Meal deliverers misleading clients with hidden service costs; unrealistic offer
Meal deliverers mislead customers in multiple ways, Consumentenbond said based on its own research. For example, Deliveroo and Uber Eats hide service costs, and Uber Eats makes its range of restaurants appear much larger than it actually is, the consumers' association said.
Companies are legally obliged to clearly state all costs in advance, but with Deliveroo and Uber Eats, these "only appear like a jack in a box at checkout," according to Consumentenbond. "It is therefore not immediately clear to consumers how much they have spent on their order."
Uber Eats shows consumers restaurants at a distance of up to 30 kilometers away from them. This makes it seem like customers can choose from many more restaurants than they actually can. Deliveroo's offer also sometimes seems larger than it is.
According to Consumentenbond, Thuisbezorgd.nl does not mislead its customers, but it does have a price guarantee that it often doesn't live up to. According to the company, a meal would never be more expensive than when ordered directly from the restaurant. But during a sample check, that promise turned out to be false in almost half of the cases, Consumentenbond said.
Thuisberzorgd.nl said it is happy "that the Consumentenbond recognizes our transparency," but its conclusion about the price guarantee is incorrect. "The price guarantee of Thuisbezorgd.nl applies to the delivery price list of a restaurant and not to the takeout price list," a spokesperson said.
The Consumentenbond said it indeed compared Thuisberzorgd.nl's prices with the restaurants' delivery list. "You have to either keep the promise or not make it at all," a spokesperson for the consumer's union said.
Deliveroo said it is transparent and honest about the costs it charges, including delivery and service costs. "These are made clear to the customer before a customer places an order on the 'basket' page. We also clearly explain how these service costs are calculated in our app, in our 'frequently asked questions, and in our terms and conditions."
Uber Eats said it would study the Consumentenbond's conclusions. "Because there should be no surprises for users who order a meal, we always show the service fee clearly before an order is settled. The number of restaurants shown obviously depends on the search filter that the user sets, so we don't recognize ourselves in the image that misleading numbers are shown there," said Uber Eats.
Consumentenbond shared the results of its investigation with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets.