Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar will be skipping a popular food delivery service for the foreseeable future after he was bilked out of hundreds of dollars in fraudulent charges.
Milobar said more than $400 through food delivery service Skip the Dishes was charged to his credit card little more than a year ago.
“My wife and myself were at home watching TV when we got a bunch of alerts that our food had been delivered,” Milobar said. “It was all French receipts and things of that nature. It became apparent that there had been four deliveries in short succession happening in Montreal from four different restaurants.”
The Milobars thought their credit card had been hacked and called their bank. The bank, however, determined no additional fraudulent credit card charges could be detected and pointed to Skip the Dishes.
“They insisted, ‘Oh, no, you just go through your bank,’” Milobar said of his interaction with Skip the Dishes. “Which, the bank had already told us, no. So, you know, they essentially just stopped responding, really. Even getting a phone number to talk to customer service was impossible.”
Milobar said that investigation into the matter online showed such fraud is not unique, nor is the response, or lack thereof, from the company. An article in the Vancouver Sun indicated a person in the Lower Mainland had a similar experience with fraudulent Skip the Dishes transactions based out of Montreal.
Milobar said he knows people who have had good experiences, but noted his was not positive. He said the company is not taking responsibility for the strength of security with its app.
“We chose, at that point, for the past 14 months, we haven’t used Skip the Dishes,” Milobar said.
He called the company “tone deaf” and pointed to a 99-cent charge recently imposed on British Columbians who use the service as more proof. In December, the province imposed temporary caps on fees charged to restaurants by food delivery companies like Skip the Dishes. The legislation caps the fee at 15 per cent, while other fees for use of the service — such as online ordering and processing charges — are capped at five per cent.
In the wake of that order, Skip the Dishes has added a 99-cent “B.C. Fee” on all orders in British Columbia, intending to leave it in place until the province lifts its cap.
Milobar said that while caps exist in jurisdictions throughout North America, B.C. is the only jurisdiction with the fee.
He said mom and pop restaurants were at the mercy of food delivery companies at a time when the industry has been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people ordering in, Skip the Dishes volumes have increased. Meanwhile, restaurant tabs are reduced without extras like drinks and desserts ordered and tips are not going to restaurant staff.
Milobar said restaurants are leaning on the wage subsidy and owners are not sure how they’re going to make it. The 99-cent fee charged by Skip the Dishes is more symbolic than anything, he said.
“For Skip the Dishes to essentially not want to shoulder a little bit of pain, when everybody else in that sector is, just seems — that’s what’s striking a chord with people — they just see it as a fundamentally kind of spiteful thing they’re doing,” Milobar said.