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Jay-Jay & Flynny can't believe the price increases eateries charge on apps
Consumer NZ believes businesses may be breaking the Fair Trading Act
00:00 / 02:31
Jay-Jay & Flynny

Are eateries allowed to increase prices on food delivery apps? Paul Flynn Investigates

We enlist the help of Consumer NZ to explain what rights buyers have when faced with increased app delivery prices.
2 August 2023 6:36PM

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."

Jay-Jay posts a table of her Uber Eats price comparison, with all items more expensive when purchased from the delivery app. Images: Jay-Jay Feeney/Instagram Stories

In response, part-time investigative radio host and a full-time food enthusiast, Paul Flynn, contacted Consumer NZ's Abby Damen to ask if businesses were justified to increase prices on delivery apps.

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.

You can follow Jay-Jay & Flynny on Instagram or Facebook, and tune in to our regular show from 3pm weekdays on More FM.