A class-action lawsuit alleges DoorDash charges iPhone users more than Android users.
The lawsuit claims the delivery app uses misleading and fraudulent tactics to charge users, and illustrates tests that show those on iOS devices are incurring more charges than others, presumably because studies show iPhone users earn more.
One way DoorDash is charging iPhone users more than Android users is through the app's "expanded range delivery fee," the lawsuit says. DoorDash claims the fee is meant to "preserve your access to the available merchants farthest from you." But the lawsuit says DoorDash never creates a "normal delivery area" for customers — it's actually based on the restaurants' service level plan, meaning how much they pay DoorDash.
iPhone users are charged the expanded range delivery fee more often than Android users. In tests detailed in the lawsuit, an iPhone user incurred the expanded range delivery fee and an Android user did not when placing the same order from the same location at the same time.
The lawsuit calls these tactics "money grabs."
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The lawsuit also challenges the rationale behind the breakdown of fees at checkout, saying the categorization is deceptive.
Customers are billed for a number of separate, smaller fees, like a delivery fee and a service fee. But the lawsuit claims that practice is misleading, because DoorDash is retaining all of those fees for a single service.
"DoorDash promises services that it does not provide, including charging consumers a premium amount for deliveries that DoorDash does not perform. DoorDash's 'delivery' fees are designed to make the 'service fee' it charges to 'operate' its technology appear smaller," the lawsuit said.
"If DoorDash instead bundled all of its delivery fees into one large service fee, that practice would raise questions in a consumer's mind whether using DoorDash's platform is truly worth the cost. In other words, DoorDash utilizes a psychologically manipulative pricing structure that strategically misleads, deceives, and defrauds consumers into using the technology platform at a much higher, premium cost," it continued.
The lawsuit was filed by Ross Hecox and Reid Hecox in the U.S. District Court of Maryland on May 5, and has recently gone viral on TikTok.
DoorDash has an estimated 32 million users and earns billions in annual revenue.
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