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The trouble with online food delivery start-up Foodpanda

business Updated: Sep 16, 2015 12:05 IST
Ashish K Mishra (Livemint)

Current and former Foodpanda employees reveal multiple flaws in culture and processes at online food-ordering start-up. (Livemint Photo)

It was late. The men were hungry.

So they decided to order some food using Foodpanda, the online food-ordering marketplace, from a nice restaurant close by. But just as he placed the order, one of the men realized the restaurant had shut down sometime back. In fact, he knew for sure that it had wound up. Then, how come it was still live on Foodpanda? The order had gone through. Foodpanda had accepted it. He wondered and waited.

After about 10 minutes, he received a call. From the Foodpanda call centre. The guy at the other end was apologetic:

“I am sorry, sir, but your order cannot be processed because of a technical issue.”

“What do you mean technical issue?” the man said. “Let me tell you something, the restaurant has shut down. Okay.”

“No, sir, there has been a technical issue. We are extremely sorry, sir. Can we offer you a voucher of Rs.550? You can place an order from any other restaurant. Your order was for Rs.550, so we are offering you a free voucher of Rs.550.” (What’s that? Foodpanda Customer Delight voucher.)

“Okay. Yes, yes.”

The man hung up, bewildered but happy. He couldn’t believe what had come to pass.

And thus began the Foodpanda hack.

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