Technology

Lawsuit accuses DoorDash of charging iPhone users extra

The suit alleges that iPhone users are more likely to face higher fees than Android users for the same order. DoorDash said the claim is “blatantly false.”
DoorDash app
A lawsuit alleges that DoorDash charges iPhone users more for the same orders. / Photo: Shutterstock

DoorDash is being accused of charging iPhone users higher prices than Android users, a claim the delivery company says is “blatantly false.” 

In a proposed class-action lawsuit filed earlier this month, DoorDash customer Russ Hecox said he performed tests that show iPhone users are more likely to be charged higher delivery fees or hit with an “expanded range fee”—an extra charge for restaurants that are farther away—even when their orders are identical to Android users’ orders.

The complaint also says that members of DoorDash’s DashPass program are more likely to be charged an expanded range fee than non-subscribers. DashPass costs $9.99 a month and waives delivery fees on eligible orders.

The accusations are part of a larger lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland relating to the fees DoorDash charges consumers. The suit is asking for $1 billion in relief for a proposed class of potentially millions of DoorDash customers it argues were charged inappropriate or illegal fees.

DoorDash vehemently denied the allegations. “DoorDash does not charge more based on the type of phone you use—period,” the company said in a statement. “Any allegation that we deliberately charge iPhone and Android users differently or only charge DashPass members an Expanded Range Fee is blatantly false and completely ridiculous. We categorically reject the untrue claims in the lawsuit and look forward to vigorously fighting them."

Hecox, a resident of Marriottsville, Md., performed seven tests that involved ordering the same food at the same time from DoorDash using both iPhone and Android phones. In some cases, the customers were in the same location; in others, they were in different locations. But they always had the food delivered from the same brand to the same address. In each test, the iPhone user ended up paying more than the Android user. The difference in cost ranged from 8% to 32%.

The suit argues that this is because “studies suggest that iPhone users make more money than Android users.” It called the alleged tactic a “money grab.”

According to DoorDash’s website, delivery fees help cover the costs of getting the order to the customer, and can vary depending on the restaurant, location and “other factors,” including demand.

A DoorDash spokesperson said that it’s possible for customers to see different prices at different times based on changes to the platform, such as new features, promotions or limited-time menu items, but that those differences have nothing to do with the kind of phone a person is using.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Technology

Pipedream wants to take restaurant pickup underground

The startup uses robots and tunnels to move food from kitchen to car. It believes it can one day connect entire cities.

Financing

As CosMc's takes off, McDonald's operators want a piece of the action

The Bottom Line: But where that action should take place is the question. Many operators believe the brand should be a testing ground for McDonald's own beverage program.

Financing

Bad weather returns as a restaurant sales problem

The Bottom Line: Snow and cold in January kept customers from visiting restaurants. Here's why this might be a bigger influence in the future.

Trending

More from our partners