A thoughtful act of preparing dinner for his family turned into a nightmare when a man discovered mould in the cheese he had bought via Pandamart.
What he found more surprising was how Foodpanda's customer service representative handled his complaint.
In a Facebook post last Saturday (April 17), Jan Rick Camara Mascarina recalled his experience in detail. He had ordered cheese, mushrooms and some sauces from Pandamart — an online grocery store run by the Foodpanda — to make pasta.
While prepping the second batch of pasta, he realised that a piece of cheese had mould in it. Checking the expiry date on the package, he found that it read Nov 2021.
By then, the first batch of pasta was already in the oven and he had mixed the cheese into the marinara sauce, he said.
Mascarina contacted Foodpanda immediately, complaining that his dinner was ruined due to the mould. He said he wasted money on the 'whole marinara sauce base with premium beef and butter'.
Although he was offered a refund of $15 for the cheese, the man stressed that 'people could get very ill' from food gone bad, and demanded to speak to the manager.
The customer service representative complied and informed him that he would receive a call.
But his phone only rang briefly. He wrote: "I couldn't humanly pick up the phone fast enough. This happens twice."
Mascarina was promised a second call, however, when he picked up the phone, the other end of the line was silent before the call ended. The call was recorded and posted on YouTube.
This is not the first time Foodpanda's customer service has come under the spotlight.
Earlier this month, a man said a rider took a detour while delivering his order from A&W, claiming that she was unable to find his address. He asked Foodpanda to cancel his order but was frustrated by its "template replies" and only manage to receive a refund in Foodpanda credits.
In response to his Facebook post, others shared their own experiences.
Not all agreed with his complaint, however, as some asked him to "stop being so entitled" and others said that "the chances of spoilt food are always present post packaging and processing."
While Mascarina eventually got an additional $5 refund, he said he was disappointed by the insincerity of Foodpanda's customer service.
He added: "Keep your refund. I refuse to continue to support a business that patronises me with fake concern."
In response to AsiaOne's queries, a Foodpanda spokesperson said: "We are sorry for the upsetting and frustrating experience. We have reached out to the customer, Mr Jan Rick, to extend our apologies to him.
"We are currently investigating the matter, and will take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening again."