ST. LOUIS — Many people use popular food delivery services like UberEats, GrubHub or DoorDash. Food delivery apps have become a way of life. They're convenient and simple.
But just how safe are they? One St. Louis woman who wants you to think twice the next time you use any of those apps.
"I never felt unsafe using one of these apps. I never thought about the implications about what could go wrong," Catherine Redfern said.
For months, Redfern has been using delivery apps to order food from south St. Louis restaurants.
"It's just really convenient if I don't feel like going out to get food delivered if I don't want to cook," she said.
She said it had been going well, but everything fell apart Thursday night. Around 8:15 p.m., Redfern ordered food through DoorDash, but her driver never showed up.
"I hit the text button and I said to her, 'is there a problem with my order?'" Redfern said.
She said that driver never answered her texts so she canceled her order. But that didn't sit well with the driver.
"She was like, 'you need to take that up with DoorDash and I'm going to visit at your house with my friends later.'"
For hours, Redfern said she tried to get help from DoorDash after the driver's threatening call, but after emailing back and forth, she said the company refused to help her.
"I've been really disappointed with the way door dash has handled this," she said. The driver's alarming behavior made her fear for her safety.
"It doesn't feel good. She's got all of my information. She's got my phone number." she said. "She knows who I am. She knows how to find me and if she wants to make good on that threat she can."
Redfern said she felt helpless.
"I think people need to be aware that these companies do not have an investment in their safety," she said.
For months, she said she trusted DoorDash with her private information. Now she's having second thoughts about ever using them again.
"I think it's really about the bottom line and they hide behind the fact that these are not employees but contractors that they don't have control over," she said.
5 On Your Side reached out to DoorDash about the incident. It released a short statement about the matter:
"We sincerely regret that this incident fell short of the experience we strive to give our customers every day. We reached out to this customer immediately after being notified of this event. We take the safety of our community and the conduct of Dashers extremely seriously. We have since taken appropriate actions, including deactivating the Dasher from our platform, for failing to follow and maintain our standards of customer service."
The company also said it refunded Redfern's money and issued her a credit.