Jay-Jay & Flynny are known to enjoy a delicious lunch or two from various inner-city eateries near More FM HQ.
However, they noticed a troubling trend of increasing prices on the delivery apps they frequently use. When they decided to conduct a thorough comparison of prices between some franchised and small business eateries they often order from, they realised how severe some of the cost increases are - and that consumers are footing that bill.
Sharing their findings on Jay-Jay's Instagram story, their research compared the prices of items ordered in-house, as take-out directly from the business, and through Uber Eats (excluding the delivery fee). The results revealed all items increased in price, with one item costing nearly $11 more than the in-store price, amounting to a 157% price hike.
Jay-Jay described the situation as both "infuriating and disturbing."
While Abby acknowledged that businesses might need to cover third-party service fees, she pointed out that it was unfair to not communicate the additional costs.
"I think it's risking breaching the Fair Trading Act."
Jay-Jay believed that businesses should not shift the burden of these costs onto consumers, especially when they already benefit from the exposure to a delivery app's extensive customer base, a view Abby shared. But she also explained that there was a need for transparency in pricing.
"It's about giving customers the chance to say, ‘Oh, actually, you know what? I wouldn't actually like to pay that fee. I might make the choice today to pop down and pick it up myself.’"
Consumer NZ is now working on lodging a complaint with the Commerce Commission to address these issues. This move is likely to be welcomed by consumers who simply want to order a good meal at a fair price, without a side dish of price gouging.
Listen to Paul Flynn Investigates: Food Delivery Costs in the podcast highlight above.