Safety concerns arise over new online food delivery service
Facebook launched a new food delivery service feature earlier this month that creates more convenience for customers: however, one of our KVUE employees learned Sunday there can be some drawbacks when strangers bring food to your door.
"It kind of just hit me...I was really uncomfortable,” KVUE employee Daysi Yeates said.
It was an experience she will always remember but for all the wrong reasons.
"I scrolled through all the restaurants that were near me and lo and behold -- Buffalo Wild Wings was there," she said.
The restaurant doesn't offer its own delivery service, so they partner up with other companies. Her order was delivered by DoorDash. According to the company, their site doesn’t allow phone numbers to be shared or viewed by either party, but can connect the customer and deliverer without it.
Yeates says the “dasher” called using a non-Austin number initially and requested for her cell number and address. She provided both, saying she didn’t think anything was unusual, since there have been issues in the past with finding her apartment.
"I opened the door and he was breathing heavily and he had asked for a cup of water," she said. "He asked, 'Can I have some water?' And he indicated that he wanted to come inside, and he took a small step."
That was the first red flag.
She said after he left, it wasn't long before her phone started ringing from a caller she didn't recognize.
"I got this text message from a 512 number and it said 'Hi'," Yeates said.
Thinking it was a wrong number, she ignored it.
"Then, I got another text message saying, 'It's your number,’” she added.
Minutes later her phone rang, and the caller was someone she didn't expect: the delivery driver was begging to come back to her apartment. Yeates believed he saved her number and put it into his personal cell phone.
"He just kept insisting. He was like 'Oh you're such a beautiful woman; you're so pretty; can I come back? I really like you a lot, please.' And I was like no, no, no thank you,” Yeates said.
She filed a complaint with DoorDash and received an email apologizing for the experience and crediting her $5. Yeates says she won't be ordering from the company again, but wants others to be aware when using any app similar.
"Find out if they do background checks on the drivers, find out what reputable that service is, so you have an idea before you even place that order to start off with,” said Austin Police Officer Destiny Winston.
If you ever feel uncomfortable, APD recommends having the delivery sent to the leasing office, or using a well-lit area for the drop off. Winston stresses to never hesitate to report the issue to 311 or 911.
"Because she may not be the only person to experience this type of situation, the more documentation we have the better."
Moving forward, Yeates says she will be more cautious when using delivery services. She says she understands that these situations can happen at anytime with any service, but with the launch there's more accessibility and more options on apps some may not be familiar with.
"He didn't do anything. He didn't like come in and assault me, but he could have: and he could do it another person,” she said.
A DoorDash spokesperson released this statement:
“We believe no one should ever be subject to an uncomfortable experience at their own front door. In fact, this is the antithesis of our entire business. At DoorDash, we take the safety of our community extremely seriously and therefore conduct extensive background checks on each Dasher. We are investigating this report and will take appropriate action as soon as possible.”
Some of the requirements to become a Dash driver include: must be 18 or older, cannot have any major violations in the last 7 years (DUI, Reckless Driving, Homicide or Assault, Driving with a suspended license, failure to stop or report and driving with a license that is suspended or expired), cannot have more than 3 incidents in the last 3 years (an incident is an accident or a moving violation other than a major violation. An accident and violation occurring at the same time will be considered one incident).
After approval, a criminal background is conducted with applicant consent in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, conduct an individualized assessment, and will only consider arrests or criminal accusations that are pending or that resulted in a conviction within the past 7 years.
KVUE also reached out to Buffalo Wild Wings for comment and waiting for a reply.