Most times food deliveries are unpredictable.
Even while Uber Eats, for instance, does make an estimation of delivery time, it’s usually not accurate, as late deliveries are quite common on the app.
Priority delivery is one system Uber Eats endorses that can fight against late deliveries.
But what happens when a delivery you prioritized comes late? What can you do and how possible is this?
Understanding How Uber Eats Priority Delivery Works
The biggest problem with the priority delivery on Uber Eats is how little it’s explained to customers.
You see, priority delivery is not a shield against late deliveries or a sort of antidote late delivery as most people see it.
In fact, Drivers can’t tell when a delivery is prioritized, outrightly and they’re also not paid extra for it. I’m a driver myself. We don’t know about priority delivery.
So what does priority delivery do?
Uber Eats’ Priority delivery is basically a premium service on the app that guarantees customers a faster delivery time frame than the standard delivery used on the platform.
According to Mashable, you should be able to get a delivery with priority, 5-10 minutes earlier compared to the standard delivery.
Now, the algorithm behind priority works by making sure every prioritized delivery is delivered first in a list of stacked deliveries.
You see, on Uber Eats drivers are usually forced to take in a certain amount of orders at a particular time when delivering. In other words, they have to deliver to multiple locations at a once.
This is done to sort of make the industry profitable.
But as with increased profitability comes a con.
Here, the con is increased delivery time — a driver would need to pick up 2 or more orders at once and deliver them consecutively. Obviously, before the last person gets their order, a lot of time would be spent driving around.
So this is where the priority delivery comes in.
According to Uber Eats, Drivers would generally make fewer stops between picking up the order and dropping it at a prioritized delivery location.
Note that this doesn’t eliminate stops or stacked delivery. It only means there would fewer stops with a priority delivery.
Secondly, as we said earlier, In delivery with stacked deliveries, yours will be highlighted to be delivered first.
Generally, this whole thing doesn’t translate into a guaranteed early delivery. The normal factors that contribute to late delivery still play into this as well.
It basically says your order would be delivered faster than a standard delivery.
Why is Your Priority Delivery Uber Eats Late?
As we explained earlier, the priority delivery service doesn’t stop an order from coming late but rather helps increase the delivery time.
But if we’re to wonder, what would cause a priority delivery to arrive late, beyond the latest arrival time?
1. A Restaurant Delay
Every food delivery order starts at the restaurant, not with the driver or your front door.
But, funnily enough, Restaurants are also not notified about priority delivery. They’re not paid extra, hence will not treat it as any sort of special order.
Even if a driver is immediately available, they can’t control how fast your food is cooked or prepped.
Restaurants have their busy periods, and sometimes they’re swamped with orders—both in-person and via various delivery apps.
Your Priority Delivery status won’t make the fryer fry any faster or the oven heat more quickly.
If the restaurant is backlogged, your food is going to be delayed, no matter what.
And this is basically one of the biggest factors that leads to late deliveries in general.
Even if the restaurant is on its A-game, there are still a lot of factors that affect late deliveries that the priority delivery service doesn’t address.
One is traffic.
While the Uber Eats algorithm does its best to estimate delivery times, it can’t predict a sudden traffic jam, a road closure due to an accident, or the impact of extreme weather conditions.
All this could lead to an increased delivery time even with a priority delivery service.
3. Your driver is multi-aping
While bad, a few number of drivers have been known to use multiple delivery apps at a time.
In other words, they accept an order from a particular restaurant and would also be open to accepting more orders from different apps if they get such requests.
Imagine a driver doing this for a priority delivery. The goal of the service is already lost.
And Uber Eats can’t actually do anything about this since drivers are not employees but independent contractors. They’re only against this when drivers deliver past the estimated arrival time.
Now, if the reason for the priority late delivery is as a result of the driver’s mismanagement, read on to find out what to do.
What to do if a priority delivery comes late?
Now, it depends.
If your priority delivery service was actually honored and the delivery still arrived late, there’s nothing you can do about it.
However, if your delivery was not prioritized (which is rare), you may want to contact Uber Eats and get a refund for the charge.
But before you leave, here’s one secret tip, to prevent Uber Eats from stacking your orders with other deliveries.
Take advantage of “Add-on items”
The “Add-on items” is one of the company’s schemes that allows customers to add orders after a delivery has already been accepted by a driver.
With it, you can add items from other stores even after your delivery is taken.
Good, but what it does in relation to priority delivery is something we like to talk about.
The moment a driver takes a double order from a particular customer, Uber Eats locks the option to take other customer orders. In other words, adding “add-on items” eliminates stops or stacked delivery entirely.
Even with a priority delivery, you could still have your orders come late. There’s no guarantee. And if you can do anything about this, or perhaps get a refund, you’ll need to know the cause of the late delivery before taking action, as not all situations will satisfy the need for a refund.