Uber Eats will change its contracts with restaurants by the end of 2019, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found some terms to be “unfair”.
Currently, the contracts place the onus for failed deliveries onto restaurants. Under the terms, which have been in place since at least 2016, venue operators are responsible for the delivery of orders; Uber Eats has the right to deduct the amount for refunds from the restaurant — even if the problem with a meal was not the venue’s fault.
“We consider these terms to be unfair because they appear to cause a significant imbalance between restaurants and Uber Eats; the terms were not reasonably necessary to protect Uber Eats and could cause detriment to restaurants,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims.
Under the amended terms, restaurants will only be responsible for mishaps such as incorrect food items or missing orders. Operators will also have the option to dispute responsibility for refunds.
Uber Eats will begin communicate the changes in August — allowing restaurant partners time to review and discuss — with roll out of the new contracts to be completed by December 2019.
“We place a lot of value on establishing long-term relationships with our restaurant partners and it’s important that we provide a great partner experience — which includes giving them clear information about what to expect from us in a range of circumstances,” said Uber Eats regional general manager Jodie Auster in a statement.
Under the changes, Uber Eats will provide greater clarity about how complaints are handled and payments processed as well as additional information about the limited circumstances when restaurants need to cover the cost of refunds.
A more consistent and clear approach for varying and terminating agreements will also be set out.
The ACCC is also investigating a contract clause about the provision of logistics. The competition watchdog was concerned by these terms given Uber Eats’ role in determining the pool of drivers available to restaurants, their payments, and providing facilities such as the consumer’s address, map services and GPS tracking to assist the driver in delivering meals. Uber Eats also agreed to remedy this clause.
The ACCC will continue to monitor the delivery giant’s conduct in order to ensure unfair behaviour is abated.