Uber Eats’ Unfair Contractual Terms Come Under Scrutiny

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is gearing up to deal with unfair practices imposed by Uber Eats, American online food ordering and delivery platform launched by Uber, on restaurants it delivers from.

Following the investigation by ACCC, Uber will now review and amend its contract with restaurants that pushes the blame of substandard food complaints from customers, onto the restaurants, who then are liable to financial penalties as per the contract. Most of the food complains arise from delivery slipshoddiness rather than the fault of the restaurant.

The contract mentions delivery people as ‘agents of the restaurant’, even though the wage and rules of Uber Eats govern them. “Uber Eats has committed to changing its contract terms that we believe are unfair, because they make restaurants responsible and financially liable for elements outside of their control. 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”, Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said.

This breach of consumer law will be dealt with stringently by ACCC. If the contract is not amended, then the company will be taken to the court. The regulator said Australian law was “deficient” because there were no financial penalties for companies that imposed unfair terms on to consumers on a “take it or leave it” basis.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) also welcomed the regulator’s announcement, but said more needed to be done to protect the rights of Uber’s delivery riders.