'Sick and tired': More restaurants fall victim to Just Eat scammers
- Credit: Daniel Gayne
More restaurants in Chadwell Heath’s High Road have reported falling victim to scammers exploiting a loophole in Just Eat's systems to get free food.
Last month, the Recorder reported on the Sweet Town and Grill restaurant’s battle with the so-called "chew and screw" scam, which sees fraudsters set up brand new Just Eat accounts - often under false names - to make large orders.
After the food is delivered, users can report being "unhappy with their order" to Just Eat without submitting any evidence.
According to business owners, these refund requests cannot be rejected if they wish to accept new orders.
Just Eat said it has robust anti-fraud systems in place and insists such scams are rare.
However, a number of other restaurants on the same road in Chadwell Heath have spoken out about being plagued by the same problem.
Staff at grilled chicken shop Griller said the scam has been happening for years.
Manager Fayaz Sheikh said it used to happen very often, but has occurred less frequently since it introduced phone screening – the restaurant refuses to deliver to new customers unless they answer the phone to confirm orders.
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Omer Top, manager of Aksular Turkish Restaurant, said he was “sick and tired” of being scammed four or five times a week and said he was considering ending the restaurant’s relationship with Just Eat.
“They care more about the customer than the business”, said Aziz Ördek, who also works at the restaurant.
Mohsin Raza, manager of Star Pizza and Kebab, agreed. He said he had lost hundreds of pounds a week to the scam and it had left his business “walking on a very thin line”.
Calling people to confirm orders risked alienating legitimate customers who happen not to pick up the phone, Mohsin added.
The business is too reliant on Just Eat to consider a boycott, he added, estimating 70 per cent of orders come from Just Eat.
A Just Eat spokesperson said it is “absolutely committed” to supporting restaurant partners.
They said: “Whenever we're made aware of any such activity, we take steps to ensure restaurants are not financially impacted, such as providing compensation.
“We are currently investigating this matter and are putting in place measures to help avoid this from happening again."