Almost one month after U.S. food delivery service, DoorDash came under fire for pocketing the tips that their dashers are making for each delivery, the company is still using the same payment scheme, amidst the promise made by the CEO to change the tipping policy.
Last month, DoorDash received backlash after one of their riders, which they call dashers, exposed that the company is stealing tips by paying them a fixed rate instead of topping the tips the customers paid for on their minimum delivery salary.
In essence, whether the customer added extra money on top of his order or not, DoorDash will still pay the rider the same amount and use the tip paid by the customer to cover some of the rider’s salary. Many has called what DoorDash is doing as an app version of “tipped wage” where employers use the tips given by customers to pay for the salary of their employees instead of topping them on their basic wage.
The first-hand account of a journalist detailing how the delivery app is “stealing” their dashers’ tips to pay for their salaries has made rounds over the internet, prompting the company to issue a promise to change their old ways. In an article penned by Andy Newman, the company was faced with a backlash.
“If the woman in the bathrobe had tipped zero, DoorDash would have paid me the whole $6.85. Because she tipped $3, DoorDash kicked in only $3.85. She was saving DoorDash $3, not tipping me,” Newman wrote.
Following the strong condemnation from their customers after knowing DoorDash’s tipping policy, Tony Xu, DoorDash’s Chief Executive Officer, immediately announce that they are changing their policy. In a post on his official Twitter account, Xu said that the new policy would be “announced in the coming days.”
“Going forward, we’re changing our model – the new model will ensure that Dashers’ earnings will increase by the exact amount a customer tips on every order. We’ll have specific details in the coming days,” he wrote in his Twitter account.
Xu defended their policy as a form of misunderstanding. He said that they designed their wage policy in a way to protect their dashers and so that their riders can receive the same amount even if people did not send them tips. The CEO said that while this was their intention, he realized that “what we missed was that some customers who did tip would feel like their tip did not matter.”
“We built a pay model to prioritize transparency, consistency of earnings, and to ensure all customers get their food as fast as possible,” he insists.
Dashers ask customers to tip them in cash instead
The problem with Xu’s promises and pronouncement, however, is that it seems like it was written in thin air. In his tweet, the company’s patriarch only mentioned changing the policy without an explanation of how the change would become, nor did he give any details about the new policy. He also did not provide a timeline on when can their riders expect the change to be implemented.
As a result, riders have been waiting for it with hopes that the change will come soon; but to their disappointment, no change has come for them – one month after the CEO promised them that change would soon come.
“They’re still stealing tips,” Dawnielle Turner, a DoorDash worker in Cleveland, said in an interview. “Why would you send the email out and have everyone anticipating such a major change?”
Turner, who is a mother that works a full-time job to support her kids and does side jobs of delivering for apps like Postmates, Instacart, and Grubhub, said that while other delivery companies have had their fair share of pay problems, none of them, except DoorDash, “are going so far as stealing tips.”
Another DoorDash employee, who refused to be named, shares his frustration and disappointment that DoorDash is yet to fulfill the promises for its employees.
“The company really tries not to pay us as much as possible,” he said. He said many of them who deliver through DoorDash ask their customers to pay them in cash instead as a workaround to the company’s oppressive tipping policy. In order to raise awareness about their situations as workers, he also started handling customers with flyers explaining the issue to them and why they prefer to pay with cash instead of through the app.
DoorDash has not responded to our request for a statement as of writing. We will update this article once a statement has been made.