Yo Oprah, Where's the Chicken?

By Zach Christman
|  Thursday, May 7, 2009  |  Updated 6:07 PM CDT
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An internet coupon for free grilled chicken from <a title=KFC has turned into a debacle in Chicago and across the country." />

An internet coupon for free grilled chicken from KFC has turned into a debacle in Chicago and across the country.

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Never, ever, ever underestimate the power of Oprah Winfrey.

That's the lesson KFC learned this week -- much to the chagrin of thousands of customers around the country who expected to get some free chicken.

KFC offered up a coupon for a free meal to promote their new grilled fare, and Oprah promoted it on her show.  All you had to do was go to Oprah's site, they said.  Just click and print, they said.  Some free grilled is just a trip through the drive though away.

But it didn't work out that way for the tens of thousands across the country who heeded Oprah's words and printed the coupon.  Others, of course, counterfeited copies, but either way, KFC was not prepared for the response.

KFCs in Chicago, New York, even in Kentucky itself refused to honor the coupons for a range of reasons -- some said they wouldn't honor the coupon if it wasn't printed in color; others said they got too many counterfeit coupons and just stopped accepting any; while some stores said they just ran out of grilled chicken altogether.

The Louisville-based chicken chain apologized and asked customers to take a rain check, even throwing in a free Pepsi for the trouble.  The KFC president said the company will mail out the coupons, rather than post them online.

Did you get turned away from KFC?  Tell us where and when in the comments below.

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