Hyderabad: Consumers who order food online have become easy prey for app-based food delivery services like Foodpanda, Swiggy and Zomato who deliver food from unhygienic eateries. Unhygienic eateries are a common sight in areas like DLF, Gachibowli and Abids, where people mostly seek street food. Apart from late delivery and rude behaviour of executives, the bad quality of food is bothering netizens. Food delivery apps tie up with food joints which are not hygienic enough and give them a brand placement irrespective of the ground reality.
Users complain of the bad shape of the eateries and are apprehensive about the food quality. These apps also attract customers by providing huge discounts. Ms Amrutha Chandrashekaran, a resident of Tarnaka, narrating her friend’s experiences said: “Once she ordered a thali and found a fly in it. When she complained, the company returned the money. After a few days, she ordered chat online. The packing was so bad that half of the chat had spilled out. After that she has completely stopped ordering food from the app-based services.”
Ms Chandrashekaran said it was very scary to imagine that hundreds of people trust the delivery apps and buy food without being assured of the quality. Adding to the worry of those who puchase food from the app-based services is a recent video which went viral, showing the pathetic conditions in which the food was being prepared. The video showed flies buzzing around the kitchen and settling on food items.
The Indian Consumer Complaints Forum had as many as 257 complaints against Swiggy, a food delivery app, of which the company had resolved only 14. Swiggy’s customer satisfaction stood at only five per cent. Mr Guneet, a consumer, complained in the forum stating, “I had ordered American chopsuey. When I opened the packet, I saw fungus on the noodles. I immediately lodged a complaint and they refunded the money on my Swiggy wallet. They later took back the money from the wallet without any information.” Mr Guneet alleged, “They are just showing restaurants but the food is actually not getting delivered from the same restaurant.”
As contacting any personnel of the food delivery apps is an unfriendly exercise, customers have taken to Twitter and other online platforms to complain. A netizen, Mr Adarsh Goswami, said in a tweet that his order for a chicken dish was delivered with no chicken pieces. The gravy came with “zero chicken PIECES I repeat ZERO,” he tweeted. He paid Rs 420 for the order. “Such poor service surprisingly the restaurant is on Zomato, Punjabi Tadka Kondapur in Hyderabad (sic),” Mr Goswami wrote. Experts say that when a restaurant or an eatery is placed on the list of food delivery apps, people assume that they are worth trying. “Until a customer personally knows the place from where he or she is ordering food, one cannot trust the place.” an expert said.