Feature: Building Business

Subway's Angry Inch

Author: Steve Woods
Published: January 25, 2013 at 9:08 am
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Maybe this is how Jared Fogle lost 200 lbs. on the Subway diet?

After Matt Corby of Perth, Australia discovered his foot long sandwich missed the mark by a full inch, he shared a photo of it on Facebook (above). The photo of his 11" sub and his consumer anger soon went viral across social networks worldwide.

Subway Australia's response?

"With regards to the size of the bread and calling it a footlong, "SUBWAY FOOTLONG" is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway Restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length."

Oops...

According to the Chicago Tribune, Nguyen Buren just filed a lawsuit against the company for a full $5 million, stating the company showed a "pattern of fraudulent, deceptive and otherwise improper advertising, sales and marketing practices." Buren purchased a "foot long" and said he also received an 11 inch sandwich for his cash.

Buren is not alone, joining two men from New Jersey, who sued Subway earlier this week in response to the discovery that they, too had been "shorted" for years.

If the Australia arm of healthier fast food everywhere hadn't responded so tersely, I might've taken the tact that the $5 mil was a bit much. In my opinion, Subway deserves a legal face-slap over that reply. Even popular food opinion site Zagat poked fun at the response, calling it also "an inch too short".

Seriously, if you offer a product with a clearly definable measurement built into the name, word to the wise: Make sure you have a quality control person to track it. And don't ever, ever skimp without changing the name. Just call it a large or something, trademark be damned.

Size does matter to the consumer. We Americans have a governmental agency that ensures gas pumps actually offer up a full gallon as displayed. Would you buy a shoe from a company that offers size 9's that are actually 8's? How about a box of .21 bullets for the .22 firearm you expect to protect your home? Eleven eggs in a "dozen"? Five cans in a "six pack" of beer?

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Article Author: Steve Woods

Tech Geek. Digital Sommelier. Tea Aficionado. Founder of http://www.kupeesh.com Twitter: @YouKnowSteve

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