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Hidden Delivery Fees: Who’s Affected?
Did you order food for delivery through restaurants and delivery apps?
Were you promised free or low-cost delivery?
Do you live in Massachusetts or New York?
In recent years, companies such as DoorDash and Grubhub—as well as restaurant chains like Chipotle, Panera Bread, Sweetgreens, Panda Express, and others—have changed the food industry by delivering food directly to consumers’ homes.
These services have become widely used—especially during the coronavirus pandemic when restaurants have closed for in-house dining and many Americans have become less willing to leave their homes.
Unfortunately, some delivery services may have come with hidden fees.
Lawsuits have been filed against companies such as DoorDash, Grubhub, and Pizza Hut in courts in California, Illinois, and Florida.
According to these cases, consumers have been charged deceptively hidden fees after ordering food delivery—even, in some cases, when the delivery was promised to be “free.” In some cases, companies allegedly charged delivery fees that were higher than those advertised online. This may also be the case for subscription programs that promise free delivery.
What Do Delivery Fees Cover?
Most consumers are content to pay delivery fees when they order food to be delivered to their home. These fees pay for the convenience of having food directly brought to their doors instead of forcing consumers to drive to pick up a takeout order themselves.
In addition to paying for the service of delivery, these fees may compensate the delivery drivers. For food delivery apps like DoorDash and Grubhub, delivery fees are intended to compensate drivers for their services.
Unfortunately, some of these fees may include hidden or undisclosed additional charges, according to a developing lawsuit investigation.
Do Delivery Companies Charge Hidden Fees?
Food delivery apps significantly increase the cost of ordering food, according to an investigation by The New York Times. Upon analyzing delivery from DoorDash, Postmates, Grubhub, and Uber Eats, the news source revealed that the price of two Turkey Breast subs from Subway may be increased by up to 91% through fees and taxes.
Restaurants may also face the brunt of these price increases. In 2020, a Chicago pizzeria owner told Today that he pocketed only $376.54 of the $1,042.63 worth of orders he received through Grubhub during March. Between commissions, delivery commissions, processing fees, and promotions, the owner notes that the majority of the money charged was not directed towards the local business but was instead pocketed by a big corporation.
“Stop believing you are supporting your community by ordering from a 3rd party delivery company,” the pizzeria owner wrote in a Facebook post.
A New York restaurant shared a similar story with NPR, lamenting the significant commissions charged for every food delivery purchase through third-party apps.
Unfortunately, consumers may also be keenly affected by unfair price increases. Analysts from Gordon Hashkett looked at 25 different fast food restaurant chains and compared their prices for delivery vs. pick up. On average, a consumer reportedly pays 15.3% more to have their food items delivered. The largest difference was seen at Chick-fil-A, the analysts reveal, where delivery cost 29.8% more.
Have Food Delivery Fee Lawsuits Been Filed?
Some consumers refuse to take these extra fees laying down. Several lawsuits have been filed against food delivery companies and restaurants in order to seek refunds for what they view as deceptive or hidden fees.
In April 2016, DoorDash was hit with a class action lawsuit in the Northern District of California. According to the plaintiff in this case, the food delivery app charged additional DoorDash delivery fees on the food it delivers in addition to the disclosed delivery fees and driver tips. For example, the plaintiff allegedly paid a higher price for Thai food she ordered through the company than what she would have paid if she ordered directly from the restaurant.
In June 2017, Grubhub, another food delivery app, was hit with a class action lawsuit challenging the company’s delivery fees. According to this Illinois plaintiff, Grubhub routinely charged higher delivery fees than those presented in the app.
“Grubhub systematically deceives its customers by increasing the delivery fee and charging customers extra monies for the deliveries for restaurant orders placed through their mobile app,” the Grubhub class action lawsuit contended.
“These heightened charges that are imposed on consumers stand in stark contrast to the delivery prices GrubHub affirmatively lists when it displays the list of available restaurants to consumers.”
Delivery apps are not the only companies that have been targeted in legal action. In 2015, Pizza Hut was hit with a class action lawsuit in Florida over their delivery fees. The plaintiff in that case argued that Pizza Hut unlawfully charged sales tax on delivery fees despite state regulations.
Numerous other consumers may have a legal claim against restaurants and food delivery acts. State laws in states such as California prohibit deceptive behavior—including hidden fees.
Join a Food Delivery Service Hidden Charges Class Action Lawsuit
If you were charged hidden fees by restaurants or food delivery apps, you may be eligible to take legal action.
Attorneys are currently seeking Massachusetts and New York residents who ordered food for delivery and believe they were charged hidden/undisclosed fees from either any of the chain restaurants listed above on this page AND/OR delivery service apps such as DoorDash, Caviar, Postmates, and Uber Eats.
Fill out the form on this page for a FREE case evaluation.
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Free Delivery Service Hidden Charges Case Evaluation
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