Taco Bell customer claims 'pay-it-forward scam' led to confrontation that left her 'scared'

Customer reveals on TikTok that fast food drive-thru trend led to her being yelled at by woman who didn’t want to pay $60 order

A woman on TikTok has shared a personal story about how a "pay-it-forward" chain at a Taco Bell reportedly led to a heated moment in the drive-thru line.

Meredith Donovan, a content creator, turned to the video-sharing app on Wednesday, Aug. 9, claiming her $60 Taco Bell order infuriated the customer in front of her enough to cause a scene at the drive-thru.

"The car in front of me pulls up to the pay window. I’m on my phone, and I just hear a car door slam," Donovan recalled when sharing the story with her TikTok followers.

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"I look up and this lady gets out of it – has gotten out of her car in front of me – and is running towards my car screaming her head off," she continued. "I couldn’t make out what she was saying at first, so I rolled up my windows and I locked the door cause I was scared."

Taco Bell location

A TikTok user says a Taco Bell customer yelled at her because the customer didn't want to continue a ‘pay-it-forward’ chain that was happening at a drive-thru. (Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Donovon said she eventually realized what had upset the woman because she could still hear the customer screaming, despite her car windows being closed.

"I heard, ‘Scam,’" Donovan noted.

It turned out that the woman was upset because a pay-it-forward chain had been started at the Taco Bell drive-thru by a prior customer, according to Donovan.

"Basically, the car before her paid for her meal," said Donovan. "So, she was [going to] be a good person and pay for the car behind her." 

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"You know, a pay-it-forward scam," Donovan said in her video, though it’s not clear if Donovan was initiating sarcasm.

Fox News Digital reached out to Donovan for comment.

Taco Bell drive-thru

Many Taco Bell restaurants have a drive-thru where customers can place food orders. (iStock / iStock)

The "pay-it-forward" chain initiates when a customer alerts fast food workers in the drive-thru window that he or she is offering to pay for the food ordered by the customer who is in line behind them. The chain may or may not continue, depending on if one driver refuses to "pay-it-forward."

Donovan said in her video that there was a mix-up of cars in the drive-thru lane. This led to Taco Bell employees to present Donovan’s "expensive order" to the woman who was reportedly angered by the amount, Donovan explained.

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While Donovan appeared to have skipped a few details about how a solution was reportedly resolved, she claims the woman "apologized" and they "had a little laugh."

FOX Business reached out to Taco Bell for comment regarding the company’s stance on pay-it-forward chains.

Taco Bell sign

Taco Bell is an American-based chain of fast food restaurants founded in 1962 by Glen Bell. (iStock)

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Donovan’s TikTok video, which she told from her car, has been viewed more than 36,900 times as on Monday, Aug. 14.

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In the comment section, TikTok users questioned how much food Donovan ordered to get an order total of $60.

One user questioned if she ordered 55 tacos while another user joked that she must have purchased 55, tacos, 55 Crunchwraps and 100 Cheesy Roll Ups.

Another TikTok user joked that Donovan lied in her video when she said the food she ordered wasn’t all for her.

Donovan’s video also sparked a debate about the pay-it-forward trend that’s been happening at fast food drive-thrus throughout the country.

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"That's the chance u take when u do it," one TikTok user pointed out in reference to Donovan’s expensive order and the reported customer’s reaction.

Drive-thru window showing someone handing off a bag

For years, fast food customers have been participating in a "pay-it-forward" food trend that involves people paying for the customer behind them. The act is supposed to brighten recipients' day and inspire them to do the same. (istock / iStock)

"People are wild. I'm not paying for no one’s food," another TikTok wrote. "[I don’t care] who you are."

"Some people are nicer than you," a TikTok user replied to the comment.

"If I'm paying for it then in taking it. Y’all can pay for whoever's food/bills but I sure won't. Guess I'm evil," the original commenter fired back. 

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Fox News Digital and FOX Business have covered the rise of pay-it-forward chains at fast food establishments in recent years.

The chain is usually ended when a customer tells the cashier he or she doesn’t feel comfortable paying for another person’s order. 

Social media posts shared by chain breakers often cite expensive orders from customers’ behind them as the reason for ending the pay-it-forward chain.