You can read it in their apologies and the positive spin: "We heard loud and clear the frustration when your compensation didn’t match the effort you put forth."
Heard you loud and clear? What is this, like the American Idol voting contest? Daytime Emmy awards, or public opinion poll, where we have to be asked what we like to be paid?
A proper apology would be: "We know what we were doing was wrong, and we were wrong to do it, and we will not do things like that in the future." Not, "it seems you didn't like what we did, so we'll do something different."
Makes you think they won't apologize for doing fundamentally wrong things until they get called out by public opinion. What types of issues should a company know are not ok / illegal, and what issues are subject to public approval or measuring reception? Shouldn't a CEO know these and apologize accordingly?
Or maybe that is the role of regulation and government to keep the amoral corporate compass calibrated.
The voice to text program used to generate the above has been sacked.
That's one of the reasons for government regulation and why you should carefully examine calls for "less government regulation" to see who benefits and who is worse off.
I'm not sure what's the right answer here. Changing the incentives? Or penalizing companies (that's what we do)? I don't think we're getting rid of the free market any time soon.
So you create an earnings structure that deliberately fucks your workforce, but it's just something overseen, just recently "noticed", and it only affects "small batches" of shoppers?
This is just plain dishonesty.
I'm glad he's making things right for the shoppers, they were hurt the most. But he didn't even apologize to us customers who thought we were tipping our shoppers well, and instead we were paying their base salary (instacart would just make up the difference if we didn't "tip" enough). WTF? That's not a tip!
After seeing his response, I'm glad I closed my account when this news broke and I won't be returning. They had one opportunity to nail this PR disaster and they forgot about their customers!
> For the shoppers who were subject that approach, Instacart says it will retroactively pay people whose tips were included in payment minimums.
Break the law and be as unscrupulous until we can either change the law, have enough money/market to "fix it" and save face, or fight indefinitely in court.
I would not be OK with it if I tipped at a restaurant and the restaurant reduced the staff's pay by the amount I tipped.
This: Base pay starts low, and is reduced by the tip amount, contrary to the expectations of customers and workers.
Now is it clear how they are two different things?
To style it like your comment, server wage: Base pay starts low (minimum wage), and is reduced by the tip amount. Customers may or may not be aware that servers are paid below minimum wage and that their tips will be appropriated by the business. Businesses don't exactly advertise this.
If there's something enshrined in law beyond a lower minimum wage for tipped workers I'm interested to know.
I work for an hour and don't receive any tips. My employer has to pay me $10 to comply with minimum wage laws.
I work for another hour and receive $5 in tips. My employer now has to pay me $5 so that my total pay for the hour is $10. I make the same amount in wages + tips that I did in the first hour, but my employer saves $5.
There's lots of jobs, like commissioned sales, where the employer has to pay minimum wage. They get rid of salespeople who may do a great job of relating to the customer and explaining the benefits but can't close the sale. Out the door for somebody who is pushy, etc.
> a lower minimum wage for tipped workers
Money is fungible; reducing paid wage by the amount tipped (to a limit) is the same as just paying minimum wage and taking that portion of the tip from the worker.
This helps them grow when they are are small, and then when they get bigger they can either fight it in court, lobby, etc.
For example, Airbnb, Uber, Lime, etc.
The Silicon Valley Model
If I HAVE to tip for an adequate service, then it should be included. If adequate service isn't delivered - then that should be reported to the management. If service that is above and beyond is delivered - then I will gladly pay for the extra service.(And I mean above and beyond, not just literally doing the job as stated)
Tipping in restaurants is really problematic especially due to issues with tipping out the back.
This is my biggest gripe with tipping. It's just a crappy experience as a consumer, and a weird power dynamic for the employee. Promotes class divisions, and makes me feel kind of crappy. I just want everyone to get a fair deal and thats it...
I'm going through all of them. I tried Zazie the other day and it was really good :) Trying Petit crenn soon.
If one of their drivers had come to the Instacart office and stolen something, they'd have to do all of the above plus go to jail.
This was a widespread coordinated criminal action and someone should be facing our criminal justice system as a result.
When the organization is doing good it's We
When the organization is doing bad it's Me
to me, as a customer, the vendor-partners (e.g. Costco, BevMo, Ralphs, Whole Foods, CVS, Petco, etc) also seem a bit dirty. i mean, one can ask the question whether they were totally ignorant of Instacart's payment and tip related practices.
The "right thing" he did:
1) Apologize, explaining that he made a mistake. Self-deprecation is good here.
2) Make it right, not just going forward - they are retroactively paying the delta to the impacted employees.
"Hey - we tried to cheat you blind. We thought we could cheat you without you noticing. Clearly that was a mistake - you noticed. I'm sorry that you noticed when we tried to cheat you."
"The state attorney general's office phoned me and it was scary. I'm going to return the money that we cheated you out of because I don't want to go to jail."
"In the future, I promise to not cheat you in ways that you will notice."
if I were advising this CEO, I'd suggest sending every shopper who ever got a tip an additional 50% of their lifetime Instacart earnings, just to regain the community's confidence.
Who made this choice, and how has the company changed things to ensure that they won't make this choice again?
Instacart potentially thought that they are just guaranteeing a specific tip, regardless if there are tips or not, and not really thinking the model through. If a pizza delivery guy gets tipped nothing, or $1, I don't think the pizza company compensates? In some way you could see this an equalizing tips, everyone gets paid the same for each batch, as you would potentially do with normal wages.
Bigger issue for me coming from non-tip culture, that's ok not to pay any kind of employees enough and instead rely on customers to tip them.
Your proposed simplest solution isn't guaranteeing a minimum tip. It's saying that the first $x of a customer's tip will go to the company instead of the employee. This is theft. The company already charged the customer a fee for this service and should be using this to pay their expenses.
I've read about why tipping exists in the restaurant industry and what happens to businesses that try to avoid it. But for these new businesses without established mores, I have to do moral calculus to decide whether to use them and how to tip. I wish they had avoided this. I tend to avoid them instead.
Did customers ask for this? The people providing the services?
Was it for the price discrimination? price discovery? Or to deflate the sticker price?
Perhaps it's a legal cover? If enough customers are paying cash tips, is it in Instacart's best interest to keep track of this (by building a tip feature into the app) for tax reasons?
Separately was I about to sign up for instacart through www.bjs.com before this story dropped.
Do you think there's anything the CEO could have said/done today that would make you reconsider Instacart? I do like the retroactive payments he mentioned, but wonder if the there's anything more they could do to regain a customer like you.
They can apologize all they want, that's fine. But apologies don't always necessitate forgiveness. An apology is a start, and their actions going forward are what will truly determine whether or not people should forgive them.
So more Instacart and no more DoorDash. There are plenty of alternatives to both and I suspect we'll pretty quickly figure out which ones are the creepy assholes and which differentiate themselves by being decent human beings.
BTW simply uninstalling the app won't cause change. I contacted both Instacart and DoorDash and asked them to delete my account and all PII and when asked, explained why.
PS: it's worth looking at which investors have supported this kind of attitude.
According to https://www.minimum-wage.org/federal/tipped-employee-minimum..., if a laborer accepting tips does not minimum wage during a time period of their work, their employer must compensate them up to minimum wage.
In other words, tips subside an employers obligation to provide a minimum wage- the same thing Instacart is doing, although instead of a minimum wage, Instacart uses a $10 minimum payment.
Instacart reduced payments to workers because they got tips. Basically stealing their tips.
I was ready to pull out the pitchforks, but then in an effort to keep journalism honest, tried to look to the primary sources for where this was said and can't actually find it. How was this attribution sourced?
What a non-apology.
There are just too many to keep track of, even for the big guys.
That said, I don't know that who they raised money from is particularly relevant to the story.
I'm not going to watch a College Humor video at all, much less pretend it's research.
What I will say is that federal law establishes up-front salary limits for tipped waitstaff such that no waitstaff will ever be paid less than $2.15 an hour (a number I feel should be much higher and pinned to a percentage of minimum wage) and in the event waitstaff does not receive sufficient tips to equal minimum wage for time worked, the restaurant is obligated to supplement the difference.
This is known, up front, by both parties.
These drivers were promised a rate of pay and not told in advance that Instacart would be intercepting tips. That's a bad-faith operation.
In addition, the real instance of wage theft here is classification of these employees as minimum-wage-exempt 1099 workers instead of payrolled W2 employees -- and the cynic in me suspects they're classified this way expressly because Instacart knows they're exempted thereby from minimum wage.
So, I agree that reform is needed, but none of the things you posted (modulo some Youtube I'm never going to watch) have been accurate or even relevant.
Which brings me back to my initial questions: did you create an account to misrepresent federal law? Why?
The articles two days ago by NBC, yesterday by BuzzFeed News, and today by the NYT forced Instacart's hand.