Takeaway delivery problems is an issue that affects many consumers, especially now that self-employed delivery couriers are engaged via third parties such as Uber, Just Eat and Deliveroo. Your consumer rights remain the same and takeaways fall under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.



Consumers have rights as well as expectations, and deliveries ought to be carried out with due skill and care. This is enshrined in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and covers takeaways. It also covers restaurant meals.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that goods ought to be:

  • Fit for purpose
  • As described
  • Satisfactory quality
  • Services ought to be carried out with due skill and care


You will pay much more to order food via an app. The reason for this is because commission charges range from 15% – 35%, which food outlets price in and pass the costs on to consumers.

A Which? investigation discovered that consumers often struggle to resolve complaints with food delivery apps. Late arrivals, cold food and missing items are the most common complaints. Orders not turning up is also a common problem.


If a takeaway has arrived and it is not what you ordered, you are entitled to reject it. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that goods ordered ought to be as described. 

If a takeaway has taken too long to be delivered, you are entitled to ask for a discount. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that services ought to be carried out with due skill and care.

If a takeaway has taken so long to be delivered that the items are stone cold, you are entitled to reject it. This embraces all aspects of The Consumer Rights Act 2015 as the items ordered are not fit for purpose, as described, satisfactory quality and have not been delivered within the expected timeframe.

If you expected and were told that a delivery would be made within 30 minutes and it took 2.5 hours, it would be considered reasonable to reject it. Bear in mind though that you can simply reheat the food – don’t try it on!

If a delivery simply hasn’t arrived and this is disputed, ask for proof of delivery and raise a chargeback with your bank. Always try and resolve it with the provider first though.

If you have paid via an app, your contract is always with the outlet for the food that you have ordered and paid for.


Your contract is always with who you paid, whether it is via an app or by debit / credit card. The outlet may fob you off and say that you need to speak to whoever delivered it. You did not choose to engage Just Eat, Deliveroo or anyone else to deliver your food – that arrangement was made by the outlet and you had no say in it.

You need to be reasonable though. The litmus test is, “What would a reasonable person expect in the eyes of the law?”. 

Always try and resolve it with the outlet first and be nice about it. You are more likely to get a quick and satisfactory outcome by doing so. Mistakes happen and you have to give them an opportunity to remedy it.

You can also contact the delivery partner via the app that the outlet has a contract with. Takeaways are keen to minimise bad reviews and feedback to avoid losing the right to use the delivery service.


Gather your evidence. You need the date and time you placed the order, receipt, time it arrived and photos.


You can report an outlet to Trading Standards and / or file a Small Claim online. This has to be a last resort though.

You can find out more about how to resolve complaints and motoring disputes in my book.

Have you had takeaway delivery problems? If so, how did you resolve it?

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