DoorDash has been charging iPhone users more than Android users for identical deliveries, according to a lawsuit seeking class action status. The court documents (PDF, via 9to5Mac) submitted for the case included screenshots showing how iPhone users are charged an extra fee for "expanded range." On the company's website, it said the fee "helps DoorDash preserve [customers'] access to the available merchants farthest from [them]." However, the lawsuit said the fee is tacked onto iPhone users' bills more often than Android users' "likely because studies reveal iPhone users earn more."
In addition, it accuses DoorDash of adding the extended range fee onto the total of DashPass subscribers as a way "to subsidize lost revenues from discounted fees." DashPass is the company's $10-a-month subscription service that delivers orders over $12 for free. A couple of screenshots in the court documents show the extended range fee only being added to the account with DashPass and not to the one without, even though they were identical orders made for the same address.
"DoorDash uses this deceptive practice to trick consumers into believing Dashers receive the 'delivery-related' fees when, in reality, each and every 'delivery fee' is retained in total by DoorDash," the lawsuit states. Other screenshots also showed orders made from iPhones having bigger base delivery fees than orders submitted from Android devices.
The lawsuit, filed by Ross Hecox and his minor children in the United States District Court of Maryland, is asking for monetary damages of no less than $1 billion "for all consumers who fell prey to DoorDash's illegal pricing scheme over the past four years."
A DoorDash spokesperson denied the allegations and told Insider in a statement:
"The claims put forward in the amended complaint are baseless and simply without merit. We ensure fees are disclosed throughout the customer experience, including on each restaurant storepage and before checkout. Building this trust is essential, and it's why the majority of delivery orders on our platform are placed by return customers. We will continue to strive to make our platform work even better for customers, and will vigorously fight these allegations."
This isn't the first time the delivery service's business practices have been called into question. In 2020, the company, along with GrubHub, Postmates and Uber Eats, were sued for exploiting their dominant position in restaurant deliveries to impose fees on users even during the pandemic. Chicago sued the company for advertising delivery services from restaurants that never consented to be added to its platform. The attorney general for the District of Columbia also filed a lawsuit against DoorDash, accusing it of using tips to cover part of drivers' base pay instead of adding it on top of what they're supposed to get. DoorDash agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle that lawsuit with Washington, DC.