A popular Sydney burger chef has severed ties with UberEats and unleashed a scathing online spray against the "fascist" company after his business was hit by a wave of negative reviews from customers unhappy with cold food.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Burgers by Josh founder Josh Arthurs accused UberEats of "exploitation". "To all our loyal customers who have had a bad experience with UberEats we APOLOGISE," Arthurs wrote.
"As both a customer and food operational partner of this fascist company I have seen first-hand just how bad [an] experience it is for both parties involved."
He said the drivers were untrained in food handling and customer service and "any Joe off the street can join", and the problem was made worse because drivers were "not paid much so they will take one job/food order and often stop in and get another along the way which results in customers getting cold food".
"Now recently Uber changed its policy on refunds for customers and businesses," he said.
"Customers no longer have a call centre to call and they have to enter a complaint in via the app to be sent off overseas with an expected wait of 24 to 72-hour response time to then see if you are eligible for a refund.
"Doesn't really help when your food's not right there now does it? To make matters worse businesses have to compensate 50 per cent of the refund even if it's not the restaurant's fault."
Arthurs said his Google reviews had been "tarnished by unhappy customers whose issue is with delivery drivers or their handling of our much-loved product".
"We contacted Uber simply to be told they can't do anything about it and to give a bad review to drivers," he said. "To further that, Uber already takes 35 per cent off the overall sales sold through the app, leaving restaurants with no room to make a profit.
"This is a truly evil company and it's destroying our beautiful Australian restaurant culture. So we will no longer be partnering with UberEats and are looking into removing our contract with them.
"We will however be on Deliveroo as it's a much better service for customer and business alike with trained drivers, call centre for customers and much better business partner support. This overseas company is un-Australian and exploiting small business, we must say NO."
Many on Facebook sympathised with the post, which has been shared more than 200 times and attracted nearly 2000 comments.
Fellow burger restaurant owner, Milky Lane's Christian Avant, agreed. "We've used Deliveroo since day one bro and will be launching our own delivery before the end of the year," he said.
David Alphonso wrote, "I used UberEats once to get a burger delivered, the driver rang and said he was outside didn't even get out the car, took him 30 minutes for a 10 minute drive, food was cold."
An UberEats spokeswoman said, "Since we launched UberEats in Australia nearly two years ago, we have been overwhelmed by the positive response from Aussies who've truly embraced the app as a new way to get the food they love, delivered to their door at Uber speed.
"We place a lot of value on establishing long-term relationships with our restaurant partners but we understand that a partnership with us will not suit all restaurants.
"UberEats is proving popular with over 8000 active restaurants across Australia who choose to be on our platform because it helps them grow their business and reach new customers with a fast, reliable and efficient delivery option.
"Restaurant service fees give restaurant partners access to a large network of delivery partners and contribute to 24/7 customer and operational support, as well as app development, marketing campaigns and business insights. UberEats can be a cost-effective channel for reaching an entirely new customer base.
"We encourage all of our restaurant partners to reach out to us directly to address any concerns or issues they may be having and we will work to resolve these with them."