Company offered her a $7 discount for harassment
We love meal delivery apps — they’re easy, convenient, and allow us to have cake delivered to our house within an hour. But there’s a downside to this convenience, and that downside is that it puts women in danger (because doesn’t everything?) That’s what one woman experienced this weekend with one delivery service, and their response to her complaint was underwhelming, to say the least.
Yesterday, 33-year-old Michelle Midwinter and a friend ordered food from Just Eat, a British meal delivery service. She wrote a post on Twitter about what happened after her meal was delivered:
Just a snippet of Just Eat’s response to my receiving unsolicited messages from the guy who had just delivered my food. Nice one Just Eat! Apart from him using my number in this way surely being in breach of privacy laws etc, they don’t really seem to take it seriously do they?? pic.twitter.com/OVZkl0IW5f
— Michelle Midwinter (@ShelbyTree) January 15, 2018
According to Michelle, the driver just stared at her when she answered the door, which she assumed was because, according to a press release she issued later, he was angry that “I’d kept him waiting a long time.” Later, however, she received a message via WhatsApp from a number she didn’t recognize that said, “Hy. [sic]” “Who is this,” she replied. “A fan,” he wrote, with an emoji of a face winking with its tongue hanging out. “Of what,” she asked, still not understanding who was contacting her. “I’m the guy who delivered your meal,” he wrote.
“If you have a bf tell me I don’t want to make any problems,” he continued. “Goodnight bby [sic] see you next time when I get your meal.” He ended with an image of a lipstick print of a kiss. Midwinter replied, “I’m literally never ordering from there ever again.”
I’m not sure how anyone can see these texts as anything short of infuriating, threatening, and terrifying. A man who has her name, address, phone number, and knows what she looks like sent her harassing text messages. And not only does he have all of this private information, he also clearly has a poor understanding of boundaries since he’s contacting customers for personal reasons, something that has to be against Just Eat’s policies. And if it isn’t, it should be.
Midwinter was furious.
She contacted Just Eat via their live chat and talked with “Trixie,” who wrote that “The best thing to do is to give the restaurant feedback by leaving a review on Just Eat. Try and be constructive — we discuss reviews (good and bad) with restaurants and it helps them improve their service.” Be constructive my ass. This wasn’t a review of the Sweet and Sour Chicken, this was a complaint about harassment.
“I actually spat my tea out because I wasn’t expecting that response,” Midwinter Tells Scary Mommy.
When Midwinter told her that was not going to work, Trixie, who shared that Just Eat doesn’t “have a complaints department,” told Midwinter, “For the inconvenience, Just Eat will offer you a £5 goodwill voucher which you can use on your next order.” (£5 is about $7 in American money.) When Midwinter answered by saying, “It’s not ‘an inconvenience’ it’s absolutely outrageous and appalling behavior,” Trixie replied, “We don’t usually do this but I can offer you a goodwill voucher worth £10.”
Here, please accept this rock as my apology for robbing your house. No good? I’ll make it two rocks but you’re really busting my balls.
This woman just had her privacy breached by a driver from this service, and their response is to give her a $14 discount off another order? Do they not see how this is a) insulting, b) inadequate, and c) nowhere near addresses the problem?
PRESS RELEASE ABOUT THE INCIDENT pic.twitter.com/nCp1ctiI7s— Michelle Midwinter (@ShelbyTree) January 16, 2018
To make things worse, Midwinter learned after sharing her story on Facebook that two of her acquaintances had the same experience with the same driver. “I wonder how many other females reached out to Just Eat and received a similar response,” she wrote.
Midwinter’s post has also brought to light how common this kind of harassment is for female customers of meal delivery services.
This happened to me a few years ago, he kept the number because he liked the sound of my voice and wanted to make friends. I ended up changing my number safe to say i never ordered from that takeaway again.— georgie smith (@Dode227Smith) January 16, 2018
I recently had an #Argos delivery man peering through my window at 10pm and making a joke about seeing me in my pajamas when he next delivered to my house Very weird and creepy— lady L (@SArthurrat) January 16, 2018
Same here. Delivery guy kept sending me texts and kisses after dropping off the food. I blocked them. I'm in Chester.— Stephanie McAlea (@StephMcalea) January 16, 2018
OMG! the same thing happened to me with a just eat driver..I ignored him as soon as he told me he was the driver, he keep texting me and only stoped until my boyfriend send him a text!! I was legit scared of even leaving the house thinking he could be out— Isabella Malheiros (@bellamalheiros) January 16, 2018
Today, the Information Commissioner’s Office, an independent authority in Britain whose mission is to protect the personal data of the public, caught wind of the situation and sent out the following tweet:
Statement in response to reports of Just Eat story. @ShelbyTree pic.twitter.com/wFRqFiUXWS
— ICO (@ICOnews) January 16, 2018
Midwinter tells Scary Mommy that she spoke with Graham Corfield, the managing director of Just Eat earlier today: “He was utterly appalled that this was the response I got in the first place and they are immediately retraining all of their staff,” she shares. “They have outlined to me the action they are going to take and are going to keep me informed on what they do and the changes they make.”
We’re grateful to Midwinter for making her experience public. Now, it’s time for companies to make whatever changes are needed to prevent these kinds of situations from happening. “I now realize we have to consider the bigger picture,” she writes. “This is no longer about my personal experience, this is about every single female who has been victimized in this way by someone from a company we put our trust in.”
“I hope this whole incident will bring about change and help protect women from suffering a much worse fate than mine.”