Users Exploiting Instacart Workers with Tip Baiting

  • AUTHOR: isbah
  • POSTED ON: April 13, 2020

Coronavirus is bringing out the worst in humans and while criticizing governments and health facilities for their shortcomings in dealing with the virus is quite common, other people are not quite far away from being demons themselves.

Due to the pandemic, grocery stores have set a time limit for their customers but many people are relying on online apps like Instacart, Peapod, and Postmates to deliver the items to the doorstep. The employees responsible for delivery are considered essential workers and a sufficient part of their income relies on the tips given by the users.

Source: The Verge

However, according to a recent report released by CNN, it has been revealed that many customers are wooing Instacart workers with large tips only to give them $0 upon delivery. The application allows the users to set their own custom tip with a shopping request but you can change it within three days of the delivery after reviewing the service of the worker assigned to you.

Instacart employees are complaining that this feature is being abused by many people who mention high tips initially and then change the money as soon as their items are delivered.

One worker claimed that their trip was reduced from $55 to $0 even though all the requirements of the grocery shopping were met. Another worker said that the tip was changed to $0 just because they could not find toilet paper in stock and the customer described their service as “unethical”.

Source: Tech Crunch

Essential workers are risking their lives to provide services to people who are sitting comfortably inside their houses. Most of them are doing their jobs without any protective gear or support from the facilities and facing such unethical behavior of tip-baiting is quite demoralizing.

“I don’t pretend to be a hero, like a nurse in a hospital … but I literally am exposing myself [to coronavirus] and when I return home, exposing my own family to the possibility of transmitting this disease,”
Instacart worker Annaliisa Arambula, whose household relies on her job while her diabetic husband is unemployed, told CNN. “When you know that it’s somebody who’s just doing it to game the system and to get their order when they want it, it’s really frustrating.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tricking the system and multi-millionaire companies that are exploiting people during the pandemic might be satisfying but the fact that only essential workers who rely on minimum wages to run their households are being targeted is upsetting. None of the executive bodies of Instacart or any other application would be affected if we use the practice of tip-bating and just like any structure of injustice, the lowest classes will have to suffer the damages.

Therefore, workers are requesting the company to make a 10 percent tip mandatory for all the orders during the pandemic so they do not have to waste their trips.

Updated April 13, 2020
Back To Top