DoorDash faces lawsuit over unfair iPhone charges

1 min read
DoorDash faces lawsuit over unfair iPhone charges

A popular food delivery service DoorDash finds itself entangled in a class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of practicing deceptive and unfair charging methods. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, claims that DoorDash deliberately charges iPhone users higher fees compared to their Android counterparts, even for identical orders to the same location. This revelation has raised concerns about potential bias and discrimination in pricing policies, shedding light on the hidden costs behind that distinctive blue message bubble.

The heart of the lawsuit revolves around DoorDash’s alleged engagement in deceptive, misleading, and fraudulent practices. One such practice involves the application of an “expanded range” fee, supposedly imposed when a restaurant falls outside the customer’s “normal delivery area.” However, the lawsuit asserts that DoorDash manipulates this fee to its advantage, exploiting situations where it is unwarranted. For instance, the company is accused of deliberately sending orders to more distant restaurant locations, justifying the imposition of the expanded range fee. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that DoorDash charges the fee to paid DashPass Program users, using it to offset the revenue loss incurred under the subscription plan.

What sets this lawsuit apart is the allegation that DoorDash discriminates between iPhone and Android users when it comes to charging the expanded range fee. The lawsuit claims that iPhone users are charged this fee more frequently than Android users, even when placing identical orders at the same time and for delivery to the same location. The plaintiffs argue that this discriminatory practice is based on studies revealing that iPhone users tend to have higher incomes, effectively turning it into a strategy for extracting more money from a particular user segment. Such tactics are portrayed as clear money grabs, further undermining trust in DoorDash’s pricing practices.

Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that DoorDash misleads customers by creating the impression that “normal delivery areas” are determined solely by geographic boundaries. In reality, the suit claims, these areas are influenced by how much a restaurant pays DoorDash. This revelation raises questions about the transparency and fairness of DoorDash’s business model, potentially eroding the trust customers place in the platform’s pricing structure.

The class-action lawsuit presents various other allegations against DoorDash. It claims that the company’s “city” fees are misleading, as customers are led to believe that the money is paid directly to local governments when, in fact, it goes to DoorDash’s coffers. Furthermore, the lawsuit argues that DoorDash’s optional “Express” fee of $3 does not actually expedite the delivery process, essentially rendering it an additional charge with no tangible benefit. Customers may end up paying for expedited delivery that offers no real advantage over standard service, raising concerns about the value and accuracy of the services provided by DoorDash.