foodpanda to revise Wastage Policy after discussions with vendors

Malaysians have been relying on food delivery services to keep from going hungry even before the pandemic struck. Of the many platforms we have, foodpanda is a popular one due to its easy-to-navigate app and constant promotions.

However, two weeks ago, foodpanda Malaysia came under fire on social media for allegedly charging unreasonably high hidden fees on its vendors. Following the viral incident, the platform has since issued a statement to clarify their side of things.

foodpanda responds to vendors’ concerns on hefty hidden fees

The Smart Local Malaysia previously reported allegations from foodpanda vendors who claimed that the delivery platform was charging exorbitant hidden fees apart from its 30% commission. These hidden fees were reflected in their invoices as “Fees and Adjustments”. Upon deducting this amount and the commission, there were zero return of sales for many vendors.

Puzzled and angered by the situation, many of them expressed their frustration by calling for a boycott of foodpanda for introducing policies that allegedly harms them as merchants.

foodpanda hidden fees
An invoice of a foodpanda vendor that went viral online
Image credit: Ivan Wong

To clarify the issue further, The Smart Local Malaysia reached out to foodpanda to request additional details. In a lengthy written statement that was sent to us, the delivery platform said that it “has decided to revise the Wastage Policy with immediate effect” after extensive conversations with its merchants.

Foodpanda also apologised to vendors over the recent matter, saying, “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that our recent policy may have caused. It was never our intention to use this policy change to unfairly apply any ‘hidden’ fees towards merchant partners on our platform.”

The statement explained that the Wastage Policy was included in its commercial agreements with merchants to “tackle cases of fraudulent transactions resulting in food wastage.” This in return helps them to “rebalance the current cost structure” with its merchants.

However, the implementation of the new policy has not been well received by a lot of its merchants, who were concerned about hefty hidden fees stated as “Fees and Adjustments” in their invoices.

Foodpanda statement for vendors - statement
Statement provided to The Smart Local Malaysia by foodpanda

To address this, foodpanda said, “We recognise that in this instance, our merchant partners would have appreciated more clarity on the breakdown of fees in line with the policy changes, and we will ensure any changes will be more clearly communicated in future”.

They also added that after in-depth discussions with merchant partners, they have decided “to review and exempt selected fees and charges from the Wastage Policy.”

However, foodpanda did not clarify whether the “Fees and Adjustments” stated on the merchants’ invoices was part of the Wastage Policy and if there will be a refund given to merchants who have been charged these fees. There is also no explanation given if the previous transactions and statements still have to be honoured by the merchants.

Image credit: FOOD PANDA Malaysia (for illustration purposes only)

To end their statement, foodpanda assured those involved that they are committed to “maintaining a healthy ecosystem” with their partners. Thus, “The foodpanda team is in continuous discussions with merchant partners to address any concerns and will work together with relevant parties to ensure smooth operations for all.”

The delivery platform also urged merchant vendors in need to submit any queries via their vendor Help Centre so they can better “provide more efficient resolutions.”

foodpanda promises to revise its Wastage Policy

We are glad that foodpanda has addressed the concerns of vendors and promises to revise its policies. While there are additional concerns about the hidden fees that were not clarified, we hope the delivery platform will continue to engage with its vendors to ensure all their concerns are addressed properly for a better business environment.

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Cover image adapted from: Khairul Azhar Ramly and foodpanda Malaysia

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