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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

National 7-Eleven Day is a Lame Scam

National 7-Eleven Day is a scam
So what happens on July 11th (7-11), when you take a young child to a 7-Eleven Store for their free Slurpee that they have been promised over and over all day long on the radio as part of National 7-Eleven Free Slurpee Day. Nothing. Sorry, no free Slurpee for you, they said at two different 7-Elevens. This was because they were out of cups. When we offered to provide our own cup, the manager said, "sorry, we can't let you use your own cup." Our two visits to 7-Eleven's were at around 4:30pm in the afternoon. There were other people who came in after us, who were also turned away.

This scam promotion was officially for the "Oh Thank Heaven™ – It’s 7-Eleven® Day" celebration - apparently a celebration of national incompetence on the part of 7-Eleven. It was a lame, poorly executed promotion that left more ill will than good feelings about 7-Eleven. Promise free Slurpees, but don't provide any cups. One manager said they were simply not sent enough cups. Huh? Other patrons across the country were also told the Slurpee machines were broken or that particular store was not part of the promotion.

What a mess and a colossal waste of time. 7-Eleven, next time you have a celebration please keep it to yourself.

Here was the official press release:
It’s that time of year when the sun is hot and the Slurpee® drinks are free-zing – emphasis on the FREE part. July 11, aka 7/11, is the day that 7-Eleven, Inc., the world’s premier convenience retailer, celebrates its birthday and says “thank you” to its customers with free Slurpee drinks at participating stores. This year’s 7-Eleven® Day marks the company’s 81st birthday. Customers can pour their favorite Slurpee flavor in colorful, 7.11-ounce “Birthday” cups throughout the day, while cup supplies last.
Here was the promotion by 7-Eleven on Twitter:
Happy Birthday to us! Now have a drink with us! At participating stores!
Here was a tweet by 7-Eleven of one false promise about #FREESlurpeeDay:
@CaptainPaul123 We celebrate from midnight to midnight on 7/11/11!
And here was 7-Eleven's standardized tweet for all of the many complaints they received:
We understand your frustration, so let us help you. Please call 1-800-255-0711.
One disgruntled customer was right: "Not really sure if I would consider that an apology."

The 800 number, 7-Eleven provided, takes you to an automated telephone labyrinth that eventually directs you back to their website. A ten minute run-around, and another huge waste of time, if you wanted to voice a complaint. Thank you again, 7-Eleven.

And please, the "Let us help you," what a pitiful statement from 7-Eleven. I did not see the word "Sorry" anywhere in all of their damage control. So the bottomline is that there was no apology from 7-Eleven for screwing up the promotion. Put that in your Slurpee and choke on it.

One tweeter called the Slurpee disaster a "crime against humanity." That sounds about right in the middle of a hot summer day.

Also, by the way, did you know that Slurpee's are full of toxic chemicals? Some useful knowledge that was learned while putting this story together. So, maybe it was good luck after all not to consume a poison Slurpee.

NBC in Dallas-Fort Worth, which is where the 7-Eleven corporate headquarters is located, reported on the national scope of the screw-up:
7-Eleven Ran Out of Free Slurpees During Birthday Promotion --
That often small printed phrase “While supplies last” never meant more than it did Monday night, as many people around the country went to 7-Eleven stores only to find they were out of the free Slurpees the 84-year-old convenience store chain was offering on its birthday Monday, July 11.

Many disgruntled customers went to Twitter to complain, and even posted videos on Youtube of frustrated convenience store employees telling customers they ran out of cups, and out of the free Slurpees advertised.   NBC 5 even reported on the news that the Dallas-based company was offering the freebee Monday...
Here is a round-up of some of the many complaints and photos tweeted from across the country on a very sour National 7-Eleven Day:

Sam Bassford nicely sums up some of the frustration on Twitter:
Walked in this heat to get a free @slurpee. Something I've been doing since I was 17. Get there and the machines are all broken. @7eleven

@slurpee @7eleven Huge disappointment. A broke college student looking forward to free something and I was so thirsty when I was there.


@7eleven Thank you for the number but I've been on hold for 10 mins. I'm sorry 7eleven you are a loss cause today.

How can Free Slurpee Time be over? They said it would last all day.

photos via Dave Rubin
Dave Rubin / @Rubinville [New York City]:
Gonna walk over to the Upper West Side @7eleven for a free Slurpee. If they tell me this offer is void in NYC I'm gonna hurt someone.

Screw you, @7eleven. @Gawker @DailyIntel @NYPost #NYC #slurpee http://yfrog.com/kebt6zkj , http://yfrog.com/kjm39sf

@HegedusEricC @RobGeorge The Post needs to get someone to UWS @7eleven now! They're turning away dozens of kids on free Slurpee day!

@btenem Wow @7eleven really blows.
Lauren / @Steph_Mal [NYC]:
@7Eleven I went to one of your locations on 23rd street in NY...somehow the slurpee machine was out of service...I don't think that was fair
Timothy Silvernail / @TFSilvernail [Massachusetts]:
Went to 711 for my free slurpee and the guy tells me sorry we're out of cups tough luck... way to go #seveneleven
David Gabbay / @GabbayMagic [Los Angeles, California]:
Free slurpee day was a fail #711lame
Kat Cooper / @katcooper [East Lansing, Michigan]:
So sad that I waited all day for my @7eleven free slurpee, only to be told there were no more cups. #fail.
Joe Blaskiewicz / @joeyblas30:
@7eleven So why is every store out of cups so early? I didn't find 1 store w/o a sign "out of cups"
dave belicose / @davebelicose [Red Bank, NJ]:
@7eleven I just went to get a free Slurpee and the store owner said they were sold out. How can you be sold out of something that's free?

@7eleven Slurpees aren't my favorite. I just expected to get a free one @7eleven as advertised. Seems like a scam to get publicity.
Rob / @TheBananaconda [Novi, Michigan]:
MF @7eleven in Novi stopped giving away free slurpees. INCREDIBLY disappointed.
No more Birthday Slurpees - Sorry
photo via etapetillo
etapetillo / @etapetillo [Boston, Mass.]:
@7eleven I stopped by 7-11 for #freeslurpeeday but they stopped handing them out! #disappointed http://twitpic.com/5op7hj
Tanner Bergman / @TannerBergman [Oklahoma]:
@7eleven how come today at the 7eleven store on NW Expressway & Independence in Oklahoma City they told me they didn't have free slurpees?
John Mercado / @JohnEMercado [Michigan]:
Disappointed that @7Eleven stopped giving away free slurpees. What is this madness?! I demand an answer!
Kathelin Buxton / @KJBuxton [Broomfield, Colorado]:
#FREESlurpeeDay #Fail. @7eleven ran out of free slurpee cups. Sad day :(
Casey Harris / @pastasauce [Corvallis, Oregon]:
Did anyone find a 7-Eleven on Free Slurpee Day that was actually participating (didn't "run out" of cups, mix, etc.)?
Ren Reese / @renreesehttp://twitter.com/#!/renreese:
Can't wait for "We ran out of the free slurpee cups at 3 of our Richmond locations" day to come again next year! #7Eleven

@7eleven I'm going to need a year's worth of free slurpee coupons to make up for this
Hannah Taddeo / @HannahcTaddeo [NYC]:
Lame @7eleven. Walk 10 blocks to get a free slurpee and instead get a grumpy employee saying they are out of cups when they're clearly there

photo via Christopher Williams:
Christopher Williams /  @ischriswilliams [NYC]:
Wth! It's all a lie! "were out of cups" yeah...right. (@ 7-Eleven w/ 8 others) [pic]: http://4sq.com/mQ1qU6

Don't go to @7eleven. #freeslurpies is a lie. They claimed they were out of cups. Hah.

If @TacoBell gives free tacos, and @DunkinDonuts free iced coffees, @7Eleven should hold up their promise of #freeslurpies #boycott7eleven
CareaBearaSara / @DDubsCareBear [Denver, CO]:
@7eleven my store was out of free slurpee's )= (@ 7-Eleven) 
Nichole337 Official / @Nichole337_Talk [Utah]:
Went to get a free slurpee from 7 Eleven to find a sign on the door saying... "SORRY We are out of free slurpee cups no more free slurpees"
garrick_s / @garrick_s [St. Louis, MO]:
"Free Slurpee Day" @7eleven on the day #STL tops 100ยบ, and guess what? Slurpee machines all over town were suddenly broken. #FAIL
Joe Moore / @wxjoe [Silver Spring, MD]
@7eleven no free slurpees at 7-11 #34193 in silver spring, md. They had the cups but the employees mumbled that they weren't free...
Georgie S. / @georgiexoxo251:
@7eleven there were no more free slurpee cups left when i got there! grrr! now i'm sad and slurpee-less :/
No More Free Slurpee's on National 7-Eleven Day

photo via Jordan Knapp
Jordan Knapp / @RealKnappster [California]:
OUT. RAGEOUS. This is a crime against humanity #SlurpeeDay #fail yfrog.com/kjxitrmj
"We're Out of Free Slurpee's" video: