Bike couriers for the popular food delivery service Deliveroo are no longer allowed to sublet their account, and may be subjected to random requests for a selfie in order to ensure they’re complying.
The bicycle delivery service will also regularly send inspectors into Brussels, where there are over 1,000 couriers operating on a daily basis with the app.
Because Brussels is the largest zone in Belgium in which Deliveroo is active, they expect to find more fraud there, Deliveroo Belgium spokesperson Rodolphe Van Nuffel told Bruzz.
“Unlike other bicycle delivery services, we work with waiting lists and we don’t let people who register begin to work immediately,” Van Nuffel said. “This way, we prevent the ratio of couriers to orders from being skewed. Some people try to avoid these waiting lists through account fraud.”
Other reasons people might sublet someone else’s account, apart from to skip a waiting list, include cases in which the person was a minor, or someone not in compliance with Belgium labor laws.
In the past, subletting was allowed in cases where a driver might have been ill. But due to the high rate of subletting for other, illegal reasons, Deliveroo is adjusting its policy to be stricter.
“At the explicit request of the tax authorities, we no longer allow bicycle couriers to be replaced [with a subletter]. There must be a direct relationship between the courier and the customer, so it cannot be that a stand-in comes to the customer,” said Van Nuffel. “If the couriers are not in order, then they cannot be insured by Deliveroo insurance.”
The unexpected-selfie system has already been put in place in France and the UK.
“We’re first testing this system there, and if it works well, we will also introduce it in Belgium,” says Van Nuffel. “If we spot any fraudulent activity, such as someone changing their address or phone number very often, we will also check what’s going on.”
In total, there are currently 3,500 Deliveroo couriers active in Belgium, and 1,000 couriers contact the company every month to join the fleet.
An independent study of the couriers in Belgium, shared by Deliveroo, found that three quarters of them are between 18 and 24 years old and indicate that they are couriers in order to earn extra money to finance their leisure activities.
The Brussels Times