Saturday, 31 May 2008

Just-Eat? Just Wait more like!

The great British take-away! OK, so we know that take-aways aren't exactly the healthy option, but every now and then the temptation is too great and a pizza is the only cure.

Being a child of the internet age (well, second childhood anyway) I rather like being able to order and pay for my takeaways online rather than having to hunt out menus, phone the restaurant (how old-fashioned!) and hope that I've got enough cash on me to pay for it.

Dominoes Pizza used to be my online take-away of choice, although at the time it was a choice of one. Now, however many companies are vying for our online orders. So alongside established regulars like Dominoes and Pizza Hut (which sadly doesn't deliver to where I live) are newcomers Just-Eat.

The Just-Eat service doesn't just provide pizzas. They provide online services for existing local take-away restaurants, so depending on where in the country you live they may provide links to Kebab Shops, Indian Restaurants, Chinese Takeaways or Fish and Chip shops. A copy of the restaurants menu is provided online, and you place the order over the web.

If you aren't sure about paying upfront for your meal then you can also choose to pay cash-on-delivery. After placing the order you'll receive an e-mail confirmation of the order, as well as an order number and an estimated delivery time (around 45 minutes for our local take-away).

I've used this service a few times in the past couple of months, and generally speaking it has worked well, with the food arriving within the estimated time.

Last night, however, things didn't go as smoothly. After placing the order, paying for it, and receiving the e-mail confirmation I sat down to watch TV, safe in the knowledge that some take-away treats were winging their way towards me. This was at 9.25pm. The estimated delivery time was 10:05pm.

Time passes. So does the delivery deadline.

More time passes. By 10:30pm I was getting a bit concerned. But, as it was a Friday night maybe they were busy. Patience is a virtue.

Even more time passes. By 10.45pm patience may be a virtue, but starvation was a distinct possibility. At this point I gave in and phoned the restaurant to check on the order.

"Ah, erm, we haven't had any internet orders."

After a short discussion the restaurant's manager (and even though this wasn't their fault) they re-took the order, sent it out to me, and even though they couldn't get in touch with anyone at Just-Eat to double-check it, they sent me my meal without charging me a second time for it.

The manager even phoned me back to apologise about it, and to let me know that the couldn't reach anyone at Just-Eat regarding this.

As Just-Eat do have a complaints procedure I filled in a complaints form and submitted it.

This is the confirmation that you receive:

Your query message has been sent to!

Our Customer Care personel will look into your query as soon as possible and get back to you with a reply at the earliest possible time. Usually this happens within 10-20 minutes. Please note that during busy hours reply can take longer.

Thank you for contacting us!

Can take longer? I'm still waiting for any contact from them (as a side note - I suppose I should be worried about the spelling mistakes on the website. Can you spot the one in the above message which was copied directly from their site?).

The meal finally arrived at 11:25pm - two hours after ordering, and an hour and a quarter after the estimated delivery time. I've got to admit that by the time I received it I didn't really want it any more, but as I couldn't get in touch with anyone at Just-Eat, canceling the order wasn't an option.

Checking through their website it appears that their customer service stops at 10pm. This is a bit of a problem for take-aways, as they tend to deliver through to the early hours of the morning. So if you do have any problems "out of hours" as it were, then forget any help from their customer services. They've already gone home. Presumably picking up a take-away en-route rather than trusting to their online ordering service.

Next time I feel a bit peckish on an evening I think I'll just make a sandwich. It'll be healthier, cheaper, and I'll get the damn thing when I want it rather than a couple of hours later.


Anonymous said...


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Ash said...

This is the Marketing Director at Firstly I would like to apologies for the delayed delivery. Sometimes on rare occasions our takeaways have difficulty with staff, especially delivery staff.

Having used our service several times before I’m glad you found it easy and useful.

All our customer care advisors are on hand until 11pm every day including weekends. I’m sorry you did not get through to them. The customer care team is very diligent and responsible for all orders outside of office hours. This is why over 98% of our entire customer base is satisfied with our service.

As a Danish concept having arrived in UK only 2 years ago we now have over 1390 restaurants to choose from. Some of the language on the web site was directly translated by our Danish counterparts which is the reason why you saw a slight typo. This will change in due course and you will see some big changes very soon.

We eager to always surpass people’s expectations and on this occasion you did not get a good enough experience. For your inconvenience I would like to offer you 5000 extra loyalty points, which you can redeem for cool prizes and a £5 e-voucher. Simply send me an email at and I will deal with it personally for you.

Thanks and look forward to your custom again.

DanO said...

Hi Ash,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on this.

I do appreciate you taking time out to address the points that I raised. Generally speaking I really do like what you guys are doing - making regular take-aways accessible via the internet is a really cool thing. Hopefully this was just a "one-off" issue.