The Monday Peeve — Price Gouging

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.

33 thoughts on “The Monday Peeve — Price Gouging

  1. Taswegian1957 November 30, 2020 / 3:52 pm

    Have you contacted Door Dash to enquire about the reason for this? They are already charging you a hefty delivery fee. I wonder if the restaurant is aware that this is happening, they might actually end up losing business if people think that they are too expensive because they make the same mistake as you did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 30, 2020 / 4:08 pm

      I have sent an inquiry to DoorDash. Haven’t heard back yet.


      • Marleen December 1, 2020 / 2:47 am

        You might want to report it to your state attorney general.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Armstrong November 30, 2020 / 4:39 pm

    I know prices have gone up but that IS a little extreme. Before “quarantine” price gouging began, we had the same problem with the only ticket vendor in this area. It was, after awhile, the only way you could get tickets. Between all their extra charges, a $20 ticket would cost you $100 then. They busted that service, so now you don’t have to buy your tickets — to everything — from one vendor. It did a lot of damage because we stopped going to the theater completely and even after prices began to drop we didn’t go back. We’d lost the “habit” of reading reviews and looking for a new show to see. Now, show tickets are so expensive, I don’t know anyone who can afford them.

    I never understand services that overcharge and then are surprised when they lose their customers. Duh! How could they have foreseen it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 30, 2020 / 10:57 pm

      Well, DoorDash has lost my business.


  3. XingfuMama November 30, 2020 / 5:34 pm

    The thing that angers me, and the reason why we call the restaurant directly and pick up ourselves, is that the local restaurants are being stiffed by a big corporation (not new, but without the little guys the big corps wouldn’t have a product to deliver, and right now they are fighting for their lives).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 30, 2020 / 10:59 pm

      I thing going forward I’m going to deal directly with the restaurants and, as you do, go pick up the meals myself.


  4. JT Twissel November 30, 2020 / 5:46 pm

    We use the Door Dash app to order and pay for the food and then we go pick it up. I’m sure they charge the restaurants but so far they don’t charge us anything extra. I have noticed that we get less than we used to but I figure the restaurants are probably really suffering so a little bit of cut back we can live with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 30, 2020 / 11:02 pm

      Check the prices on the DoorDash app versus the prices on the specific restaurant’s website. I found the meals for a number of restaurants (but not all) cost more when ordered through the DoorDash than when you order directly from the restaurant.


  5. Don't Forget the Half November 30, 2020 / 6:16 pm

    I have friends who use meal delivery quite often and they’ve never mentioned anything like this. Hopefully the additional charges were accidentally applied and Door Dash issues you a credit but if not, they should be reported and no longer used.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 30, 2020 / 11:06 pm

      Your friends should look carefully at the prices for the meals when ordered through the deliver service’s app version when ordering directly from the restaurant. Also, they should watch out for delivery fees and service fees tacked on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don't Forget the Half December 1, 2020 / 5:50 am

        I’ll ask them to look closer, especially after your post and feedback on an article I read today saying Door Dash charges restaurants 30%. I guess some restaurants are passing that on to their customers.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. rugby843 November 30, 2020 / 7:33 pm

    Exactly.  And they shame you into a big tip.  Definitely not the same as looking into a sale paper from a grocery and the finding out how much they overcharged when using one of these services.  Luckily my daughter has a big family and calls me when she’s picking up an order so she picks up mine too.  And she gets gas points.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sadje November 30, 2020 / 7:36 pm

    I’ve noticed that too. But it was the convenience verses cost thing. It’s the same with instacart too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marleen November 30, 2020 / 8:28 pm

    That would anger me, too. That’s a big difference. When I order Chinese food, the restaurant itself delivers. Except when I was in St. Louis in June; then, I picked up myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bushboy November 30, 2020 / 10:03 pm

    The last sentence says it all. That would have ended after the first delivery……bastards
    You wouldn’t believe what it would cost for me to get a meal delivered here. Any place that has 30 minutes from order to your door guarantee would lose as I live more 30 mins from town!!! A taxi one way used to be $70

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Melanie B Cee December 1, 2020 / 8:20 am

    Damn! That would seriously piss me off! We recently got Grubhub up here in this boonie town, and I was considering using it, particularly when it snows. Guess I won’t be doing THAT. Heck. It’s a luxury to eat out, to pay a delivery charge, SERVICE charge (WTF?), as well as be a victim of that type of gouging? No thanks. But thank YOU Fandango for the heads up.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. leigha66 December 8, 2020 / 4:35 pm

    I have noticed some mark up. The thing that really puzzles me is the favorite Chinese restaurant through Door Dash does not deliver to us, but if we call the restaurant they do. Odd.

    Liked by 1 person

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