The TAKEAWAY Just Eat app has been criticized for raising its ‘service charge’ from 50p to £1.99.
Reviewers point out that many customers won’t even notice the change since it only appears at the checkout point – despite a “total” without it being displayed earlier.
For those increasingly paying through Apple Pay, it’s almost impossible to see because the details are so small.
For those paying by card, this is below where they confirm card details and click “place my order”.
It will boost the UK’s biggest takeaway app’s revenue by another tens of millions.
Just Eat hasn’t made any official announcements, and the changes are only described in a hard-to-find article in its help section.
Just Eat’s 50p service charge was introduced in January 2018 – in addition to delivery charges, which vary but are usually between 99p and £3, but can be free.
Now the service charge will be 5% of the value of the food order with a minimum of 50p and a cap of £1.99.
Just Eat says the service fee change will only affect orders for which its own drivers handle delivery.
It offers this to restaurants without their own delivery team, usually branded restaurant groups.
Where a restaurant uses its own drivers – which is often the case with local Indian, Chinese or pizzeria restaurants – the charge remains at 50p.
When you place an order on Just Eat, only the cost of food and delivery costs – added together as a “total” – are displayed before pressing the Go to Checkout button.
Even the next page – which confirms name, address and delivery time and asks if customers want to pay by PayPal, Apple Pay or by card and cash – contains no information on the total amount.
Service charges only appear on the next page.
JUST EAT IS NOT JUST AN APP WITH SERVICE FEES
The other two biggest delivery apps Uber Eats and Deliveroo also have service fees, unlike new rival FoodHub.
They display the total cost of the order, with service charges included, at the first total that customers see.
Deliveroo’s is also 5% but capped at 99p.
Uber Eats service charge and capped at £2.99. Both also have delivery charges.
Consumer rights expert Martyn James, of complaints website Resolver, said: ‘Companies like Just Eat work because they make life more convenient.
“But it’s inconvenient for consumers not to be informed of price increases that will cost them much more in the long run.
“People need to know what they will be paying upfront in order to make an informed choice on the best company to use.”
A spokeswoman for Just Eat said: “To help us ensure that we continue to provide the best take-out experience to all of our customers on behalf of our restaurant partners, we have moved from the current fixed service fee to a variable fee. depending on the value of the food order. .
“The change will only apply to orders from restaurants where Just Eat handles delivery and simply reflects the continued investment in our delivery service.”