I love to eat, but I am a lazy butt–a hermit, if you will. So when my friend told me about FoodPanda, I almost jumped for joy and kissed my computer screen. But to my great disappointment, FoodPanda is rather picky about where it wants to serve its customers, and how it wants to serve its beloved customers.

I’ve had two experiences with FoodPanda, and both were pretty bad:

The first time I decided to give FoodPanda a go was when I was at home in Xindian, New Taipei City. My friend and I wanted to stay in and watch a movie. And she told me that she had always ordered from FoodPanda in the city when she was at work. So I went and took a look myself. At a first glance, I thought the interface on the homepage looked simple and easy for a B2C product. But when I tried to type in my street, as shown below in the screenshot, the website responded with a simple, “no areas found matching your search.”

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Confounded, I decided to try again with the Chinese version of the website. Sometimes, two versions of the same website show different results in the scrolldown menu. When there was still no luck, I began to get so frustrated that I just decided to enter a random address in the homepage so I could get a move on.

I eventually did get to the check-out section and receive text from FoodPanda that my orders were on my way. But a few seconds later, a woman called from FoodPanda and asked why I had entered another address in my delivery instructions. When I explained to her that the address in Xindian was the actual address for the delivery, she apologetically told me that Xindian wasn’t in FoodPanda’s district and that she had to cancel my order.

The second time I wanted to have tacos for late brunch (?) So I thought, “hey, this time, I am in Taipei City! Let me try FoodPanda again!” Since I’m an optimist like that. But guess what?! I had to spend a total of an hour just trying to figure out how to get FoodPanda to recognize my street. I was using the English version to try to search for my street, but only random street names popped up. I was just about to give up entirely and faint in my chair when I found the customer service hotline hidden in the Help page.

With the strength that I could muster, I told the kind lady/man (I called twice) that the site wouldn’t pinpoint me on the map(even though the voices added a personal touch to a very impersonal website, one of them was still pretty clueless as to how to really operate the company’s website). It took me another hour to figure out that I had to switch the Chinese version to actually get the website to recognize my location.

I did eventually get my Mexican food, but not before a random Chinese delivery was sent to my door. How the two delivery boys exchanged their route was beyond me. But at least I got a coupon for a free delivery next time.

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FoodPanda is a great concept, but its service certainly does need a lot of improvement for me to have faith in it again. It can’t just make its delivery boys go around handing out “sorry, sorry coupons” every time it messes up. Getting people upset and then handing them a tissue is not the way to go. Sorry, sorry!

About The Author

Wendy Chen

Wendy Chen is a blogger, freelance.

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