Chinese social networks such as Weibo started a hurricane denouncing online food delivery platforms “Meituan takeout” and “ele.me” on Sept. 8. Hundreds of thousands of consumers participated in the discussion and accused the delivery platform of unreasonable rules.
The cause of the incident is that People magazine wrote a report on the work of takeout riders, which revealed the embarrassing situation of many takeout riders working on the takeout platform. The article said that the delivery platform’s requirements for delivery time were getting shorter and shorter, and it forced delivery personnel to take risks and use illegal ways such as running red lights to deliver takeout.
The article also mentioned that it would be much more difficult to be on time in bad weather. In addition, some of the takeout riders interviewed by People also said that sometimes the traffic navigation provided by the takeout platform was a traffic violation route. Some riders said it was hard not to break the rules if they wanted to deliver on time.
These problems have triggered angry condemnation from consumers on takeout platforms. Some consumers are already annoyed by common takeout riders’ traffic violations. In this atmosphere, they vent their dissatisfaction with the road conditions on the delivery platform and ask the latter to rectify it. Other consumers have no specific demands, but just participate in the condemnation of the platform out of the sympathy of the takeout riders.
However, as People magazine only uses interviews to write the report, some consumers question whether the phenomenon reflected in the report itself is widespread and how serious it is. In the absence of credible statistics, more consumers choose to sit on the sidelines.
There are also comments that consumers cannot enjoy convenient and fast takeout services while blaming service providers for details. They believe that China’s online food delivery industry originates from the real needs of consumers, and it is difficult to ask the delivery platform to do the opposite, because the moral cleanliness of a small number of consumers kidnap and reduce the consumer experience.
“Meituan takeout” and “ele.me” have responded through the official Weibo and Wechat, but have not come up with particularly specific rectification measures, which are considered by some consumers to be insincere. In fact, similar outbreaks of public opinion have occurred many times in bad weather, but the result has not caused much practical change in the takeout platform.