More than 20% of food delivery customers claim they encounter a problem with their order

20% of consumers say they've had ordering issues as a result of COVID-19-fueled demand

Eaters have a bone to pick with delivery.

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With many restaurants being forced to close for in-person dining as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, take-out was the only option for customers in the months following the outbreak. But while delivery affords a safe, sometimes contact-less option, a number of customers say they’ve had issues with ordering and getting their food on-demand.

More than 20% of Americans say they’ve encountered a problem when ordering delivery, according to a study by communication company First Orion. (iStock)

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More than 20% of Americans say they’ve encountered a problem when ordering delivery, according to a study by communication company First Orion. The study surveyed 2,000 consumers who dished on their food-ordering experiences, and the findings indicated that 70% had an issue that required customer service, suggesting that delivery services may have been inundated with new users amid the pandemic.

Of those polled, the majority, 64%, said they ordered through UberEats;  46% used DoorDash; 33% used Grubhub; and 28% used Delivery.com, among others mentioned, such as Instacart (26%) and Postmates (21%).

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The food-delivery market has seen a surge in demand, with to-go being the only option for most restaurants during nationwide shutdowns between March and April. And half of the consumers surveyed said late delivery was their biggest issue.

Incorrect order (37%) was the next delivery dispute, followed by diners complaining that food came cold and wasn’t fresh (36%). The third-most-recorded complaint was that the driver needed directions (33%), while others said the food never arrived (26%) or that they had a rude customer service experience (14%).

The customer service issues might not be so shocking, though, considering the hospitality industry was among one of the hardest hit with job losses during the pandemic.

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The food delivery market, however, continued to skyrocket at the height of COVID-19 by 67% in March, while digital orders jumped 63%, according to separate data from market research firm NPD Group released in May.