Takeaway forced to refund customer who complained their ice cream was cold in Just Eat ‘scam’ – Manchester Evening News

A takeaway boss says he’s been forced to stop offering deliveries on Just Eat after a new scam emerged on the platform – which saw one of his customers refunded because they complained their ice cream was cold.

Hassan Habib, the man behind Lucky’s in Oldham, says he can no longer afford to use the platform after a spate of suspicious refunds on the site, costing him several hundred pounds each month.

He claims that the suspicious refunds started appearing more frequently after Just Eat changed their refund system to be more like their competitors at Uber Eats and Deliveroo, making it simpler for customers to get their money back if they were dissatisfied with the order.

According to Mr Habib, one of the most ridiculous refund requests he’s received was a customer asking for a refund on four milkshakes, a cheesecake and an ice cream because the food was cold.

He said: “We can see how many orders someone’s made on Just Eat or with us and I’ve seen someone who’s ordered food from us and they’ve never placed an order on Just Eat before.

“They ordered four milkshakes, a cheesecake, and an ice cream and 45 minutes later they put in a refund request because the food was cold.

“That’s just one of the many examples – they just order food, put down ‘X, Y, Z’ is wrong with it, do a refund and leave us to the costs.

“I fully understand that things go wrong, sometimes we make mistakes, we miss items or send the wrong item out, but we make it up to the customers whether it’s with a replacement item or a fully entitled refund.

Sign up for Oldham news updates direct to your inbox

Keep up to date with the top stories on life in and around Oldham with the new free email newsletter from MyOldham.

The MyOldham newsletter will go out weekly with a selection of our most popular articles, including the latest on the coronavirus pandemic and how Oldham is dealing with lockdown.

Follow this link and select My Oldham News. We have many other newsletters that may interest you as well.

“But now some really bad, evil people are taking advantage of this loophole and it’s left us in a really bad position.”

Lucky’s, which is based on Featherstall Road, has been working with Just Eat for over two years, and Mr Habib says it’s only recently that they started having problems.

He claims that the refund process has changed, making it simpler for customers, but harder for him or fellow business owners to dispute any suspicious refunds as the process is more frustrating than previously.

Before, the site would contact restaurants before giving the refund to ask if it was legitimate. Now, the firm will process the refunds with the information given to them, only charging the restaurant for complaints within their control, and giving the business 30 days to dispute any claims.

Although this change has not sparked the suspicious refunds, the two issues happening at the same time have been frustrating for the team.

Mr Habib, who used to manage Akbar’s in the city centre before starting his own firm, is keen to let other business owners know what he’s been through to try and stop them falling victim to the same scam.

He’s also calling on Just Eat and their competitors to implement processes that make it more difficult for users to abuse the system, and is attempting to organise a protest with other restaurants.

After speaking with several other owners, Mr Habib is hoping to gather between 50 to 100 firms all willing to switch off their order machines for an hour to express how unhappy they are with the situation.

He added: “We’ve got dining facilities but what about the restaurants that rely on deliveries?

“People are literally crying – what is going on?

“Nobody is doing anything about it, I feel like I’m just banging my head against a brick wall.

“This is affecting hard-working families and they’ve got nowhere to turn, we’ve just been left to put up with it, losing money.

“I work 90 hours a week and have burns and cuts all over my hands and why?

“For some scammer out there who Just Eat are supporting?

“I can afford to turn Just Eat off but a lot of businesses can’t, there’s nothing we can do to help them but we desperately need help.

“Even if we just turn the machines off for an hour to show we’re unhappy, that might help get a conversation going.”

Just Eat confirmed they would be speaking with Mr Habib to address his concerns, and said they were doing what they could to stop any fraudulent refund claims.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Just Eat is only successful if our restaurant partners are successful and we have a track record of helping restaurants prosper.

“The recent measures we’ve put in place are in line with industry standards and are to ensure an even fairer refunds process for all, such as increasing the time for restaurants to raise any disputes.

“Restaurant partners are always refunded in full when we find any fraudulent activity taking place.

“We’re keen to maintain an open dialogue with the restaurants on our platform and continue to review our policies and processes in this space to support both customers and restaurants alike.”