Harrisburg - On Tuesday, June 22, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced a successful collaboration with online food delivery platform Uber Eats.
The agreement requires Uber Eats to provide better disclosures about price discrepancies between in-app purchases and orders placed directly with restaurants.
“Online food delivery platforms can be very convenient, but hidden fees have driven up costs for consumers and hurt struggling neighborhood restaurants at the worst time. You deserve to know where your money is going and I’m pleased that by working together Uber Eats made their pricing more transparent,” said Shapiro.
“This is another step towards making the marketplace more fair for restaurants and consumers — and I call on all food-delivery platform companies to provide this same information as soon as possible," Shapiro added.
“Food delivery apps provide convenience, safety, and ease for so many consumers – especially during the pandemic,” said Racine.
“As more and more consumers use apps like Uber Eats, it’s critical that these companies are transparent about their pricing and the fact that getting food directly from a restaurant is often cheaper. We appreciate Uber Eats immediately addressing our concerns," Racine mentioned.
"Going forward, Uber Eats’ delivery app will make clear that its prices may be more expensive than those charged by the restaurants themselves. We strongly encourage other delivery apps to follow in Uber Eats’ footsteps. Those that do not risk investigation and scrutiny by our offices. Consumers deserve clear information so they can make informed decisions that work best for them," added Racine, attorney general for the District of Columbia.
Uber Eats now has a disclosure on its app that prices on the platform may be higher than the restaurant price. The disclosure displays at the stage of the ordering process when customers review the subtotal, tax, delivery fee, and total cost of the order, right before the order confirmation page.
The Attorneys General want the public to be aware of these facts:
Items are often more expensive through the app. When you order groceries or restaurant food through a delivery app, the price you are charged per item may be higher than it would be if you bought the item in the store or restaurant.
Delivery apps charge fees. In addition to taxes, delivery apps charge fees including service fees, delivery charges, and tips. Other fees include extra charges for heavy items, extra charges for orders that fall below a minimum subtotal, and "surge" fees when there is high demand for service.
Customers are advised to check the terms and conditions of each platform for information about various fees.
Restaurants pay commissions to delivery apps. Restaurants pay a percentage of each order as a commission to the delivery app in addition to fees that the customer pays. Customers who want all of their payment to go to a restaurant should order and pick up directly from that restaurant.