There’s an old expression that when something “sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Even in our modern, digital economy, there are still plenty of chances to either mislead, or confuse at least, even the savviest of customers. Here’s a current example. UberEats, from the makers of Uber just started offering food delivery in DC, much like how Groupon, Eat24, and others have been doing for years. Full Disclosure: I haven’t used UberEats yet, but have used and enjoy Groupon and Eat24. Groupon is an affiliate partner of this blog.
Last week, UberEats sent me a promotion email, below, advertising their new food delivery service. Like their car service app, you request UberEats much in the same way. Here’s what I received:
They were offering some pretty tasty eats, which was appealing enough. But, what really caught my eye was free delivery! The email says “Oh yeah, delivery is free.” Ok, I am sold. Instead of waiting in line at a busy quick-service restaurant (not Chipotle, until they stop serving bacteria), I considered plunking down $10 to try this out. I haven’t yet.
Food delivery deception!
Today, I was looking through my email and was curious what UberEats had to say on its website. Much like Blue Apron, UberEats has a rotating menu. Since I was curious if they were still offering delivery at not charge, I read their FAQ . They DO charge for food delivery. Four days ago an email from them said that they weren’t. What? To Twitter, I went. After tweeting @UberEats, they directed me to Uber Customer Support. I asked the same question, do you charge a delivery fee? After I writing the Support rep, I received a response saying “we don’t charge a delivery fee for UberEats” But after questioning the contradiction, they relented and said that they do charge for delivery. Perhaps the Rep was uniformed, but I found it a little sneaky that just four days ago they were promoting free delivery. Sudden change of heart?
While I am going to give them a try, the point is, especially with low margin services like food delivery, double check that you aren’t going to be be charged a delivery fee to which you weren’t aware. It would make more sense to be upfront and consistent with customers that they are going to charge you a delivery fee, not the deception I experienced.
If the delivery was free for that particular day the email came out, they should have indicated so. That would make more sense.