What to know about grocery store and food delivery app fees from 7 On Your Side

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021
What to know about food delivery fees
Nina Pineda explains food delivery fees with 7 On Your Side.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Grocery store and food delivery apps are essential for people staying home because of the pandemic, and many of us enjoy the convenience of getting food and goods by simply lifting a finger.

However, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection says it's hearing a lot of complaints.

Convenience always comes with a price, right? So of course, we expect to pay more for what comes right to the door.

The four big delivery app companies raked in roughly $5.5 billion in combined revenue during the first six months of the pandemic, more than double the take for last year.

So when you're making a shopping list, keep in mind grocery delivery apps make their fees in a few different ways.

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Delivery fees can depend mainly on your total bill. Generally, the more you buy, the less the cost. However, this is not always the case, particularly if there are promotions. Many stores are charging standard delivery fees for orders over a certain amount and then a premium when less is purchased.

Plus, you may get hit with a fuel surcharge or service fee, on top of delivery, depending on your location and total order.

Also, you may get charged a premium for prime time frames and if you want delivery close to your order time.

"They're taken aback because they sign up and then see the service and realize the cost is 18% more for one item and they feel like they're getting double-billed," said Paula O'Brian, Director of New York's Division of Consumer Protection.

To save money you may want to opt for curbside contactless pickup, the following day.

In addition, check prices, apps, and some stores charge different amounts for the same item.

Eyewitness News saw Kerry Gold butter on Instacart, $4.59 at Wegmans compared to $5.49 at King's. But before you go shopping around to save a buck here and there, be aware ordering from multiple apps results in separate fees and delivery charges.

Also, consider becoming a member. Some apps are charging a fee and giving members additional discounts and promos. Just make sure it doesn't end up costing more to enroll than you're saving over time.

"Another big complaint we get is that upon receipt they are getting items swapped out for more expensive, or getting things that are close to the expiration date," O'Brian said.

When it comes to gratuity if you have a complaint about your order take it out on the store and not who's at the door. Remember they're not cooking, packing, or picking out your items. So, if something wrong, don't take it out on the tip.

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