Zomato’s delivery partners are once again in the news, and not for the most flattering reasons.
A Bangalore-based woman has alleged that a Zomato delivery partner hit her in the face and left her bleeding following an altercation over a food order. Hitesha Chandranee, whose Instagram bio describes her as a beauty influencer and make up artist, says that she’d placed an order at 3.30 pm on March 9, which was supposed to be delivered by 4.30 pm. But since she did not receive her order on time, she got in touch with Zomato’s customer support, and asked them to either waive off the charges or cancel the order. When the delivery executive came to her door, she asked him to wait as she was speaking to a customer care representative.
“The Zomato delivery guy came and he was so rude. I don’t usually open the door because of Shushi [her dog], and I opened the door a little and through the small slit I asked him to wait because I was conversing with Zomato’s customer support,” Hitesha says in the video. “I gave him a choice saying I do not need the order so you can take it, I am okay. But he refused to take the order back and he started screaming at me, saying ‘Am I a slave or what? You are asking me to wait here.’ So, it was really threatening for me and I tried to shut my door but he pushed the door, took my order from the table, that is he entered my home and punched me on my face so that I don’t get back to him, and he ran away,” she says.
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After her videos showing her bleeding went viral, Zomato responded to the incident on social media. ““Hey Hitesha, thank you for speaking to us, we can assure you this is not the experience our delivery universe stands for,” Zomato said. “Our local representative shall be in touch with you shortly to help you with the police investigation along with assistance on the medical care required. We can’t emphasise how sorry we are, rest assured we’ll take necessary actions to prevent such incidents from happening in the future,” it added.
This isn’t the first time that Zomato’s delivery partners have made news for the wrong reasons. In 2018, a video of a Zomato delivery partner had gone viral, which had shown him eating an order while on his scooter. The delivery partner had then seemed to shut the box that he was eating from, making it appear that the food was eventually delivered to someone. After that video had gone viral, Zomato had instituted tamper-proof packaging for its food to prevent it from being eaten enroute by its delivery fleet.
While the latest incident is more serious, particularly because it resulted in violence against a customer which left them bleeding, delivery partners from other food delivery startups have also been making news for the wrong reasons. Last year, a Dunzo delivery executive was arrested after he’d used his Dunzo bag to illegally smuggle an endangered snake worth Rs. 50 lakh. Just last week, two Swiggy delivery partners had been arrested for robbing the houses they’d delivered food to in Noida.