One industry that’s taken off due to the COVID pandemic is the food delivery business. Back in the day, the only types of food you could be sure to get delivered to your house were pizza and Chinese food.
Food delivery services were around before COVID, but they saw exponential growth when people wouldn’t or couldn’t eat at a restaurant but still didn’t feel like cooking. In the midst of the pandemic, Sharon and I even had a wine dinner via ZOOM. Not the optimal venue but we got to use our dining room table for something other than storage.
I end up ordering food online at least twice a month, whether I like it or not, because I have to use the UBER and Grubhub/Seamless from my AMEX Gold card (unless I need to make an order from BOXED that month.)
Typically I’ll just pick up the tab for lunch at work, which has led to me learning about the quality of the food offered at Panda Express. After my first “meal” I followed everyone else and ordered the Orange Chicken.
Most recently, we ordered lunch from the local Tex-Mex chain Tijuana Flats. They’re big in the southeast and they serve above-average tacos, burritos, and salad bowls. Besides the other two staples mentioned above, the next best delivery foods are Tex-Mex and wings.
When we received our order and opened our lunches, something was missing—our side of guacamole.
This wasn’t a big deal but it’s an ongoing problem with delivery services. When we were eating meals at the restaurant or picking up our own meals, you knew you ordered a side of guac and it’s not on the tray or in the bag. You’d spot it right away and say something. The staff would apologize and hand you the missing element of your meal. Problem solved.
But if your meal is packed in a sealed bag, picked up by a courier, and dropped off at your home or work, who’s to know what’s in the bag until you open it up and hope to find the meal you ordered.
Occasionally things can get really messed up, like getting the wrong meal, but usually, it’s just a small thing. Not enough to ruin a meal but you’re bothered because you didn’t get what you wanted and paid for.
In my instance, I wanted a refund for the guac I never received. I went through the help menu on the Grubhub app.
I tapped the “Billing, payments & refunds” tab.
The best option here is to tap “Need more help?” That will take you to a live chat with an agent.
They asked how they could help and I said that we didn’t get the guac we ordered with lunch. A few moments later they confirmed it was the order with Tijuana Flats and before I was done with the chat, I received an email saying I received a refund for the item.
Was it worth it for the $3 and change? I think it was because Grubhub now knows that a restaurant messed up an order and I now know how to complain if another restaurant makes a bigger mistake.
The other main food delivery apps make it easy to report an incorrect order.
Uber Eats has links for wrong or missing items, food damage and receiving the wrong order entirely.
Doordash also has similar options on the help page.
It’s obvious from these help pages that plenty of people have opened up a delivery order to find something missing. If we don’t complain, they’re never going to fix the problem. They’re probably not going to fix the problem anyway, but at least get a refund for when something is missing from your order.
One more thing. Don’t snooze on asking for a refund because most services have a very short window for you to make your claim.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary