Like It Or Not, You Gotta Shell Out That Surge Fee

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Surge Pricing – it started with the cab aggregators and now seems like it’s the new norm as grocery delivery apps like Blinkit have also followed suit. 

Even food aggregator apps such as Swiggy and Zomato charge surge fees in case of inclement weather or late-night deliveries. Most others such as quick commerce apps, Bigbasket and Zepto charge delivery fees on low-quantity orders. This is the first time surge pricing is being implemented in grocery delivery.

Burning a Hole in the Pocket

As much as we hate paying a premium, the startups and aggregators are also bearing the brunt in order to meet investor expectations. Hence, in an effort to reduce burn rate and focus on profitability, Blinkit decided to charge a surge fee – anywhere between Rs.20-50 during peak hours.

In its defence, the SoftBank-backed firm said, “Surge charges are levied during peak demand in the area and as soon as the demand normalises, surge charges will not be levied.” 

Someone’s Upset

Last week, amid a rise in customer complaints against cab aggregators, consumer protection regulator CCPA called a meeting of ride-hailing platforms like Ola and Uber, demanding details about their policies related to price hikes and ride cancellation. 

This is mostly the reason for the high surge fee and cancellation charges that are now being borne by the customers. 

Too long? Here’s a one-liner: After cab-hailing aggregators like Ola and Uber, Q-commerce app Blinkit starts charging surge fees of Rs.20-50 during peak hours.

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