Jamaica’s minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security Matthew Samuda is defending the government’s E-commerce National Delivery Solution (ENDS) against public outcry that the food delivery prices on the platform are too high.
According to Samuda, the ENDS platform is free. He further stated that the government has no control over the prices charged by vendors using the platform.
“I can’t tell any private sector company what to charge. The government has set no prices. ENDS is free for registration,” said Samuda.
“What is clear is that there are several very cheap options available as well,” he continued. “So persons have the time, they’re at home, they’re under lockdown, they’re able to look and see what all the options are and see what best fits both their taste and their pocket.”
According to some who used the recently launched ENDS over the Easter weekend, the services on platform are extremely expensive.
One woman who took to Twitter explained that she paid over $5,000JMD for two burgers and nuggets that she ordered from Wendy’s over the weekend.
“Have y’all ever paid over 5,000JMD for two burgers & nuggets from Wendys? I did. I live 15 minutes away. ENDS is clearly not for everybody,” tweeted the woman.
“The prices them rough, trust me. I mean good initiative but the thing too [dear], I dunno if it is the delivery fees or wah,” added another Twitter user.
Some users had speculated that the high costs associated with the platform may be due to a user fee for restaurateurs, however Samuda noted that this was not the case.
The ENDS pilot project was launched in Portmore, St Catherine in late March and is now also available to residents in Montego Bay and Kingston.