Ross Hecox and his sons have filed a lawsuit against DoorDash in a Maryland federal court, claiming that the company is misleading its customers. They accuse DoorDash of charging Apple users more than Android users for the same order and tacking on an unnecessary additional fee to DashPass orders. They also claim DoorDash targets minors and intentionally makes informing yourself about their fees difficult.
“DoorDash utilizes a psychologically manipulative pricing structure that strategically misleads, deceives, and defrauds consumers into using the technology platform at a much higher, premium cost,” their complaint says.
Tests included in the complaint detail how two users, one on Android and one on iPhone, were charged different prices for the same order at the same restaurant. Another test shows how an ‘Expanded Range Fee’ is applied to a DashPass user’s account but not to an unsubscribed account.
“The claims put forward in the amended complaint are baseless and simply without merit,” a DoorDash spokesperson told Gizmodo. “Our priority is to provide the best service possible and ensure there is clarity for consumers that allows them to make informed decisions.”
The lawsuit claims that Doordash “likely” charges more for iPhone users because “studies reveal iPhone users earn more.” One 2018 survey did find that the average iPhone user’s salary was, on average, higher than the average Android user’s.
However, Apple earns 30 percent on payments made through in-app purchases, on the app store, or through iTunes. Some companies have raised subscription fees on Apple devices to account for that percentage. Spotify is one example, though it informed its customers they could save money by subscribing on the web.
Other than these two fee-related complaints, the lawsuit claims that DoorDash is intentionally dissuading customers from understanding its fees with poor user interfaces, among other things. They also argue that DoorDash intentionally targets minors. It points particularly to “advertising campaigns on television and in social media (like its Sesame Street campaign) that encourage minors to use its service,” despite the app having no age verification or parental controls.
The lawsuit is currently seeking class-action status.
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