Free Soda Refills for Life?

I was at a McDonald’s the other day. I saw a sign like this by the soda machine:

“Free refills are on the same visit only. Please do not bring in an empty cup for refills.”

I was shocked. It never occurred to me that bringing in an empty cup for refills was an option. McDonald’s large cups are plastic. They probably last forever. Save a McDonald’s soda cup and get free soda for the rest of your life everywhere you go. Nah. Even without the sign, I don’t think that’s right. The unspoken deal is that you eat there, you drink your soda, end of story. What makes people think they can just come in and get free soda? Because they ate a McDonald’s meal 3 years ago? Because McDonald’s has a high profit margin on the soda they sell? That’s not being frugal. That’s theft in my book. What do you think? Do we really need signs for everything?

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  1. blogrdoc says

    The emotional penalty for bringing in an empty McDonald’s cup would keep me from ever doing this even though it’s obviously trivial to pull off. I’ve weened myself from soda anyway.

    I *love* McD’s for their dollar menu (haven’t weened of double cheese burgers), but I hate the amount of waste they produce. I went for drive through the other day for a double cheeseburger. Though I love the price ($2), I was horrified by the amount of trash that came along with the order.

  2. sam says

    It’s kinda scary when you think that pretty much every sign you see that makes you go “uhh…” is probably there because someone did what the sign proscribes.

  3. Chris says

    Actually would free refills for life actually be that big of a deal? I’ve often heard that the cost of the cup far exceeds the cost of the beverage. I’m not sure if this is true but it is not too far fetched.

    Additionally, once you get the soda leech in the store they will surely end up buying a bunch of food with high margins.

    One parting thought – how green! Great way to save trees (most of their cups are paper i think) and plastic resin.

    The only real downside is that you would end up with *more* homeless people nursing a coffee or soda for 10 hours. Much of Mcd’s recent success has been attributed to a general cleanup of their facilities and atmosphere.

  4. Kristin says

    Some businesses like QT or QuikTrip give a discount if you bring back your QT cup and use it to get a new drink.

    It helps QT get repeat customers, helps me save $ and it’s green.

  5. Jonathan says

    Lots of signs that shouldn’t be necessary exist. USA is king of fine print. Check out the McDonald’s coffee cup:

    “Warning: Contents are hot.”

  6. $$$$ says

    theft is such a harsh word when multi billion dollar companies are involved
    LMAO SODA THEFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. treser kross says

    the “Warning: Contents are hot.” printed on McDonald’s coffee cups is the result of multiple lawsuits.

    • Peter says

      I’ve been doing this for years… I’m certified crazy anyways so I don’t really care if they look at me or post signs… if you don’t want me getting it, don’t advertise it as FREE REFILLS…

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