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Chipotle's free guacamole promotion has made a lot of people pretty angry

Apparently, it’s not that easy to give away free food.
by Aly Walansky / / Source: TODAY

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Chipotle has had a rough go for it for the last few years, from serious food safety concerns to a less-than-stellar reception of its first queso recipe.

So the Mexican Grill chain has been trying to win back customers with various promotions. Thus, free guacamole for all (kindof) on National Avocado Day was born! What could possibly go wrong?

Apparently, a lot.

On Thursday, the chain announced that on July 31 its guacamole (which has always been an extra cost) would be free to anyone who ordered a meal through the app or online.

But on Tuesday, the day of the promotion, things did not go so smoothly for all who wanted to cash in on the deal and by mid-day, there were rumblings on social media that the app and website were not accepting these orders — or giving anyone any free guac.

Many app and website users reported being greeted with a “technical difficulties” notification, and many have taken to Twitter to complain that even if they can get through on the app, there's not even a space for the necessary "AVOCADO" promo code to be entered.

Just after noon on Tuesday, Chipotle attempted to address the technical problems on social media, calling the stunt "internet-breaking," but that only led to more distraught responses from avocado fans.

Even rival burrito chain Qdoba, which offers free guacamole every day, seized the opportunity with a sassy response to the chaos:

Aside from the technical difficulties on National Avocado Day, Chipotle has also been making headlines after a location in Ohio was closed after reports of customers becoming very ill after having eaten at the restaurant.

Maybe we should all just stick to making guacamole at home.

Update: Due to overwhelming demand, the chain decided to extend its free guacamole promotion and sent the following statement to TODAY Food via email: "Today [Tuesday] was a record breaking day for Chipotle! We had an unprecedented increase in new digital customers as a result of the free guac promo in honor of National Avocado Day. Unfortunately, breaking these records also broke the internet, but we are now back up and running.

"To thank our customers for their understanding during our challenges today, we're extending the promo. Get free guac with any entrée ordered online or via the app through Wednesday, while supplies last with no code necessary."

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