A takeaway in Darwen has warned other businesses about fears of a potential scam, after a Just Eat customer reportedly 'stole' around £25 worth of food from the business.

Just East said incidents like this are rare, adding that it is "absolutely committed" to supporting its restaurant partners. The restaurant has been refunded and an investigation is pending.   

A customer ordered food from 3Bz, on Railway Road, through online food and delivery platform Just Eat on Tuesday night (March 26).

According to Abdul Muheed, manager of the takeaway, it was a scheduled order and food was requested to be delivered the next day (March 27).

In the delivery notes, written on a receipt that has been seen by the Lancashire Telegraph, the customer wrote: “Please deliver as soon as possible, Tuesday night, not Wednesday. It won’t let me choose the ASAP option.”

Bury Times: 3Bz in Darwen is warning other businesses after a customer 'stole' food3Bz in Darwen is warning other businesses after a customer 'stole' food (Image: 3Bz)

Carrying out the request on the delivery notes, the food was delivered that day. After receiving the food, the customer reportedly cancelled the scheduled order meaning they did not pay for the goods.

Abdul said: “We were busy and I packed this order myself. When I saw the message that the customer cancelled the order I was shocked and wondered what happened.

“People told me to go to his house and ask for the money but I thought that was pointless.

“It was only for around £25 but this is the last thing a small business needs at the minute. Prices are sky high, and every single penny makes a difference.

“We work hard for our families and children. We are doing our best to provide the best service for customers.

“If the customer is reading this, we would appreciate it if they came to the shop to give us the money and apologise."

Abdul is now warning other businesses as he fears it could be a scam that could be tried on other businesses. 

He said: “I may have lost money but at least I can use this experience to warn others so they don’t fall for it.”

Abdul says customers have often reported having missing items in the past, and received refunds, despite the team packing the correct order.

He is also encouraging Just Eat to consider altering its policies to protect the businesses it works with. He is encouraging them to speak with businesses before offering customer refunds and give businesses the ability to block certain customers for themselves.

Just Eat, which works with more than 86,000 restaurants across the UK, said it take steps to ensure restaurants are not financially impacted

It has robust measures in place to block fraudulent orders adding that it is blocking customers who are using credit or debit cards suspiciously, or have suspicious refund rates.

Restaurants may also able to dispute any refund complaints.

He said: “I rang Just Eat after this happened but I think their focus is on customers and not the businesses they work with.

“I don’t understand why they couldn’t help me.

“I think Just Eat needs to stop issuing refunds without asking the restaurants first. It would also be good if Just Eat gave businesses permission to block certain customers from ordering from us again.”

A Just Eat spokesperson said: "We're absolutely committed to supporting our restaurant partners and take complaints of this nature seriously. 

"While incidents like this are rare, whenever we're made aware of fraudulent activity, we take steps to ensure restaurants are not financially impacted, such as providing compensation. We have refunded the restaurant in full and have restricted the customers' access to the platform pending investigation."