Takeaway boss blasts customers for Deliveroo scam that is ruining businesses
Deliveroo cheats who lie about not getting their food are ruining small businesses, a takeaway boss has said.
The restaurateur, who spoke to the Manchester Evening News anonymously, said customers were telling the delivery giant they hadn’t received their orders despite drivers taking photos on their doorsteps.
He’s now issued a plea to the tricksters to stop the scam as it’s heaping added pressure on businesses already struggling.
His profits plunged 70% last year and if the refunds go through he says he will be an extra £2,000 down.
He said: “I’m getting calls (claiming food hasn’t arrived) every single day now.
“It’s 10 to 20 phone calls a week and it’s always the same postcodes, it’s the student areas.
“It’s something that’s really picked up since lockdown.
“I’ve had to deal with nearly so many claims this year already, it’s quite a chunk of time.
“If all those refunds had happened I’d be an extra £2000 down, and we’re already 70 per cent down.
“It upsets and p***es people off, and it completely ruins the morale in the kitchen.
“Chefs are proud of what they make and our drivers work for me full-time – it’s their only source of income.
“Most of them are music industry people I’ve hired since their industry went down.
“They’re all people who need the work and for them to be told they’ve not delivered to the right address or something’s not up to scratch, it shocks the whole team.”
In an effort to stamp out bogus claims he’s getting drivers to share their route, take photos and ask customers to confirm their names but it has left him with a mountain of paperwork.
As Deliveroo have agents dedicated to resolving refund claims between customer and restaurant, evidence like this is vital.
Deliveroo said customers are flagged on their system if they claim a refund on a high percentage of orders, that they investigate thoroughly before awarding refunds and have the ability to block certain addresses who are repeat offenders.
They added: “We go through a series of checks to find out what happened once the order left the restaurant.
“For example, we look at whether the rider was in the vicinity of the customer’s address, or if the rider contacted the customer to let them know they arrived.”
The platform says on its app: “On occasion, like many other businesses, we experience ‘bad actors’ that use our platform for fraud and abuse.
“We’re continually evolving our systems to detect this activity to benefit our partners.
“We have a dedicated team of agents assigned to resolving refund claims and a decision-making tool to detect harmful activity.
“We aim to block re-offenders and have introduced SMS verification to aid this.”
The Fallowfield business-owner doesn’t know if refunds have been awarded until he gets his monthly invoices.
He says it’s not an issue he experiences when people order from him directly, which makes him believe people think they are ‘cheating’ Deliveroo.
“As soon as the restaurant calls, they hang up the phone,” he says.
“They seem to think it’s not affecting an independent restaurant, that their actions are affecting Deliveroo.
“So when they get a phone call from the restaurant, because we want to investigate and make sure we get their food to them, every single one of them goes silent and hangs up.
“People thinking it’s an option to order takeaway and not pay for it is fairly wrong.
“It really upsets me, because as soon as I contact the team in the kitchen I can tell they get really worried.
“I’d never accuse anyone of anything, I take a neutral ground and just want to investigate it.
“I could be doing 100 hours a week quite easily in the kitchen but instead I’ve brought in as many staff as possible so that people have jobs.
“I’m doing my best to build a reputation of having great food and a reliable service.
“I don’t know how people can do that to a small independent business.”