Consumer NZ is urging Nando’s customers to check whether their free delivery is as free as the company suggests.
Customers of delivered food continue to be fed up with the lack of transparency and hidden information about delivery pricing.
Earlier this year, following complaints from frustrated customers, Consumer investigated misleading delivery prices and found many fast-food outlets were increasing the cost of every item in a customer's order if it was delivered, as well as charging a delivery fee.
“In July, we said businesses should be upfront about additional delivery fees so the customer can make an informed decision,” said Consumer’s head of communications and campaigns, Gemma Rasmussen.
“Since then, we heard Nando’s occasionally offers ‘free delivery’ as a perk, but the items will cost you more if you get them delivered. It’s hard to see how that makes delivery free.”
Nando’s NZ Facebook page shows customers have questioned how valid its free delivery service is. One customer noted, “it's a bit sketchy to say 'free delivery’ but then jack up the price of all the items for deliveries vs pickups”. Another customer commented, "very underhanded indeed”.
Nando’s responded: “The slightly higher price of menu items (when compared to our dine-in and pick-up prices) helps cover the costs and fees associated with delivery companies. This is common practice in the industry.”
Ben, a Nando’s customer, told Consumer: “That’s ‘delivery fee’ with extra words. It’s not ‘delivered for free’ if it costs more than picking up.”
Buried in the fine print
Since Consumer’s initial investigation into hidden delivery fees, KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl’s Jr and Taco Bell have added ‘Menu Pricing’ to their terms and conditions: “Menu prices may differ between delivery and pick-up due to the different associated costs and the nature of those services. The cost of delivery is captured through both the menu price and the service fee.”
Consumer lodged an official complaint with the Commerce Commission, asking it to investigate.