Students rip off Foodpanda, cost the startup more than a lakh
Flix Monday, April 13, 2015 - 05:30
The campus of the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) campus in Hyderabad witnessed quite a sight on the evening of April 8 as delivery boys from various food outlets queued up outside, long after the hostel gates were shut. The reason for this was not the students having a lot of extra money to splurge, but word spreading around about a bug that allowed food to be ordered for free from global online food delivery marketplace Foodpanda. The bug which was reported by a startup, spread like wildfire through the campus which soon saw delivery boys lined up with large amounts of food worth several lakh rupees. "We have close to 800 students in our hostel and around 200 of them ordered for 300-400 rupees each," a student from the college tellsÂ The News Minute. The students estimate that around one lakh rupees worth of food was ordered. The student added that a few people were aware of the bug earlier and used it occasionally to order food. However, "by 8th April the news of the bug had spread and it resulted in those orders," the student adds. The students mainly ordered from Baskin-Robbins, Papa Johns, I scream and Hot Bitez, a fast food restaurant close to the campus. The students also maintain that they were not completely unethical. "We knew of the bug in the application for more than a week before the incident and even sent a mail informing Foodpanda about it," another student tells TNM. "I tried ordering using the bug but it didn't work for me," he confesses. The mail was reportedly sent to Foodpanda on the April 3 informing them of the bug. Foodpanda did not respond to TNM's queries to verify if they received an e-mail from the students. On April 8, Foodpanda responded by shutting down services in Hyderabad after it realized what had happened, and later zeroed the shutdown down to the Gachibowli area where IIIT Hyderabad is located. However, the repercussions of the incident have hit the students hard, with the college management planning strict action. The college has set up a committee to look into the matter and are planning on banning the ordering of food from outside the college campus. A student body representative in speaking to MagazineÂ Inc.42Â said, The story on medium was written by the founders of the brthe startup, also IIIT students who just wanted to boast about the free food they could order, exploiting the flaw in the website and to sell their chrome extension. It is true that few students made use of the flaw in the system. But those are a small minority of our institute and the student body is really ashamed of their actions. The 6 lakh figure (which was reported by the magazine) was authorâ€™s own imagination. The entire episode has put our institute in bad light and already some of our recruiters started talking about cancelling hiring . We students are really worried about the situation. We are actually coordinating with the students to collect the money and return it to the website. Â
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