The Ministry of Transportation and Communications yesterday urged the public to join its efforts to crack down on food delivery service provider UberEats, with promises of rewards of up to NT$300,000 for reports of its illegal operations.
After UberEats voluntarily disclosed its 10 most delivered foods yesterday, the ministry said it would focus its efforts on monitoring the motorcyclists who deliver the food.
The Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) has issued 16 tickets to UberEats since it started operating in November last year, with the accumulated fines totaling NT$800,000, Department of Railways and Highways specialist Hu Ti-chi (胡迪琦) said.
However, UberEats has succeeded in having those tickets annulled on appeal, with the deliverers being taught to tell the authorities that they bought the food for themselves and by refusing to let the authorities check what they were delivering, Hu said.
“The highway authority does not have the right to apply for a warrant to search the items that these deliverers are carrying, even though UberEats is running a cargo-delivery service — dispatching delivery vehicles and charging service fees,” she said.
“We hope that more people can give us leads and help us crack down on this illegal service,” she added.
By law, UberEats must be registered as a cargo-transport provider to run the business legally, which it has not done, Hu said.
The law also stipulates that cargo transporters should not only use motorcycles for deliveries, but UberEats only recruits motorcycle riders as food couriers.
Hu said that UberEats could work with legal cargo transporters, which are allowed to use motorcycles to deliver food or goods, adding that they can then be held accountable whenever there is a consumer dispute or food safety issue.
“A legal operator also has to pay taxes and fulfill its obligations. The problem with Uber and UberEats is that they do not want to be regulated by the government. The social costs of such illegal services will have to be borne by the consumers themselves,” she said.
People reporting the illegal service to the DGH would receive 1 percent to 10 percent of fines paid as a reward, the ministry said.
The DGH does not accept anonymous tip-offs, it added.
For people making multiple reports, the reward is capped at NT$300,000 per person per year.
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