Two weeks after My Business exposed concerns about the legality of Uber Eats’ contract terms with restaurants, the ACCC has announced it will formally investigate the company.
According to the ABC, ACCC chair Rod Sims told a business breakfast today that “we’ll certainly have a look” at Uber Eats, noting three possible areas where the company may have failed its compliance requirements.
“One is business-to-business — are they misleading the people they're dealing with?” Mr Sims was quoted as saying.
“Two is, are they engaged in unconscionable conduct, putting all the conduct together?
“And thirdly, are the terms with which they work unfair? So, there's a lot to look at there.”
A spokesperson for the ACCC confirmed that it is investigating the delivery service amid concerns that “third-party delivery services can place unreasonable conditions on small business”.
“The ACCC will examine Uber’s contracts with business and consumers for any potential breaches of the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC would have concerns where businesses impose terms impose terms and conditions that are one-sided,” the spokesperson said.
“Certain terms and conditions may be legally unfair within the definition of the Unfair Contract Term prohibitions under Australian Consumer Law. These agreements can also impact on effective competition in the food delivery market.
“The ACCC will also consider any representations made by Uber to determine whether there is any misleading or deceptive conduct.”
My Business first raised the prospect of unfair contract terms to the ACCC in early April, after NSW restaurant Burgers by Josh publicly complained about the contract terms imposed by the delivery giant being unfair and unprofitable, as well as delivering poor service.
The ABC subsequently took a more in-depth look at concerns surrounding Uber Eats and its contract terms in a story published yesterday.
Of the 526 reviews lodged for Uber Eats on productreview.com.au, the company had a rating of just 1.3 stars as of 23 April 2018. The overwhelming majority – 459 or 87 per cent – of those ratings were “terrible”.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.