Foodpanda has come under fire after its deliveryman–who rides a bicycle–was asked to pick-up an order at Hougang even though he was in Bukit Panjang, all for just S$5 of earning.

The rider, Dylan Chen, told Mothership that he is usually stationed on the west side of Singapore and rides a bicycle.

However, he was rather “unfortunate” to be picked by Foodpanda to do a “cycling marathon”.

It was reported that Mr Chen got an order of fish soup for a customer residing at Bukit Panjang Ring Road. However, the food was to be picked up at Hougang Ave 4, which is approximately 20km away from his location.

To make it worse, the app also said he will be earning merely S$5 for this particular assignment.

Given that this is rather impossible for Mr Chen to do, he contacted Foodpanda’s customer service to rectify the issue.

The customer service staff who replied to Mr Chen apologised for the inconvenience caused but noted that he would have to still proceed with the order as he had already accepted it.

Photo: Dylan Chen/Facebook

Mr Chen then tried explaining to the staff that it would take him three to four hours to complete the order on his bicycle and that the area was out of his zone, as he is stationed at west Singapore.

He also went on to ask if there’s a system glitch, as he was selected to do an order which is not within his zone.

Photo: Dylan Chen/Facebook

However, the customer service staff kept on insisting that the delivery rider has to complete the assignment as this is part of the company’s standard operating procedure.

Photo: Dylan Chen/Facebook

Mr Chen then stated that following this exchange, the chat was closed.

Photo: Dylan Chen/Facebook

Since he was left with no choice, Mr Chen decided to re-dispatch the order hoping that other riders located nearer to Hougang would pick up the order.

This resulted in the customer having to “wait till no end” and also impacted his record with Foodpanda, Mr Chen said.

If that’s not all, he also added that riders who re-dispatch their orders can have their batch level affected. Batches will determine the rider’s shift bookings, and other things as well.

Mr Chen also believes that the customer did not end up receiving her order, but was thankful that his batch level was not affected after this incident.

Netizens’ reaction

Over on social media, online users slammed Foodpanda for its “inhumane response”, “extreme inflexibility” and “illogical” standard operating procedure (SOP) when dealing with difficult situations.

Commenting on the Facebook page of Mothership, netizens said that the mobile food delivery company’s service is getting worse and that they feel sorry for those who work for the company.

Others criticised the customer service representative for the “standard textbook replies” without trying to understand the predicament of the rider.

They added that the customer service staff needs to not give robotic answers and constantly repeat the need to follow SOP.

One user suggested that all customer service staff should be given proper training so that they would be able to “understand and access” different situations before giving a solution.

A large number of users shared their personal experiences using Foodpanda, which have put them off from using the food delivery service again.

Some of the issues users highlighted include delay in delivery, last-minute cancellation of orders and long waiting time for orders.

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