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Why McDonald's ice cream machines are seemingly always broken (MCD)

Tech Insider logo Tech Insider 2017-11-07 Hayley Peterson
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McDonald's won widespread praise earlier this year when the fast-food chain said it would be replacing its ice cream machines after years of complaints from customers.

But eight months after the announcement, McDonald's ice cream machines are still letting customers down. 

Thousands of customers have been complaining on social media, saying that the machines are almost always broken when the craving for McFlurries or soft serve strikes. One person even created an app that lets people know whether nearby McDonald's have a functioning ice cream machine or not. 

In some cases, the machines might not actually be broken — they could just be out of service for cleaning, according to The Wall Street Journal.

McDonald's soft serve © Provided by Business Insider Inc McDonald's soft serve

McDonald's requires the machines to undergo a nightly cleaning cycle that can last four hours. During that time, they can't serve ice cream. The replacement machines are meant to fix that problem. They have fewer parts and are easier to maintain.

But that doesn't explain why customers are still complaining about the machines.

We asked McDonald's about the ongoing complaints, and it turns out the machines still haven't been replaced.

While the company has identified replacement machines, as of November, it hadn't yet rolled them out in restaurants, according to a McDonald's representative.

"In order to better serve our customers the delicious treats they enjoy, we have identified new soft serve equipment options, and are working hard to make these available for restaurants as quickly as possible," the representative said.  

For now, customers will have to continue to take a gamble on whether the machines will be in service when they get an urge for McDonald's soft-serve. 

a screenshot of a cell phone: Screen Shot 2017 11 07 at 9.19.50 AM

Screen Shot 2017 11 07 at 9.19.50 AM
© Provided by Business Insider Inc

Related gallery: We tried chicken tenders from every major fast-food chain — and the results are surprising (provided by Business Insider)

<p>The humble chicken tender - or chicken fingers, in some circles - is making a comeback. </p><p> Chicken tenders are the most glorious incarnation of handheld fried chicken - heftier than nuggets, simpler than wings, ideologically purer than boneless wings. The adoration for chicken tenders is universal, bridging the spans of age and class alike - the great equalizers, so they say, are death, taxes, and tenders. With McDonald's <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonalds-chicken-tenders-2017-10?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=msn-slideshow&utm_campaign=bodyurl"> resurrecting</a> them on their menu and Wendy's introducing theirs, the time for tenders has come. </p><p> A handful of major fast-food chains offer tenders, and we decided to put them all to the test to see which con-tender (sorry) reaches the top of the tourney.</p> We tried chicken tenders from every major fast-food chain — and the results are surprising
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