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Uber Eats to amend ‘unfair contracts’ with restaurants

Uber Eats is changing its contract terms to be fairer to restaurants and small businesses. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Your long-awaited Uber Eats order finally arrives at your door – but it’s a total mess.

Who cops responsibility for it – the restaurants, or Uber Eats?

According to Uber Eats’ contract terms, it has the right to refund customers and deduct that amount from the restaurant, even though the restaurant may not have been at fault for the issue – until now.

Following an ACCC investigation into the matter, Uber Eats has pledged to change its contract terms.

“We consider these terms to be unfair because they appear to cause a significant imbalance between restaurants and Uber Eats; the terms were not reasonably necessary to protect Uber Eats and could cause detriment to restaurants,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

New terms will now see that restaurants will only be responsible for things within their control, such as incorrect or missing food items and orders, with Uber Eats taking responsibility for the delivery.

It also means restaurants will have the power to dispute responsibility for refunds to customers, which Uber Eats will have to “reasonably consider”.

“We will continue to monitor Uber Eats’ conduct to ensure restaurants are not unfairly held responsible for matters outside of their control and Uber Eats does not hold anyone else responsible for parts of the service it controls,” Sims added.

He also warned businesses who included unfair contract terms in their contracts would risk “close scrutiny” from the competition watchdog.

Ongoing investigation into Uber Eats

Aside from these contract terms, ACCC is also investigating into whether or not it is potentially misleading for an Uber Eats contract clause to state it does not provide logistics services.

Uber Eats has agreed to also remedy this clause.

The clause sparked the ACCC’s concern given Uber Eats determines the pool of drivers available to restaurants, their payment, as well as the customer’s address, map services and GPS tracking.

Uber Eats is rolling out these changes, which will be completed by December this year.

While these changes are being implemented, Uber Eats will not be enforcing the contract terms in question, the ACCC said.

For more information on small business’ unfair contract terms, the ACCC has guidance information on its website.

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