The user-powered outage detector reported a spike (and eventual decline) in app error messages between 8:20 and 9:50 a.m. EST – prime Egg McMuffin time.
Hundreds of customers have since responded to McDonald’s tweet announcement with complaints of crashed apps or unhonored redemption codes.
The fast food chain responded to a few tweets to clarify that its Egg McMuffin promotion could only be redeemed in the McDonald’s App during breakfast hours and could not work with in-store kiosks or be combined with other deals or rewards.
Terms for the 63-cent Egg McMuffin deal on the McDonald’s App state: "Valid 1x/day. Valid only at participating U.S. McDonald’s. Excludes $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu items. Prices may vary. Not valid with any other offer, discount, coupon or combo meal. Limit one offer per person per visit. Tax may apply. Valid when product served. May not be valid for custom orders. McDonald’s reserves the right to discontinue this deal at any time."
FOX Business tested the McDonald’s App at 10:45 a.m. EST and received an error message when trying to redeem the Egg McMuffin deal as a mobile order. The deal worked however when the "Use at Restaurant" button was selected.
It’s not immediately clear if McDonald’s locations with shorter breakfast time windows contributed to the user error message spike. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many corporate and franchise-owned locations have scaled back on all-day breakfast service.
FOX Business reached out to McDonald’s USA for comment. By noon, the McDonald’s App removed all references to the Egg McMuffin promotion.
Downdetector’s Product Manager Kevin Stafford told FOX Business its platform collects real-time data from app users.
"Downdetector applies an extremely thorough data methodology to determine whether a sufficient number of users is experiencing an issue and then assigns a status based on these problem indicators," Stafford said. "To make sure that service disruptions are correctly represented, we calculate a baseline of typical problem reports for each company that we monitor. By verifying that issues are affecting a large group of individuals, Downdetector only reports an outage when the number of reports is significantly higher than the baseline."