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20 Dec 2021

'Why won't Deliveroo refund me?'

From missing items to spilled drinks, Which? explains your rights if your takeaway doesn't turn up as expected

Do you have an issue you need to put right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted.

Dear Which?

I recently had a disappointing experience with Deliveroo. When my order turned up, myfood was missing and the hot drinks had spilled so they were only half full.

After rejecting the delivery, I complained to Deliveroo who said they look at complaints on a case-by-case basis and, looking at the information I provided, couldn't offer me a refund.

The response was unbelievable. I placed an order for four items and didn't receive any of them - of course I'm owed a refund or a credit note.

After a tirade of emails and tweets I was eventually offered a refund, but still no explanation as to why my request was initially rejected.

What I cannot stand is Deliveroo not telling me why they wouldn't give me my money back to begin with.

Looking at my case it's very clear I didn't get what I ordered. Can you help explain my rights please?

Cordelia Meacher, London

Put to Rights

Hannah Downes consumer rights expert at Which? says:

Delivery apps are meant to offer convenience, so finding yourself out-of-pocket and without the meal you ordered is far from ideal.

Unfortunately, Cordelia, you're not the only Deliveroo customer who has felt let down by their service.

Which? carried out an investigation earlier this year into delivery apps and found 59% of Deliveroo customers had problems with at least one order in the previous 12 months. For Just Eat and Uber Eats, it was 53% of customers.

The most common issues were late delivery, cold food and missing items. Many of those who had a problem found that it was difficult to complain, and only around half of those who complained were happy with the outcome.

We contacted Deliveroo with your story, Cordelia, and it said that it takes customer service seriously and has taken action internally to ensure this doesn't happen again. You'll be offered £15 in credit as a gesture of goodwill. It couldn't explain exactly why your initial request was refused.

If you, like Cordelia, find yourself with a hole in your pocket (and and an empty stomach) following a failed food delivery, make sure you take a photo of any missing or spilled items to support your complaint.

You might find you have to email or tweet them a few times to get the result you want.

Or, if you want to avoid a delivery headache altogether, you could try ordering directly from local restaurants; it's often cheaper and it might mean that it's easier to resolve any problems.

Need to know

  • If you're due a refund, consumer law is clear you should get it in the same way you paid in the first place - don't feel you have to accept a credit or voucher in the app if that's not how you paid.
  • Remember that in-app credit expires so make sure you're clear on the expiry date if you're sent a gesture of goodwill via credit.
  • Delivery app refusing to refund? You can make a chargeback claim (if you paid by debit card) or a Section 75 claim (if you paid by credit card) with your bank.

Get in touch. If you've got a consumer rights problem you need put right email us at yourstory@which.co.uk

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