UberEats Drivers Are Eating Customers' Food Thanks to 'Loophole,' Report Claims
Uber said it is investigating the matter.
A Florida woman claims an UberEats driver ate $60 worth of food she had ordered. She reported the claim to television news station WFLA, which was unable to substantiate the claim, but found evidence that drivers do swipe customers' food.
Angel Diaz explained that her order was canceled with no refund because the driver claimed he couldn't reach her. She said no one called her cell phone or knocked on her door, making it all the more suspicious. Diaz said she is a frequent customer of UberEats and that no driver has had trouble finding her home previously. Diaz did receive an Uber alert showing that the food was delivered.
While not presenting evidence related to this specific case, WFLA cited posts on the forum UberPeople.net in which drivers admit to eating customers' food, with one poster bragging about a "full rack of ribs this weekend." Some said they only ate the food because they were unable to deliver it. Posters said customers don't always provide apartment numbers or buzz codes, don't meet the driver at the curb in locations without parking, or just don't answer the doorbell. WFLA characterized this as a "loophole" that lets drivers keep the food.
"Answer the door or it's in my belly," one poster wrote. Other suggested ways to avoid getting caught. One advised limiting canceled orders to one in every 50 deliveries, and selecting "a legit reason from the list of reasons they give." Another said that drivers could send Uber "a fake nutritionist's note you're a vegan, or a rabbi note [saying that] you only eat kosher" if the company got suspicious.
However, one poster cautioned against the practice, saying that UberEats is "something the company takes very seriously." Others chimed in against food theft more forcefully after the WFLA report was posted in the forum.
Uber is investigating the issue and will give Diaz a full refund, a spokesperson told WFLA in response to the news station's report. The spokesperson said the driver in question had no prior complaints and noted that Uber advises drivers to throw away food if the customer cannot be reached.
Overall, posters seemed fairly disgruntled with UberEats. Multiple threads include complaints of low pay, an increased time commitment compared to carrying passengers for Uber, and issues with GPS. However, the service will likely remain important for Uber as it looks to expand beyond its core ride-hailing business.