Oops! Dunkin' offered free coffee to 100 "White" customers in what they say was a typo

Originally published at: Oops! Dunkin' offered free coffee to 100 "White" customers in what they say was a typo | Boing Boing


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As bad as it looks, I actually agree that it’s likely a mistake. If only because there’s no benefit to them if they actually did this. I’m sure a significant portion of their customer base isn’t white, and pissing them off forever wouldn’t be worth the few customers of the type that would be swayed to switch to Dunkin by such a stunt.

I don’t trust corporations for much, but I do trust them to act in their own financial self-interest.


Sure. Why not? That excuse worked for Mary “Dog Whistle” Miller, didn’t it? Too bad that insurance company in Maine didn’t just claim their sign was just an unfortunate typo.


I also trust them to phone in and poorly copy-paste a promotion from another franchise location. Corporate think isn’t terribly expansive.


The difference is, when it comes to politics, it often is worth the upswing from such a stunt.

As for the insurance company, that was a small local office that probably thought its affiliates would never hear about it. They did the usual and they found out.

If the actual black customers of the store in question have said that it’s absolutely a mistake/typo, I don’t think me, a white guy from Oregon, has any right to be outraged on their behalf.

And I have to wonder if there’s some kind of name for when people who aren’t even affected by something tell the actual victims of that something how they’re supposed to behave.


Hopefully the management of the Dunkin’ store in Cranston looked at the promo, said “Oh, Jeez!!” and simply gave the coffee to the first 100 people in the door.

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I don’t go to Dunkin’ very often, but when I do that’s the one I go to. It’s definitely some kind of editing mistake. That’s a really diverse store.


Be outraged on your own behalf.

And why would you tell someone else how to feel and behave. I can still be outraged even if there is a complacent victim or not.

Not this issue really, this is just a dumb corporate mistake by a very forgettable national chain.

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Also, I don’t like Dunkin’, certainly not enough to defend them. I just think this is a cheap excuse to pile on that could result in some poor, low-level employee getting fired for a mistake.

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Signaling to the white supremacist GOP that they are on their side in case they manage to pull of this slow rolling coup?

What was in the self-interest of IBM to sell their tabulation machine to the nazis so that they could better count the people they genocided? Yet they did it. The drive to accumulate profits follows along with whatever the prevailing ideology of the particular society is. Capitalism doesn’t just work in liberal democracies - it works in every other kind of society that is not built to explicitly put people ahead of corporate profits.


I don’t really see anyone doing that here on this thread. But I do wonder if you feel the same about when BB posts stories of some of our fascist politicians spouting harmful rhetoric and those of us who are directly affected (or allies of those) show outrage and get told we should ‘just ignore them.’ ?
Because that happens a lot. We had to start a whole spin off thread.


When I saw that “White” was capitalized I figured it was probably a template that was previously used for White Plains which, as it turns out, was exactly what happened.


People who do that, I think they should stop that behavior … even though it doesn’t affect me :thinking:


You’re doing it now and you don’t even know the word?

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As a career back-office drone, I can only imagine that the person who made the error feels horrified by their mistake. I often sign work emails with “Best Regards”, but once I made a typo that was horribly embarrassing. I mis-keyed a “t” where the “g” goes. Yikes. It was to a very large audience, too, of COURSE.


It’s certainly possible, but to me the balance of probability is that this is legitimately a mistake. It’s a pretty plausible copy and paste error, and it wouldn’t go through much review if any since the text has already been corpo-approved and the only change is to the location name.

Contrast this with, say, the recent debacle where the Juneteenth color palette for Halo Infinite was named “Bonobo”, with the eventual excuse being that it’s the name of their content management tool, which for some reason defaults its own name into an empty field, does not alert the user that a default value is being used, and was missed by however many review stages they have. It’s still a possible error, but it involves a whole lot more unlikely coincidence than “someone missed a word they were replacing in promotional text.”

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If this were in the south, people here would be far less likely to give them the benefit of the doubt…


Maybe it’s because I live in the south, and I see exactly how racist owned businesses signal to their target market and the people they hate. And in my experience, this isn’t it, especially when non-white patrons don’t believe it was anything but a huge, embarrassing error. Sometimes people do racist/sexist/-phobic shit on purpose and call it a mistake, and sometimes it really is just a mistake. I’m not a perfect person, and don’t expect anyone else to be perfect either. So if they call it a mistake, and it only requires one coincidence to happen, and they apologize immediately and unequivocally, yeah, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

Edit: I mean, contrast it with this article about another Dunkin store doing some racist shit and basically responding by saying “well, look, we had customers complain about employees not speaking english, so we put up this racist sign, and I guess that wasn’t the right way to do it.”