Multiple users on social media platforms have registered complaints against food delivery agents indulging in “unethical behaviour”. Food delivery agents contacted by The Observer, however, categorically denied the allegations.
“I placed my order in McDonald’s and the initial guy who picked it up cancelled it. The next Swiggy guy went to the restaurant, only to realize my order was not there,” Reddit user Rajesh, who goes by the username FrustratedITsupport,informed The Observer. “I called the first guy and he said you will get a refund, and hung up the call.”
Rajesh got a refund10 days later, but had to go hungry the day he ordered food. Asked if he filed a police complaint, he said the bill was only Rs 180 and not worth the hassle.
Jambunatha, a head constable at the Siddapura police station, said they have received no complaints regarding such issues. “Most of the complaints we receive about food delivery agents concern traffic violations.”
Another Reddit user, iseeinstills, said he was asked to transfer Rs 380 as the delivery agent told him his bike had broken down. When he messaged the agent for an update, he realized his number was blocked. “Swiggy said he was not answering their calls and washed their hands of…,” the Reddit user said.
Restaurants have also fallen victim to such alleged acts. In a post titled “Swiggy Scammers”, a Reddit user who has the username Bulletz4Brkfstwrote how he unknowingly assisted a delivery agent in duping a restaurant. “I placed an order from Paradise Biryani, with my credit card being the payment method. But the delivery agent said that the order didn’t go through, so they manually placed the order and I had to pay him directly. He then asked me for my phone, cancelled the order and requested a refund.” I thought to myself, ‘I’m technically not losing any money so I don’t see a problem. I then paid him using Google Pay.”
Amarash Shekharappa of Paradise Biryani informed The Observer, said that the orders are often cancelled once they leave the restaurant, especially on weekends. “We raise the issue with the respective delivery company who refer us to the area managers.”
All the delivery agents The Observer spoke with said they do not indulge in such activities but know they are commonplace.
According to Tapan Behra, a Swiggy delivery agent, only 10 percent of delivery agents are sincere. “I am honest with my work. But most agents will falsely claim they don’t have the cash to return the change and customers are left with no option, especially at night.”
Behra spoke about a major issue delivery agents face. “Our phones and wallets often get stolen at night. My friend’s mobile got stolen, and when he chased the miscreants, they scared him with a knife. Thieves also snatch phones from moving bikes,” he said.
Mohan Raj, who has worked for Swiggy for over four months making Rs 5,000 a week, shared: “I have never indulged in such activities. But on one of my deliveries, I saw two delivery boys waiting for me to leave after I handed over the parcel. They then went up to the lady and asked for a payment again, but the lady had already paid online.”
A Swiggy official who did not want to be named said the “delivery partners” are not employees of Swiggy, but independent contractors. “We are not responsible for their actions but we do conduct background checks for pending court cases to ensure that we do not hire criminals.”
Asked about online complaints, he was quick to blame customers. “Some customers are just angry and go to online platforms…. However, if a complaint is registered, we investigate. The delivery partner can be fired or a police complaint… can be registered. If a delivery partner has a spotless record, however, we ensure to check if the customer’s complaint is substantiated.”