Food couriers do not check ID when delivering alcohol

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A food courier. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Wolt and Bolt Food couriers do not ask people for a document when delivering alcoholic drinks, giving underage people an opportunity to get their hands on drinks they should not be consuming.

It only takes on button on the Wolt and Bolt Food applications to confirm that you are of age when purchasing alcohol. Still, the apps point out that when the courier arrives, the customer should be prepared to present identification to confirm they are at least 18 years old. Many couriers do not check identification, however.

According to a representative of Bolt Food, it is clearly noted in the courier app when an order contains alcohol, meaning the courier has to confirm in-app that they have checked the customer's documents and the application will allow them to close the order then.

If it turns out that the client is underage, they will not receive their order. The client will have their money returned on the first attempt, they will not receive a refund for continuing violations. In addition, Bolt has the right block customers and couriers from the app if they do not adhere to rules.

Wolt Baltics head of operations Simon Runzheimer said the customer must be at least 18 years old and if they look younger than 30, the courier must ask them to present proof. Runzheimer added that couriers are constantly given training that reminds them to ask for ID. He said customers should notify the company about couriers who have not followed security procedures. If it becomes evident that a courier has violated rules, their contract will be ceased immediately.

Kristel-Liis Kaunismaa, a senior law enforcement officer of the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) Northern prefecture, said the police has not conducted control purchases.

"The story with Bolt and Wolt today is that they are intermediaries from the store to the customer. They do not directly sell these products. But in the situation where the Bolt or Wolt courier hands over the goods to the buyer and it is clear they are also receiving alcohol, the courier must make sure how old the buyer is. That is also what the Estonian legislation says, that not only selling and consuming, but also mediation and transfer, are illegal," the officer said.

Kaunismaa pointed out that there have been situations where minors have received their alcohol. But there have also been situations where the courier refuses to hand over the bottles.

"I think Wolt and Bolt should encourage their couriers and tell them that such an obligation exists, they have the right and they can refuse the order," she said.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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