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DoorDash still hasn’t changed its tipping policy (vox.com)
73 points by t23 59 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 39 comments

This is incredibly annoying. Whilst I don’t really agree with tipping, it’s a strongly ingrained cultural norm in the US, and what I really don’t agree with is lying to your customers. I made a DoorDash order just a few minutes ago and it was the first time I had tipped cash to a delivery driver. The driver seemed to be pretty pleased. I’d use an alternative delivery service but I’m not sure which to use, and none of them seem to have the market penetration doordash has here in the NW.

I stopped using delivery apps because of the tipping. I hate it and I'm doing my best to avoid it.

Unfortunately when you’re in suburban US and you can’t or don’t want to drive, you’re stuck with little other choice sometimes...

Can't you just call the restaurants themselves? Or did they stop their own deliveries?

A lot of restaurants have switched to delivery through third-party services, which is a shame because the quality of service has really gone down. The treatment of the workers is also significantly worse.

Don't use a delivery service that isn't actually performed by the restaurant.

Every one of these services pays below minimum wage to their drivers and will use every trick in the book to make sure that any cost saving measures goes downstream to lower the amount paid to the drivers.

It would be honest for them to simply remove tipping from their app. You don’t tip the UPS guy who delivers packages, why should the social consensus be to tip the DoorDash guy who also delivers packages. Pay them more to make up for it.

In addition to what others have said, the UPS driver is an employee of UPS and gets benefits, PTO, etc. The DoorDash courier is a contractor, not an employee, and gets no benefits. The same goes for many emerging courier services: Postmates, Uber, Lyft, etc. People joining these services as couriers are getting burned in ways beyond what DoorDash has arranged for their couriers.

A DoorDash courier makes like $5/delivery. Most couriers work nights and get ~5 deliveries in a night. That’s $25/night or $750/month before gas, car maintenance, increased car insurance payments due to their courier job, etc.

For people who take this on as a second job, it’s barely worth it. For people who do this for a primary job, it’s a lot of work to barely keep your head above water.

As for the issue of tipping your food courier, I see it like this: you tip the pizza delivery guy, why not the DoorDash guy?

UPS guy has a union and gets paid a living wage. DoorDash can’t afford to do the same.

Should we let the market forces play that out? No tip, less incentive to join Door Dash as a driver. Also fix the minimum wage laws.

If you let that play out DoorDash goes out because in reality it isn't feasible to sustainably deliver to your doorstep in minutes.

UPS does it in a 1 day timeframe and not with food which could get cold or something and they deliver to a lot more houses at once.

While DoorDash targets 1 customers house and lets 1 biker drive there. If you want to pay for him to have a fair wage then you probably wouldn't order from DoorDash anymore because it's too expensive

That would exactly be letting the market play out.

At the moment tips are a hidden cost that customers don't see or think about when they order.

It effectively allows Doordash (and others) to present their service as being cheaper than it really is.

If presenting the full cost upfront means people stop using the service then it simply means that there is actually no viable market.

> If presenting the full cost upfront means people stop using the service then it simply means that there is actually no viable market.

There are plenty of food delivery companies (eg Deliveroo, Wolt, FoodPanda) in countries without a tipping culture. Go to any European capital and chances are you'll see loads of brightly-coloured cube-shaped backpacks cycling around — so the companies seem to be doing OK.

I am in Europe and use Deliveroo from time to time. There are several of these companies here, indeed. This does not mean that any of any of them are doing OK in terms of bottom line.

According to figures from end of last year Deliveroo lost £185m while making £277m in sale... Any 'normal' business would have collapsed even before getting there.

These companies are like Uber and Lyft: The business case is very shaky and they are facing employment law pressures at the same time. So we'll see...

You say this as if it's a bad thing, as if DoorDash has a right to exist but the workers shouldn't get a living wage to facilitate it.

Then DoorDash can't afford to operate.

How is this not wage theft?

It's been a very long time since I've waited tables, but a company keeping tips in this way is (or at least was) in serious violation of US labor laws.

Doordash says they never keep tips; they pay drivers the full amount of your tip always, plus some extra if you don’t tip enough. You can argue that’s not the right way to look at it, but it’s hard to argue that it’s factually wrong in a way that’d violate labor laws. No worker is getting less of a tip payout than the amount you tipped them.

Aren't tips taxed differently than wage in the US? Anyway you can also see this as DoorDash always paying the wage and pocketing the tips. When the user tip goes towards the wage it's no longer a tip. If they were taxed differently it would be obvious.

It's my understanding that they skirt around this because the DoorDash drivers are contractors, not employees. Literally, when you tip using the app, you are tipping DoorDash, the company, not the contracted driver.

of course they haven't. Why would they? There is no penalty for just lying to their customers and continuing to profit from it.

There is, or maybe ought to be a penalty to getting caught and having users defect.

So perhaps they are calculating one or more of:

* Nobody will follow up and figure the claim that the policy will be changed was a lie

* If somebody does, people won't care, or won't care enough to stop using the app

I feel like there's potential for a class-action lawsuit there on behalf of the customers.


Bit bit where they tweeted "We're going to change this" back in July, and got a bunch of press for it? https://twitter.com/t_xu/status/1153867334685089794

It shouldn't take a month to switch your tipping model to work the way it does for the rest of the industry.

If you collect money from me saying you’re going to give it someone, and you don’t give it to someone, you stole that money from me.

I've just tried to avoid the gig economy generally now.

It is all about pushing risk onto "contractors" and customers.

Tip cash.

What, you can't be bothered? It's a faff?

Someone's job is to cart shit around the city, for you. To literally be your bitch.

Step up.

What is it, in your eyes, that makes their job more worthy of tipping than any other job?

It’s a job, they get paid. I ordered something that cost $X including delivery, I expect that to be the final total, not $X + “step up”.

If they’re not getting paid enough, enforce a higher minimum wage (it is also a US-specific issue; tipping isn’t the norm in a lot of other developed countries and the world doesn’t end).

They're worthy of tipping because they get paid shit-all.

As you say, the actual answer here is tightening minimum wage laws so that they're actually effective, but given the state of DC these days I'm not holding out hope.

So I tip.

If nobody tipped, restaurants and services like DoorDash would be forced to pay employees more or nobody would take the job. Yet, we've made it into a cultural thing, so employers have dropped wages (and gotten legal protection for doing so) accordingly.

That being said, I think asking for a tip before a service has been rendered is really weird and really screws up whatever sense there was in tipping.

I find it increasingly hard to tip for things like DoorDash because I'm already charged directly for the service separately from the product, so that signals to me that the person is already getting paid. I don't tip my package/mail delivery person, so why should I tip my food delivery person?

I'm talking about the solution to a company stealing tips, not tipping in general.

This is an action you can actually take to improve a person's life right now (if you use these services and would have tipped anyway).

> What is it, in your eyes, that makes their job more worthy of tipping than any other job?

I'll bite:

they're bringing a bespoke something to my door, i'm in my pajamas when I collect it, and I'm consuming it inside of 10 minutes.


If you cared you would tip cash. The thing is, people don't care.

I don't have, use, or want cash. My wallet consists of my ID and a few credit cards and nothing else.

Checks are another anachronism I don't own or use.

It is inconvenient to carry cash though. I would gladly tip cash if I didn't have to drive to an ATM just to get it thereby defeating the purpose of having something delivered.

Why not keep a few hundred dollars in cash in a drawer for when you need it?

It just means you have a lot of 1s and 5s laying around as you usually want small denominations for tipping, which (in my opinion) is a lot of cash to have in the house. It also means that at some point, I'm walking away from the ATM with a few hundred dollars in my pocket, which is not something I like to do from a safety perspective.

I'd still want the cash available just in case the power goes out for a few days.

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