Uber Eats drivers accused of faking being lost to steal food
Greedy Uber Eats drivers are taking their job at its word and eating the meals instead of delivering them.
As singles and families rely on the delivery service to avoid going out during the COVID pandemic, angry restaurant owners have complained that drivers are pretending not to be able to find addresses of customers and taking their meals home to their own friends and families instead.
Meanwhile David Nagel is one of the frustrated customers who is still waiting for meals to arrive.
"Uber Eats are thieves," the martial arts trainer, 46, said yesterday.
"I reckon that 10 per cent of all deliveries go missing which means they go home.
"The drivers blame the restaurant, the restaurant blames the drivers. No one takes responsibility and in the end it's the customer who gets stuffed around."
He said he has given up using Uber Eats to order from his favourite Manly restaurants and either collects the meals himself or uses restaurants that have their own delivery service.
With lockdown, Mr Nagel lost a job as a driver at Fox Studios and got work labouring on a building site.
"When we broke for lunch, the boss said let's get some food guys and we would use Uber Eats but some times the food never arrived," he said.
"When you are waiting for food and it doesn't turn up it makes you hangry, hungry and angry."
He said he was "gobsmacked" when he went online and saw the negative reviews.
One said: "Apparently my delivery guy thought the food looked to good so I ended up paying for his dinner."
Uber Eats takes 30 per cent of the cost of the meal and its drivers make between $5.25 to $22 per trip depending on the distance and delivery time.
"We get maybe one a week when the food isn't delivered and the assumption is that the driver has taken it home. What else are they going to do with the food when it is so delicious?" the owner of one popular Italian restaurant on the Northern Beaches said yesterday.
"Last week we had a driver pick up the meal and then cancel the order when he got out of the building."
The owner, who asked to remain anonymous in case he was black-listed by drivers, said he preferred people to order direct from the restaurant so his own drivers could deliver.
"We have never yet not been able to find an address," he said.
Uber Eats said it covers the cost of the missing meal, refunding both the restaurant and customer.
A US study last year found that almost a third of delivery drivers from the big four delivery apps, including Uber Eats, admitted to tasting the food or stealing chips.
An Uber spokesman said complaints about drivers stealing food were rare.
"We closely monitor feedback from restaurant partners and consumers and have strong systems in place to identify and manage fraudulent activity," they said.
Originally published as Uber Eats drivers accused of faking being lost to steal food