According to a Law360 report, Grubhub had been levying commissions on calls made to Narula’s restaurants through a phone number provided by Grubhub.
According to the complaint filed in federal court in Philadelphia, Narula discovered that Grubhub was advertising a Grubhub-issued telephone number made to appear like his restaurants’ local numbers.
All of the calls to these numbers were then rerouted to his restaurants who would answer calls about the menu or status of a delivery.
Then, after noticing a series of charges on his Grubhub account for calls not associated with any purchases, Narula believed that Grubhub was treating every rerouted call like a food order processed on its platform, even though the restaurants themselves were taking the calls and processing the orders.
Narula decided to call one of his stores and waited on the line for a few minutes and hung up.
He then saw the charge for the call on his account and called a Grubhub representative who confirmed that they had imposed commissions for all calls lasting longer than 45 seconds made through the phone number generated by Grubhub.
According to the complaint, Grubhub offered to reimburse Narula for prior commission charges on those calls but had initially threatened to suspend his account if he publicized those complaints.
However, Narula mentioned that Grubhub orders account for only 15 percent of Tiffin’s revenues, so he filed a class action complaint on behalf of Tiffin and the thousands of Grubhub restaurant clients operating in some 1,600 cities across the country.
Narula’s lawsuit seeks millions in reimbursements and damages for affected Grubhub clients and seeks to enjoin Grubhub’s deceptive practices.