Author Topic: Is using food delivery apps unethical?  (Read 6220 times)

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #50 on: December 01, 2020, 05:14:51 PM »
No one should work FT hours and be at the poverty level. No one. Regardless of age, skill, field of work, country, industry, whatever. It's that simple. If uber have to give up their profits to do so fine by me. Anyone who isn't fine with that is trying to justify corporate bootlicking over giving a shit about their fellow man but isn't ballsy enough to articulate their spineless position.

I work 80 hours a week making buttons to sell, but no one is buying.  Clearly, the problem is society.

bloodaxe

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2020, 08:40:36 AM »
Quote
Do you see anything wrong with the gig economy and using it?
Nope

Quote
Do you think it puts unfair pressure on workers?
Nope

Quote
If legislation was passed turning such 'contractors' into employees, would you support that (and the presumed increase in prices)?
Don't really care. Will use whatever is best combination of cheap and convenient.

ChickenStash

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2020, 12:20:41 PM »
I have no ethical objections to "gig" jobs.

The law needs to catch up to the tech with regard to how the workers are classified - too much gray area and room for argument.

jrhampt

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #53 on: December 02, 2020, 12:38:12 PM »
Idk, I've never used any.  But my sister in law has relied on driving for Uber eats during the pandemic and drove for Uber prior to the pandemic as well.  I don't think it's a great gig for workers, but she's got a spotty job history and "desperate for work" as another poster put it is a good description. And the issues with car insurance have also come up for her - either she or her husband got in a car accident while driving for Uber and their insurance wouldn't cover the damage.  I can't remember how they solved that issue, but they've crashed a few times and my in-laws have bought them at least a couple of cars.  Anyway...no, I don't think it's a great job to have, but what else do you do if you're desperate for work?  And if these companies are employing people who otherwise have few prospects, is it wrong to help them stay employed by using the apps, even if they are being exploited?  I think you could argue both sides and be right.  Ideally they'd get paid more.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #54 on: December 02, 2020, 12:47:40 PM »
I've never used one of these apps, because they don't really represent a benefit to me. I can't think of many things more "first world" than paying to have expensive food delivered right to my door, or waiting around for a stranger to show up and drive me around. That being said, consenting adults making their own, completely legal choices don't bother me.


diapasoun

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #55 on: December 02, 2020, 01:01:08 PM »
No one should work FT hours and be at the poverty level. No one. Regardless of age, skill, field of work, country, industry, whatever. It's that simple. If uber have to give up their profits to do so fine by me.

This for sure.

There's a big difference between legal and ethical, which I think is kinda getting glossed over in some of this discussion. It's plenty legal to do all sorts of things. It doesn't make them ethical. Legitimate businesses can do all sorts of things that a court or review board would never blink an eye at, but it doesn't make those things right.

I don't think that Uber/Lyft/Doordash/etc pursue ethical relationships with their contractors or with many restaurants they "service." Their conduct may be perfectly legal, but I don't think it's ethical. So, yes, I think that ethical use of those apps is difficult. Not everyone's ethics are the same; you might not agree. That's fine. But for me? I avoid those services.

phildonnia

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #56 on: December 02, 2020, 01:10:38 PM »
Let's assume that the working conditions of gig workers generally sucks.  Whether it does or not can be argued, but let's just assume for the sake of debate that there's exploitation (whatever that is) and lack of job security, etc., etc.

A gig worker, assuming they are not actually a slave, is voluntarily doing that job because they think that it best serves their own values and goals, whatever those are.  It may not be the life you would choose.  But if you refuse to use their services solely because you think their working conditions are bad, you are essentially saying "my values about your life are superior to yours, so I will force you not to have employment that is not up to my own standards". 

It's hard to think of a more condescending attitude toward someone trying to make it with what they have.  Especially, when by the very same logic, that person is likely in a desperate or unfortunate situation.

PDXTabs

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #57 on: December 02, 2020, 01:11:06 PM »
Here in the US people would not be delivering food on bikes. They are driving cars.

ORly?

Edgar Sapon makes about $1,500 a month delivering food and has had two bikes stolen, including an electric bike that cost $2,000.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #58 on: December 02, 2020, 01:57:51 PM »
But if you refuse to use their services solely because you think their working conditions are bad, you are essentially saying "my values about your life are superior to yours, so I will force you not to have employment that is not up to my own standards". 

It's hard to think of a more condescending attitude toward someone trying to make it with what they have.  Especially, when by the very same logic, that person is likely in a desperate or unfortunate situation.

How short sighted and simplistic... and you're projecting.

If I regularly had $25 burning a hole in my pocket and the time to wait for someone to feed me, I would rather send that $25 to a food bank to help those people make ends meet and volunteer to teach them basic job skills like computer literacy and critical thinking than spend $25 on pre-cooked food delivered to my house, just so they can get the scraps that Grubhub tosses them from making a killing off of forcing their "services" upon and destroying independent restaurants whether they need or want them or not, and helping drive food prices so high that nobody can afford it.

I refuse to believe that enabling abusive greed just for the off-chance of a little trickle down is the best solution. We've been promised this line of swill since Reagan, and it's never materialized. Boycotts work.

The only way to win the game is to not play it to begin with.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 02:04:37 PM by Daley »

seattlecyclone

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #59 on: December 02, 2020, 02:46:16 PM »
I use the apps occasionally to order takeout that I pick up myself. I find it to be a more pleasant experience than calling in an order. The whole process (available restaurants near you are shown on a map, you know the menu will be right there in the app, you have time to mull things over before submitting the order, no need to talk to a person who might mishear your order, etc.) is much nicer from a customer perspective than what we had before. It's a service that adds value. Whatever types of financial terms these services set with the restaurant are opaque to me and really none of my concern. If the restaurants don't find it worthwhile, they can opt out. This type of trade-off is hardly new for them. They have to make similar decisions about whether the cost to accept credit cards or have a phone line or buy advertising or any number of other things will be worth the extra business these expenses enable them to bring in.

As to the delivery, I almost never find it worth the cost so I don't do it. Knowing that the drivers make pretty much nothing after vehicle expenses does make it harder, because the whole calculus of a proper tip makes my brain hurt enough that I'd usually rather just go get the food myself. If I'm ordering food from a restaurant a mile away, what's a fair wage for that trip? I have no earthly idea. The actual trip takes five minutes. Are they getting ten of these trips in an hour, or just a couple?

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #60 on: December 02, 2020, 03:18:35 PM »
Whatever types of financial terms these services set with the restaurant are opaque to me and really none of my concern. If the restaurants don't find it worthwhile, they can opt out. This type of trade-off is hardly new for them. They have to make similar decisions about whether the cost to accept credit cards or have a phone line or buy advertising or any number of other things will be worth the extra business these expenses enable them to bring in.

If you care about the restaurant and want to keep it in business, you should care.

And no, they're not given the option to opt out. The service is forced upon them whether they want it or not. Whether they already have online ordering and delivery personnel or not. In fact, one of these companies apologists, here in this very thread, basically made it clear that the only way for restaurants to "opt out" of their aggressively forced service is to literally sign up. I repeat, the only way to "opt out" from their service is to sign up, and you're still not opted out entirely from them. There's plenty of articls about how these outfits will actually add restaurants to their app without their permission. They've even added restaurants that have literally gone out of business.

Quote from: Daley
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2019/12/18/grubhub-doordash-add-milwaukee-restaurants-without-permission/2667379001/
https://gizmodo.com/doordash-pizza-arbitrage-shows-the-fubar-economics-of-d-1843530770
https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewrigie/2019/08/21/this-is-how-grubhub-is-hurting-your-favorite-restaurants-and-why-you-should-care/
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 03:22:28 PM by Daley »

sailinlight

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #61 on: December 02, 2020, 03:27:48 PM »
I don't understand how these apps work or why the restaurant would care, I've never used them. Isn't an analogy like someone buying a book from Barnes and Noble then reselling it for a higher price to someone else (while also providing the service of delivering the book to them)? What is the harm inflicted by the restaurant if someone wants to place an order, pick it up, then deliver it to someone else?

seattlecyclone

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #62 on: December 02, 2020, 03:35:13 PM »
And no, they're not given the option to opt out. The service is forced upon them whether they want it or not.

This assertion makes no sense to me. Of course they can opt out. What right does Uber or Doordash or whoever have to force a restaurant to make food that they haven't agreed to make, for a price they haven't agreed to accept? None at all.

Now, if Uber decides that they want to call in orders on behalf of their customers, and pay full price for them, what reason does the restaurant have to say no?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 03:39:29 PM by seattlecyclone »

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #63 on: December 02, 2020, 03:43:58 PM »
I don't understand how these apps work or why the restaurant would care, I've never used them. Isn't an analogy like someone buying a book from Barnes and Noble then reselling it for a higher price to someone else (while also providing the service of delivering the book to them)? What is the harm inflicted by the restaurant if someone wants to place an order, pick it up, then deliver it to someone else?

Because if the restaurant isn't opted in, the delivery service is paying someone to place the order and pick it up and deliver the food whether the restaurant knows or wants it or not, and the delivery service frequently will list inaccurate menus and prices and promise unrealistic delivery times. Then, the low-quality delivery service, screwed up order, and cold food gets blamed on the restaurant by the customer who ordered the food leaving negative reviews on the app while the delivery service gets off scott free for botching the transaction. There's no shortage of complaints about this.

And if they do sign up to have more control over when they do or do not accept delivery orders, the delivery service charges the restaurant a finders fee, taking a percentage of every order that usually exceeds the profit margin of the food itself, and they take that percentage whether the app's delivery drivers actually deliver the food or not. And then there's the fake phone numbers in the apps that route to the restaurant's real number where if calls exceed about 45 seconds or so, the restaurant gets charged for a business business referral fee, whether an order actually gets placed over the phone or not.

Seattle Cyclone thinks it's like choosing to have a phone number or take credit cards or buy advertising. Those things they can choose, and find providers if they want that service and are in line with what they actually think they need and can afford. This is techbro millionaires with deep enough pockets telling businesses that they're going to deliver their food and advertise their business whether they want it or not, and the only way to make sure it's accurate and they have any say over customer service beefs is to pay their service fees.

It's not something they opt into, it's forced on them, like a mafia protection racket.



And no, they're not given the option to opt out. The service is forced upon them whether they want it or not.

This assertion makes no sense to me. Of course they can opt out. What right does Uber or Doordash or whoever have to force a restaurant to make food that they haven't agreed to make, for a price they haven't agreed to accept? None at all.

Now, if Uber decides that they want to call in orders on behalf of their customers, and pay full price for them, what reason does the restaurant have to say no?

Just read the articles I linked. It'll start to make sense what's actually happening.

bloodaxe

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #64 on: December 02, 2020, 04:03:45 PM »
I don't understand how these apps work or why the restaurant would care, I've never used them. Isn't an analogy like someone buying a book from Barnes and Noble then reselling it for a higher price to someone else (while also providing the service of delivering the book to them)? What is the harm inflicted by the restaurant if someone wants to place an order, pick it up, then deliver it to someone else?

Because if the restaurant isn't opted in, the delivery service is paying someone to place the order and pick it up and deliver the food whether the restaurant knows or wants it or not, and the delivery service frequently will list inaccurate menus and prices and promise unrealistic delivery times. Then, the low-quality delivery service, screwed up order, and cold food gets blamed on the restaurant by the customer who ordered the food leaving negative reviews on the app while the delivery service gets off scott free for botching the transaction. There's no shortage of complaints about this.

And if they do sign up to have more control over when they do or do not accept delivery orders, the delivery service charges the restaurant a finders fee, taking a percentage of every order that usually exceeds the profit margin of the food itself, and they take that percentage whether the app's delivery drivers actually deliver the food or not. And then there's the fake phone numbers in the apps that route to the restaurant's real number where if calls exceed about 45 seconds or so, the restaurant gets charged for a business business referral fee, whether an order actually gets placed over the phone or not.

Seattle Cyclone thinks it's like choosing to have a phone number or take credit cards or buy advertising. Those things they can choose, and find providers if they want that service and are in line with what they actually think they need and can afford. This is techbro millionaires with deep enough pockets telling businesses that they're going to deliver their food and advertise their business whether they want it or not, and the only way to make sure it's accurate and they have any say over customer service beefs is to pay their service fees.

It's not something they opt into, it's forced on them, like a mafia protection racket.

There's far more upside than downside. A lot of restaurants are able to stay in business during coronavirus, and lazy people like me can get burritos delivered when I couldn't before.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #65 on: December 02, 2020, 04:06:43 PM »
Just read the articles I linked. It'll start to make sense what's actually happening.

I read the articles.

Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

On the whole I find the service to be very useful.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #66 on: December 02, 2020, 04:22:01 PM »
Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

How do you reject orders from an outfit that refuses to identify themselves as the source of your orders in the first place if you refuse to sign up with them? From an outfit that spams their own contact information over your own, misrepresenting themselves as your business partner and representative of yours, drowning out your real phone number, menu and website on the internet in search results with their own?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 04:23:46 PM by Daley »

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #67 on: December 02, 2020, 05:06:15 PM »
I use the apps occasionally to order takeout that I pick up myself. I find it to be a more pleasant experience than calling in an order. The whole process (available restaurants near you are shown on a map, you know the menu will be right there in the app, you have time to mull things over before submitting the order, no need to talk to a person who might mishear your order, etc.) is much nicer from a customer perspective than what we had before. It's a service that adds value. Whatever types of financial terms these services set with the restaurant are opaque to me and really none of my concern. If the restaurants don't find it worthwhile, they can opt out. This type of trade-off is hardly new for them. They have to make similar decisions about whether the cost to accept credit cards or have a phone line or buy advertising or any number of other things will be worth the extra business these expenses enable them to bring in.

As to the delivery, I almost never find it worth the cost so I don't do it. Knowing that the drivers make pretty much nothing after vehicle expenses does make it harder, because the whole calculus of a proper tip makes my brain hurt enough that I'd usually rather just go get the food myself. If I'm ordering food from a restaurant a mile away, what's a fair wage for that trip? I have no earthly idea. The actual trip takes five minutes. Are they getting ten of these trips in an hour, or just a couple?

Back when the apps first started delivery was free - it was subsidised by the apps, to get consumers on board. So I used to get that all the time. Now that delivery costs $5-$7 and the meals have also gone up in price, I usually just contact the restaurant directly as sometimes they have their own delivery drivers who do it cheaper, or I grab the food myself. I'm not interested in paying $7 for a 10 minute bike ride. The apps are starting to get greedy and I think they're about to realise that you can clear the market, but if you then hike your prices consumers are going to revolt. Personally I didn't get anything delivered during lockdown as a protest against the fee hikes.

ChickenStash

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #68 on: December 02, 2020, 05:09:42 PM »
Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

How do you reject orders from an outfit that refuses to identify themselves as the source of your orders in the first place if you refuse to sign up with them? From an outfit that spams their own contact information over your own, misrepresenting themselves as your business partner and representative of yours, drowning out your real phone number, menu and website on the internet in search results with their own?

By using the most powerful word in the English language: No.

With any shenanigans DoorDash or Grubhub try to pull, the last line is the restaurant. When someone, anyone calls with an order that they choose not to fill for any (non-protected) reason they can simply say no. The restaurant is under no obligation to fulfill an order from DoorDash, GrubHub, or anyone else if they choose not to.

Cranky

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #69 on: December 02, 2020, 05:19:04 PM »
I think that the delivery apps are unsustainable - they screw over the restaurants and the people who do the work, and they don’t actually make any money, and who on earth pays )10 to have food delivered from Taco Bell? The whole goal is to make money by selling the company.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #70 on: December 02, 2020, 05:31:50 PM »
Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

How do you reject orders from an outfit that refuses to identify themselves as the source of your orders in the first place if you refuse to sign up with them? From an outfit that spams their own contact information over your own, misrepresenting themselves as your business partner and representative of yours, drowning out your real phone number, menu and website on the internet in search results with their own?

By using the most powerful word in the English language: No.

With any shenanigans DoorDash or Grubhub try to pull, the last line is the restaurant. When someone, anyone calls with an order that they choose not to fill for any (non-protected) reason they can simply say no. The restaurant is under no obligation to fulfill an order from DoorDash, GrubHub, or anyone else if they choose not to.

Again, HOW does the restaurant do this without refusing to take ALL orders over the phone or in person? It's not like the people from Grubhub and Doordash placing the orders with the restaurant that isn't signed up are going, "I'm from X company placing an order for someone else!"

You can say no all you want, but they don't take no for an answer.

ChickenStash

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #71 on: December 02, 2020, 06:21:41 PM »
Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

How do you reject orders from an outfit that refuses to identify themselves as the source of your orders in the first place if you refuse to sign up with them? From an outfit that spams their own contact information over your own, misrepresenting themselves as your business partner and representative of yours, drowning out your real phone number, menu and website on the internet in search results with their own?

By using the most powerful word in the English language: No.

With any shenanigans DoorDash or Grubhub try to pull, the last line is the restaurant. When someone, anyone calls with an order that they choose not to fill for any (non-protected) reason they can simply say no. The restaurant is under no obligation to fulfill an order from DoorDash, GrubHub, or anyone else if they choose not to.

Again, HOW does the restaurant do this without refusing to take ALL orders over the phone or in person? It's not like the people from Grubhub and Doordash placing the orders with the restaurant that isn't signed up are going, "I'm from X company placing an order for someone else!"

You can say no all you want, but they don't take no for an answer.

What does it matter where the order comes from? If it is for an item at the agreed price, who cares?

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #72 on: December 02, 2020, 06:36:53 PM »
This is literally the most ridiculous circular logic I've seen in a while.

What does it matter where the order comes from? If it is for an item at the agreed price, who cares?

I don't understand how these apps work or why the restaurant would care, I've never used them. Isn't an analogy like someone buying a book from Barnes and Noble then reselling it for a higher price to someone else (while also providing the service of delivering the book to them)? What is the harm inflicted by the restaurant if someone wants to place an order, pick it up, then deliver it to someone else?

Because if the restaurant isn't opted in, the delivery service is paying someone to place the order and pick it up and deliver the food whether the restaurant knows or wants it or not, and the delivery service frequently will list inaccurate menus and prices and promise unrealistic delivery times. Then, the low-quality delivery service, screwed up order, and cold food gets blamed on the restaurant by the customer who ordered the food leaving negative reviews on the app while the delivery service gets off scott free for botching the transaction. There's no shortage of complaints about this.

And if they do sign up to have more control over when they do or do not accept delivery orders, the delivery service charges the restaurant a finders fee, taking a percentage of every order that usually exceeds the profit margin of the food itself, and they take that percentage whether the app's delivery drivers actually deliver the food or not. And then there's the fake phone numbers in the apps that route to the restaurant's real number where if calls exceed about 45 seconds or so, the restaurant gets charged for a business business referral fee, whether an order actually gets placed over the phone or not.

Seattle Cyclone thinks it's like choosing to have a phone number or take credit cards or buy advertising. Those things they can choose, and find providers if they want that service and are in line with what they actually think they need and can afford. This is techbro millionaires with deep enough pockets telling businesses that they're going to deliver their food and advertise their business whether they want it or not, and the only way to make sure it's accurate and they have any say over customer service beefs is to pay their service fees.

It's not something they opt into, it's forced on them, like a mafia protection racket.

Quote from: Daley
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2019/12/18/grubhub-doordash-add-milwaukee-restaurants-without-permission/2667379001/
https://gizmodo.com/doordash-pizza-arbitrage-shows-the-fubar-economics-of-d-1843530770
https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewrigie/2019/08/21/this-is-how-grubhub-is-hurting-your-favorite-restaurants-and-why-you-should-care/

Now this is the part where you respond just like Seattle Cyclone did with something like:

Quote
Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

Which I'll save you some time and posting to find out what the resulting dialogue will look like...

Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

How do you reject orders from an outfit that refuses to identify themselves as the source of your orders in the first place if you refuse to sign up with them? From an outfit that spams their own contact information over your own, misrepresenting themselves as your business partner and representative of yours, drowning out your real phone number, menu and website on the internet in search results with their own?

By using the most powerful word in the English language: No.

With any shenanigans DoorDash or Grubhub try to pull, the last line is the restaurant. When someone, anyone calls with an order that they choose not to fill for any (non-protected) reason they can simply say no. The restaurant is under no obligation to fulfill an order from DoorDash, GrubHub, or anyone else if they choose not to.

Again, HOW does the restaurant do this without refusing to take ALL orders over the phone or in person? It's not like the people from Grubhub and Doordash placing the orders with the restaurant that isn't signed up are going, "I'm from X company placing an order for someone else!"

You can say no all you want, but they don't take no for an answer.

What does it matter where the order comes from? If it is for an item at the agreed price, who cares?

This is literally the most ridiculous circular logic I've seen in a while.

I don't understand how these apps work or why the restaurant would care, I've never used them. Isn't an analogy like someone buying a book from Barnes and Noble then reselling it for a higher price to someone else (while also providing the service of delivering the book to them)? What is the harm inflicted by the restaurant if someone wants to place an order, pick it up, then deliver it to someone else?

Because if the restaurant isn't opted in, the delivery service is paying someone to place the order and pick it up and deliver the food whether the restaurant knows or wants it or not, and the delivery service frequently will list inaccurate menus and prices and promise unrealistic delivery times. Then, the low-quality delivery service, screwed up order, and cold food gets blamed on the restaurant by the customer who ordered the food leaving negative reviews on the app while the delivery service gets off scott free for botching the transaction. There's no shortage of complaints about this.

And if they do sign up to have more control over when they do or do not accept delivery orders, the delivery service charges the restaurant a finders fee, taking a percentage of every order that usually exceeds the profit margin of the food itself, and they take that percentage whether the app's delivery drivers actually deliver the food or not. And then there's the fake phone numbers in the apps that route to the restaurant's real number where if calls exceed about 45 seconds or so, the restaurant gets charged for a business business referral fee, whether an order actually gets placed over the phone or not.

Seattle Cyclone thinks it's like choosing to have a phone number or take credit cards or buy advertising. Those things they can choose, and find providers if they want that service and are in line with what they actually think they need and can afford. This is techbro millionaires with deep enough pockets telling businesses that they're going to deliver their food and advertise their business whether they want it or not, and the only way to make sure it's accurate and they have any say over customer service beefs is to pay their service fees.

It's not something they opt into, it's forced on them, like a mafia protection racket.

Quote from: Daley
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2019/12/18/grubhub-doordash-add-milwaukee-restaurants-without-permission/2667379001/
https://gizmodo.com/doordash-pizza-arbitrage-shows-the-fubar-economics-of-d-1843530770
https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewrigie/2019/08/21/this-is-how-grubhub-is-hurting-your-favorite-restaurants-and-why-you-should-care/

See how fun this is? Now pretend being a restaurant owner having to deal with businesses trying to take 30% off the top of all your orders with this sort of logic.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 06:46:03 PM by Daley »

ChickenStash

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #73 on: December 02, 2020, 06:46:13 PM »
This is literally the most ridiculous circular logic I've seen in a while.

What does it matter where the order comes from? If it is for an item at the agreed price, who cares?

I don't understand how these apps work or why the restaurant would care, I've never used them. Isn't an analogy like someone buying a book from Barnes and Noble then reselling it for a higher price to someone else (while also providing the service of delivering the book to them)? What is the harm inflicted by the restaurant if someone wants to place an order, pick it up, then deliver it to someone else?

Because if the restaurant isn't opted in, the delivery service is paying someone to place the order and pick it up and deliver the food whether the restaurant knows or wants it or not, and the delivery service frequently will list inaccurate menus and prices and promise unrealistic delivery times. Then, the low-quality delivery service, screwed up order, and cold food gets blamed on the restaurant by the customer who ordered the food leaving negative reviews on the app while the delivery service gets off scott free for botching the transaction. There's no shortage of complaints about this.

And if they do sign up to have more control over when they do or do not accept delivery orders, the delivery service charges the restaurant a finders fee, taking a percentage of every order that usually exceeds the profit margin of the food itself, and they take that percentage whether the app's delivery drivers actually deliver the food or not. And then there's the fake phone numbers in the apps that route to the restaurant's real number where if calls exceed about 45 seconds or so, the restaurant gets charged for a business business referral fee, whether an order actually gets placed over the phone or not.

Seattle Cyclone thinks it's like choosing to have a phone number or take credit cards or buy advertising. Those things they can choose, and find providers if they want that service and are in line with what they actually think they need and can afford. This is techbro millionaires with deep enough pockets telling businesses that they're going to deliver their food and advertise their business whether they want it or not, and the only way to make sure it's accurate and they have any say over customer service beefs is to pay their service fees.

It's not something they opt into, it's forced on them, like a mafia protection racket.

Quote from: Daley
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2019/12/18/grubhub-doordash-add-milwaukee-restaurants-without-permission/2667379001/
https://gizmodo.com/doordash-pizza-arbitrage-shows-the-fubar-economics-of-d-1843530770
https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewrigie/2019/08/21/this-is-how-grubhub-is-hurting-your-favorite-restaurants-and-why-you-should-care/

Now this is the part where you respond just like Seattle Cyclone did with something like:

Quote
Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

Which I'll save your some time and posting to find out what the resulting dialogue will look like...

Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

How do you reject orders from an outfit that refuses to identify themselves as the source of your orders in the first place if you refuse to sign up with them? From an outfit that spams their own contact information over your own, misrepresenting themselves as your business partner and representative of yours, drowning out your real phone number, menu and website on the internet in search results with their own?

By using the most powerful word in the English language: No.

With any shenanigans DoorDash or Grubhub try to pull, the last line is the restaurant. When someone, anyone calls with an order that they choose not to fill for any (non-protected) reason they can simply say no. The restaurant is under no obligation to fulfill an order from DoorDash, GrubHub, or anyone else if they choose not to.

Again, HOW does the restaurant do this without refusing to take ALL orders over the phone or in person? It's not like the people from Grubhub and Doordash placing the orders with the restaurant that isn't signed up are going, "I'm from X company placing an order for someone else!"

You can say no all you want, but they don't take no for an answer.

What does it matter where the order comes from? If it is for an item at the agreed price, who cares?

This is literally the most ridiculous circular logic I've seen in a while.

I don't understand how these apps work or why the restaurant would care, I've never used them. Isn't an analogy like someone buying a book from Barnes and Noble then reselling it for a higher price to someone else (while also providing the service of delivering the book to them)? What is the harm inflicted by the restaurant if someone wants to place an order, pick it up, then deliver it to someone else?

Because if the restaurant isn't opted in, the delivery service is paying someone to place the order and pick it up and deliver the food whether the restaurant knows or wants it or not, and the delivery service frequently will list inaccurate menus and prices and promise unrealistic delivery times. Then, the low-quality delivery service, screwed up order, and cold food gets blamed on the restaurant by the customer who ordered the food leaving negative reviews on the app while the delivery service gets off scott free for botching the transaction. There's no shortage of complaints about this.

And if they do sign up to have more control over when they do or do not accept delivery orders, the delivery service charges the restaurant a finders fee, taking a percentage of every order that usually exceeds the profit margin of the food itself, and they take that percentage whether the app's delivery drivers actually deliver the food or not. And then there's the fake phone numbers in the apps that route to the restaurant's real number where if calls exceed about 45 seconds or so, the restaurant gets charged for a business business referral fee, whether an order actually gets placed over the phone or not.

Seattle Cyclone thinks it's like choosing to have a phone number or take credit cards or buy advertising. Those things they can choose, and find providers if they want that service and are in line with what they actually think they need and can afford. This is techbro millionaires with deep enough pockets telling businesses that they're going to deliver their food and advertise their business whether they want it or not, and the only way to make sure it's accurate and they have any say over customer service beefs is to pay their service fees.

It's not something they opt into, it's forced on them, like a mafia protection racket.

Quote from: Daley
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2019/12/18/grubhub-doordash-add-milwaukee-restaurants-without-permission/2667379001/
https://gizmodo.com/doordash-pizza-arbitrage-shows-the-fubar-economics-of-d-1843530770
https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewrigie/2019/08/21/this-is-how-grubhub-is-hurting-your-favorite-restaurants-and-why-you-should-care/

See how fun this is? Now pretend being a restaurant owner having to deal with businesses trying to take 30% off the top of all your orders with this sort of logic.

How can a restaurant lose 30% off the top if they don't fulfill the order?

Here's the conversation over the phone:
* Hi, I want a burrito meal take-out
- Sure, that'll be $10 and it will be ready in 15mins.
* Great, I'll pay you $7.
- No, you will pay $10
* Here's $7
- click...
Done.

If they try to play games with the CC, reporting them to the CC company will get them in hot water quickly (seen it, personally).

ETA:

I get where you are coming from, that these are some fairly shady tactics but at what point is it now the responsibility of the restaurant to not allow themselves to be taken advantage of? On this type of topic outside the world of the gig apps, so many people get into hot water simply be cause they allow it to happen. Does it suck that GH/DD take 30% - yes. Does it suck that they don't pay the drivers much - sure. These companies operate on fairly thin ice, actually, so it would take very little disruption to send them under.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 06:55:19 PM by ChickenStash »

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #74 on: December 02, 2020, 07:16:28 PM »
How can a restaurant lose 30% off the top if they don't fulfill the order?

Here's the conversation over the phone:
* Hi, I want a burrito meal take-out
- Sure, that'll be $10 and it will be ready in 15mins.
* Great, I'll pay you $7.
- No, you will pay $10
* Here's $7
- click...
Done.

If they try to play games with the CC, reporting them to the CC company will get them in hot water quickly (seen it, personally).

See, this is a fundamentally flawed understanding of what's actually happening. Read the linked articles.

This is how the one pizzeria was doing arbitrage with their own pizzas through Doordash. Doordash added the pizzeria and its menu to their app without permission and with incorrect, lower than what the placed charged prices for what was being sold. The "customer" paid the cost listed on Doordash's menu, but had their delivery people pay the restaurant what they were actually charging. The pizzeria then had Doordash deliver the order to themselves. This place, without signing up for the service, has no way to tell which order is coming from actual customers or from Doordash because the company and delivery people don't identify themselves at the time of the order. They only find out which orders were from where when angry customers who ordered through the app they don't participate in call in to complain about crappy service, or when the company sends them a promo mailer showing how many orders and how much business they supposedly gave the restaurant. The only way they can take any form of control over what this delivery service is offering, to properly correct menu prices and have any control or say over the customer service issues and delivery times is to have to opt in, and opting in is where the delivery service then starts charging fees on orders that eats all their profit margin by getting charged up to 30% per order through the service and for any phone call taken through the app's listed phone number that exceeds ~45 seconds or so.

The business model is basically set up to sabotage the restaurant by peeling away customers from unsigned restaurants with cheaper prices ordered through their app and potentially hosing the restaurant's reputation in app due to the problems that naturally arise with a third party horning in and pretending to be a restaurant's order and delivery partner, but getting just enough right to make signing up look appealing in relation to how much business was supposedly sent to them through the app despite the problem with the problems supposedly disappearing once they sign up. But if they don't sign up? The delivery service keeps doing it anyway, strong arming them until they do sign up. Literally the only way to "opt out" is to sign up and cave to their tactics according to our own resident apologist. The only way they can take any sort of control over a third party forcing their way into their business is to let them in and give them the cut they want, a cut that most restaurants can't afford without massively jacking prices up higher, which reduces the number of customers.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 07:26:10 PM by Daley »

ChickenStash

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #75 on: December 02, 2020, 07:59:38 PM »
How can a restaurant lose 30% off the top if they don't fulfill the order?

Here's the conversation over the phone:
* Hi, I want a burrito meal take-out
- Sure, that'll be $10 and it will be ready in 15mins.
* Great, I'll pay you $7.
- No, you will pay $10
* Here's $7
- click...
Done.

If they try to play games with the CC, reporting them to the CC company will get them in hot water quickly (seen it, personally).

See, this is a fundamentally flawed understanding of what's actually happening. Read the linked articles.

This is how the one pizzeria was doing arbitrage with their own pizzas through Doordash. Doordash added the pizzeria and its menu to their app without permission and with incorrect, lower than what the placed charged prices for what was being sold. The "customer" paid the cost listed on Doordash's menu, but had their delivery people pay the restaurant what they were actually charging. The pizzeria then had Doordash deliver the order to themselves. This place, without signing up for the service, has no way to tell which order is coming from actual customers or from Doordash because the company and delivery people don't identify themselves at the time of the order. They only find out which orders were from where when angry customers who ordered through the app they don't participate in call in to complain about crappy service, or when the company sends them a promo mailer showing how many orders and how much business they supposedly gave the restaurant. The only way they can take any form of control over what this delivery service is offering, to properly correct menu prices and have any control or say over the customer service issues and delivery times is to have to opt in, and opting in is where the delivery service then starts charging fees on orders that eats all their profit margin by getting charged up to 30% and for any phone call taken through the app's listed phone number that exceeds ~45 seconds or so.

The business model is basically set up to sabotage the restaurant by peeling away customers from unsigned restaurants with cheaper prices ordered through their app and potentially hosing the restaurant's reputation in app due to the problems that naturally arise with a third party horning in and pretending to be a restaurant's order and delivery partner, but getting just enough right to make signing up look appealing in relation to how much business was supposedly sent to them through the app despite the problem with the problems supposedly disappearing once they sign up. But if they don't sign up? The delivery service keeps doing it anyway, strong arming them until they do sign up. Literally the only way to "opt out" is to sign up and cave to their tactics according to our own resident apologist. The only way they can take any sort of control over a third party forcing their way into their business is to let them in and give them the cut they want, a cut that most restaurants can't afford without massively jacking prices up higher, which reduces the number of customers.

I fail to see the problem with the pizza arbitrage situation. It's moronic, granted. They screwed DoorDash out of a good sum of money since DD was covering the fees to entice the pizzaria into joining by paying more for the pizza than they were charging. This is a self-solving problem. Once there is enough red ink on the books these companies will either go under or have to start charging market prices (and probably go under since their cost > value in most cases).

Regarding the bad reviews. I'm not so sure about that. A reasonable customer would likely place the blame for a cold pizza on the delivery service rather than restaurant. Not to say most customers are all that bright, though. A restaurant could easily cook the reviews in the arbitrage scenario to their advantage - two can play that game.

That article draws a good parallel to MoviePass that I was a part of for a while. I paid $30/mo (or was it $20? I don't remember) to get up to one theatre pass a day ($9.50 avg in my 'hood). They paid the theater full asking price for each ticket. As long as I went more than 3x per month, MP lost money. They only survived for a few years before their investors realized they were doomed. They rewrote the plan to start making a profit and died with a whimper when their customers vanished.

As I said in my ETA, there is some shady stuff going on here but the restaurants and the drivers have enormous power to improve the situation if they choose to. If these companies continue to survive and eventually make decent money then the conclusion I draw is that they are OK with the situation.


dividendman

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #76 on: December 02, 2020, 08:02:20 PM »
joleran is only partially right about these companies.

Uber etc. are just like Amazon/Walmart, in that the channel wants to occupy the market, and they have a huge advantage. Why? Because if you're the channel for multiple competing products, you then have the information with which to create your own product at the best prices/margins.

Amazon has their own brands for things they sell based on the research of other retailers selling on their site, same with the Walmart "great value" brand.

So, Uber doesn't care about the drivers, or the restaurants, they want all of it. The drivers are just a nuisance until self driving cars/drones can do the work. Once that happens, or concurrently, they'll take the data from what people are ordering from restaurants, and either open their own "kitchens" that don't have storefronts to compete, or buy out or build their own restaurants. That way they can take their superior market information and dominate all of the delivery restaurant industry pretty much.

Is any of this unethical? Meh. I mean, credit card companies are there, they were just too dumb to use their market data to create competing companies. I don't know why people aren't riled up that credit card companies exploit all of these restaurants through their profits.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #77 on: December 02, 2020, 08:02:38 PM »
Doordash in some cases propagated some out-of-date menus that they found elsewhere on the internet, which isn't great, but again the restaurant has no requirement to enter into any sort of contractual agreement with these companies. If Doordash calls in orders based on an outdated menu, the restaurant can reject those orders, just like they would do if anyone else tried to call in a bogus order based on a menu they found on Google, or taped to the fridge of their vacation rental, or whatever else.

If this happens often enough I'd hope Doordash would get the hint and stop trying to sell food from that restaurant until they get the menu right. Sure it might cause some minor customer service issues in the short run, but I know if it happened to me I'd be able to assign blame where it belongs: not with the restaurant.

How do you reject orders from an outfit that refuses to identify themselves as the source of your orders in the first place if you refuse to sign up with them? From an outfit that spams their own contact information over your own, misrepresenting themselves as your business partner and representative of yours, drowning out your real phone number, menu and website on the internet in search results with their own?

By using the most powerful word in the English language: No.

With any shenanigans DoorDash or Grubhub try to pull, the last line is the restaurant. When someone, anyone calls with an order that they choose not to fill for any (non-protected) reason they can simply say no. The restaurant is under no obligation to fulfill an order from DoorDash, GrubHub, or anyone else if they choose not to.

Again, HOW does the restaurant do this without refusing to take ALL orders over the phone or in person? It's not like the people from Grubhub and Doordash placing the orders with the restaurant that isn't signed up are going, "I'm from X company placing an order for someone else!"

You can say no all you want, but they don't take no for an answer.

If the restaurant literally can't tell the difference between a Doordash order and an order placed directly by the person eating, where's the problem? Why would I want to reject customers who are offering to pay full price for the products I'm advertising? That makes no sense.

The problems arise when the restaurant can tell the difference: when someone orders the asparagus dish that hasn't been on the menu since springtime, or offers to pay $7 for a $10 burrito. Just say no. What's the worst they can do? Take you off the app you didn't want to be in anyway? Keep spamming your phone with orders you don't want to take?

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #78 on: December 02, 2020, 08:47:21 PM »
As I said in my ETA, there is some shady stuff going on here but the restaurants and the drivers have enormous power to improve the situation if they choose to. If these companies continue to survive and eventually make decent money then the conclusion I draw is that they are OK with the situation.

But that's the thing, the delivery outfits have structured their business all-in on exploiting the restaurant with obscene service fees as the way to turn a profit short term to help get them to end game. This time last year, they were collapsing...

...and then the pandemic happened. Record unemployment hits with barely any government assistance. People are scared, people are hungry. Restaurants are terrified of going under and desperate to do anything to keep the doors open.

This year, suddenly they're making a profit, and yet the restaurants are still drowning financially with these partnerships and the drivers are treated and paid like dirt. People do stupid things during desperate times, most people aren't very good at math (even when they run a business), and will sell out their future for a short term "win".

The question was whether using these services were unethical. You admit yourself these outfits are acting shady when everything is laid out in how they operate. There's the answer. A large corporation that exploits their contractors and customers does deeply unethical things to make money. In other news, sky blue, water wet.



joleran is only partially right about these companies.

Uber etc. are just like Amazon/Walmart, in that the channel wants to occupy the market, and they have a huge advantage. Why? Because if you're the channel for multiple competing products, you then have the information with which to create your own product at the best prices/margins.

Amazon has their own brands for things they sell based on the research of other retailers selling on their site, same with the Walmart "great value" brand.

So, Uber doesn't care about the drivers, or the restaurants, they want all of it. The drivers are just a nuisance until self driving cars/drones can do the work. Once that happens, or concurrently, they'll take the data from what people are ordering from restaurants, and either open their own "kitchens" that don't have storefronts to compete, or buy out or build their own restaurants. That way they can take their superior market information and dominate all of the delivery restaurant industry pretty much.

Is any of this unethical? Meh. I mean, credit card companies are there, they were just too dumb to use their market data to create competing companies. I don't know why people aren't riled up that credit card companies exploit all of these restaurants through their profits.

Bingo. You see what I see, however, I clearly find it more troubling than you do. The problem is, this isn't capitalism. It takes deep pockets to play these games, and the end goal is monopolistic mega-corporations, not diversity. How do you compete with someone who has the money to bury your own advertising and contact information replacing it with their own to hijack your own customers, from a company who's only purpose and end goal is to make enough money off of you and your brand to either put you out of business or turn you into a namebrand to exploit before the laws catch up to prevent them from taking over the entire industry, provided they don't run out of money before the glorious robot revolution to outspend you?

As for concerns over credit card fees? I'm not one of those rewards jockeys from the forums here. I've honestly been bothered by it for years, and it does trouble me that they exploit the greed of end users with bonus money who's cost they pass off to the retailers with service fees. The problem is, credit cards have become so pervasive, the retailers' losses have to be baked into the prices of the stuff they sell because so many pay with plastic and they're not allowed to directly pass the processing fee onto the user, removing any incentive and ability to pay cash.

bloodaxe

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #79 on: December 03, 2020, 06:53:38 AM »
As I said in my ETA, there is some shady stuff going on here but the restaurants and the drivers have enormous power to improve the situation if they choose to. If these companies continue to survive and eventually make decent money then the conclusion I draw is that they are OK with the situation.

But that's the thing, the delivery outfits have structured their business all-in on exploiting the restaurant with obscene service fees as the way to turn a profit short term to help get them to end game. This time last year, they were collapsing...

...and then the pandemic happened. Record unemployment hits with barely any government assistance. People are scared, people are hungry. Restaurants are terrified of going under and desperate to do anything to keep the doors open.

This year, suddenly they're making a profit, and yet the restaurants are still drowning financially with these partnerships and the drivers are treated and paid like dirt. People do stupid things during desperate times, most people aren't very good at math (even when they run a business), and will sell out their future for a short term "win".

The question was whether using these services were unethical. You admit yourself these outfits are acting shady when everything is laid out in how they operate. There's the answer. A large corporation that exploits their contractors and customers does deeply unethical things to make money. In other news, sky blue, water wet.



joleran is only partially right about these companies.

Uber etc. are just like Amazon/Walmart, in that the channel wants to occupy the market, and they have a huge advantage. Why? Because if you're the channel for multiple competing products, you then have the information with which to create your own product at the best prices/margins.

Amazon has their own brands for things they sell based on the research of other retailers selling on their site, same with the Walmart "great value" brand.

So, Uber doesn't care about the drivers, or the restaurants, they want all of it. The drivers are just a nuisance until self driving cars/drones can do the work. Once that happens, or concurrently, they'll take the data from what people are ordering from restaurants, and either open their own "kitchens" that don't have storefronts to compete, or buy out or build their own restaurants. That way they can take their superior market information and dominate all of the delivery restaurant industry pretty much.

Is any of this unethical? Meh. I mean, credit card companies are there, they were just too dumb to use their market data to create competing companies. I don't know why people aren't riled up that credit card companies exploit all of these restaurants through their profits.

Bingo. You see what I see, however, I clearly find it more troubling than you do. The problem is, this isn't capitalism. It takes deep pockets to play these games, and the end goal is monopolistic mega-corporations, not diversity. How do you compete with someone who has the money to bury your own advertising and contact information replacing it with their own to hijack your own customers, from a company who's only purpose and end goal is to make enough money off of you and your brand to either put you out of business or turn you into a namebrand to exploit before the laws catch up to prevent them from taking over the entire industry, provided they don't run out of money before the glorious robot revolution to outspend you?

As for concerns over credit card fees? I'm not one of those rewards jockeys from the forums here. I've honestly been bothered by it for years, and it does trouble me that they exploit the greed of end users with bonus money who's cost they pass off to the retailers with service fees. The problem is, credit cards have become so pervasive, the retailers' losses have to be baked into the prices of the stuff they sell because so many pay with plastic and they're not allowed to directly pass the processing fee onto the user, removing any incentive and ability to pay cash.

Companies and restaurants have always had to change as technology improved. Businesses didn't have parking lots until cars, telephones until well telephones, or websites until the internet.

The main principle for any successful business is evolve or die.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #80 on: December 03, 2020, 08:29:57 AM »
Companies and restaurants have always had to change as technology improved. Businesses didn't have parking lots until cars, telephones until well telephones, or websites until the internet.

The main principle for any successful business is evolve or die.

There we go again, folks. Thanks for such an eloquent response Bloodaxe.

Vertically and horizontally integrated, multi-billion dollar corporations trying to take over an entire industry with the sole intent of monopolizing restaurant service in entire regions is just another telephone.

Evolve or die, restaurants! You're standing in the way of progress.

bloodaxe

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #81 on: December 03, 2020, 09:05:39 AM »
Companies and restaurants have always had to change as technology improved. Businesses didn't have parking lots until cars, telephones until well telephones, or websites until the internet.

The main principle for any successful business is evolve or die.

There we go again, folks. Thanks for such an eloquent response Bloodaxe.

Vertically and horizontally integrated, multi-billion dollar corporations trying to take over an entire industry with the sole intent of monopolizing restaurant service in entire regions is just another telephone.

Evolve or die, restaurants! You're standing in the way of progress.

They can either embrace the new tech or fight against it. The former is going to be easier and better for their company in the long run.

The various delivery companies haven't shown any signs of slowing down so far.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #82 on: December 03, 2020, 09:17:16 AM »
Don't forget, kids! Government regulation and taxes are evil. Nobody should have any say in how you do business or have access to take such a massive amount of your gross profit for doing almost nothing but exist.

Now be sure to use the technology we've developed that inserts us between you and your customers through domain hijacking and false phone number listings, and pay us a 30% tribute from your ticket sales for doing business on our turf so we can make money off of your labor... or die.

bloodaxe

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #83 on: December 03, 2020, 09:24:29 AM »
Don't forget, kids! Government regulation and taxes are evil. Nobody should have any say in how you do business or have access to take such a massive amount of your gross profit for doing almost nothing but exist.

Now be sure to use the technology we've developed that inserts us between you and your customers through domain hijacking and false phone number listings, and pay us a 30% tribute from your ticket sales for doing business on our turf so we can make money off of your labor... or die.

Yes pretty much this. The restaurant business is about as far as you can get from fair and easy.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #84 on: December 03, 2020, 09:25:37 AM »
Don't forget, kids! Government regulation and taxes are evil. Nobody should have any say in how you do business or have access to take such a massive amount of your gross profit for doing almost nothing but exist.

Now be sure to use the technology we've developed that inserts us between you and your customers through domain hijacking and false phone number listings, and pay us a 30% tribute from your ticket sales for doing business on our turf so we can make money off of your labor... or die.

Yes pretty much this. The restaurant business is about as far as you can get from fair and easy.

Hypocrite.

MOD NOTE: Disagree without name calling please.
« Mod Edit: 05 December 2020, 12:22:49 by arebelspy »

That is not name calling, Rebs. Name calling is saying something along the lines of delivery drivers can be any idiot.

Hypocrite, as in Bloodaxe's values and actions are literally that of a dictionary defined hypocrite due to the fact that they defend doing what they hate and present said behavior as a virtue based solely on who the person doing it is. Much like crying foul and seeking to censor someone for calling out said hypocritical behavior by equating it to a personal attack, while letting far uglier things said against an entire economic class of people stand without nary a peep simply because they're not as well off or skilled. That is the sort of thing that happens when a board moderator is behaving like a hypocrite by defending other hypocrites who would rather cry victim than wrestle with the uncomfortable tension between their actions and stated values.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2020, 02:25:21 PM by Daley »

dividendman

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #85 on: December 03, 2020, 09:38:55 AM »
joleran is only partially right about these companies.

Uber etc. are just like Amazon/Walmart, in that the channel wants to occupy the market, and they have a huge advantage. Why? Because if you're the channel for multiple competing products, you then have the information with which to create your own product at the best prices/margins.

Amazon has their own brands for things they sell based on the research of other retailers selling on their site, same with the Walmart "great value" brand.

So, Uber doesn't care about the drivers, or the restaurants, they want all of it. The drivers are just a nuisance until self driving cars/drones can do the work. Once that happens, or concurrently, they'll take the data from what people are ordering from restaurants, and either open their own "kitchens" that don't have storefronts to compete, or buy out or build their own restaurants. That way they can take their superior market information and dominate all of the delivery restaurant industry pretty much.

Is any of this unethical? Meh. I mean, credit card companies are there, they were just too dumb to use their market data to create competing companies. I don't know why people aren't riled up that credit card companies exploit all of these restaurants through their profits.

Bingo. You see what I see, however, I clearly find it more troubling than you do. The problem is, this isn't capitalism. It takes deep pockets to play these games, and the end goal is monopolistic mega-corporations, not diversity. How do you compete with someone who has the money to bury your own advertising and contact information replacing it with their own to hijack your own customers, from a company who's only purpose and end goal is to make enough money off of you and your brand to either put you out of business or turn you into a namebrand to exploit before the laws catch up to prevent them from taking over the entire industry, provided they don't run out of money before the glorious robot revolution to outspend you?

As for concerns over credit card fees? I'm not one of those rewards jockeys from the forums here. I've honestly been bothered by it for years, and it does trouble me that they exploit the greed of end users with bonus money who's cost they pass off to the retailers with service fees. The problem is, credit cards have become so pervasive, the retailers' losses have to be baked into the prices of the stuff they sell because so many pay with plastic and they're not allowed to directly pass the processing fee onto the user, removing any incentive and ability to pay cash.

I guess I'm not as concerned as you for a few reasons:
1) Harm to the consumer hasn't occurred. If anything, the consumer has benefitted greatly from Amazon, Walmart, Uber, etc. in the form of lower prices and better services.
2) I think long term we will eventually coalecse around UBI (or a "Freedom dividend" for the conservatives out there) that is funded in large part by taxes on these megacaps
3) New business entrants aren't being stopped - the megacaps (Mircosoft, Google, Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, etc.) are increasingly competing with one another in multiple dimensions, and new folks are coming in as well (wayfair, etc.)
3.1) I do agree that many more products and services are being commoditized by these megacaps, but I think that's generally good result.

Why do I think 2) will happen? Because as we can see, especially during this pandemic, even though the fiscal and monetary printing presses are going full on, there's little to no inflation. Why is that? Because the same few companies/people are soaking up all the money, inflation only occurs if money actually moves. At the end we need a way to get money back into the hands of people and that's why I think the efficiencies that these tech and other companies produce will be so great as to allow for an ever increasing UBI (or negative income tax, or freedom dividend, or name it how you want it), and I think that will be great for society.... getting there will be painful for the warehouse workers and drivers etc. so I'm sympathetic to that but I don't think the solution is to slow down the progress to more automation or reduce the market efficiencies these companies are generating/exploiting.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #86 on: December 03, 2020, 10:38:39 AM »
At the end we need a way to get money back into the hands of people and that's why I think the efficiencies that these tech and other companies produce will be so great as to allow for an ever increasing UBI (or negative income tax, or freedom dividend, or name it how you want it), and I think that will be great for society.... getting there will be painful for the warehouse workers and drivers etc. so I'm sympathetic to that but I don't think the solution is to slow down the progress to more automation or reduce the market efficiencies these companies are generating/exploiting.

I've not been convinced these tech companies have actually addressed inefficiencies so much as added needless complexity through opaque methods to an already broken system that creates the illusion of efficiency while consolidating control.

I don't entirely disagree with the need, but I view UBI as a false panacea, a solution to a problem that doesn't actually address the root cause of the suffering in the first place... but instead permits the power hungry behaviors of society to retain control while supposedly leveling a playing field in an imperfect universe where entropy, suffering and poverty can never truly be cured by human hands. Any system that maintains any form of status quo towards preserving any behavior that inflicts harm will inevitably metastasize and inflict harm in unintended and unexpected ways, and UBI can't exist without a concentration of industrial power. It may look good in theory, but it's likely UBI will instead be turned into a gilded cage in application.

...but, this too, must happen.

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #87 on: December 03, 2020, 12:34:09 PM »
Let's say I'm just "the restaurant guy".  People come to me personally and pay me for recommendations, to place their orders for them, and to bring them food.  Is that OK capitalism Daley or no?

If it's OK, it seems your problem is just that these companies can get really powerful because everyone wants to use them, and that's apparently bad.

If it's not OK, why is it OK for the restaurants to buy food that diners could easily prepare themselves and charge a markup, but not OK for me to do things the diners could easily do themselves and charge a markup?

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #88 on: December 03, 2020, 02:08:45 PM »
@dividendman This is why I have no faith in UBI longer term, and have greater concern over these behaviors than you do.

The people in charge of creating these wonderous technologies are people who are rich enough to burn money building corporate cultures that hold zero respect and value for human life and the labor of the little guy that enables their efforts in the first place, outside of how much money can be extracted from them. These are going to have to be, out of necessity, the same people left in charge with copious amounts of power over the wonderous technologies needed to "fix the market inefficiencies necessary" to make UBI actually work. There is no shame or remorse for their behavior, no clue why people are upset over how they behave despite being told in clear language why, only excuses and word games to try and justify their actions.

If they treat their customers like open wallets to plunder and datamine for their own profit, view forcing their service on others without their permission and demanding that they opt in and pay obscene fees or effectively lose control of their own business and customer base as perfectly acceptable behavior, while actively looking for legal loopholes to justify said behavior that would otherwise send them to prison today and actively lobby against laws that close those loopholes, refuse to see the value in paying their contractors who are actively working for them a living wage, and treat everyone involved like inhuman cogs deserving to be thrown away the instant they cease to bring them added profit right now... what makes you think those attitudes will change when they're the people holding the reigns to the infrastructure that the world has become dependent upon? People may get their "freedom dividend", but their survival is still dependent upon a group of powerful industrialists fueled by deep data who hate their fellow man so much that they refused to pay a living wage to the sorts of people they refer to as "idiots" surrounded by "meth and stupidity" (just as an example) when they actually did work for them directly. Their loyalty to the average consumer only goes so far as their ability to still be called a consumer, otherwise they're freeloaders who hold no value. How do you think those attitudes will manifest against the general populous when they're getting money for not working at all and someone chooses to do something with that freedom dividend other than consume ÜberGrubDash Taco Platter #4?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 02:10:37 PM by Daley »

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #89 on: December 03, 2020, 03:30:59 PM »
If they treat their customers like open wallets to plunder and datamine for their own profit, view forcing their service on others without their permission and demanding that they opt in and pay obscene fees or effectively lose control of their own business and customer base as perfectly acceptable behavior, while actively looking for legal loopholes to justify said behavior that would otherwise send them to prison today and actively lobby against laws that close those loopholes, refuse to see the value in paying their contractors who are actively working for them a living wage, and treat everyone involved like inhuman cogs deserving to be thrown away the instant they cease to bring them added profit right now... what makes you think those attitudes will change when they're the people holding the reigns to the infrastructure that the world has become dependent upon? People may get their "freedom dividend", but their survival is still dependent upon a group of powerful industrialists fueled by deep data who hate their fellow man so much that they refused to pay a living wage to the sorts of people they refer to as "idiots" surrounded by "meth and stupidity" (just as an example) when they actually did work for them directly. Their loyalty to the average consumer only goes so far as their ability to still be called a consumer, otherwise they're freeloaders who hold no value. How do you think those attitudes will manifest against the general populous when they're getting money for not working at all and someone chooses to do something with that freedom dividend other than consume ÜberGrubDash Taco Platter #4?

You could always start a competing business with more "fair" fees, or, if you feel you can't compete, appeal to legislators to cripple your competitors so you can.

You also seem quite dismissive of meth, but boy does it get the job done when it's needed.

fuzzy math

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #90 on: December 03, 2020, 05:48:39 PM »
How do you think those attitudes will manifest against the general populous when they're getting money for not working at all and someone chooses to do something with that freedom dividend other than consume ÜberGrubDash Taco Platter #4?

You're kind of obsessed with fatalistic thinking. I get it, I go there sometimes too, but in your zeal to fast forward to full corporate ownership of humans you're raging and trampling on everyone in this thread. Joleran pointed out in his first comment that the money is going towards tech workers, without even giving his personal judgment on it, and you're practically screaming at him about tech bros.

removing any incentive and ability to pay cash

Really? Restaurants have now removed the ability to accept cash because of credit cards? I'd love for you to find data about that

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #91 on: December 04, 2020, 05:36:37 AM »

removing any incentive and ability to pay cash

Really? Restaurants have now removed the ability to accept cash because of credit cards? I'd love for you to find data about that

Not to jump in the middle of this fight, but this rang a bell for me.  I'm not saying this is a trend, but yeah there are cashless restaurants.  And It's not just a pandemic thing.

https://www.todayfm.com/best-bits/irelands-first-cashless-cafe-opens-dublin-845780

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/dublin-city-cafe-in-the-money-after-going-completely-cashless-1.3792267

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #92 on: December 06, 2020, 10:54:52 AM »
Posted today on Facebook by a small, family-owned business that I have frequented for years:

Quote
It has come to our attention that we are now on GrubHub. This was done without our permission. GrubHub has asked to partner with us numerous times in the past. We have always DENIED them. The menu and pricing on their app was NOT created by us. We are NOT a "Taqueria'". We are and have always been a TAMALERIA. We are not associated with GrubHub at all or any online services , our only internet outreach is this Facebook page. We are not responsible for any misinformation through GrubHub and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you.

This could seriously hurt the tamaleria in question because unhappy customers will leave negative Google and Yelp reviews on their page after not getting the food they've ordered.

Edited to add that the Grubhub page for this tamaleria lists tamales that they don't even make, doesn't list the ones that they actually do make, lists side dishes that they don't sell (they literally only sell tamales by the dozen for cash only), and claims to still be taking orders at 8:30 PM when the business closes at 6 pm daily.

Unethical? Yes. GrubHub is risking ruining this company's ratings and defrauding customers.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2020, 06:39:36 PM by OtherJen »

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #93 on: December 06, 2020, 10:38:37 PM »
How does GrubHub not get sued for that? It's misleading to use another business's goodwill like that without permission.

OtherJen

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #94 on: December 07, 2020, 04:35:30 AM »
How does GrubHub not get sued for that? It's misleading to use another business's goodwill like that without permission.

It's not even using the business's goodwill. GrubHub went so far as to fake a logo, menu/pricing, and operating hours. It's straight up fraud.

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #95 on: December 08, 2020, 06:37:15 AM »
How does GrubHub not get sued for that? It's misleading to use another business's goodwill like that without permission.

All the companies do this - Doordash basically took over the market by being the first to adapt this strategy.  But yes, they are all getting sued too.