Is DoorDash ‘doing the right thing’ for delivery people?
DoorDash announced that it is changing how it pays its workers. The restaurant delivery service, which previously factored tips provided by customers into what it pays those making the deliveries (AKA dashers), will no longer do so.
The company came under renewed scrutiny for its practice of using customer tips to pay workers after Andy Newman, a New York Times reporter, described the experience of working delivery jobs at several on-demand service companies. In a nutshell, it isn’t easy for people trying to make a living in the gig economy.
DoorDash customers made their displeasure with the company known, prompting a response from the company’s CEO Tony Hu on Twitter.
In a series of tweets, Mr. Hu wrote that DoorDash had created its previous pay model to make “dashers whole when a customer left no tip” and that the “average contribution” paid to workers had “stayed the same” under the plan.
But, Mr. Hu wrote, despite the company’s belief that it was “doing the right thing” by those making deliveries, it was clear that the service’s customers did not like feeling as though “their tip did not matter.” The new plan, whose details have not yet been made public, “will ensure that dashers’ earnings will increase by the exact amount a customer tips on every order.”
While Twitter responses are not often a reliable reflection of public sentiment on a given issue it appears from DoorDash’s feed that a) customers were unhappy with what they know about the service’s previous compensation policy and b) they aren’t buying its response to the criticism. Here are two examples:
“I’m just going to stop tipping through the app and will tip my Dashers directly. I don’t trust you to pay Dashers what they’re due.”
“A news story and some public shaming shouldn’t be what gets you to finally do the right thing. I’ve deleted my account.”
- DoorDash Changes Tipping Model After Uproar From Customers – The New York Times
- My Frantic Life as a Cab-Dodging, Tip-Chasing Food App Deliveryman – The New York Times
- Tony Hu – Twitter
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: If DoorDash, as it claims, has been fairly compensating its “dashers”, why would it change its model rather than explain how the current system benefits workers? What do you think of DoorDash’s response and how should it manage communications about worker pay going forward?