Delivery has always been a rough business. Since time immemorial, couriers have braved the elements, gotten by on meager wages and dealt with annoying customers, growling dogs and fifth-floor walk-ups, all for the chance of a big tip from a happy customer.
But thanks to two Silicon Valley upstarts, even those tips are in doubt.
This week, Instacart and DoorDash — two giants of the app-based delivery industry, collectively valued by investors at more than $11 billion — are under fire from critics who are accusing the companies of taking advantage of their workers with deceptive tipping policies. Both companies have admitted to putting customer tips toward workers’ minimum pay guarantees, in effect using them to subsidize their own payouts.