We see a lot of complaints on Pissed Consumer about what customers often feel is the worst food delivery service. Customers will leave them often to engage the company in conversation or warn others about using various food delivery services.
With thousands of reviews about the best and worst food delivery services on our site, we decided to use our algorithm* to sort out which company holds the title of the worst food delivery.
Key features of the food delivery websites contributed to our analysis as well. We analyzed the following features to find the best and worst food delivery apps and companies:
- Customer Service Experience
- Product and Service Offerings
- Refunds and Cancellations
To find the worst food delivery service, we pulled the five food delivery companies reviewed most often on PissedConsumer. We compared Grubhub vs Postmates, and Instacart vs FreshDirect. We looked at DoorDash vs Postmates and every other possible combination between the five. Read on to see 5 worst food delivery companies.
When you compare Doordash vs Postmates or FreshDirect, the ratings are close, but DoorDash comes out on top with a rating of 2 out of 5 stars. This rating is based on 14,300 DoorDash complaints, which is the highest total number of complaints as well.
In one of the thousands of DoorDash complaints on PissedConsumer, a customer explained how frustrated the poster was with trying to contact customer service using the DoorDash phone number.
The person explains “…I called customer service and was given a claim number, they verified that they did charge my bank account and no order was processed.
I was informed the claim was going to be sent to the escalation team and they would be resolving the issue. I was unable to get a time frame for the resolution and now have no access to those funds that are pending with my bank to feed my family…”
You can reach customer service by calling the DoorDash phone number at (650) 681-9470.
DoorDash Product and Service Offerings
DoorDash is a food delivery service that operates in medium and large cities. According to the About Us page of the site, DoorDash is a “technology company that connects people with the best in their cities.” The backbone of the company is door-to-door deliveries, but the About Us page also includes marketing ideas for merchants, delivery options for would-be employees and humanitarian outreach as well.
DoorDash breaks down the various restaurant choices into categories like Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Barbeque or Burgers.
You can sort the menu selections by starred reviews, price, and food type. Once you’ve decided on a location, you place your order online and a Dasher goes to collect the food on your behalf and bring it to your door.
DoorDash Refunds and Cancellations
If you need to cancel an order, the DoorDash customer service pages explain that you may cancel the order through the DoorDash website if the restaurant has not yet accepted the order. If the restaurant has accepted the order, however, you can still cancel the order by calling DoorDash customer service, but if the restaurant has begun preparing your order, no refunds will be given.
Fresh Direct Rating
According to the Fresh Direct reviews, the company has a rating of 2 out of a possible 5 stars. This is based on 69 total Fresh Direct complaints through PissedConsumer. Like the overall rating, Fresh Direct customer service has a rating of 2 out of a possible 5 stars.
Among the dozens of Fresh Direct complaints, several deals with Fresh Direct customer service. One reviewer explained his/her experience trying to contact the company about a rotten watermelon.
The person stated “...I used the little customer service email prompt that states you’ll receive a response in 1-3 hours..... about 12 hours pass with no response. So I called them to no avail, their was an alleged 45 min wait time for the phone so they prompted to call me back in 45 using their automated queue. Hours pass and no returned calls... “
If you have a question or concern, you can contact Fresh Direct customer service at (866) 511-1240.
Fresh Direct Product and Service Offerings
According to the Help section on the company’s website, Fresh Direct is “the smarter way to shop for food.” Fresh Direct offers fresh produce, fish, dairy and grocery store brands that are ordered online and then delivered to your door.
Fresh Direct is a grocery delivery service rather than a fast-food or prepared meal service. The homepage of the website has categories of food for ordering that mimic the traditional areas or aisles of a grocery store. These include the deli, bakery, wines, seafood, fruits, and vegetables among others.
If Fresh Direct delivers to your area, you will set up an account, load the items you want into your basket and then place a minimum order. Fresh Direct will charge a corresponding delivery fee based on your location. These fees and delivery areas are broken down in a chart found in the delivery FAQ questions.
Fresh Direct Refunds and Cancellations
According to the FAQ page, Fresh Direct allows changes and cancellations to orders provided they are made before the cutoff time included in a confirmation email. If you cancel before the cutoff time, you will not be charged for the order. If you cancel after the cutoff time, there is a 100% restocking fee of the cost of perishables and a 25% fee for the cost of packaged goods.
When you compare Instacart with Fresh Direct and DoorDash, the food delivery company falls solidly in the middle of the pack with 1.8 stars out of a possible 5. Out of 600 total Instacart complaints, only 9 have been resolved and aspects of customer service are accounted for in the top three customer dislikes about the company.
Many Instacart complaints address customer service. One PissedConsumer user left her review explaining how frustrating it can be when an order is not completed properly.
She explains, “I ordered delivery from Instacart and had items missing from my order. Instead of refunding my money or having the person go bring me my stuff, they offered me credits for my next purchase (over $75!!)…”
If you have questions or concerns about Instacart, you can contact customer service by calling (888) 246-7822.
Instacart Product and Service Offerings
According to Instacart FAQ pages, Instacart is a grocery delivery company that “delivers groceries in as little as an hour.” You have a choice of grocery stores in your immediate area. Choose a store, make your selections, and then order those items online.
An assigned shopper and delivery person will go and do the shopping on your behalf and the deliver the items to the location specified. Instacart offers you the possibility of chatting with the shopper as he or she is gathering your items. This service allows greater flexibility and customization if items on your list are not in stock or if substitutions need to be made.
Instacart Refunds and Cancellations
The Instacart FAQ page about Returns specifies that Shoppers cannot accept returns. If you need to cancel or ask about a refund on your order, you are encouraged to contact customer service or take the item to the store yourself to do an in-store return for a possible refund.
There are 41 total Postmates complaints on PissedConsumer that give the company a rating of 1.7 out of a possible 5. Many of the Postmates complaints are in regard to the staff and customer service provided by the company. In fact, customer service showed up a few times in the Postmates pros and cons.
When sorting out the Postmates pros and cons, it’s important to see what others have said in their Postmates complaints. One customer explained just how frustrating it was for her to work with the company and their delivery fees. The person said “A LUNCH THAT STARTED OUT AROUND $42.00. BY THE TIME IT WAS ALL SAID AND DONE IT WAS $91.50.
THE 10% TIP WAS CHARGED INCLUDING THE FEES THAT THEY CHARGED ME. WHY ISN'T SOMEONE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?? SERVICE FEE. DELIVERY FEE. MONTHLY UNLIMITED USE FEE. PLEASE STOP….”
If you have a concern or complaint, you can reach Postmates customer service by calling (800) 882-6106.
Postmates Product and Service Offerings
According to the Postmates FAQ section at the bottom of the home page, Postmates is the “food delivery, grocery delivery, whatever-you-can-think-of delivery app.” Postmates has more than 25,000 merchants across multiple cities.
To order from Postmates, you “find something you like, and add it to your cart.” Then the shopper assigned to you heads to the stores you selected to collect the items before he or she will “zigzag through the city streets to bring your package to you.”
Postmates Refunds and Cancellations
The Postmates FAQ section addresses refunds and cancellations. The company breaks down the possibility of refunds and cancellations across multiple possibilities. If you cancel before the shopper arrives at the store, you can cancel the order through the app and no charges are made. If you cancel an order after Postmates has placed it on your behalf, you will still pay for the item and a cancellation fee, but not for the delivery service. If you cancel the item after it has been ordered and picked up, you will not be able to cancel or be eligible for a refund.
When you go to compare GrubHub vs Postmates or Instacart, GrubHub falls at the bottom of the list. Thanks to hundreds of GrubHub reviews, the company has 1.4 stars out of a possible 5. 1300 GrubHub reviews left the company only one star for customer service, reliability and turnaround time. The website seems to top the list of GrubHub pros and cons but is overshadowed by the customer service experience.
It’s easy to spot the GrubHub pros and cons when you read through the online reviews and complaints. Many of the GrubHub reviews reflect the quality of the company’s customer service.
If you have a question or concern for GrubHub, you can reach the company by calling (877) 585-1085.
GrubHub Product and Service Offerings
According to the About Us page, Grubhub is “the nation’s leading online and mobile food ordering and delivery marketplace.” The company offers ordering and doorstep delivery of local takeout restaurants. The company is currently connected to “115,000 different restaurants in over 2,200 US cities.”
To use Grubhub, according to the homepage, you type in your address, find the restaurants near you that look appealing and place and order. You can find restaurants using the type of cuisine, the price, menu items or a restaurant name. Grubhub also provides access to reviews and coupons.
GrubHub Refunds and Cancellations
According to the Grubhub FAQ page, to cancel an order, you will need to contact Grubhub customer service. You should cancel as quickly as possible, as it may not be possible to cancel if the restaurant has already received the order and is making the food. Future orders can be cancelled up to four hours before the delivery time. This can be done through the Orders page of the Grubhub website. There is no mention of refunds on the Grubhub website.
Food is one of our greatest pleasures in life, but for some it can be a tremendous headache. When you are tying to find the best and worst food delivery apps, you must do more than just casually compare Instacart with Fresh Direct, or GrubHub with Postmates. Reading through complaints and noticing trends through analysis will help you determine not only the best companies to work with, but the ones most likely to bring you your dinner.
By Rebecca Garland
Business and Education Expert
Rebecca Garland, M.S. is a business and education writer. She holds secondary teaching certifications in six areas, has a degree in Business, and earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. As an expert, Rebecca has been working with international clients since 2005.
*A company’s rating is calculated using a mathematical algorithm that evaluates the information in your profile. The algorithm parameters are: users’ rating, number of resolved issues, number of company responses etc. The algorithm is subject to change in future.
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