In response to Portland’s new 10% limit on how much third-party food delivery apps can charge restaurants in commission amid the coronavirus pandemic, Uber has added a $3 customer surcharge on all food delivery orders in the city.
Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s office described previous commission limits as “price-gouging protections for restaurants.” Prior to the limit, Uber was collected as much as 30% commission on restaurants in Portland.
The new fee, labeled as the “City of Portland Ordinance,” began appearing on customer receipts last week after the city council passed the new rule. Users received the following message explaining the charge: “A recent City of Portland Ordinance temporarily limits what Uber Eats charges restaurants to fulfill orders. To help keep delivery drivers on the road, a new charge is applied to orders from restaurants in the city of Portland.”
In addition to the cap on commission, the city rule also includes a 5% limit if the delivery services allow a restaurant to transport their own food or if a customer orders through the app and pick up their items at the restaurant. Additionally, the ordinance makes it illegal for Uber Eats, DoorDash, and other food delivery services to decrease delivery worker payments in order to make up lost money from restaurant fees.
The commission cap will end 90 days after Portland’s state of emergency order lifts, which was put in place on March 12. At this time, no date has been set to lift the order. It’s unclear at this time if Uber will remove the customer fee once the commission limits are removed.
In the event companies like Uber violate the order and charge restaurants more in commission, they would be liable for up to $500 in civil penalties. The fine would accrue every day and for every restaurant overcharged. If a restaurant sees they are being overcharged commission, they should file a report with the city.
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