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Zomato, Swiggy Deliveries Have Often Come With a Side of Controversy: A Look at Past Instances

Image for representation only.

Image for representation only.

This isn't the first, or second or even third time a food-delivery service has been embroiled in a similar controversy.

A video of a woman in Bengaluru left the country shocked recently after she accused a Zomato delivery person of assaulting her and running away with the order after he delivered it late.

One day after police arrested the accused, the delivery person countered the woman’s charge and claimed that she had herself hurt her nose and that she had misbehaved with him instead.

However, this isn’t the first, or second or even third time a food-delivery service has been embroiled in a controversy. Food delivery apps like Zomato, Swiggy often come with a side of controversy – here’s looking at some of the most prominent ones.

In March 2020, a 25-year-old Zomato employee named Jagadish was attacked by the staff of a restaurant in Bengaluru after he arrived twenty minutes late to pick up the order. The accused, who allegedly broke the delivery person’s spine, were reportedly angry because the tea had gone cold.


In April 2019, Swiggy has landed in a soup after it sent an apology and a coupon worth Rs 200 to a woman who complained of abuse by a delivery boy in Bengaluru. The delivery boy had allegedly sought sexual favours from the woman. Swiggy later apologised to her on Facebook and assured action.

In February 2019, a Chennai resident was left disgusted after he found a blood-stained band-aid in his order, which he had placed from the food delivery app Swiggy. Balamurugan decided to escalate the issue with Swiggy but received no response for his complaint on its customer-care chat. Swiggy later issued an apology saying that the outlet had been suspended.

In August 2018, a Delhi resident wasn’t pleased with her order from Zomato because her Briyani had an extra ‘topping’ – a dead housefly. To her shock, the customer care responded to her query and said he had asked the restaurant to add the extra topping she hadn’t asked for.

In December 2018, a Zomato delivery man was sacked by the restaurant aggregator after he was caught hogging on a customer’s order. Zomato launched an investigation and affirmed the authenticity of the video. In a blog post published on Monday, the company revealed that the video was shot in Madurai and the delivery man was promptly sacked from his job.

“We take these kinds of reports extremely seriously and upon thorough investigation, we’ve found that the video was shot in Madurai. The person in the video happened to be a delivery partner on our fleet. We have spoken to him at length – and while we understand that this was a human error in judgement, we have taken him off our platform.” Zomato further added that it’ll educate its delivery against such incidents while also urging the customers to report the smallest of anomalies.

In June 2017, The HR manager of a private firm was arrested for allegedly abusing the delivery boy of a food ordering app when his order arrived late. In his complaint to the police, Anil, who was employed with Swiggy, alleged that Sathvik Sachar called Kannadigas “lazy people” and made anti-Kannada statements when he was late in delivering the latter’s order by a few minutes on June 21.

In February 2019, a hungry Chennai resident decided to escalate matters to the food delivery app Swiggy even after noticing that his order was already picked up by the delivery man and was only 12 minutes away from him. He placed an order from a nearby eatery in Chennai and the food app somehow placed his order all the way up in Rajasthan.

In October 2020, Google has issued notices to popular food delivery services Swiggy and Zomato, based on the promotional discount campaigns that the two apps were running on their platforms linked to the then ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). Google reportedly says that Swiggy and Zomato are violating its Play Store guidelines after the two services ran IPL specific promotional contests that offered discounts based on predictions.

In June 2020, a group of Zomato food delivery platform employees in Kolkata tore and burnt their official T-shirts in protest against the killing of 20 Indian soldiers by the Chinese Army in Ladakh last week. Some of them claimed that they had quit their job as Zomato has a sizeable Chinese investment and urged people to stop ordering food via the company.

In 2018, a News18 story found that delivery executives were more often than not given the same kind of support given to a usual employee – accidents involving delivery partners are a result of extreme pressures on the executives to accept all orders and deliver within a given period of time. Read the story on ‘Do Zomato and other food delivery giants really care about their employees’ lives?’

first published:March 13, 2021, 10:42 IST