Taken for a Ride: Uber Eats conducting ‘internal audit’ into fake restaurant addresses

(WSVN) - A South Florida woman placed an order on a popular food delivery app, but her late night craving turned to frustration when the food never arrived. 7’s Karen Hensel has the dish on this meal mystery in her special report, “Taken for a Ride.”

Whether you’re in the mood for pizza, sushi, burgers, wings or a classic Cuban sandwich, access to thousands of South Florida restaurants is just a tap away.

The meals are delivered right to your door.

Melissa Michel, order never arrived: “I just wanted to order some food.”

In March, Melissa Michel ordered Italian food through the delivery service Uber Eats.

Melissa Michel: “The Italian sub and pepperoni pizza.”

The food cost $35.28, but it never arrived.

Melissa Michel: “I never got the sub. I never got the pizza. I never saw anyone come to me to give me my food.”

It wasn’t a delivery driver’s fault. The pizza place Melissa ordered from does not actually exist at its listed location.

Melissa Michel: “I tried calling the restaurant after about five, 10 minutes, and no one answered. The restaurant doesn’t exist. The number isn’t real.”

One of the words in the name of the restaurant is pretty common, so we’re not using it so as to not cause more confusion, but one thing is clear: the address listed on the app, off of Hollywood Boulevard, is not a pizza place. It’s a medical office building.

Melissa Michel: “Uber says I still owe this money to this fake restaurant for food I never received.”

Melissa messaged Uber Eats: “I did not get my order.”

Melissa Michel: “Their reply, which was repeated, was basically, ‘Contact the restaurant. We can’t give you a refund. Thanks for your understanding.'”

But she was not understanding why she was not getting anywhere.

Melissa Michel: “I can’t reach out to the restaurant since the restaurant doesn’t exist.”

Melissa messaged Uber Eats: “What part of ‘the restaurant is a scam’ don’t you understand?!”

A fake food listing was not just on Hollywood Boulevard. There was another one on Collins Avenue.

A Sunny Isles Beach address, advertising pizza, salad and wings, is actually a condo building.

After 7News asked Uber Eats about the suspect listings, the company sent us a statement:

“Uber Eats is committed to ensuring a reliable, high quality delivery experience, and it’s clear we missed the mark here. Pending the outcome of an internal audit, the restaurants have been removed from the Uber Eats platform. The customer has also been refunded for this order, and her account has been reactivated.”

Melissa Michel: “There should have been some kind of verification that this is a legitimate business before putting that restaurant on their platform.”

In hindsight, Melissa says there were some warning signs she missed: the pizza place’s one-star rating and odd overnight hours.

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