We’ve reported a lot here on the various tricks third-party apps use to steal money from their customers and business from restaurants who don’t fall in line and pay the ridiculous commission fees. We thought we were wise to a lot of them, particularly the one where you Google a restaurant and call the number—only you’re not actually calling the restaurant, you’re calling a number generated by Grubhub, which then charges the restaurant a service fee.
Now DoorDash has imposed its own exciting twist on this particular scam, Restaurant Business reports. It makes up DoorDash delivery pages for restaurants that aren’t using its services (this is so well known now that California has recently passed a law banning the practice). Then when a customer attempts to order from one of those restaurants, DoorDash claims the order can’t be completed because the restaurant is “too far away”—even if it’s just 200 feet—and redirects the customer to one of its partner restaurants and collects the commission on the order.
Lona’s Lil Eats, an Asian-fusion restaurant in St. Louis that has been screwed over this way, has filed a lawsuit against DoorDash. “The problem is not, in fact, that the delivery address is too far away, the problem is that Lona’s has not agreed to pay DoorDash’s exorbitant fees,” the lawsuit says. “A consumer can change his or her address over and over again, but it will never become available for delivery because Lona’s is not a Partner Restaurant.”
DoorDash, of course, maintains that it has done nothing wrong. “We’re proud of the role DoorDash plays in helping restaurants connect with new customers and generate additional revenue, and remain committed to demonstrating the value of the DoorDash platform and the variety of options available to support the merchant community,” it said in a statement.
Well, then maybe it can continue to do that by not coercing restaurants into using its services and punishing them if they don’t. And maybe we can pledge to stop using them until they do.