A customer of takeaway delivery firm Just Eat has alleged a driver from an eatery used her phone number to ask her for a date.
Michelle Midwinter claimed that, after using Just Eat to order a takeaway, she had received an uninvited WhatsApp message from someone she didn’t know.
According to screenshots shared on Twitter, the person first said he was “a fan” and then identified himself as the driver who had just delivered her meal.
He went on to ask if she enjoyed her meal, and then followed up minutes later with a message saying: “If you have a [boyfriend] tell me, I don’t want to make any problems”.
About 20 minutes later, she alleged, the driver upped the creepy levels by reportedly saying: “Good night [baby] see you next time when I get your meal.”
The use of Midwinter’s phone number for anything other than an update on the whereabouts of her food could be a breach of privacy laws – and the UK's Information Commissioner’s Office said it would be investigating.
“If a customer’s phone number is used for reasons for which it was not originally taken, it could be a breach of the Data Protection Act,” a spokesperson said.
“Organisations have a legal duty to make sure personal data is only used for the purposes for which it was obtained. We are aware of reports of an incident involving Just Eat and will be looking into it.”
Although the driver is not an employee of Just Eat - he would have been hired by the restaurant, as the firm offers customers a single site to place orders - the biz still has a responsibility to protect its customers’ data.
The restaurant involved has not been named, but Just Eat said in a statement that it was "deeply concerned" about the incident and would investigate.
The firm said that it “takes the safeguarding of customer data extremely seriously” and that information is shared with restaurants “solely for the purpose of facilitating delivery”.
The driver, it added, “has acted in a way that does not represent Just Eat and our core values”.
However, when Midwinter initially complained to Just Eat she reported getting a very different response, which she said was “extremely disappointing”.
Just a snippet of Just Eat’s response to my receiving unsolicited messages from the guy who had just delivered my food. Nice one Just Eat! Apart from him using my number in this way surely being in breach of privacy laws etc, they don’t really seem to take it seriously do they?? pic.twitter.com/OVZkl0IW5f— Michelle Midwinter (@ShelbyTree) January 15, 2018
Screenshots shared of the Live Chat with a customer advisor named Trixie show that she was told the “best thing to do is give the restaurant feedback by leaving a review on Just Eat”.
The advisor then added: “We know this won’t fix a bad meal but it will hopefully improve things in the future.” And offered a £5 voucher for the “inconvenience”.
When Midwinter pointed out that having her delivery driver use her phone number to make unsolicited contact wasn’t simply an “inconvenience”, the advisor - apparently still failing to get the real issue - upped this to £10.
Just Eat’s statement today said it was “appalled” by the approach taken initially.
“This lacked empathy and does not reflect our policies or the way Just Eat would expect something like this to be dealt with,” the spokesperson said.
“We are looking at our procedures to understand why incorrect and inappropriate information was given out to the customer on this occasion. We have highlighted this with our Customer Care Senior Management team, who will review the incident, and ensure appropriate action is taken to ensure this doesn't happen again.”
Since Midwinter tweeted about the incident, she has reported being contacted by a number of other women who have had similar or worse incidents.
She said: “This is no longer about my personal experience, this is about every single female who has been victimised in this way by someone from a company we put our trust in.” ®