Instacart and Lowe’s Team Up to Offer Same Day Service

A lot to cover in this week’s roundup, including a new partnership between Instacart and Lowe’s, a major Uber settlement and driver payout, and a senseless tragedy in the murder of a Lyft driver. What responsibility does Lyft have, if any? Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins shares the latest, and your comments on the news, below.

Instacart and Lowe’s Announce Same-Day Delivery of Home Improvement Products (PRNews)

Summary: Instacart, the leading online grocery platform in North America, and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) today announced a partnership to pilot same-day delivery in as fast as one hour. Customers can now have approximately 20,000 Lowe’s items, including small home appliances, building supplies, light fixtures, garden and outdoor essentials, and more, delivered from the store to their door. Same-day Lowe’s delivery via Instacart is initially available in Boston and Charlotte, with plans to expand in the coming months.

Lowe’s is the first dedicated home improvement partner available on the Instacart marketplace, addressing a growing consumer need as both home improvement product purchases and demand for online delivery continue.

“People across North America have shown they’re embracing the ‘do it yourself’ mentality, and demand for home improvement essentials on our platform grew by more than 50 percent in 2021 compared to 2020,” said Chris Rogers, vice president of retail at Instacart. “Today, we’re proud to welcome Lowe’s to the Instacart marketplace, delivering essential items customers need to complete their projects without leaving their homes. We’re excited to help Lowe’s connect with consumers in a new way, and we look forward to growing our partnership over the coming months.”…

My Take: I like this. I can’t tell you how many trips to the hardware store I made within the first month of moving into my new house. It would have been much more convenient to continue working on other things around the house and ordering the supplies I was missing instead of making upwards of 4 trips in a day to get the job done.

I feel like this will open doors to more opportunities for Instacart in the future as they are building an infrastructure that’s not solely based on grocery delivery. They are proving they are not just a one-style platform but that they can innovate and expand with the best of them.

On-Demand Group Rideshare To Reduce Congestion + Emission (WeFunder)

Harry just contributed to this group rideshare company called Fetii – The concept is that the Fetii platform will help reduce traffic and CO2 emissions by using large-capacity vehicles, transporting groups, events and companies.

They consider themselves to be a “group-centric” platform for ordering large-capacity vehicles on-demand or scheduled in advance.

Fetii is currently launched in Austin, TX; College Station, TX; and Lubbock, TX, and are billing themselves as the world’s first group rideshare platform.

DoorDash opens communication for workers (ABC News)

Summary: Last year, state protests around Prop 22 took place when app-based workers were ultimately designated independent contractors instead of employees, meaning the company was not required to provide things like benefits or insurance.

Now that the law has been in effect for about a year, DoorDash has created a council with 13 people from across California, including one from Kern County, to open up communication.

People are past having to get in their cars and go buying what they need. Nowadays, it is almost second nature to open up food delivery apps when shopping or when hungry.

Although most people are no longer getting in their cars and picking food up from restaurants, someone is. However, that disconnect between customers and the worker, also exists between that worker and the employee….

My Take: It’s great that they think they are trying to open up the lines of communication, but by reading Reddit threads, it’s pretty clear that DoorDash drivers do not feel heard or appreciated. There is still a long way to go to gain trust from drivers and many changes that will need to happen before it seems like DoorDash will truly be listening to their drivers.

Uber Will Pay $8.4 Million to End Years-Long Driver Class Action (Bloomberg Law)

Summary: A proposed $8.4 million deal reached between Uber Technologies Inc. and more than 1,300 California drivers, who alleged they were misclassified as contractors, would end one of the gig economy court battles that predate the passage of Proposition 22.

The settlement award would go to about 1,322 drivers who opted out of arbitration agreements and worked for the company between Feb. 28, 2019, and Dec. 17, 2020, according to a motion for preliminary approval filed on Thursday. The December date reflects the enactment of Prop. 22, a ballot initiative that Uber helped to fund to cement app-based drivers as independent contractors.

Uber and the drivers agreed to dismiss the case in November after signaling they had reached an agreement. The deal is slated for a final approval hearing before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in June. It would follow a $20 million settlement approved by the same court in 2019 between Uber and 15,000 California and Massachusetts drivers….

My Take: This sounds like the last pre-Prop 22 misidentification cases, and it seems like a big one. More than 1,300 drivers will be getting a chunk of the $8.4 million settlement. If you are one of the drivers that is part of this settlement, be sure to let us know when you get your check and how much you received!

Prosecutor pushes to try teens as adults, family says Lyft should he held accountable (WRGT Dayton)

Summary: Brittney Cooper, now a widow, said when she got her husband’s phone back the first things she did was open the Lyft app, “And there was a message that popped up that the account is deactivated because of violence, so why couldn’t they send a notification that there were things that happen in that area before.”

The family has filed a complaint with the NAACP against Lyft. They say Lyft played a role in the death of 35-year-old Brandon Cooper.

“Lyft as far as I’m concerned, they have his blood on their hands,” said Michelle Cooper, Brandon Cooper’s mother.

“Lyft will be held accountable what that looks like at this point we have to see,” said Dr. Derrick Foward, president of the Dayton Unit of the NAACP.

We normally don’t identify minors accused in crimes, but we’re doing so in this case because of the seriousness of the charges.

Investigators say 15-year-olds Da’Trayvon Mitchell and Tylan Peaks, along with two other minors, robbed and killed Cooper after robbing another driver. The Montgomery County prosecutor said his office is working to try Mitchell and Peaks as adults….

My Take: A few things immediately strike me with this news. 1. I am 35 years old, just like the victim. It easily could have been me, or someone like me, who was killed. 2. They were killed by teenagers. How sad. And needless. Not to say that any murder is needed…but when it’s at the hands of teenagers, it always seems extra senseless. 3. Is Lyft liable? I’m not 100% sure what I think of that.

But even more sad is that these teens were already on probation. What could have happened in their lives to lead to this kind of moment?

That being said, I fully believe they were aware of the consequences of their actions and deserve to be tried as adults. But, I reached out on RSG’s Facebook page to see what your thoughts were.

Devin responded, in part, “Yes, they should be tried as adults. Lyft isn’t liable for the actions of these murderers any more than a bank is liable for bank robbery. As much as I’d like to see Lyft tighten their requirements, these kids would have murdered someone else that night…”

He also recommended that all drivers invest in a class II vest as opposed to carrying their own firearms.

Jennifer, on Facebook, stated, “They absolutely should be tried as adults. Lyft didn’t give them the guns or pull the trigger. They made adult choices to rob people and kill a man, they now need to face the adult consequences of their actions.”

Jeff agreed that Lyft is not liable, stating, “I don’t see how Lyft is responsible at all here. These thugs could’ve easily lied about their age if there were such questions asked when they signed up. I would definitely try these two kids as adults and lock them up so they never see the light of day again. Things like this are getting way out of hand.”

Michelle disagreed, and stated that Lyft is somewhat responsible:

“I think Lyft is responsible to some degree. If you have read the part where these boys have robbed before (prior to the shooting). Lyft doesn’t require IDs and doesn’t have a way of kicking off these kinds of pax from their platform permanently. I can assume that when these robberies occured, the drivers made complaints. Yet, they were still on the platform and things escalated. However, is this a causal nexus to a wrongful death lawsuit? This is a good question to ask. As for trying them as adults, I agree. Murder should always be an exception.”

Do you think these teens should be tried as adults? Is Lyft responsible for this person’s death?

-Paula @ RSG