Chicago sues DoorDash and Grubhub over ‘unfair and deceptive’ practices

The city of Chicago has sued food delivery services DoorDash and Grubhub for using deceptive and unfair tactics to harm restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic. The two lawsuits accuse the services of an arsenal of misconduct, including falsely advertising restaurant delivery services without their consent, charging customers misleading fees and concealing the charges they have added to a meal.

“It is deeply disturbing and unfortunate that these companies have broken the law in these incredibly difficult times, using unfair and deceptive tactics to take advantage of restaurants and consumers struggling to survive,” he said. said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who filed the complaints along with Kenneth Meyer, Commissioner for Acting Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), and corporate lawyer Celia Meza.

The lawsuits apparently stem from a collaboration between the BACP and the City of Chicago Law Department, and they are alleging claims based on the Chicago Municipal Code. But they reflect incidents cited in other lawsuits and public controversies. Grubhub’s lawsuitFor example, claims that the company’s highly criticized “Supper for Support” discount was “so deceptive that it was forced to issue corrective statements nationally.” Among many other problems, it also stands out Grubhub’s practice from publishing phone numbers that direct callers to restaurants but quietly add their own fees, to creating “rogue” versions of restaurant websites.

Grubhub denied the allegations. “We are deeply disappointed with Mayor Lightfoot’s decision to file this baseless lawsuit. Any claim is categorically false and we will aggressively defend our business practices. We look forward to responding in court and are confident that we will prevail,” a spokesperson said The edge. Grubhub says it discontinued phone orders on Aug. 23, although users can still place a Grubhub order through a representative over the phone, and it no longer makes the respective websites.

This is the second recent government lawsuit against Grubhub. In July, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey sued for allegedly exceeding a 15 percent local limit on restaurant reimbursements — a charge also featured in the Chicago complaint.

DoorDash is similarly accused of moving Chicago’s 15 percent cap with a $1.50 “Chicago Fee” that “misleadingly made it clear to consumers that the city was imposing this fee and receiving the money.”

DoorDash’s lawsuit also includes a shot at the company’s tipping policy – which asked for “tips” to pay drivers’ existing wages rather than actually passing them on as a bonus. (DoorDash announced it would change its policy in 2019) “DoorDash has tricked consumers in Chicago into believing they were using the ‘tip’ feature on the DoorDash platform to supplement the income of the driver who delivered their food , on top of the base salary provided by DoorDash. Instead, DoorDash largely used the consumer’s ‘tip’ to subsidize its own agreed payment to the driver,” the suit says.

DoorDash also denied the suit’s merits. “This lawsuit is unfounded. It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money, and Chicago residents should be outraged. DoorDash has assisted the City of Chicago during the pandemic, has waived restaurant fees, provided $500,000 in direct grants, created strong earning opportunities and delivered food and other necessities to communities in need,” a spokesperson said in a statement. The edge. Last year it was settled a lawsuit in Washington, DC on his $2.5 million tipping policy; the settlement did not include an admission of wrongdoing.