Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve post, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Today my peeve is directed at me for not realizing that I am the victim of price gouging. I’m peeved with myself for not paying enough attention.
Most restaurants in our local town have been closed, except for takeout or delivery, since this quarantine thing started back in March. So my wife and I have been using various meal delivery services like DoorDash or Grubhub for meal delivery.
We probably have had prepared meals delivered once a week over the past eight months. And we have found a Chinese restaurant that we both like and have been having their food delivered a couple of times a month. I typically go to the DoorDash app, place my order, and within an hour, it’s delivered to our house.
Last Friday, though, I had to pick up something at the hardware store and I decided to order takeout directly from that Chinese restaurant and to pick it up myself on my way back home. Included in the bag with the food was a paper menu.
I noticed that the food I picked up at the restaurant seemed to cost less than the same items when I ordered them from DoorDash. So when I got home I looked at the paper menu from the restaurant and then went back to look at my last electronic receipt from DoorDash for the exact same items.
Now I expected there to be a delivery charge from DoorDash that I wouldn’t be paying if I picked up the order myself. But what surprised me was that DoorDash also charged more for each item I ordered than what the restaurant charges.
For example, I ordered two orders of vegetable fried rice at $8.95 each on the restaurant’s menu. But on the DoorDash receipt, the charge was $9.85 each. We had two main dishes. On the restaurant’s paper menu, each was listed at $12.95. But on the Door Dash receipt, the charge was $14.25 for each. We also ordered some extra Chinese veggies — $10.95 on the menu and $12.05 on the DoorDash receipt. Finally, spring roll appetizer that was $6.95 on the menu was $7.65 from DoorDash.
Bottom line: the cost of our Chinese carry out from the restaurant came to $61.70, while the cost of the exact same items from DoorDash cost $67.90.
Now I know what you’re thinking: $6.20 is not a huge price to pay for the convenience of home delivery. But, on top of the prices for the individual items, DoorDash added a delivery fee of $6.99 plus a service fee of $13.58. So between the upcharges for the food, the delivery fee, and the service fee, the additional cost for the convenience of having my Chinese food delivered came to a whopping $26.77. That’s a 43.3% premium of what I paid when picking the food up myself versus having it delivered to my door. That’s a hefty chunk of change, especially if you multiply that by 16 for twice a month delivery over the past eight months
So yeah, I’m pissed at DoorDash for price gouging. But I’m even more pissed at myself for ignoring the fine print and for not paying attention to the details.