CHICAGO (CN) - A class claims that GrubHub "promises" that it does not charge for delivery, but that the electronic versions of the menus on the website have higher prices than the menus in the restaurants.
The online food-ordering service GrubHub "systematically deceives its customers," by jacking up prices on its electronic menus, while claiming its service is free, according to a class action in Cook County Court. .
Through the GrubHub website, customers order food for pick-up or delivery from restaurants. According to the complaint, GrubHub "has partnered with thousands of restaurants across the nation," and its site claims in multiple places that its services are "free."
"GrubHub is 100% free to use," the site states. "Restaurants may charge for delivery, but we never will. We promise."
But lead plaintiff Cory Miller, of Chicago, said he discovered otherwise when he placed an order for food from co-defendant Pompei restaurant through GrubHub in September 2009. Miller said his order for Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken, which goes for $8.95 at the restaurant, was upped to $9.95 on the website.
"To place a delivery or pick-up order" from GrubHub, "consumers first select a restaurant from GrubHub's website," the complaint states. "When a restaurant is selected, an electronic version of the restaurant's menu appears on GrubHub's website for consumers to browse and select their food order."
Miller claims that "in stark contrast to GrubHub's advertisements," and (i)n violation of the express terms and advertisements contained on www.grubhub.com, Grubhub features electronic menus that have higher prices than the prices listed in the respective restaurant's 'in-house' menu. In other words, consumers using GrubHub's website are charged menu prices higher than the menu prices actually offered by the restaurant. Such artificially inflated prices cause GrubHub's consumers to pay a higher cost per food item as compared to ordering the food items directly from the restaurant."
Miller says these hidden, undisclosed charges are illegal in Illinois.
He alleges consumer fraud, deceptive business practices, fraudulent inducement, common law fraud, breach of contract and unjust enrichment. He estimates the class numbers in the thousands.
He is represented Ari Scharg with Edelson McGuire.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.