Local restaurants struggling even more due to fraudulent GrubHub orders

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FILE – This Feb. 20, 2018, file photo shows the Grubhub app on an iPhone in Chicago. Food delivery service Grubhub is considering a possible sale of the business as competition intensifies in the sector. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is looking at its strategic options. Grubhub competes in a sector filled with players including Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates. Consolidation in the industry is expected. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local restaurants struggle with the high commission fees charged by third party delivery services such as Uber Eats, GrubHub, and DoorDash, but in addition, are now being forced to deal with fraudulent GrubHub orders.

Dishonest customers have become aware of GrubHub’s no questions asked refund policies, and have reportedly begun calling GrubHub looking for a refund by claiming they have not received their delivery, or part of it.

In one instance, a customer on Manning Boulevard in Albany was reportedly caught having placed orders with multiple establishments throughout the City of Albany over multiple nights, using different accounts and names. What the customer would do is place an order, change the delivery address last minute, then contact GrubHub asking for a refund claiming they never received their order.

“The COVID pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people.” states Savoy Taproom owner Jason Pierce. “Unfortunately what we’re dealing with here is a small number of dishonest individuals that think nothing of kicking someone while they’re down, for their own benefit. To them it’s free food.”

The founder of Feed Albany, a local not-for-profit organization, reportedly began at the start of the COVID pandemic to provide free meals to at-risk and in-need people throughout the region, Pierce recognizes that access to food is a basic need that many in the region are struggling with.

“Through Feed Albany we’ve provided in excess of 200,000 free meals to people that need them.” states Mr. Pierce. “If people are in need of food, there are places to go and ways to get it without stealing from area restaurants.”

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says people may not be aware that they are breaking the law when committing these crimes, however he would like them to know that his department is ready and willing to prosecute those who are knowingly targeting already struggling local businesses.

“Placing an order on GrubHub with the knowledge that you’re going to redirect the order to another address and claim not to have received it, or placing an order, receiving the product and then falsely requesting and receiving a refund, it’s a crime and the more you do it the more severe the crime gets.” states Albany County Sheriff Craig D. Apple. “If you received the food, pay for it. It’s that simple.”

A Grubhub spokesperson said, “Grubhub takes these situations extremely seriously. We investigate immediately and take corrective action like banning diners where we see this behavior.”

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