DELIVEROO launched in the UK four years ago to deliver goodies to your door from your favourite restaurants.
Today it uses some 20,000 self-employed drivers, who get just £3.75 per delivery.
But many are unhappy with the way they say the company treats them.
Here, one of those – Cleber Mauri, 30 – shares his six-day diary of a job that is demanding and dangerous, as there has been a spate of so-called acid attacks on moped riders.
I wake up feeling nervous.
There have been so many attacks in the past two months that I’m scared to turn on the mobile phone app that gives me my orders.
But I need to earn some money so I can pay my bills.
I’m a student and joined Deliveroo as it promised flexible hours and good pay.
But after the company made me pay £40 for my Deliveroo jacket and £20 for my Deliveroo bag — and told me I would have to finance my own insurance — I began to wonder what I had got myself into.
It’s 9pm and I have just collected a curry from a local Indian.
This is one of the most popular Deliveroo orders but, as usual, I’m nervous it might go cold and the customer will complain.
I get to the address in East London and gulp when I see it is a housing estate. My bike has been vandalised three times and stolen twice in places just like this.
I call the customer to ask if he will come down but he refuses so I feel I have to head inside.
The £3.75 we get paid per order doesn’t seem like much at times like this. I often end up working 12-hour days, up to 50 hours a week just to survive, earning around £7.50 an hour. And the customers rarely tip.
I hand over the curry and rush back to my moped.
Moments later, the customer calls me. He’s furious as they’ve given him a chicken madras instead of a vindaloo.
The man is screaming at me like it’s my fault. He doesn’t seem to realise that it’s not my job to pack his order.
It’s lunchtime, I’m delivering a Chinese, and the Deliveroo GPS app has just told me to turn on to a certain road in East London.
My stomach lurches. I don’t like this street as I’ve been attacked here before but the food might get cold if I divert from the route.
Also, if I’m late and the customer complains, I fear Deliveroo will punish me by cutting my shifts. I cannot prove they do this but it seems that after a few complaints, the app on which you receive your orders suddenly goes quiet.
You can find yourself waiting around for hours with nothing to do while other drivers are deluged.
I want to avoid this street as teenagers lie in wait for us. I was attacked here in June.
A kid on a motorbike threw liquid in my face as I waited at some lights.
I thought it was acid and took my helmet off as quickly as I could before it started to burn through the visor. But to my relief it was just petrol.
I’m from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and back home there is the constant risk of violence.
I left my country to escape all that and thought London would be safe. But sometimes I feel it is even worse than Brazil.
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I’m back on the road. As I ride along, five guys leap out from behind a car and try to surround me.
One shouts at me to stop while the others try to grab my moped. I swerve and the wheels spin out from under me as one connects his boot with the petrol tank.
I’m convinced I’m going down but at the last moment, I’m able to right myself and speed away. My heart is hammering.
It’s 4pm on a sweltering hot day and I’m rushing to deliver a curry.
The heat and sweat mixed with the muggy air is causing my visor to steam up. I remind myself that it’s better than being cold.
During the winter months we have to drive through lashing rain and work in sub-zero temperatures.
I’m waiting outside a popular East London restaurant with about four other Deliveroo drivers.
It’s 2pm and I’m almost at the front of the queue when I see a group of teenagers approaching.
There are four of them and one is brandishing a screwdriver. Another is wearing a helmet and carrying a knife. One of the kids orders us to meet them on the edge of the car park.
“Don’t move,” my friend says. “There are CCTV cameras here.”
We stand firm but my legs are shaking. I can’t believe this is happening again.
What is going on in this country? These kids often video their crimes so they can show them off on social media — and the police do nothing.
I often feel like I’m being attacked because I’m an immigrant.
On this occasion, to my relief, the muggers eventually walk away.
I fear I’m going to have to pay £100 for a GoPro camera to record this type of thing.
— DELIVEROO says it is hiring 50 new staff to man a call centre dedicated to keeping drivers safe.
Dan Warne, the firm’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, told The Sun on Sunday: “We will do everything we can to protect our riders and have put in place new measures so riders can report any concerns or even move to work in another area if they feel unsafe.
“We are working closely with the police and local councils and sharing all the information our riders give us in order to help tackle crime against them.
“This is why we’re implementing new measures like our app, and helmet-mounted cameras.
“These will allow us to work together, share information and bring criminals to justice.”