The news has been hopping this week with information coming at us from all areas of rideshare and delivery. DoorDash announced that it will partner with Facebook Marketplace to make goods exchanges “less awkward”. DoorDash then also announced that it would be breaking ties with Walmart. Uber is phasing out its free loyalty program in favor of a paid membership program. All this and more in this week’s roundup with senior RSG contributor Paula Lemar.
Uber is shutting down its free loyalty program later this year (The Verge)
Summary: Uber is ending its free loyalty program, Uber Rewards, so it can turn its attention to its subscription-based Uber One membership. In an email sent to customers, Uber explains that users can still earn points until the end of August, and that the last day to redeem points is October 31st.
“Thank you for being part of Uber Rewards,” the email reads. “It’s been a great ride, but we’ve decided to end Rewards soon, as we shift our focus to our new Uber One membership program.”
Uber has since posted an update about the loyalty program’s imminent shutdown, which will take place on November 1st, 2022. Launched in 2018, Uber Rewards is a free program that lets you rack up points for every dollar you spend when hitching a ride or ordering food through Uber and Uber Eats. You can then use these points to earn discounts on future rides or deliveries. The more points you earn, the better perks you get — earning 7,500 points, for example, unlocks the highest Diamond tier, which comes with benefits like premium customer support, complimentary ride upgrades, better drivers, and three free Uber Eats deliveries….
My Take: Hear what RSG contributor Chris has to say about this change:
On RSG’s Facebook page, Freddie stated, “I never really understood the points programs I don’t think I ever even used it to be quite honest. Now that they are asking to pay It’s like adding insult to injury. It’s time to switch!”
While Trish said it plain and simple with, “Oh hell naw.”
Not many I’ve spoken with have actually used the rewards…partially because they feel the offerings aren’t worthwhile, or because it wasn’t really clear how to use them.
I just hope Uber doesn’t make it “too easy” to sign up for Uber One, their paid membership program. Reddit is often already filled with complaints about people being charged for programs they never signed up for. I almost accidentally signed up for their program one time when I was ordering an Uber. I had clicked the screen to order my Uber, another acceptance screen popped up that looked very similar to the previous one. I thought maybe it hadn’t gone through, so I was about to click “accept” when I caught out of the order of my eye something about a subscription. I couldn’t click “decline” fast enough.
Instacart’s latest feature lets you order from two retailers with one delivery fee (TechCrunch)
Summary: Instacart announced today that it’s launching a new “OrderUp” feature that lets users add items from additional retailers to their original grocery order without having to pay an extra delivery fee. The company says the new feature gives users a way to complete their weekly shopping in one delivery trip, whether they’re looking to purchase alcohol, beauty products, electronics, office supplies or something else.
Starting today, customers will see post-checkout recommendations from nearby retailers with a limited time to add any items from additional retailers to their existing order. If you decide to add items from the additional retailers, the app will create a new order with a separate cart and a waived delivery fee. Instacart told TechCrunch in an email that there’s a $10 minimum if you want to order from an additional retailer.
“You can now do more on Instacart while paying less by getting everything you need from your local retailers delivered to your door in as fast as an hour, with only one delivery fee,” the company said in a blog post….
My Take: The biggest issue with this that drivers are bringing up on RSG’s Facebook page is that these deliveries will likely not properly compensate drivers for the extra time and care needed to go to two retailers. Here’s what a few had to say:
Donna said, “And they only pay the shoppers the same as one order. They don’t increase what we make for twice the work. I have seen those orders. I won’t do them.”
Kim expanded on this with, “The customers pay full delivery price and Doordash and Instacart offer one delivery payment and the driver is expected to go to multiple places to pick up or shop the order, while the first customer gets mad because their order sits in the car while the second one is getting shopped, then if the app gps routes you to the second customer first that first customer really gets upset, does ot tip and also low rates you! NEVER. EVER. DO. MULTIPLE ORDERS!”
And Chad summed it up nicely: “Good luck getting those delivered. Payouts are abysmal in those orders.”
Without compensating the drivers/shoppers properly, and as long as it’s clear what these orders will look like, IC shoppers will gladly pass on these opportunities and wait for better payouts with only stopping at one location for the order.
DoorDash partners with Meta to test delivery of Facebook Marketplace items (TechCrunch)
Summary: DoorDash has confirmed that it has teamed up with Facebook Marketplace to make that awkward exchange of items with a stranger a bit easier. The company said DoorDash Drive, its business-to-business service that provides drivers to merchants through their own website or app, is now in the early stages of testing a service that will allow DoorDash drivers to pick up and drop off Facebook Marketplace items to customers.
DoorDash and Facebook’s parent company Meta are currently offering the test in several cities in the United States, giving many drivers another opportunity to earn money. Items that are eligible for delivery are Marketplace items that can fit in the trunk of a car and must be located up to 15 miles away. DoorDash drivers are expected to make deliveries within 48 hours or less.
The partnership between DoorDash and Meta attempts to achieve DoorDash’s mission to expand into delivering more products other than food. DoorDash has already expanded to delivering toiletries, prescriptions, household essentials, clothing, cosmetics and more. The company has partnered with Rite Aid, Bed Bath & Beyond, JCPenney and Sephora, among other retailers.
“DoorDash is always thinking about new ways to provide for the communities we serve. With access to unparalleled convenience and opportunity through a platform, we continually explore and test new innovations,” the company wrote in a statement….
My Take: Our readers seem to be a bit divided about this news on RSG’s Facebook page.
Chris points out, “It’s a good idea in some instances, not in others.”
While Marc expanded on that thought a bit more with his take:
“It’s a good idea, minus the fact of scams and used items. Plus the trust of both parties to say they received the items. Not to mention most likely uncoordinated pick ups with the driver.”
Others simply said that this is a great idea. Or on the other side, one just said, “No!”
I personally agree with Marc. Not all Facebook Marketplace deals are legit. It’s making it safer overall for the sellers and buyers, but potentially creating an unsafe situation for the drivers. I don’t see it going over very well, but what do you think?
Also in the news…
DoorDash is ending its delivery partnership with Walmart (TechCrunch)
Thoughts: Walmart deliveries have been a common complaint among drivers on the DoorDash platform. Several will avoid these deliveries at all costs. However, drivers also say that delivering directly with Walmart is typically better pay and a better experience. It’s probably for the best all around that the two companies cut ties.
In Las Vegas, your Lyft driver could soon be a robot (Axios)
Thoughts: It’s still one of those things where I feel like the general public will not trust fully autonomous vehicles for a while. And as RSG Facebook commenter Simon said, “Can’t wait to see how robots will handle pickups when the pax isn’t there, when there’s nowhere to park, when they have groceries, when they want to be dropped at a certain point that’s not the agreed destination, etc. I suppose passengers will adapt. Will there be a vomit sensor?”
I’ve been a full-time Lyft driver since 2017. Here’s how ‘flexibility’ and ‘choice’ just don’t apply to underpaid ‘gig work’ that requires 50 hours a week (Fortune)
Thoughts: On Twitter, Harry questions the need to even read this article. As he said, “Should I even bother reading this article? Obviously the gig economy isn’t too flexible if you have to do it full-time. Been saying this for eight years. Not exactly a shocking revelation.” What are your thoughts?
Would you trust DoorDash to complete your Facebook Marketplace transaction properly? Share your thoughts in the comments!
-Paula @ RSG