The data of Executive Yuan's Department of Consumer Protection (hereinafter abbreviated as DCP) shows that last year (2020), there were a total of 1,977 cases of consumer complaints against these two online food delivery platform businesses: Foodpanda Taiwan Co., Ltd. (referred to as Foodpanda) and Besitz Hong Kong Limited Taiwan Branch (referred to as Uber Eats). After the meeting held by the DCP in conjunction with relevant authorities and service providers, the number of complaint cases in the third quarter of last year dropped significantly. However, case numbers increased again in the 4th quarter (October-December), so the 3rd meeting was held to gain insight into the causes of disputes and demand service providers to proactively make improvements. The 4th review meeting is expected to be held in April this year.
The number of complaints filed against the service providers and case type analyses are summarized below:
I. Number of Cases: 1st quarter—407; 2nd quarter—694; 3rd quarter—396; 4th quarter—480; a total of 1,977 cases.
II. Type of Complaint Analysis:
(I) Foodpanda Complaint Cases
1. Canceling an order without giving a refund: The delivery worker states that, after the food had been delivered, calls made to the consumer were not answered; however, the consumer states that no calls were received. For this reason, the service provider canceled the order without giving a refund. 1,038 cases recorded.
2. Pricing difference: While making payments, the consumer found that the in-restaurant prices and delivery prices were different. 80 cases recorded.
3. Poor attitude: The delivery worker or customer service staff showed poor attitude. 108 cases recorded.
4. Not able to cancel an order: Voucher codes were not entered or mistakes were made, but the order could not be canceled. 231 cases recorded.
5. Delivery taking too long: It took the delivery worker too long to deliver the order. 90 cases recorded.
6. Inconsistent food content: The food contents (quantity or quality) of delivery and in-restaurant orders were inconsistent. 56 cases recorded.
7. Others: 85 cases recorded.
(II) Uber Eats Complaint Cases
1. Canceling an order without giving a refund: After the food had been delivered, the delivery worker's calls to the consumer were not answered; however, the consumer states that no calls or messages were received. The service provider canceled the order without giving a refund. 131 cases recorded.
2. "Eats Pass" charge disputes: The subscription renewed the next month without the consumer's consent to get free delivery. 63 cases recorded.
3. Not able to cancel an order: An order was made mistakenly, but the order could not be canceled. 21 cases recorded.
4. Others: Including credit card fraud, inconsistent meal contents, etc. 74 cases recorded.
The complaint numbers dropped after the 2nd quarter of last year, but the numbers increased again in the 4th quarter, indicating that relevant preventive mechanisms had not been implemented adequately by the service providers. Therefore, at the 3rd meeting, the two companies were requested to strengthen their relevant mechanisms:
I. Remind restaurant partners to pay attention to pork source labeling.
II. Think about how to optimize the process flow of the app systems.
III. How to separate consumer complaints about online food delivery from those about general merchandise delivery.
IV. Get clear understanding of issues regarding credit card fraud and propose a solution. If criminal acts are involved, the cases are to be transferred to the prosecution and investigation office.
V. Discuss the feasibility of adding telephone customer services.
Finally, the following are the DCP's reminders to consumers:
I. Pay more attention to different service providers’ ordering pages before placing an order. Please inquire about what to do via online customer service if you're unsure about something, such as wanting to cancel a placed order or not having entered voucher codes.
II. When your credit card has been used for a fraudulent purchase, please immediately contact the service providers' online customer services and the card issuing bank to confirm the payment amount and mark it as a disputed transaction.
III. Note the difference between food delivery and merchandise. General merchandise items have a 7-day cool-off period during which the contract can be canceled without any conditions. Food orders are listed as an exempted matter in the Guidelines on Reasonable Exemptions From Agreement Revocation in Distance Sales, so the 7-day cool-off period is not applicable to food orders.