All Jan Polanik wanted was a bagel with butter from Dunkin’ Donuts.
His request seemed simple enough, but after getting a bagel with a butter substitute, Polanik ended up filing a lawsuit against 20 Dunkin’ Donuts across Massachusetts – and won a settlement.
Sound frivolous? Even Polanik’s lawyer, Thomas Shapiro, claimed that they deliberated over whether or not to pursue legal action.
“Candidly, it seems like a really minor thing, and we thought twice or three times about whether to bring a lawsuit or not,” Shapiro said, via Boston Globe.
Shapiro does raise a valid argument, though, despite it’s perceived trivial nature.
“The main point of the lawsuit is to stop the practice of representing one thing and selling a different thing,” said Shapiro. “It’s a minor thing, but at the same time, if somebody goes in and makes a point to order butter for the bagel . . . they don’t want margarine or some other kind of chemical substitute.”
Dunkin’ Donuts explained to The Globe in 2013 that butter is kept refrigerated, which makes it difficult to spread onto a bagel. So they’d use margarine most of the time.
“For food safety reasons, we do not allow butter to be stored at room temperature, which is the temperature necessary for butter to be easily spread onto a bagel or pastry,” Dunkin Donuts said in 2013.
The bottom line, as you’re taught in the food industry on day one: the customer is always right.