HelloFresh apologises after 'glitch' saw customers charged for unwanted food box deliveries

  • 18/01/2023
The company has apologised following Kiritaki/Consumer NZ criticism.
The company has apologised following Kiritaki/Consumer NZ criticism. Photo credit: Supplied.

HelloFresh has apologised after a technical glitch saw some customers charged for meal boxes they didn't want.

A HelloFresh spokesperson told Newshub the glitch was discovered after an "in-depth internal investigation."

"Together with our global tech team we’ve tracked down a temporary technical glitch in regards to customers pausing their subscriptions," the spokesperson said.

"Our global tech team is currently working at full speed to resolve this issue. We are sorry about the inconveniences and will make sure this won’t happen again in future."

The spokesperson said HelloFresh's customer care team will contact the "small number" of affected customers to offer them full compensation.

The meal-kit company allows customers to 'skip' box deliveries on the weeks when they don't want one.

Skipping the next delivery in time prevents the boxes being shipped, and customers won't get charged - but this must be done before a specified cut-off date.

The apology comes after Kiritaki/Consumer NZ revealed on Tuesday it had received several complaints from furious Kiwis who were charged for either boxes or shipping when they wanted to skip a delivery.

Head of content at Kiritaki/Consumer NZ Caitlin Cherry said it has been an issue for HelloFresh customers for the past three years. 

"Some customers are being short-changed, and it needs to stop."

A HelloFresh spokesperson recently told Kiritaki/Consumer NZ there were "no identified issues with the website or the app functionality in the back end."

The HelloFresh app is meant to be more convenient, but some customers had complained their app often failed to properly record when they wanted to skip.

A disgruntled customer named Alice told Kiritaki/Consumer NZ HelloFresh suggested she "should have contacted them to say the app wasn't working in time," unbeknownst to her that there was a problem with the app.

Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, companies are obliged to carry out their business or service with care and skill, so that customers get what they pay for.

Cherry said customers should be refunded for unwanted meal kits, including shipping, as "they should not have to fork out to return the box they cancelled".