Food delivery drivers for DoorDash (DASH) – Get Free Report and Uber’s (UBER) – Get Free Report UberEats were undoubtedly some of the pandemic’s heroes. As local restaurants coped with the transition from sit-in dining to door-to-door delivery, both business and consumer alike came to rely on the stalwart people braving what felt like the volatile outdoors to make sure we got our pad thai fix. Somebody give these people a holiday!
Now the world has opened back up for business. And while we’ve all tasted the paradise of eating our favorite food at home in our pajamas, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats have felt the decline in sales as Americans venture forth into public spaces again.
In order to boost those falling sales, delivery services are offering more and more goodies dropped right at your door. Or, if needed, pick up a package from your door (and bringing to the nearest post office, UPS, or FedEx store, like DoorDash offers).
In fact, DoorDash is getting very creative when it comes to the services it offers. The delivery service was one of the first to offer grocery and alcohol deliveries. In a more unusual move, the company recently partnered with Chase bank and Mastercard to offer a DoorDash credit card, which can earn deliver-fiends exclusive benefits and rewards.
This week, DoorDash announced another update to its business practices. It’s not a new delivery hack or brand partnership, but it’s likely to deliver safer, happier drivers to your doorstep. Some customers may not like it, though, because it could essentially blacklist them from receiving deliveries.
DoorDash Updates Its Policy, Allows Drivers to ‘Fire’ Clients
DoorDash has unrolled some new safety features that will help drivers stay safe during deliveries. The updates to the company’s safety toolkit will now automatically check in with delivery drivers and prompt them to easily report problems that interfere with safety.
As a part of this initiative, the company is utilizing an automated message monitoring system called SafeChat. If the system picks up any abusive language in the chat, whoever wrote the message will be issued a warning. Meanwhile, the recipient will have the option to report the message.
If a customer is reported, other delivery drivers will have the option to reject the delivery assignment. The chat function can also be used before and after delivery, and drivers can block offending customers. The app will also send out a porch light reminder ahead of your drop-off time so your delivery person can find your porch without confusion (or injury).
In major delivery hubs New York City and Washington DC, DoorDash is also testing a SafeDash Check-in feature. When turned on, the app will also ping delivery drivers if it looks like delivery is taking an unusually long time.
DoorDash, Uber, & the Gig Economy
With the rise of delivery services over the years, DoorDash and its competitors have faced scrutiny involving their use of contract labor for delivery. The gig economy structure is a controversial issue that the Federal Trade Commission has also been looking into.
Many of the company’s drivers were drawn to the job because of its flexibility. Allowing drivers to essentially “fire” bad clients is a privilege enjoyed by independent contractors in many fields. As lawmakers and executives carve out rules for regulating delivery drivers, more independence for gig workers could be a good support the company’s argument that its drivers remain independent contractors.