Food ordering company Grubhub has agreed to extend its refund window for restaurants that were unknowingly paying fees for Grubhub-generated phone calls — even if they didn’t result in orders.
Still, restaurant industry reps say that the company’s plan to offer refunds for up to 120 days from 60 days isn’t enough.
“If Grubhub charged a restaurant a bogus fee 300 days ago they must still refund it,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, according to the New York Post. He added that the new 120-day policy is “absurd.”
It was reported in May that Grubhub (which also owns Seamless) has been charging restaurants hundreds of dollars a month — sometimes for years — if the phone calls lasted longer than 45 seconds. The refund extension comes after months of pressure from lawmakers, including Sen. Chuck Schumer and New York City Council member Mark Gjonaj.
“While Grubhub’s announcement is a step in the right direction, it is a small step, and much more must be done,” Rigie said. “Their announcement does not even address the major complaint from so many restaurants, which is that their fees have continued to go up as they dominated the market.”
Grubhub added that it will also set up a website so eateries can “request direct control” of websites in their names that had been registered by Grubhub, as well as hold a series of roundtables with restaurants, including the New York Restaurant Association.
“They do not go far enough for the fees that should have never been charged,” Gjonaj said. “And I’m not really worried about Grubhub’s bottom line. I’m worried about the bottom line for mom and pop trying to stay afloat.”
For its part, the company assured that they “are committed to examining and immediately refunding any phone calls that did not result in orders. Additionally, we will redouble our efforts to continuously improve processes we use with regard to phone orders.”