Delivery drivers who you tip might not directly be getting that money as a tip. Some companies are using that tip money as the workers base pay, so it goes towards making their hourly wage. Basically, the company is “stealing” money from you to make more profit for them.
This may not be new news that there are companies that do this, but DoorDash – one of the most popular food delivery apps, uses the workers tips to make up their base pay. Andy Newman, a reporter for New York Times writes on this issue:
“DoorDash offers a guaranteed minimum for each job. For my first order, the guarantee was $6.85 and the customer, a woman in Boerum Hill who answered the door in a colorful bathrobe, tipped $3 via the app. But I still received only $6.85.
Here’s how it works: 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.”
DoorDashes policy clearly outlines that workers will be paid a “tipped wage”, which is normal in America. This common practice is when a company pays their workers less than minimum wage and then they will use the tips to pay the rest of what they owe the workers.
Just because this kind of practice is common or normal doesn’t make it right. NBC News and Los Angeles Times reported similar stories about how Instacart and Amazon Flex pay their workers the same way DoorDash does. These practices have been described by a consumer advocate as “completely deceptive.”
After being called out, Instacart said they would stop paying their workers like that and compensate them for a fair pay. DoorDash and Amazon Flex did not do the same. The way they are paid has a huge lack of transparency, so workers find it hard to figure out if they are being unfairly paid. It has been confirmed that other delivery services like UberEats, Postmates, Grubhub, and Seamless do not pay their workers in this unfair, sketchy way.