Marc Faulkner, director of the Deli Group in St Helens, Merseyside, oversees Dentons Deli, Newton Deli and Kopi Coffee, and says fraudulent refund requests are “absolutely crippling” his business
Image: Andrew Teebay/Liverpool Echo)
A takeaway owner claims he is being “driven out of business” by a Just Eat “loophole” where customers claim fraudulent refunds because they wrongly think that the food site foots the bill.
Marc Faulkner, director of the Deli Group in St Helens, Merseyside, oversees Dentons Deli, Newton Deli and Kopi Coffee, and says 16 fraudulent refund requests is “absolutely crippling” his business.
He says that is just from his most recent check of his accounts, and that it happens all the time, meaning his businesses are “running on borrowed time.”
All three of the Deli Group’s sites are long term Just Eat partners and Newton Deli is what is known as a Just Eat local legend which means they are one of the online food ordering company’s most popular restaurant partners, the Liverpool Echo reported.
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For this reason Marc said pulling away from Just Eat sadly isn’t an option for them as to lose the takeaway revenue would “simply close them down”.
Marc added: “Obviously we’re losing hundreds of pounds [through the loophole] anyway which isn’t sustainable either, so I don’t quite know what the answer and the way forward is.”
Marc believes that there is a “lingering misapprehension” that Just Eat picks up the cost when customers claim a refund – but he claims this is not the case, with the full value of any refunded amount being paid by the restaurant partner.
He added: “There seems to be a common misconception that you’re a business owner so you’re rolling in money, what they don’t realise is you’re a business owner who is massively overdrawn and haven’t paid any of your bills for months and that’s probably the reality of it for most of us.”
Just Eat said it has introduced measures which are designed to make the process fairer for restaurants and customers alike.
Marc added: “You wouldn’t walk out of a restaurant without paying for your meal, or the supermarket without paying for your shopping – but whilst you may think you’re just ‘gaming the system’ and getting a freebie meal courtesy of a multi-million pound business, what you’re actually doing is crippling small, independent local businesses.
“These are often the very same ones who have supported our communities during the most challenging 18 months.”
A spokesperson for Just Eat said: “We’re absolutely committed to supporting our restaurant partners and have recently put measures in place to ensure an even fairer refunds process. This includes increasing the time for restaurants to raise any disputes.
“While cases like these are rare, whenever we’re made aware of any activity relating to non-genuine orders, we will always take steps to ensure our partners are fairly compensated. We are continually reviewing our policies and processes in this space to support both customers and restaurants.”