Can I complain to Deliveroo UK without the driver being punished?
April 7, 2021 3:40 AM   Subscribe

I recently made a Deliveroo food order (in the UK) that took over three hours to arrive instead of the estimated 45-60 minutes. It took so long I was able to order and finish eating a Dominos pizza by the time it actually got here. If I complain to Deliveroo about a very late delivery, will the driver be punished even though the delay was due to the restaurant?

The app clearly showed the food hadn't been collected until 15 mins before it actually arrived - i.e. the delay was caused either by the food not being ready at the restaurant or by the Deliveroo app was not routing drivers to collect it, not by the Deliveroo driver. I was going to complain to Deliveroo and ask for a refund or credit, but it occurred to me that the driver might be punished in some way. Does anyone know for a fact, if I complained about a late Deliveroo delivery in the UK, if the driver would face any punishment by Deliveroo?
posted by EndsOfInvention to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Disclaimer: I live in the US so I have no personal experience with Deliveroo,.

That said, a university student in Aberdeen who'd driven for Deliveroo for four years was fired -- losing half his income -- after getting two complaints, Jasmine Andersson of inews reported last November:
"Loads of stuff can affect a delivery time, like traffic or a hold up on the restaurant's side," Jack told i.

"I spoke to Deliveroo and asked them to tell me what's happened so I could rectify it, but I didn't receive a reply," he claimed.
Andersson goes on to report that campaigners are seeking to ensure that drivers have the right to a hearing, to a trade union and to appeal the termination of their accounts with businesses like Deliveroo and Uber.
posted by virago at 7:41 AM on April 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

Deliveroo drivers are on strike right now in the UK because of their lack of a living wage and workers' rights. Personally, given their track record, at this point I wouldn't trust Deliveroo even if they stated outright to me that complaining wouldn't impact the driver.
posted by spielzebub at 9:17 AM on April 7, 2021 [4 favorites]

Complain to the restaurant instead, perhaps? Or, if you complain to Deliveroo, do so anonymously while referencing nothing specific to your order? Otherwise I'm pretty sure they'll pass the buck to your driver as there's a lot less downside to them for doing so.

I don't expect that you'll have a satisfying resolution in any case, especially if you want to protect the driver.
posted by Aleyn at 9:28 AM on April 7, 2021

Deliveroo take a 35% commission from the restaurant for every delivery, so it's not surprising that restaurants will prioritize other customers.
It seems doubtful that complaining to either party will resolve this in a way you would want.
The likely outcomes are 1) nothing happens, 2) The driver gets blamed/fired. 3) Deliveroo boot the restaurant from their platform 4) The restaurant stop accepting Deliveroo orders.
posted by Lanark at 11:34 AM on April 7, 2021

A friend worked for a company that designed electrical gear. After a long and harrowing project he got a call from the field guys. "If xxx ever happens again we're going to come to your office and beat you with wrenches."
He said, "That's not my fault, and I didn't design that."
"We know, and we sympathize, but we can't live with this. Find out who did it and tell them not to let it happen again."
So he did.
Big companies are experts at using the low-level employees as a human shield. It's loathsome behavior. It's tempting to tolerate it to protect people you don't know. It also encourages this sort of thing.
These 'race to the bottom' organizations trying to make everyone into a contractor who'll work for starvation wages are not viable businesses, and they shouldn't be. I'm sorry for the people they hurt, but if you don't complain nothing will ever improve. You're not doing the workers any favors by going along with bad corporate behavior.
Sooner or later either these scams will collapse and their people will be out of a job. Either that or working for starvation wages will be popular and we'll all be reduced to the same level.
If this matters to you at all, don't sell other people's lives for convenience. Agonizing over the details accomplishes very little.
posted by AugustusCrunch at 1:52 PM on April 7, 2021

Response by poster: That said, a university student in Aberdeen who'd driven for Deliveroo for four years was fired -- losing half his income -- after getting two complaints, Jasmine Andersson of inews reported last November:

Thanks, that's enough evidence for me to avoid complaining to Deliveroo.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:58 AM on April 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

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