One Friday evening, Vanessa orders food from Foodora home to her student apartment. She receives a call from the food delivery man and meets him at the gate to collect the food.
– He starts asking me a lot of questions about how old I was. And if I lived alone. (…) He became kind of aggressive and tried to get in more and gets a lot more on me. He tried to kiss me and paw me and that’s when I found it really uncomfortable and I grabbed the food and tried to go in, but saw him start following me like this. So I thought I can’t go into my apartment because then he knows exactly where I live so I started backing down the hall.
Vanessa manages to film with her cell phone. You hear her say “no” and “hang up”. He tries to kiss her, but she turns, so she gets a kiss on the cheek. Then the man releases her and leaves.
– I called my friend and I kind of cried, I could hardly speak. She and her boyfriend came straight to me and we called the police, I don’t really remember what I said because I was kind of crying on the phone.
The man was later convicted of sexual assault despite his denial.
Foodora, Uber Eats and Wolt respond
Vanessa is not alone in her experiences. Kaliber’s reporter Anders Lundqvist has interviewed 16 women who have witnessed similar events when ordering food. He has read many more posts in closed groups on social media where women testify about their experiences. Kajsa, whose food order from a pizzeria becomes the start of several years of harassment and persecution.
– He had my address, my phone number. What worried me the most was that he would come to my house. He could send me that ‘I finish work today at noon, I can come pick you up and we can go for a drive’. Then I turned off every single light in the whole house and kind of didn’t dare look out of the window, says Kajsa.
Kaliber has been in contact with three of the biggest players on the market, Foodora, Uber Eats and Wolt. All of them regulate in their agreements with the restaurants how the data they share may be handled, and none of the actors state that it is okay to use the personal data for anything other than to carry out the food delivery. They have all had contact with female customers who were harassed by bids. They say that it is not very common considering how many deliveries are made, but that each case is taken very seriously and that the courier’s actions are not accepted.
When we took a look at the women’s experiences, we see that most of the cases where food delivery men have harassed women are when orders have been placed via Foodora. Daniel Gustafsson Raba is operations manager at Foodora and he sees that one of the reasons for this is that they are the largest. He regrets that this kind of thing happens.
– Yes, first of all, I am very sorry to hear that and quite badly affected. And if this has happened, of course I apologize profusely for it. It is not acceptable and no one should be exposed to this, we think, says Daniel Gustafsson Raba.
Hidden number system has been deployed
Two of Foodora’s larger competitors, Uber Eats and Wolt, have for some years both had systems that mean that the couriers never see the customer’s number and have thus solved parts of the problem. Richard Lindeen is vice president and chief operating officer of Wolt in Sweden.
– Telephone numbers we have chosen as part of our technical solution to manage data security to hide, so we use a third-party service with so-called proxy numbers.
Foodora has also worked on developing a similar system to reduce the risk of couriers harassing customers. Just before this program airs, we get an email from Foodora saying that the system with hidden phone numbers was put into operation last week.
Source: ICELAND NEWS