DoorDash breaks driver silence and says it will start paying them next month

DoorDash today announced more specific details of its updated tipping policy, which the company says it has tested this month, and plans to roll out to all of its delivery contractors starting next month. Under a recently refurbished payroll model, all drivers will receive 100 percent of the tip amount a customer adds through the DoorDash app either at checkout or after delivery. Drivers will be informed of this total and the breakdown before deciding to accept an order. DoorDash also pledges to increase base salary earnings across the board for all drivers.

The company initially promised to review its approach to tipping late last month in response to enormous pressure from both the public and DoorDash drivers over its policy of pocketing customer tips to cover base pay for deliveries. But after weeks of inexplicable silence, Recode reported earlier this week that the drivers still did not receive tips. DoorDash's announcement today is designed to clarify its new policy and salary model. "We tested the new model this month and processed the details based on the feedback we received from Dashers," the company said. "We will continue to make improvements when we release it to all Dashers next month."

Perhaps not coincidentally, DoorDash announces these details on the same day that Amazon announced that they would also stop using customer tips to cover base salary for contractor drivers on their Flex-delivery platform. Although Amazon did not publish the announcement, it sent e-mails to the drivers, as originally reported by the Los Angeles Times .

“The decision to change our model was difficult. We initially resisted change even in the face of public pressure because we built our model in direct response to feedback from Dashers. When we rolled out our model in 201[ads1]7, an overwhelming majority of Dashers told us they preferred it, and over the years we have seen significant improvements in overall Dasher satisfaction and maintenance, ”explains DoorDash CEO Tony Xu in the company's blog mail.

"We thought we were doing the right thing for Dashers by doing them all if a customer had no tips, but the feedback we received recently made it clear that some of our customers who gave tips felt their tips didn't." t matter. We realized that we could not continue to do well by Dashers if some customers felt that we were not doing well. To ensure that all of our users have a great experience at DoorDash, we needed to achieve a better balance. ”

The tip policy for online networks has been under close scrutiny over the last six months, with an Instacart controversy over the grocery delivery service's similar approach to counting tips for base salary. (You can trace the origins of the rage around platform tips on request to Uber, which began as a no-tipping platform and for many years designed it as a feature.) Instacart made the change back in November last year; in February it had reversed course, due to public pressure and complaints from delivery drivers who claimed that they saw large pay reductions. At the time, it became known that Amazon and DoorDash were using similar approaches to handle customer tips, but both companies refused to budge in the face of setbacks.

Now it seems that Amazon and DoorDash are under pressure to take a more driver-friendly approach to tip. It was initially unclear why DoorDash decided to wait until today, and not immediately after its promise to adjust the tipping policy in July, to announce the changes, even though it sounds like the company tested different pay models in the month ago. Doordash confirmed to The Verge that it actually largely tested different approaches to base salary and tipped of adjustments, and that it also worked closely with representatives from the recently formed Doordash Community Council to get feedback.

According to DoorDash, the new policy is designed to pay drivers more per order on average through a series of changes. In addition to adding tips on top of the base salary, DoorDash says it will work over the next few months to improve its existing "promotional" bonus that takes into account when DoorDash's network is particularly busy and the weekly challenges it uses for to stimulate drivers to complete more deliveries.

DoorDash also states that it pushes the base salary amount anywhere from $ 2 to $ 10 "per delivery, depending on estimated duration, distance and desirable order." Through the base salary bump, better promotional add-ons and full customer tips, DoorDash hopes it will increase pay across the board.

“Under our new model, Dashers will make more money on average – both from DoorDash and overall. We know there will be greater variation in total revenue from order to order, so we take steps to address it to ensure that Dashers will earn more on average, Xu writes. "We understand the importance of consistency for those who rely on our platform to help achieve their financial goals each week, so we're going to increase average pay from DoorDash to help mitigate this effect. This means that general Dasher "Revenue will rise. We will also give customers the opportunity to provide tips once they have received the delivery. We hope that by maintaining openness and increasing wages, Dashers will have a better overall experience."

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