoy visiting your restaurants, particularly the ones with PlayPlaces. In the summer, on days when it’s too hot to be outside, it’s a great alternative to the playground. We eat dinner, let the kids play, then all enjoy a cold treat before heading home. Today was one of those hot days, and we ate dinner at your location at (edit) Mi. We’ve been visiting this location for several years and have always been satisfied.
After we ate our dinner, my husband and I were chatting while the kids played. Our 7-year-old son decided to take a break, and he came to sit with us. Imagine my surprise when we realized that he was reading about sex slaves, the possible murder of a toddler by her own mother, and another murder. I think you’ll agree that those are inappropriate topics for young children – and yet they were being shown on the PlayPlace television, which was set to CNN.
We’ve been to other McDonald’s restaurants with televisions, and they usually have the PlayPlace television set to a channel like Nickelodeon – something appropriate for children. My husband and I talked to the manager, who checked into the situation and soon informed us that he was unable to change the channel. Thus the television in the PlayPlace – which is only visible to those in the PlayPlace – could only be set to the CNN news channel, which broadcasts very adult topics that are absolutely not appropriate for children. When the manager informed us of this, we thanked him, then gathered up our belongings and left. We will not return to this location, but will either eat at another (edit) McDonald’s (where they broadcast Nickelodeon in the PlayPlace), eat at a different restaurant chain, or simply stay home.
You may be wondering what my point is. I’m not fishing for gift certificates or other freebies. What I would like to see is a company-wide guideline that all PlayPlace televisions may broadcast only material that is appropriate for children – Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, etc. (Or better yet, remove the televisions entirely from the PlayPlaces.) The McDonald’s PlayPlace has the reputation as a child-friendly environment, and I think you will agree that CNN and other adult television channels do not fit into a child-friendly environment.
I hope you will consider my suggestion.
(BookMama’s real name)”