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DoorDash and Amazon Won’t Change Tipping Policy After Instacart Controversy (forbes.com)
101 points by remote_phone 38 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 107 comments



If you’re thinking of avoiding these services (which may cause you inconvenience, less demand for the service and less jobs generated for workers), I’d recommend instead to just avoid tipping via the platform. Tip in cash, square cash or Venmo. This still provides drivers the guaranteed minimum from the service and the tip you give in cash is truly 100% going to the person as a bonus.

The worst part of this though is DoorDash outright deceiving me by prominently saying 100% of the tip goes to Dashers every time I checkout. When I read that I assume it’s a bonus, not that DoorDash will then reduce their portion of the pay. Seeing that message, I’ve been religiously tipping via DoorDash, not any more. It’s only cash from here on.


> DoorDash outright deceiving me by prominently saying 100% of the tip goes to Dashers every time I checkout

This is the biggest part that is misleading and makes a good service a bit shady.

I tip well because I wanted my food to be handled well and the driver to get a nice payment out of it. I also want the driver to make sure the order is good and correct, I am willing to pay extra for that. Now DoorDash is telling me they decide that for me and the driver. I think they should do something to change that or at least remove that message.

I have also read on reddit in the subreddits for these services like /r/doordash/ that because they pay low for some routes, even if people tip well, that dashers double up on deliveries. Sometimes the service asks them to and knocks their acceptance rate if they don't, or offers really far deliveries for cheap. I wanted to tip enough so they weren't racing or doubling up.


They have a history of being misleading too. Aside from the delivery fee and tip, there's also a service fee, and in some cases, a "small order fee". And, sometimes they pad the restaurant prices too. And the UI is pretty good at hiding these things. Pulling up an itemized receipt, for example, is an extra step beyond looking at a past order.


Thank you so much for saying so I really appreciate you speaking up I am a Dasher and it happens exactly like you said I may be doing two deliveries but may only get a few dollars for that second delivery when it's doubled off and I've even been asked to do three for orders at a time so thank you someone is finally speaking up about this


Why shouldn’t they double up?


> Why shouldn’t they double up?

It is fine if they have to do that where it makes sense, but I want to know so I can choose not to use the service then if the deliveries are far and food is will be affected, or allow customers to tip high enough that the driver does not need to double up.

DoorDash should have a service fee that allows you to choose level of delivery then, that you can choose single stop. If they are short on drivers, then increase prices, don't downgrade service.

DoorDash forces many drivers to double up, even if the tip is high and it harms them algorithmically on acceptance rate if they don't.

DoorDash just provides the logistics. The food quality, speedy delivery and customer should be the focus here. I feel like some of these policies take away from quality from customers and value from drivers.

If I am already paying higher costs for the food, a service fee, and a tip, which usually turns into 30-40% higher food costs, you'd think quality, customer desires and driver loyalty would matter.


Why should your food be cold?


>Tip in cash, square cash or Venmo

These workers are vulnerable, at the margins of their economy and are already suffering at the hands of a nation-wide refusal to raise the minimum wage to something livable so they can exercise genuine financial independence.

Please do not take advantage of the situation to force your favorite poorly-regulated finance app de jour on them by only tipping with venmo or square cash. There are a bunch of good reasons not to do this, such as the fact that if you choose venmo it's now necessary for your delivery driver to own a relatively expensive smartphone with a monthly subscription in order to receive your tips, but mostly it's just kind of an arrogant and dickish thing to assume other people don't mind signing up for all the services you use to receive your $5 tip, so please consider just using cash. You'd probably be pissed if someone told you they only tipped in litecoin and you should go download breadwallet.


Wait. How did they use the delivery app without a smartphone?


Makes no sense since the DoorDash driver has a smartphone.

Check your assumptions?


Totally agree. People need to stop being lazy and justifying their support of unethical businesses by thinking tipping outside of the app fixes the core problem.


Or just use GrubHub, since most DoorTrash drivers also drive for GrubHub.


Reminds me of how some state governments say that “100% of our lottery profits go to the state university.” While not mentioning that they cut the university’s funding from the general budget by the same amount.


Let’s say you want to move most of the compensation to tipping. This gives the buyer more control over how much they pay, and drivers may get more money if they do extra.

So you change your model to be less base pay and more tips. In door dash’s case, their base pay is $1.

But now you have to worry about the person that stiffs the tip and leaves nothing. Can you feel comfortable paying the driver a dollar for that trip?

Well.. no. So you say you’ll guarantee a minimum per order. If anything the people in the room making this thought they were doing an extra nice thing by adding this guarantee.

The thing is, drivers asked for more of their pay to come from tipping. Most nonapp delivery drivers are paid on a heavy tipping model. If it was messaged drivers get $1 plus tips would people be ok with that?

I used to work in this industry but not these companies. Actual comp doesn’t change on much average through most of these schemes, though there are outliers. Which is to say, they’re all underpaid, even at the “better” ones, as is your dominoes driver.


I delivered pizzas in college for a few months. I was paid $6.xx/hr (minimum wage) and tips added to my check and taxed if they were done during credit card, and I had to report them if they were in cash.

I’m pretty sure that whatever DoorDash is doing is illegal in my state, and they are dodging enforcement by claiming the drivers are contractors. Screw them.


I think this framing is off. I think it's this notion that the company is offering compensation as a blend of base rate and tips. Like it's compensation in a blend of cash and stocks. But that seems wrong. The company isn't compensating with tips.

The claim that drivers are looking for more of their pay to come from tips seems false. Tips and pay are independent, and saying that drivers want to be paid less by the company seems false on its face.

A more accurate framing seems to be that the companies are using the presence of tips to lower the wage for the position to save money.

The issue is that variable base rates are directly using customer tips to fund wage obligations. If the company indicates they are giving 100% of a tip to the worker, but then offsets the pay by exactly that amount, they aren't actually giving that tip to the worker like they claimed.

So a fixed base rate plus protection against downside risk like you proposed is not the same as the variable base rate these companies are implementing.


Works just like waiters and waitresses no?


No, increasing tips in the jar increases their pay proportionally. Their starting point is low, but gains are real, except when the manager puts themselves as the 99.9% beneficiary of tips... which would be viewed just as negatively.


This is not entirely true.

The federal minimum wage for tipped jobs is $2.13/hour, with the employer only required to make up the difference if the employee doesn't break $7.25/hour in tips + wages.

In these situations, the tips received between the minimum tipped wage and the minimum wage work exactly like the DoorDash / Instacart wages: they are net zero for the employee.

Of course state and municipal minimum wages sometimes supersede these minimums, but they often have their own separate minimum wages for tipped jobs.


In these situations, the tips received between the minimum tipped wage and the minimum wage work exactly like the DoorDash / Instacart wages: they are net zero for the employee.

I'm not sure why people keep repeating this like they think it means something.

The tipped minimum wage is $2.13/hour (higher in most states), significantly lower than the regular minimum wage, because tipped workers almost always made more than federal minimum wage when tips were included. To repeat, for emphasis: the federal tipped minimum wage for employees is only $2.13/hour.

In the rare event that a tipped worker doesn't make at least federal minimum wage including tips, the employer is required to make up the difference, but this backstop was added to the law much later. It is the exception, not the rule, and it is wholly inappropriate to treat it like the standard case.

EDIT: This is different from what Amazon and DoorDash do, since they claim the fee they pay the driver is $X, under the general legal definition of "tip", any tip paid should be on top of the $X. They can look forward to class actions and DoL investigations in their near future since "tip" has an actual legal meaning for labor law purposes that you can't redefine in a ToS.


Yes, it is indeed rare that a tipped employee would not make minimum wage when tips are included. However, that does not change the fact that the difference between the normal minimum wage and the tipped minimum wage - $5.12/hour - is made up in tips. If there were no separate tipped minimum wage, these employees would be making $5.12 more per hour in money they take home.

In both this case and the Amazon/DoorDash case, there is some concept of 'guaranteed wage' which is actually backfilled by tips.


I'm not seeing any difference, appart from the fact independent contractor's minimum wage in the US is 0$

DoorDash says, you are paid 0$, but get to keep 100% of the tips. And it says, if you are tipped less then 10$, they'll pay out the difference so you are guaranteed to make a minimum of 10$ per job, with the max uncapped, left to your tip potential.

This seems identical to me. Waiters are paid (2.13$ per hour + tip) or 7.95$ per hour if it adds up to less then that. Drivers are paid (0$ per job + tip) or 10$ per job if it adds up to less then that.


The federal minimum is a floor. What DoorDash has done is set a ceiling. If someone was generous enough to give you $100 tip you should $100 + $delivery fee. Instead they’ve kept that tip and tipped you out a small percentage. Which I think is worker hostile and completely inexcusable billshit.


I agree that these practices are worker hostile and inexcusable bullshit. But I don't think your understanding of their policy is correct.

My understanding is that they have some guaranteed amount that the driver will get, and DoorDash/Amazon will then pay the difference of the guaranteed amount and the tip. There is no ceiling - the driver always keeps all of the tip, but the delivery fee will modulate down to some minimum.


That's not what I understood. If you get tipped 100$, you'll make 100$.

Think of it as: you get to keep 100% of the tip, but they don't pay you anything extra, unless the tip is less then 10$, then they pay you the difference up to 10$.


>This is not entirely true.

You're using the wrong "this." Waitstaff don't have their tip-wage adjusted based on tips.


That's just semantics.

I was responding to this:

> No, increasing tips in the jar increases their pay proportionally.

For the tips that make up the margin between the tipped minimum wage and the standard minimum wage, their pay does not increase proportionally.


Why are we still tipping at all? This relic of slavery[1] needs to be phased out, not reinforced.

[1]. https://www.fordfoundation.org/ideas/equals-change-blog/post...


Because you (customers in the US) cannot stop that practice without businesses pro-actively ending that practice en-masse. Some idealists have tried to run their business without tipping and paying a fair wage, but those initiatives tend to remain marginal (if they endure at all) because the average US customer dislikes paying the full (and naturally higher) price of a product or service up-front without the tip.

Some countries don't do it at all (e.g., Japan), and in a lot of countries people tip only in a few cases — exceptional service that went above and beyond, or rounding up the bill in a restaurant after a good meal. For foreigners the practice of tipping to ensure an employee gets at least a living wage in the US is quite strange.

Tipping is deeply cultural, you will be fighting against a phenomenon that is as American as apple pie (metaphorically speaking, it is Dutch in origin of course). Good luck in these days of ongoing identity wars.

Do you know of any good ideas to actually make that shift away from tipping happen?


Because you (customers in the US) cannot stop that practice without businesses pro-actively ending that practice en-masse.

That’s the best argument for why regulation needs to exist that I’ve heard in a while. When the only way the public, and the employees can effect change is through the massed goodwill of the minority of beneficiaries of the status quo, it’s time to step in and regulate.


>"Because you (customers in the US) cannot stop that practice without businesses pro-actively ending that practice en-masse. Some idealists have tried to run their business without tipping and paying a fair wage, but those initiatives tend to remain marginal (if they endure at all) because the average US customer dislikes paying the full (and naturally higher) price of a product or service up-front without the tip."

Danny Meyer, a very prominent restauranteur in the US eliminated tipping in favor of a "hospitality included" model. That was in 2015. It has endured since. His restaurants are among some of the best in NYC. He's stated repeatedly that customers are quite happy with it. See:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-danny-meyers-lonely-war-...

and

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenfeldman/2018/01/14/danny-m...


Tons of restaurants in Seattle have eliminated tipping entirely and have a high wage for waitstaff.


> Do you know of any good ideas to actually make that shift away from tipping happen?

Change the law to make tipping a private transaction between the customer and the direct recipient, with no ability for an employer to be able to view or dip into it. Taxing it is no issue, but that should again be a private matter between wait staff and the IRS.

If a customer wants the kitchen staff (or others) to receive a tip, then this must explicitly and freely be stated. The default should be that the direct recipient of the tip pockets the money. Leaving cash on the table should by law imply that the customer is leaving the money for the private benefit of the staff who directly waited on that table only.

Minimum wage topups using tips, and similar, would then be (intentionally) impossible. Employers would have to pay minimum wage (in places where one is defined).

Tipping would remain, but at least things wouldn't be quite as extreme as they are today.

Of course this will never happen because restaurant owners have more political sway than wait staff.


In many states the tipped and non-tipped minimum wages are the same. Which is probably as it should be.

I know in some restaurant workplaces tips are pooled and shared among staff, and this doesn't seem unreasonable as everybody knows what they are getting into.


The US and Canada are really the only countries with mandatory tipping. We should require businesses to display the final price, including all the fees like sales tax, health tax, and service. Uber has done it: you can leave a tip but you don’t have to.


what definition are you using for mandatory?


"Causes direct and meaningful financial harm to the worker if you don't do it."


And social stigma for the non-tipper


Yeah. I tried tipping a waiter in Japan, he was genuinely offended. Here in the UK I'll occasionally say keep the change to bar staff in my local but I'm an outlier and it's not expected. America crazy with their entire tipping culture.


It doesn't have to be a uniform change in expectation, sector by sector will do.

I leave 20% routine at a restaurant when I am waited on, but mostly zero at a counter style place. To me, the latter is purchase based rather than service based, and I don't tip at retail stores either.

If your tipping (or not) is in line with the legitimate expectation of the workers, then you're not stiffing them [0].

Which is why the discussion regarding tipping for online services is so important - this is when norms are being defined. The point of online commerce is that entire transaction is mediated by software, not that it simply sets up an open-ended appointment. For example we don't tip package delivery, even though they're damn hard workers (although I've certainly met them at the truck for heavy shit).

What has happened here is that these companies have added tip boxes to the transaction flow because it's a form of price discrimination (based on guilt) and they're hoping to lower their own costs, either because tips will make up for offering lower wages, or as we've seen here because it allows them to put their hand into the till directly.

The sensible thing to do is to mechanically put zero in any online tip box, because that box itself is an anti-feature. I hope that you then refrain from giving a cash tip, so that the expectations for online transactions remain simpler. I don't think we're at the place where these employees are reliant on tips (and these companies' practices seem to indicate so as well!), and if we're lucky it can remain that these companies have to fully compensate their workers rather than being able to stiff them and pass on the guilt.

[0] Of course there's still the systematic inflation-treadmill race to the bottom based stiffing, but you personally are not.


> Because you (customers in the US) cannot stop that practice without businesses pro-actively ending that practice en-masse.

I can absolutely decide to not tip without businesses 'ending that practice en-masse'. You can too! In fact, anyone can!


Because we're in a Nash equilibrium where it isn't rational for any individual actor to change.

Restaurants that incorporate the service fee into prices sell less food and particularly booze, leaving them with less money to pay the staff, leading to lower wages for front of house.

Given this experience, tipped workers are generally against any legislation that might change the system.


Restaurants in Seattle that are raising the minimum wage aren't telling me not to tip for the most part except Tom douglas. I'm capable of doing math... I'm tipping so I already am. Tho I realize most peipyare just straight confused by tipping ratios. And I as the patron shouldn't be figuring out your staff's w2.

But also I know bartenders at a decent tipping bar (any with a good weekend business) make a lot more than $15-20 minimum wage.

A Worked as a bouncer at one of the best bars in STL for tipping (high end late hours) and they'd make 95k+. Wasn't a job you could keep much past 40 unless you just didn't drink tho.

As an aside Was one of my better non co-op college gigs, I worked security and valet, so I made 100-200$ tips a night and 10/hr (1995) as a valet bouncer and it was a 12 hour shift (4pm-4am).


To be fair, “Tom Douglas” is like sixteen different restaurants around Seattle. A bunch of bars (Optimism) and non-restaurant food stores (Molly Moon’s) have gone tipless as well. I’m actually optimistic that Seattle is slowly but surely beating back the scourge of tipping.


Yeah my point is more that it's not transparent about the wage increases vs tips except at a few places.

I'm fine with the way Tom does it. Just wish it would as mor consistent


Molly Moons also tells you not to tip. There's a few places around town that are changing.


I think tipping is a bit more interesting than that. It’s an equilibrium for the businesses and possibly for the workers, but often not for the customers. One of the strange things about tipping is they people usually still do it even when there’s no need to. It’s rational to tip at a neighborhood restaurant where they might remember you the next time around, but it’s conpletely irrational to tip for a one-off meal in a strange city or at an airport restaurant or whatever. Most of us tip anyway in those situations.


> often not for the customers

As someone who tends to tip well, I really don’t mind it. It’s a way to tangibly say “thank you” and “I appreciated your work.” (That said, tips should be above and beyond. Not required, and not included in minimum wages.)


Do you actually tip all the people you're thankful to? Or even half of them? I definitely don't; most of them would look at me weirdly if I tried to tip them. So I think that's a tempting story of benevolence people tell themselves but it isn't actually the main reason for tipping.


If they want a thank you note they can go volunteer in their free time IMO. I think employers should be paying their employee's wages, not relying on the public to directly pay their salary.


Define "rational"


Not tipping makes people feel bad, so people often tip to keep their idea of themselves as a good person, not for a "rational" expectation of benefit.


You're asking consumers to take an optional payment and make it mandatory. Even if they ended up paying the same amount, they'll prefer it be optional.


As the article admits, tipping predated slavery by a long shot. People like to be able to tip if desired and many/most expect it to be incremental to wages.


That's the American position. You'd like to ask recent immigrants about tipping, and you'd think that a substantial portion of them would like not to leave tips and would prefer that the employer pay their staff proper wages.


Because it allows both employers and employees to evade taxes and enhance their bottom line.


If you work at a nice restaurant you can make a lot of money with tips. Even at a nice sit down place (not super fancy) with food, appetizers, drinks etc you end up with 120 dollars a table of 4 or 5, a tip on that is 18-30 bucks. If you cover 4 tables in an hour that 72-120/hour. I don't know if you are going to get paid that on a non tip basis.


Ive never worked in a restaurant, so I could be wrong, but I think most places pool tips. So you have to split that 72-120, with the line cooks, bus boys, etc.


Yes and no. A typical setup at fine dining restaurants is a team of a front waiter (takes the orders, lists the specials) and a back waiter (brings the food, keeps drinks filled). Bussers clean and set the table between seatings.

You’ll typically tip out the whole wait staff on an even basis, or the front waiter may keep a little more. Then you give something to the busser, but not an even share, and you probably also give something to the expediter, if there is one - the person who manages the window to the kitchen.

It would be fairly uncommon to pass on tips to the kitchen.

Also note, with a staff like this, you can serve more tables in an hour, maybe 6-7, so there’s more money to go around.


Despite doing most of the work necessary to make the restaurant function, line cooks are generally not included in tip pools. Worse, in same places they are even excluding from being part of tip pools despite not making much more than the waitstaff (on a pre-tip basis).


I’ve only worked in restaurants that pool tips and the line cooks never got any


DoorDash’s blog post on the matter is ridiculous: https://help.doordash.com/consumers/s/article/Should-I-tip-m...

How can they possibly justify the bit about dashers receiving 100% of tips which is repeated several times?


"Here’s how Dasher pay is calculated. Dashers are shown a guaranteed amount that they will earn when they are offered a delivery. In addition to 100% of the tip, Dashers will always receive at least $1 from DoorDash. Where the sum of $1 plus tip is less than the guaranteed amount, DoorDash will provide a pay boost to make sure the Dasher receives the guaranteed amount. Where that sum is more than the guaranteed amount, the Dasher keeps the extra amount."

Amazing how every sentence here is accurate and sounds positive yet it describes a scheme where tips are used for the base pay.


There are a bunch of different knobs that you can tweak to make this "feel" like the dashers are either receiving the tips or not.

1. Suppose DoorDash provides a minimum payout of $0.01 instead of whatever algorithm they use. Then, clearly, 100% of your tip goes to the dasher.

2. Suppose you tip the dasher $1000 under the current system. The dasher receives $1001 and 100% of your tip feels like it's going to the driver.

3. Suppose dashers are paid a minimum of $100 per order, and your tip never reaches that level. In this case it feels like 0% of your tip is going to the dasher.

We actually don't have enough numbers to know which of these is more like reality as far as I know. If the typical tip is much larger than the minimum, then the minimum feels like it’s just protecting the dasher and their compensation is just tips. If it’s calculated to be right at the level of a typical tip or larger than it is clearly manipulative.


The minimum is $1. The guarantee is ~$10. I’m guessing nearly every tip is $1-9 meaning the tip never affects the amount the dasher receives, only the amount DoorDash pays. I don’t think anyone expects this to happen when they tip.

Encouraging customers to tip and suggesting 100% goes to the deliverer is fraud.


Also, what percentage of people tip? I feel like that number is going down. These apps and services disconnect the service from the tip to such a degree that I no longer feel bad not tipping or feel good tipping well.


And we really shouldn't tip. The whole point of all these streamlining technologies is to be able to better track everything and ensure good service.

Pay the workers what they deserve and charge the customers what you need to.

This ridiculous game where the more generous people subsidize the rest of the customers out of guilt is absurd.


If you know this is how the company handles tips you should never tip.


They explain _exactly_ how it works in the 2nd paragraph. 100% of the tip goes to the dasher, and then the base pay scales to hit the “minimum”.

That’s obviously lame, since you’d have to basically tip over the minimum to see the pay change. But they lying when they say “100%”.


If DoorDash pays less when you tip, then the money is effectively going to DoorDash, not the dasher...


Effectively, but not nominally. Which is why it's so sleezy.


Disrupting the business model means sucking the juice out of everything.

I got a package delivered by Amazon. It was "left in a secure location" according to the Amazon delivery driver. Turns out it was delivered at 9 pm, left outside my condo building in a February winter storm.

I can't complain about it (short of the item review) and Amazon doesn't learn that their driver sucks.

But hey, it's better for Amazon's bottom line, and divorce attorneys aren't free, ya know.


"sucking the juice" is a fun way to put it. Uber for example, is thought of a company that is streamlining transportation and this profiting off of the increased efficiency.

In reality, what appears to be happening is Uber is a massive scheme to siphon off vehicle depreciation for an enormous number of drivers that are hard up for cash.

The VCs aren't the only ones subsidizing cheap rides. The drivers are taking the brunt of it.


There's a driver for Amazon that regularly delivers packages to my house that reek of cigarette smoke, to the point that I have to open it outside and throw the box away to keep my house from stinking. I'm in the same boat as you, no way that I know of to complain about the driver.


At least yours get delivered. Back then, when Amazon UK used Parcelnet, a substantial number of parcels wouldn't even arrive!


As good a reason as any to stop using Prime Now. Unfortunate, because it was pretty useful.

Then again, between the fulfillment center conditions, stealing tips from drivers, the over the top IP restrictions ("we own everything our employees do"), or the way it yanked around all those cities for HQ2... I suppose if folks valued worker conditions they'd probably already being untangling themselves from Amazon.


I don't think I'm going to tip through Doordash anymore. It's robbery that they misled users by saying the tips go 100% to the driver and it turns out this is not the case.


I just stopped using Doordash. I’ve had drivers drive hours out of their way to pick up food because doordash had incorrect restaurant location data. I’ve had orders where drivers just drive home and never pick up my order. Each time it is hellish trying to get support to do anything about it.

Doordash, like most food delivery services, takes much more of a cut out of the delivery experience than the value they provide. These apps are glorified CRUD apps with little differentiating them. If anything goes wrong it often is a nightmare, and I’ve never had an experience where one of these apps has correctly detected and fixed an issue with a delivery—each time I have to identify then fight their dark patterns to get a human to help me.

Uber categorically improved taxi service for consumers at the very least. These food delivery apps have honestly made the experience worse for consumers and for drivers.


the problem to be solved is how to tip cash and still expense it. At least my employer will not reimburse a tip above a small one-person amount which makes not tipping on the CC problematic.


It would take a seriously sleazy group of people to not only come up with this idea, but implement it and continue to defend it after caught.

Apparently the "tech" world has the definition of "innovation" mixed up with the one for "deception". How disruptive!


Prime now tells me the tips go directly to drivers. I guess they do in a way. What a lie.

Prime now tips https://imgur.com/gallery/mGeZmm1


Technically correct best correct!


So as a customer, Amazon is just going to pay less if I tip a driver? I tip $0, I effectively only harm Amazon.

Do drivers see that they aren't being tipped before they drop off packages?


> Do drivers see that they aren't being tipped before they drop off packages?

Don’t give Bezos ideas!


I’m surprised there isn’t more of an outcry about this from other services. I can’t really be bothered to keep track of which ones are honest, so I’m probably going to just avoid all of them. (Obviously I don’t use them much to begin with, but if enough other casual users feel the same way it could hurt.)


I had no idea Amazon was doing this as well. I specifically checked the wording on Prime Now once the Instacart story broke.


Well — that gets me deleting the DoorDash app with alacrity.

That is a very scummy behavior.


I imagine there's a number of class action firms now aware of the opportunity and salivating.

There might even be 2 cases...one for buyers, one for drivers.


This is neither illegal nor hidden, so I'm not sure there's any case here.

A good portion of the US economy is based on paying workers less because they receive tips. And even the tax system has evolved to guess the tips for workers so that they don't just pocket the money without tax.


It's highly deceptive, and more egregious than other practices around tips.

There's already one filed on Instacart for similar practices: https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/05/instacart-faces-class-acti...

And Instacart backed off the policy as a result: https://www.eater.com/2019/2/6/18214354/instacart-delivery-w...

In any case, you don't have to take a class action all the way to court to inflict damage.


> This is neither illegal nor hidden

Now I'm curious. Are you a lawyer, and is this legal advice?


I don't actually understand the controversy assuming these policies are transparent to the worker. "Tipped wage" for service staff is nothing new (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipped_wage). A lot of states have a much lower "Minimum tipped wage" that, combined with tips, must equal the "minimum wage" or higher.

If I'm reading this correctly, Instacart's pricing algorithm didn't even set a "minimum tipped wage" (i.e. say $1/job), which agree does not make sense, but having a "minimum tipped wage" per job and then another guarantee above that including tips is, again, not new.

If we want to review, as a society, whether customers should be subsidizing wages for service jobs, then that should be a much larger conversation to be had.


Who wants to join my team working on a new app called Tippr?

It provides an easy way to tip delivery drivers working for Amazon and the like.


Interesting, but how would it be different from just using square cash?


I was joking but after thinking about it: maybe the driver would have to sign up and you'd track their route and correlate with delivery stops so a tipper would just need to send a tip to "whoever delivered". Add a browser extension for when you order through there to automatically take over the box on the order form.


What is Amazon Flex and wjy doesn't the article mention Amazon beyond the title?


Maybe there’s some money in a business model that has up-front pricing so that the consumer knows what they’re paying in advance, without worrying about their food getting cold or employees being short-changed.

Because the existing system seems like third world style corruption, frankly.


Aren’t the DoorDash kids Stanford grads? How can they hold their heads up having introduced such a scummy business practice? What a disgrace.


Tip cash?


Prime now says it's not allowed


How is Prime going to know you tipped cash?


Lots of things aren’t allowed.


That's gross.


What about Uber eats?


They do not do this. They explain exactly how fees are calculated in their FAQ. Tips are not included in the calculation.

https://help.uber.com/partners/article/how-are-delivery-fare...


Weird, I don't see anything about a tip in there...

Ah here it is: https://help.uber.com/partners/article/are-tips-included-in-...


Given Uber's history, I'd be inclined to assume the worst.




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