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How to manage the fake orders

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When it comes to fake orders, it’s not our system’s job to help on this aspect. Or better to say that the sales damage introduced by some extra verification steps does not justify such harassment on eligible clients. For example, supermarkets with self-service have always a higher fraud rate than stores selling over the counter, yet they thrive without doing a full body search on every client on checkout.

Most delivery tracking systems allow to comment/store notes about clients found at various addresses, can “mark” or “write useful delivery advice” on certain delivery addresses (e.g. “this client has a disability and orders have to be carried in, find a longer time parking spot there” or “this client has a habit of not answering at the door in a timely manner – call him before you deliver”, or “this client is a prankster, just ignore his orders”, “this client makes a lot of fuss if you arrive late – be there on time or call him if you cannot”, etc.).

Such notes can be read by the riders or delivery dispatcher with no rush after an order was received to markdown “trouble makers” and avoid delivery hiccups.

Although not accurate from the very first fraudster order, it is much more productive to carry on such “security history checks” post orders, in the same discrete manner casinos identify card readers after they start playing, without disturbing the normal clientele.

We could do some “add to safe list this client” or “blacklist that client” features after their first order but considering the low impact we decided not to work on this at this moment. It seems this is a low impact issue for now.

Typically, today half of the orders still happen over the phone on any given takeaway restaurant, and the same thing can happen: someone calls to order and the restaurant could be in the same situation, assuming the same risk.

Technically speaking we see no bulletproof solution to this. Any “anti-spam” technique may end up hindering more eligible users than eliminating prank order risk.

The only bulletproof solution is to activate online payments (where available) and accept only orders pre-paid online. But this will also lower the conversion rate. In the end, it is a matter of deciding to expand the business in the online space or not.

There is also another aspect that we noticed: it seems that most restaurants have a steady base of few hundred clients and even without using an order-tracking software, the orders accepting person starts remembering clients after some time, so once there is a new client, it’s very easy to spot and run a quick call check only on that client, just before delivery.

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