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An Innocent Man Plagued By Text Messages Asking For A Free Burrito

By Elyse Desmarais on February 18, 2016

Burrito image

Everybody loves Chipotle. But what everyone loves more, is a free burrito from Chipotle. On February 8, 2016, Chipotle urged customers to text message “RAINCHECK” to the shortcode 888-222 to receive a coupon for a free burrito in repayment for their nationwide closing of stores for staff training on that same day. For most customers, the text message was a success, but for some, a coupon for a free burrito never arrived.

According to an article by Tech Insider, due to the accidental addition of an extra “2” at the end of the shortcode many customers didn’t reach Chipotle, but, instead, Hank Levine. Levine, a technology attorney from Washington, D.C., started receiving texts around 9:00am on February 8th saying “RAINCHECK.” Unaware of the Chipotle promotion taking place, Levine texted back a question mark, to which the aggravated burrito lover responded, “I want my burrito.”

Levine told the person they had the wrong number, which prompted the stranger to explain that Levine’s phone number was one “2” off of the free burrito shortcode. Since then, the unsuspecting attorney received 60 or more texts asking for a free burrito. Levine fears he wasn’t the only one receiving these misdirected texts:

“In theory, every area code could have an 888-2222 [number] in it, so I’m only getting a limited number [of texts],” he explained. “There could be another 200 Hank Levine’s out there getting these texts instead of Chipotle.”

Levin contacted Chipotle to alert them of the issue, but hasn’t heard back. He also visited his local Chipotle where employees were shocked by the situation and concerned about those customers who hadn’t received a coupon for a free burrito.

“I feel bad for Chipotle,” Levine said. “They’ve got all of southern Maryland thinking I’m giving out coupons for free burritos.”

As amusing as the situation was, at Instant Census we can handle survey participant recruiting efforts for our customers to ensure situations like this do not occur. As a team of survey building experts, we know which mediums work best for recruiting participants into our SMS surveys and what language should be used in recruiting messages for clarity of instruction.

Interested in using SMS surveys to improve the response rates and times on your next study? Contact Instant Census today!

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