Free Deliveries with a Mandated Delivery Fee Aren't Free
Consumers have been bringing up a very valid concern with NCCC. When ordering food and receiving delivery, many companies are adding a 'delivery fee' on top of the food price and tax. In discussions with many of these establishments, NCCC has learned that this fee is generally added to help the delivery driver offset the price of gasoline.
"I feel bad and confused," one consumer says to us about the issue. "If the drivers are coming from less than a mile away, why should I be paying the driver a delivery fee in addition to the amount of tip I believe is appropriate? It doesn't cost that much gas to go half a mile!"
Delivery fees are making decision-making harder on consumers, many of whom say they pick up their own food or avoid ordering it altogether due to the added fees. On a bill of $10-$15, if you normally tip $3, you're quite generous at about 30%. But what if there is already a $3 fee added to the order? Do you pay an additional dollar or two? Are you getting gouged by a 50% tip?
"Delivery fees go to the person delivering your food," says Sandra Bullock, NCCC President. "Why should consumers feel gouged at having to tip the driver on top of this delivery fee? Even worse, many websites are stating that this fee is not a tip to the driver. If the fee is going to the driver, it sounds like compensation to my ears!"
NCCC supports the rights of the consumer to pay gratuities as they see appropriate in exchange for a service. To mandate a fee has the potential to degrade the quality of service that consumers receive. NCCC applauds businesses who have instituted a truly free delivery policy in lieu of allowing the consumer to decide appropriate gratuities for services.