I’m (Not) Lovin’ It: Federal Investigation into Why McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines are Always Broken

A classic issue in the fast food industry is supposedly getting federal attention

Phoebe Cohen, Scarlet Staff

In a world of overarching issues, mishaps, and general distress, our government has turned its head towards the real issue plaguing Americans every day. Finally, after years of pain and suffering, an alleged investigation is taking place to look into why McDonald’s ice cream machines are constantly broken. 

The Federal Trade Commision (FTC) may be launching the investigation into the infamous broken McDonald’s ice cream phenomenon after a broader investigation into manufacturers. It’s a query into if manufacturers are blocking owners from fixing the products they buy on their own (NPR). This stems from the “Right to Repair” movement, which is a widespread movement to ensure that consumers are able to repair and renovate manufactured products without running into proprietary issues with the manufacturer (Right to Repair). In July, there was an announcement that the Biden administration would increase law enforcement efforts to make sure that manufacturers cannot prohibit repairs from being made to machines. And that new investigation has branched out all the way to the golden arches. 

It’s not the first time McDonald’s has had a run in with the feds. The famous fast food chain has had its share of government and law attention. In February 2020, an HBO docuseries explored the huge scam of the infamous McDonald’s Monopoly game, “McMillions”. According to The Guardian, in the 1990s, McDonald’s hosted a Monopoly style game that awarded plenty of people different prizes, from drinks to cars. However, the entire thing ended up being an elaborate scam conducted by ex-police officer Jerome Jackson, who managed to scheme over 20 million dollars in illegal winnings from the Monopoly ploy. The investigation is reportedly a favorite of the FBI agents involved in the case. In addition, McDonalds has also had multiple lawsuits, ranging from a lawsuit for racial bias (Reuters) to a lawsuit for supposedly ripping the McDonald’s ads concept off of a television production (Peewee). To put it in simpler words: this isn’t anything new for the famed food chain. 

What is new is the infamy of the issue. For years, the broken McFlurry jokes have run rampant on the internet. Trust me, just type “broken mcdonalds ice cream meme” into the search bar of any search engine and you’ll find quite a few good quality memes for the repertoire. The fact that, of all things that could have reportedly sparked this investigation, it was the broken McDonalds ice cream machines, is a true generational cherry on top. 

McDonald’s has recently made some commentary about the matter. In a public statement, McDonald’s USA has stated that there is no reason to think that the company was the central focus of the investigation, and that the main focus of their company has always been to provide good service to their branches. Supposedly, new training is coming down the pipeline for employees and other personnel to learn about repairing the broken ice cream machines (NPR). 

Either way, the fact that the broken ice cream machine phenomenon quite literally took Micky Dee’s to the feds is a little humorous. You just have to admit it. 

If you’d like to figure out which McDonald’s ice cream machines are broken around you, feel free to use this handy website: https://mcbroken.com/