Colombia regulator to probe delivery apps for Mother’s Day delays


FILE PHOTO: An Uber Eats food delivery courier closes a bag with an order during a lockdown, imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in central Kiev, Ukraine April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s commerce regulator will probe Mother’s Day complaints that mobile applications Rappi, Uber Eats, iFood and failed to deliver on time or at all, and are slow in making refunds, it said on Friday.

Colombians have been stuck at home under a nationwide coronavirus lockdown since late March, leaving them more reliant on apps for food and gift deliveries for the celebration on Sunday.

The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce has asked the app companies how many orders they had expected, how they prepared, and how they estimate delivery times, it said in a statement posted on its website.

The regulator also asked for outlines on how they modify promised delivery times and their refund procedures.

“If any conduct is found that violates consumer rights, like misleading or insufficient information, lack of quality or suitability of goods and services, ignorance of the right to retraction or reversal of payment or another infraction of the terms of the Consumer Statue, it could lead to fines of up to 2,000 minimum monthly salaries,” the statement said.

That fine is equivalent to about $445,000.

Rappi said in a statement it understood the inconvenience the Sunday server failures might have caused, and was trying to address them.

“We are working to respond to this request with all of the available information and to collaborate, as we always have done, with the relevant authorities,” the company said.

Uber did not immediately provide a comment. and iFood did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta, additional reporting by Nelson Bocanegra in Bogota and Gabriela Mello in Sao Paulo; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Dan Grebler and Richard Chang

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