Customer Sues Dunkin' Donuts for Serving Fake Butter, Wins Big

Apr 5, 2017 at 1:13 p.m. ET
Image: Getty Images

We all remember those “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” commercials from years ago featuring Fabio spreading a butter-like product on his toast. While we could never get too much of Fabio (or his spread), the debate over “real” butter versus a substitute is actually kind of a big deal to a lot of people, so much so that one Dunkin' Donuts customer sued Dunkies for selling him fake butter!

The New York Times reports that Jan Polanik of Worcester, Massachusetts  (for context, Dunkin' Donuts is pretty much a religious experience in Massachusetts) stopped by a local store to order a bagel with butter and was instead given a butter substitute.

Fine, people mess up orders all the time. We ask them to fix it or just deal. Jan did better, though. He sued not only that chain, but 23 franchises, for having charged him 25 cents for butter and giving him something else — a butter-like product. Wow, you gotta admire this guy's dedication to real butter (and/or making a buck off a mega-chain).

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"Candidly, it seems like a really minor thing, and we thought twice or three times about whether to bring a lawsuit or not," Thomas Shapiro told the Boston Globe. "The main point of the lawsuit is to stop the practice of representing one thing and selling a different thing."

Maybe, but Dunkin' Donuts settled, and now, if you happen to live in Massachusetts, you may score some free food as a result: Now, up to 1,400 people will receive up to three buttered muffins, bagels or baked goods — with real butter, no faking allowed. You have to go to one of 23 Dunkin' Donuts locations in the state to get the freebie.

And from now on, Dunkies has to disclose when they are using something other than butter as butter. Damn, that was one expensive lesson to learn!

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