The mystery of mouldy sandwiches has left a suburban Toronto couple miffed at UberEats and a little less trusting of who's delivering dinner to their doorstep.
Anna Kotlikova and her boyfriend, Blake Weinzettl, of Etobicoke, were at home Sunday evening when an UberEats driver arrived more than a half-hour late with what they thought were two fresh pizzas and a couple of cans of pop.
Instead, Kotlikova opened "the huge brown bag that the food was stuffed in" and found mouldy sandwiches, one partly eaten, accompanied by two unidentifiable round disks and a salad that looked like it was made last week.
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"The smell overwhelmed the whole room," Kotlikova said, adding the packaging appeared to be tampered with and the utensils had been opened.
They called Montana's restaurant just down the road, and the manager insisted their original order was properly packaged and handed over to an UberEats driver.
Confused and curious, they called Uber and reached out to the company over social media channels. They had so many questions, Kotlikova recalled — so many things that didn't make sense.
"I don't know where he [the driver] got this mysterious big brown bag with an order number, which wasn't even our order number, or the order number from the restaurant," she told CBC Toronto.
'Where is this old food coming from?'
Then there was his route. The app lets users see where their drivers are once they've picked up an order. Kotlikova got an alert their pizzas were en route, but the driver was "at least 15 minutes away somewhere," despite the restaurant being just down the road.
"I don't know where this guy was driving to, because he definitely did go somewhere," she said. "And where is this old food coming from? And why is he doing this?"
Outraged and concerned, Kotlikova posted her tale in a Facebook group, with photos to match. The post elicited a flurry of responses, with one person claiming their own friend had the same experience that night, and had ordered from the same restaurant.
Sathes Kumar, general manager of the Montana's in question, confirmed the restaurant got two separate complaints Sunday night, and whoever else called had a nearly identical experience.
He said the restaurant has sent photos and filed an official complaint with Uber, but stressed that, to his knowledge, something like this had never happened before.
'Lack of urgency' in Uber's response
For Kotlikova and Weinzettl, the decaying organic matter they got is only a small part of the story. According to the couple, their complaints to UberEats were answered with scripted corporate speak and useless message chains.
They received a refund and a $25 voucher. But what they really want is answers, especially about the driver.
"So we don't know if he regularly drives for Uber? We have no idea," she said. "That's why we wanted Uber to have a sense of urgency and figure this out and at least update us on what's going on."
The driver has a 4.8 rating of 5.0, and no similar complaints in his history, Uber told CBC Toronto on Monday.
In a written statement, an Uber spokesperson wrote on Tuesday, "We are continuing to work with the restaurant and the driver to help understand what may have happened. We have removed this driver's access to UberEats and Uber as we look further into this."
As for the why? If only mouldy sandwiches could talk.
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