Last year, Uber bought Postmates and began to bring Postmates drivers into the Uber Eats couriers fold. It’s been a slow process, but as more drivers make the transition from Postmates to Uber Eats, we wanted to see what drivers were saying about the changes. Senior RSG contributor Chonce Maddox-Rhea shares what you need to know about the acquisition plus what drivers are saying about the move from Postmates to Uber Eats.
If you’re a food delivery driver, you may or may not be surprised to see that Uber bought Postmates last year for $2.65 billion. As a gig worker for popular driving apps like Uber and Lyft, it’s nice to have other apps for the most popular delivery services to open up as options in case ride requests are slow or pay isn’t up to your standards.
However, it seems like Uber and Lyft are still two giants dominating this field and smaller delivery apps have to fight to keep their independence. In the case of Postmates, the name or brand isn’t changing much. But now that Uber owns this company, there may be some big changes in store for drivers.
I talked to some drivers and scoured Reddit to get a better understanding of what you can expect from this new change coming to Postmates couriers.
What Postmates Drivers Now See
When Uber first made the announcement of the all-stock deal to purchase Postmates, it was mentioned that Postmates would still operate under its own name. Now, this is only true for the customer side. I’m sure there are some people who love ordering from Postmates specifically and don’t want that to change.
That said, on the driver side of things, Uber is definitely phasing out the Postmates app so all orders will be found under UberEats. Over the past few months, Postmates drivers have been encouraged to download the Uber app noting that Postmates is merging with Uber Eats.
One driver named Carlos from South Florida was notified that Postmates would completely merge with Uber Eats on June 7, 2021. Every time he opened the app, he saw a notification like this.
Carlos had no problem linking his account and switching over to UberEats. But some drivers did run into some issues. According to a Buzzfeed article, a Raleigh, North Carolina driver named Ray Adams was denied when he tried to switch from Postmates to UberEats due to a reckless driving charge.
Uber’s terms are strict and drivers with either one major recent driving violation or multiple recent minor violations could be denied to join the app. In Ray’s case, Postmates was a lifeline when he left his restaurant job. In his own words, not being able to drive for UberEats would be ‘disastrous’ to his income.
How Orders are Received
Moving forward, not much will change in terms of how UberEats operates for drivers vs. the Postmates delivery app. You’ll receive a ping when an order request comes in and can decide to accept or reject the order.
Rates are calculated based on the standard delivery fare, any promotions you might have, along with a fee multiplier for picking up multiple orders in one trip. As always, you can get paid each week or request to be paid instantly minus a small fee.
With Postmates, most markets required you to receive and use a card to pay for the orders when you picked them up. This is less likely with UberEats since most customers pay when they order something on the app.
The New Merger Can Be Both Good and Bad For Drivers
As with any major change, there are pros and cons. Let’s start with how the new merger between Postmates and UberEats can be a good thing. Postmates was officially headquartered in San Francisco and was a lot more popular in California than in other markets.
I talked to one driver named Caryn M. who basically said she wasn’t going to miss Postmates at all.
“I live in Ohio and Postmates was not popular out here,” Caryn said. “Uber is where I make the most money, but I also like to use some of the food delivery apps to switch it up. I tried logging into Postmates and waiting for orders but nothing hardly came up.”
Caryn says that last year during the height of the pandemic, GrubHub was her saving grace.
“Postmates has been okay for me up until recently,” said Carlos. “I usually drive for Postmates for a few hours in the morning, then switched to Uber or Lyft during the afternoon.” She works about 5 to 7 days per week and aims to earn around $150 to $200 per day. Grubhub was very helpful in keeping her business afloat before Uber started increasing its volume in the Cincinnati area and things started opening back up.
Since Caryn is already using Uber, it makes sense that she might give the newly merged UberEats a try too. On one end, you can say that there are a lot of delivery apps out there and some are more popular than others. While Postmates was busy in some areas, it just wasn’t a major thing in certain cities so consolidating the services into one may provide more money and opportunities for drivers.
On the flip side, we don’t necessarily want Uber to create a monopoly. When there are different rideshare and delivery companies all being operated independently, it helps create more pricing and offers for drivers. The apps will compete with each other since they know that if drivers are unhappy, they can just switch to another service.
However, with Uber acquiring Postmates, drivers will have fewer options. As we saw with the driver from the Buzzfeed article, he couldn’t even qualify to switch from Postmates to UberEats due to a previous record.
In recent weeks, Reddit feeds have been littered with drivers mourning the loss of Postmates as an independent company and sharing their earnings history. One driver commented: “RIP Postmates – You showed me that I can support myself and work toward my dreams while improving my life all without a soul crushing ‘regular job’ and its limitations.”
Another said: “I started in May of 2020 and this gig kept me afloat financially and mentally.”
Postmates was by no means perfect. Carlos from South Florida would usually drive for Postmates in the late mornings and wasn’t too fond of the type of deliveries they were adding.
“I didn’t really mind doing the Walmart grocery orders or even going to convenience stores like 7 Eleven,” Carlos said. “What really started bothering me was when Postmates added AutoZone and those trips were long since I had to wait around for parts to be ready and receive signatures when I delivered.”
That said, Carlos is hoping that this trend doesn’t continue with UberEats and that there are better opportunities available. But he’s not holding his breath and is still keeping his options open especially now that Uber and Lyft are doing much better in his area.
Time Will Tell
Uber buying out Postmates was a good decision for Uber, but as you know, we are all most concerned about what’s best for drivers now and in the long run. So was this a good decision? Only time will truly tell. But I’d love to know your thoughts too.
Postmates-turned-Uber Eats drivers: if you are having issues with your background check, make sure to reach out to Larry Smith of SmitchMarco, P.C. Larry Smith specializes in this type of work – learn more here.
Are you happy that Uber bought out Postmates and are you looking forward to trying out the new and hopefully improved UberEats? Or not? Let us know in the comments!
-Chonce @ RSG