Montgomery County officials warn consumers of costly fees related to online food delivery apps

Maryland

It is recommended to order directly from establishments to fully support businesses

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WDVM) — As many are using online apps for food delivery services, Montgomery County warns consumers of costly fees that you may not know about.

The county’s Office of Consumer Protection found there are typically hefty fees when using top apps, like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash. Those hidden fees are not only costing customers but restaurants too. A study managed by non-profit, Consumers’ Checkbook, found that leading delivery apps typically charge restaurants between 20 and 40% to ferry food to a customer’s home, even if the customer didn’t pay a delivery fee. Officials say it’s already bad enough restaurants and food establishments have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and do not need any additional setbacks.

In order to bypass extra fees, it’s best to support local businesses by ordering directly from the restaurants. Eric Friedman of the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection said, “The best approach, and this is what the county executive has urged, is to do consumer education. We should have transparency. We should be able to know what the pricing structure is, then the consumer can make their own decision.”

Friedman says do not be fooled by cheap or ‘free’ delivery. To tantalize first-timers, apps often offer deals, but those consumer savings often are charged back to the restaurant.

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