DoorDash has started to warn its customers on an information pop-up that they may have to wait longer for their food order to be accepted if they don’t give a tip.
Users of the online food ordering app who enter zero as their tip amount will now receive a pop-up warning telling them that drivers, named Dashers, can choose whether or not they want to accept the order.
“Tips can help make orders more attractive to fulfil,” one of the app’s information pop-ups says.
DoorDash’s delivery drivers have absolute freedom on whether they choose to pick an order based on what they view as “valuable and rewarding.”
“Since launching this test, we’ve seen a meaningful decrease in no-tip orders,” a statement from DoorDash wrote.
The company said that if a tip is left for their drivers, they will be more motivated to take the order and deliver better customer experiences.
DoorDash did admit, however, that this pilot may also mean that customer’s requests could be declined or food could sit for longer at restaurants or shops, with hot food slowly turning cold.
This could lead to customers waiting longer, creating a “lower quality experience” for the customer.
“Orders without a tip are less appealing to Dashers and thus are more likely to be rejected by them, which may result in a consumer’s food sitting longer at a merchant’s restaurant,” they warned.
“That leads to consumers experiencing longer wait times as Dashers potentially decline their orders.”
However, the aim of the tipping reminder is something that the company hopes will bring a better all-round experience for the merchant, driver and consumer.
DoorDash will be testing out the information screen on their app and will see if it makes the food service experience better or worse.
DoorDash added in their statement that they still have the option not to tip and are still committed to the commitment to quality and the delivery of each and every order.
The tipping information pop-up screen is being randomly tested on customers across the US and Canada, and the app will analyse the results and engage with customers before they roll anything out extensively.
Four years ago, DoorDash came under fire after a story by The New York Times about a day in the life of a DoorDash delivery driver revealed a policy that meant tips effectively were not being passed over to drivers.
The drivers would agree to a set amount of money from delivery but saw none of the tips, which reportedly went into supplementing the set amount instead of adding it to what they already earned.
The app had to pay $2.5m in a lawsuit in 2019 surrounding the tips and ditched the policy after an onslaught of social media criticism was directed towards the app and the company’s CEO, Tony Xu.
"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," Mr Xu tweeted after the incident in 2019.
"We thought we were doing the right thing by making Dashers whole when a customer left no tip," Mr Xu also wrote.
"What we missed was that some customers who did tip would feel like their tip didn’t matter."
More recently, DoorDash, along with Amazon and Walmart, have been subject to criticism by the UN, who claimed in a report released on 31 October that they are “trapping” their workers in poverty.
The UN alleged that DoorDash’s independent contractors were not guaranteed a basic level of pay, sometimes only earning less than the federal minimum wage of around $7 an hour and were only paid for “active time” on delivery.
While DoorDash did not reply to the UN’s claims, they did make a statement to The Independent, stating that their US drivers earn on average “over $25 per hour on delivery” and the majority of them have other jobs alongside working for DoorDash.
“These allegations fundamentally misunderstand how DoorDash provides economic opportunity and financial security for millions of people who want to earn money when, how, and where they choose... Respect and dignity for all Dashers are core to our mission of empowering local economies, and we will be engaging with the special rapporteur in the coming weeks to correct these blatant misconceptions about dashing,” they said.
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