Careem pays Dh709,000 to customers for late food orders in Dubai

Company says money not taken from delivery riders but from marketing budget

Careem says the safety and well-being of its riders is its priority, and pays bonuses for those who ride safely. Photo: Careem
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Careem paid Dh709,000 ($193,000) in 2023 as part of a campaign to reimburse customers for late food orders in Dubai.

The figure was revealed to The National as the Dubai-based super app launched the 2024 Dirhams for Delays campaign in the emirate. The initiative, launched last year, promises customers they will be reimbursed Dh1 for every minute their food is late.

Careem said the reimbursed money did not come from the wages of food delivery riders – known as captains – but from the company's marketing budget.

“Last year, customers were reimbursed Dh709,000 for food orders that exceeded their estimated time of arrival,” said Jaskaran Singh, vice president of food at Careem.

“Despite this, the overwhelming majority of Careem Food orders in both 2022 and 2023 were delivered on time, with only one in 20 surpassing their ETA.”

The company said that rather than heaping additional pressure on delivery riders, it encouraged safety, paying bonuses to those found to be riding safely.

“This campaign is about being super accurate with the delivery times we share with our customers, not about excessive speed,” said Mr Singh.

“We’re confident that our delivery prediction and tracking technology is the best in the market and we want to show our customers that they can rely on us to eat on time, every time.

“The safety and well-being of our captains is a priority for us. They can’t see ETA times for orders and won’t bear responsibility for any late deliveries. This is really just about us being so confident in the efficiency of our service, and we’re willing to bet on it.”

The refunded amount is deposited into the customer's Careem Pay wallet for use on any of the platform's services or withdrawn into a bank account.

Reimbursing Dh709,000 would indicate the company was late with orders for 709,000 minutes during the period of last year's campaign in Dubai – which ran from May 8 to June 30.

This is equal to more than 492 days – or about 11,816 hours. This year's campaign runs until March 10.

Careem Food was launched in Dubai in 2020 and order volume has increased significantly in recent years. It now also operates in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, as well as the UAE.

Updated: February 02, 2024, 4:14 AM