McDonald's app experiences outage in United States on Egg McMuffin promo day

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Morning Business Outlook: Wendy’s launches its brand new breakfast menu with nine new sandwiches but McDonald’s is looking to one-up its rival by offering free Egg McMuffins.

McDonald’s notified its customers that it would be selling Egg McMuffins for 63 cents on Thursday, Nov. 18, in honor of the menu item’s original price.

But not everyone has been able to secure the app-exclusive deal, according to customer complaints and outage data from Downdetector. 

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The user-powered outage detector reported a spike (and eventual decline) in app error messages between 8:20 and 9:50 a.m. EST – prime Egg McMuffin time.

McDonald’s notified its customers that it would be selling Egg McMuffins for 63 cents on Thursday, Nov. 18, in honor of the menu item’s original price. (Cortney Moore/FOX Business)

Hundreds of customers have since responded to McDonald’s tweet announcement with complaints of crashed apps or unhonored redemption codes. 

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The fast food chain responded to a few tweets to clarify that its Egg McMuffin promotion could only be redeemed in the McDonald’s App during breakfast hours and could not work with in-store kiosks or be combined with other deals or rewards.

Terms for the 63-cent Egg McMuffin deal on the McDonald’s App state: "Valid 1x/day. Valid only at participating U.S. McDonald’s. Excludes $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu items. Prices may vary. Not valid with any other offer, discount, coupon or combo meal. Limit one offer per person per visit. Tax may apply. Valid when product served. May not be valid for custom orders. McDonald’s reserves the right to discontinue this deal at any time."

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McDonald’s shared the terms of its 63-cent Egg Muffin deal on the McDonald’s App. (Cortney Moore/FOX Business)

FOX Business tested the McDonald’s App at 10:45 a.m. EST and received an error message when trying to redeem the Egg McMuffin deal as a mobile order. The deal worked however when the "Use at Restaurant" button was selected.

FOX Business tested the McDonald’s App at 10:45 a.m. EST and received an error message when trying to redeem the Egg McMuffin deal as a mobile order. (Cortney Moore/FOX Business)

It’s not immediately clear if McDonald’s locations with shorter breakfast time windows contributed to the user error message spike. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many corporate and franchise-owned locations have scaled back on all-day breakfast service.

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FOX Business tested the McDonald’s App at 10:46 a.m. EST and the Egg McMuffin deal was redeemable when the “Use at Restaurant” button was selected. (Cortney Moore/FOX Business)

FOX Business reached out to McDonald’s USA for comment. By noon, the McDonald’s App removed all references to the Egg McMuffin promotion.

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MCDMCDONALD’S CORP.253.46+0.76+0.30%

Downdetector’s Product Manager Kevin Stafford told FOX Business its platform collects real-time data from app users.

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"Downdetector applies an extremely thorough data methodology to determine whether a sufficient number of users is experiencing an issue and then assigns a status based on these problem indicators," Stafford said. "To make sure that service disruptions are correctly represented, we calculate a baseline of typical problem reports for each company that we monitor. By verifying that issues are affecting a large group of individuals, Downdetector only reports an outage when the number of reports is significantly higher than the baseline."

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