How a customer’s false claim led to a week-long debacle over $74.90

Many of us have likely experienced what it’s like to have our food deliveries cancelled at the very last minute and for the more unfortunate, have missing items in our delivery. But have you thought about what it’s like on the other side?

The harsh reality is that when it comes to refunds and claims, legitimate or not, food establishments are often the first ones to suffer. That’s the case with KL Traditional Chilli Ban Mee – MacPherson.

KL Traditional Chilli Ban Mee - MacPherson - FoodPanda Refund Dispute Receipts

On 5 May 2023, at 11.36am, the store received a sizable order of 6 Ban Mee set meals and 1 Milk Tea worth a total of S$84.60. Based on the CCTV stills (see above) the store owner shared on Facebook, his staff was seen confirming the contents of the delivery at 11.51am. At 12pm, a foodpanda rider collected several of the Ban Mee sets and the Milk Tea from the collection table. He returned at 12:02pm to pick up 2 remaining food packets for the same delivery.

However, 4 days later on 9 May 2023 at 4.33pm, KL Traditional Chilli Ban Mee – MacPherson received an email from foodpanda claiming that not all the ordered items had been delivered. foodpanda then proceeded to charge the business S$74.90 for the supposedly missing goods. This was all done despite the lack of photographic or video proof from the customer, and no additional information from the food delivery service.

KL Traditional Chilli Ban Mee - MacPherson - FoodPanda Dispute Update Receipts

After corresponding with foodpanda over the next few days, they finally managed to resolve the matter on 11 May 2023. The food delivery company stated that they had reviewed the customer’s proof and it seemed to be “invalid”.

Amidst rising rent, delivery platform fees and other overheads, it is getting increasingly difficult for F&B businesses to continue operating today. My heart breaks for hawkers and F&B businesses like KL Traditional Chilli Ban Mee – MacPherson who are trying to stay afloat while keeping their prices affordable over the years.

Do you think the issue lies with food delivery companies not doing their due diligence in checking each customer-food establishment dispute ? Or is it that some customers choose to take advantage of the typically consumer-centric refund policy?

Whichever the case, we never know what goes on behind closed doors. But it does get exasperating and disheartening trying to unearth the meat of the matter for all involved parties. So let’s be a little kinder and a little more gracious — a little goes a long way.

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