As the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) keeps people in their homes, delivery services have become essential.
However, some delivery riders and restaurants have become victims of fake or prank bookings during the past two months of community quarantine.
In a report by Shai Lagarde in Stand For Truth, restaurant owners Sasah and Junar Santias recounted their recent experience, which went viral on social media.
They said that just when their shop was about to close, they received an order almost worth P1,000. Their food items cost P55 to P75 per meal.
But just as the rider was on his way to the delivery address, the customer messaged them to say he was cancelling his order.
“Cancel na po, mag-pancit canton na lang kami,” the message read.
Junar said that the rider came back, wet from the rain, and upset over the money lost.
“Malungkot na malungkot kami noong gabi na ‘yun kasi buong araw namin kinita ‘yun,” Junar said.
Their story got a lot of sympathy from netizens, who sent in cash donations to Sasah and Junar. However, they nor the rider wanted to accept the money, so they used it to cook food for frontliners instead.
Delivery service Jamaica Dee meanwhile lost P3,000 to a fake booking.
She said their policy requires restaurants to send in a valid ID, and the customer sent an ID of his supposed brother, saying he was ordering for him. It took an hour for the rider to pick up the order, and another order to delivery to the stated address.
The rider, Romano, spent another hour trying to get in touch with the contact number provided, to no avail.
Finally, the man whose ID was used for the order came out and said he didn’t order anything.
The picture of his ID was apparently just found online.
“Ako po ay 49 years old at maraming anak na binubuhay. Sana hindi na nila gawin sa iba, nakakapagod,” Romano said.
Jamaica said she shouldered Kuya Romano’s expenses which reached P3,000.
“Kawawa po ‘yung rider kung ibabawas namin sa kanya. Nasa three to four days kinikita ng rider ‘yun,” she said.
Jamaica got in touch with barangay officials and they tracked down the two individuals responsible for the prank.
She also changed their policy to require not only a valid ID, but a selfie from customers. If their order costs more than P2,000, they would have to pay via online payment gateway.
The report added that aside from cancellation of orders, it has become a modus for people to call and order as a prank.
Bernard Enriquez shared that he is a victim of stolen identity. He said that he suddenly got a delivery of 25 pieces of chicken and some halo-halo.
“Alam ko na scam ang delivery niya kasi may dalawa nang nauna sa kanya looking for Jane Castro. Walang nakatira dito na nagngangalang Jane Castro,” he said.
The cost of the order reached P5,800.
Bernard and his neighbors decided to pool their money so they can claim the order.
“Sa awa namin doon sa driver, kasi more than one and a half hours siyang pumila sa fast food chain, nagambagan ‘yung mga kapitbahay dito. It’s a big loss for them. Wala dapat nanloloko,” he said.
Department of Trade and Industry Usec. Ruth Castelo encouraged the use of e-commerce and making use of legitimate online payment gateways.
“Kailanga rin nila proteksyunan ‘yung negosyo nila,” she said.
—JCB, GMA News