A woman was shocked after ordering a Deliveroo takeaway and realising the restaurant had added a whooping £130 ‘small order fee’.
Alegria Gomes, 29, couldn’t be bothered to cook when she got home from work so turned to Deliveroo for her nightly sustenance.
She spent a minute selecting what she wanted, before settling on a new Thai restaurant she hadn’t eaten from before – and set about ordering the perfect meal.
But when she went to check out she realised the bill had grown by a whopping £130 as the restaurant had added a ‘small order fee’, taking her total to £160.99.
Alegria, who said she wasn’t surprised as it usually cost ‘£10 to breathe’ in London, quickly cancelled the order and opted for an oven pizza instead, but not before sharing the news online.
The New Thai Kitchen in Barking, east London, was soon ridiculed for the fee – but they defended the decision, because of how long it would have taken them to deliver to Algeria in Islington.
Alegria said: “It was almost like an immediate rejection. I thought I’m not spending £160. I was looking forward to a takeaway but my craving died as soon as I saw that price.
“If I’m too lazy to cook I don’t mind paying the normal £3.99-£4.99 charge, but you expect to spend that much on a slap-up meal in Knightsbridge not sitting at home in your apartment.
“You could spend that much to have a really nice dining experience, not two plastic takeaway bowls. It’s very different.
“We had spent ages trying to order something so eventually we just gave up and made an oven pizza instead.
“I wasn’t annoyed by it. It was light-hearted and I got a laugh out of it. I’m sure there’s somebody willing to pay the £160.
“Living in London and Islington is notoriously expensive anyway, so I found it nice to be shocked by the price because you get used to how expensive stuff is. That was funny.
“I’ve not thought to order anything from there since, definitely not if it’s going to cost that much. I’m sure they’ll have had no orders because of that charge.”
Alegria says she didn’t think to contact Deliveroo about it because it would have been more hassle than just making the food herself.
The New Thai Kitchen claim they call each customer if their order is subject to a large charge to see if they’d like to go ahead with delivery and believe it’s justified.
A spokesperson for New Thai Kitchen said: “As a service provider we have a certain distance that we cover. If the order is beyond that, the minimum order amount has to be so much.
“The customer has the right to cancel the order, and if we see an order like this we call them up and tell them they are being charged a certain amount and ask if they still want to go ahead, then we can cancel it for them.
“If we have a customer in Central London, it wouldn’t be feasible to send an order of £5 an hour and a half journey away.
Who do you think is in the wrong? Let us know in the comments.
“The fee is justified because if you think about it anyone can order through Deliveroo from anywhere so you have to have to look at the distance that’s covered.
“The owner has set up the minimum order with Deliveroo, so if it’s out of our range the minimum order has to be a certain amount.”
Delivero says that New Thai Kitchen are not full Deliveroo partners, meaning they arrange and pay for their own deliveries.
Deliveroo says the minimum order fee of £15 had been reached on Alegria’s order, so the additional charge was due to the delivery distance.
A spokesperson for Deliveroo said: “At Deliveroo we want our amazing customers to have the best food delivery experience possible.
“To show our appreciation to our customer, we have sent some free credit to ensure they have a great experience next time.
“We have also spoken to the restaurant partner to advise on how they can improve the customer experience.”
Alegria’s tweet, including the screengrab of the incident and the tongue-in-cheek caption ‘maybe moving to Islington wasn’t a great shout’ has racked up more than 1,200 likes and retweets.
John Calvin replied, saying: “This is like twice the monthly rent for a hostel accommodation where I’m at right now.”
User @JJDodders said: “The RUDENESS of that ‘spend £25 and get 15% off’ and you didn’t even get that discount despite spending £160.”
@waterb4by added: “How is £20 a small order anyway.”
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