Industry push to address underage delivery

18 February, 2019 by Andy Young

With news that governments and authorities are investigating online alcohol delivery and the ability of those underage to obtain alcohol, two of the major players have highlighted their RSA credentials and want to help the industry ensure any loopholes are, and remain, closed.

Last week the Daily Telegraph claimed that underage teens are using online home-delivery services to buy alcohol, but both Tipple and Jimmy Brings have said they have strong RSA processes in place to ensure this does not happen.

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Nathan Besser, Co-Founder and CEO of Jimmy Brings, told TheShout: “We would like to think that Jimmy Brings is best in class in this particular area. We have developed a number of technological and manual RSA policies that are above and beyond anything required by legislation.

“Some of these policies include constant refresher training for drivers via their delivery app, and all our drivers must have their RSA and must have completed our own RSA training. We have a number of notifications both for the customer and for the driver for every delivery and we also have additional requirements for at-risk deliveries.

“We follow the industry standard ID-25 policy and if anyone looks under the age of 25 our drivers will ID them. We use a mystery shopper organisation for ID-25 and have a zero-tolerance policy, which all our drivers are subject to.

“We also have data intelligence around frequency of shopping, so if there are multiple orders in a day to one place our system catches this kind of at-risk behaviour and we take action to make sure we address that accordingly.”

Tipple is another on-demand or express alcohol delivery service operating in New South Wales and Victoria, and Director Matt Walsh, said: “Through the implementation of its own self-regulatory framework, Tipple has ensured the demands of consumers are met in a way that provides a best case example of responsible home delivery and could form part of a broader industry standard for on-demand or express alcohol delivery.

“Tipple believes that RSA training and certification should be mandatory for all on-demand or express alcohol couriers, and that deliveries must only be received by a person over the age of 18 years, and that verification of age and identity is sighted and recorded by the driver.

“Tipple’s self-regulatory framework and experience can help set the standard for alcohol delivery services in NSW, and we would welcome – and be pleased to contribute to – a review of the current regulatory framework.”

That promise of collaboration is a point Besser agrees with, given what Jimmy Brings has learned and developed over its five years in operation.

“Jimmy Brings has been in business for over five years and in that time we have learned a lot about where potential situations can arise and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to respond to those. We are happy to share what we have learned with anyone operating in this space in order to help create a safer environment. Unlike some other delivery options we specialise in the liquor industry and as such we take the responsible service of alcohol very seriously,” he told TheShout.

In a column for the March issue of National Liquor News, CEO of Retail Drinks Australia Julie Ryan, highlights reviews that are happening in Australia about this developing industry.

“At present, the online alcohol delivery space is subject to state government-led consultations in both NSW and Western Australia, with further consultations in other jurisdictions likely,” Ryan said.

“These consultations represent a valuable opportunity for governments to adequately balance the interests of all stakeholders involved in the online retail environment while also ensuring the regulatory framework reached prioritises the safe and responsible consumption of alcohol.”

TheShout also contacted CUB, who is currently offering a free delivery service via eBay, with a spokesperson saying: “We use Australia Post’s e-commerce delivery service for eBay deliveries. They have a fully-compliant liquor delivery service, which is why we have engaged them. This includes ID checks.”

A spokesperson for Liquor & Gaming NSW told the Daily Telegraph that there are measures in place in NSW to regulate online delivery and that this would be a focus for the regulator in 2019.

“Businesses that sell and deliver alcohol online must follow strict procedures for verifying the age of the buyer,” the spokesperson said.

“It is an offence for alcohol ordered online to be delivered or supplied to a minor. Liquor & Gaming NSW is currently focusing on regulation of online and home delivery alcohol sales.”