DoorDash Accused of Charging Secret Delivery Fees Totaling Billions

On Monday, a Missouri man filed suit against DoorDash Inc., asserting that the company hides delivery fees from customers while inducing them to use its platform under false pretenses. According to the San Francisco, Calif. complaint, DoorDash covertly charges for food deliveries by adding a 15% to 30% commission on the price of food items, which it says is not borne by restaurants, but instead passed along to customers.

The complaint explains that in excess of 25 million people nationwide have signed up for DoorDash’s services, and in 2021, DoorDash reported revenue of more than $4.8 billion. The lawsuit says that the online food ordering and delivery platform’s rise to prominence was aided by its promise that customers would receive orders free of delivery charges.

However, the class action asserts that the company collects delivery fees surreptitiously by increasing the price of items for sale on restaurant menus. The complaint says that DoorDash’s allegedly widespread practice is “false and misleading,” insofar as it suggests that products purchased on DoorDash have no delivery fee while customers pay higher prices for the items delivered than they would if they went into the restaurant or store.

The plaintiff, who opted out of DoorDash’s arbitration agreement, seeks to certify a nationwide class of similarly situated people or entities who “placed a delivery order through DoorDash and been charged a higher price for the purchased items than they would have been charged if the customer purchased the items directly from the merchant, or through DoorDash’s pickup option.” Of the 25 million plus DoorDash customers nationwide, the filing contends that there is “well in excess of 100 DoorDash users” who fit the class parameters.

The complaint states three causes of action under California consumer fairness and business practice laws and one for breach of contract. The litigant is represented by Ellis George Cipollone O’Brien Annaguey LLP.