Keep eye on chargebacks from meal delivery to drive out fraud

Adding delivery as an option for customers is a growing trend in the restaurant industry, but as with any new feature, there are always challenges.

One of those challenges involves customers who are unsatisfied with their delivery order. Some McDonald’s owner/operators have discovered they are being charged for refunds of complete meals when customers complain to their UberEats driver that their order is incorrect – even if a customer is only missing a small item.

Essentially what happens is a customer complains to the UberEats delivery driver that something isn’t right with his meal. Uber asks the customer to complete a form and state whether they are missing just a part of their order or their entire meal.

In some cases, customers who may be only missing one item will mark that they are missing their entire order, thereby getting their entire order refunded. According to the Uber representative who spoke recently to Tammy Howell in our office, Uber tracks customer complaints and if they discover that there are too many from a customer or a location in a short amount of time, they will discontinue service to that person or location.

In the meantime, store owners are absorbing the costs of refunded meals, oftentimes not realizing it until much later.

One especially diligent owner/operator discovered this was happening as she was reviewing her weekly reports and saw a high number of chargebacks. While she figured out what was happening relatively quickly, it was still dismaying that neither she nor her manager had the opportunity to address the customers’ complaints before the entire meals were refunded.

As with most problems, communication is key to finding a resolution. Restaurant owners should try to communicate regularly with the delivery companies to try to clamp down on possible abuses as soon as possible.

As always, it is important that owner/operators keep a close eye on their billable sales each day, paying attention to refunds. We monitor our clients’ cash sheets each month and will alert you if we see any unusual activity. The best recourse, however, is to catch it before too much time has passed.