KFC diner dials 999

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 July 2011

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse

Archant

'POLICE, fire or ambulance, which service do you require?' - 'I don't know, my chicken is undercooked and chips overcooked.'

An irate customer was so upset about the quality of his chicken meal from KFC, in Marchfields Way, he dialled 999 to complain.

Gareth Long, aged 31, then attempted to pass the phone over to the manager, but was asked to hang up and leave the outlet by the phone operator.

Still unhappy, Long continued to talk to the manager before calling 999 again, this time to protest at the handling of his complaint.

On July 14, Long appeared at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges and pleaded guilty to threatening the manager following the incident at 6pm on March 8.

An earlier charge of racist harassment was dropped after the court heard how Long had asked to speak to someone other than the manager in the store ‘who could speak English’.

The Crown Prosecution Service re-thought the charge after the manager requested an interpreter if the case went to trial.

Defending, Sue Cameron, said: “Mr Long is not a fan of KFC, but McDonald’s was closed and he decided to go there.

“He called 999 about the meal and offered the phone to the manager – probably not the most appropriate use of the emergency phone number.

“He accepts he did swear while there were members of the public present and the best thing to do would have been to leave the outlet, but he had some complaints and wanted them resolved.”

Ms Cameron then showed a letter from KFC franchise operator Yum! which included an apology to Long and said further staff training would be looked into.

The company also sent Long a meal voucher – but he said he had given it to a homeless person because he ‘didn’t like the food anyway’.

Long, who lives in Alfred Steet, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £85 court costs.

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