Uber Working with Car Companies to Create a Custom Rideshare Vehicle

In EV news this week, we’ve got Uber pairing with car companies to create the perfect rideshare and delivery vehicles. Meanwhile, an Instacart shopper was fired for stealing, and DoorDash is under scrutiny after a Dasher confronts customers over low tips. All this and more in this week’s roundup with senior RSG contributor Paula Lemar.

DoorDash driver goes viral on TikTok for confronting customers who don’t tip enough (Today.com)

Summary: A former DoorDash driver has gone viral on TikTok for his approach to low-or no-tipping customers, igniting a fierce debate on boundaries when it comes to customers’ interactions with delivery drivers. DoorDash confirmed his account’s deactivation to TODAY.com.

On Jan. 4, TikTok user @dashingtrader posted a video that quickly garnered hundreds of thousands of views. In the clip, captioned “Multiple CLOWN Encounters,” the Sioux Falls, South Dakota delivery driver confronts several DoorDash customers he claims were low-tippers.

“You ever heard of ‘no tip, no trip?’” he says to a woman standing at the front desk of a Homewood Suites hotel, who does not respond.

“How much is the tip on this order?” he asks. Her response is edited out of the clip.

“Yeah, that ain’t enough when it’s zero degrees outside, and it’s icy, and I gotta drive my car and wait for it,” he says….

My Take: This is a sticky topic all over this industry. We’ve all heard the term “no tip, no trip”, though customers may not be aware of this movement. It’s partially a sticky topic because rideshare drivers have come to expect no tips. Partially because of the mindset around the passengers and how tips were treated by the companies at their inception. But delivery is a whole other ballgame. We tip our pizza delivery people and have for decades…why not other food delivery services?

In this case, is a small tip better than no tip? Maybe not! Granted, that is more of a problem of how much DoorDash and other delivery services are willing to pay their drivers in the first place. Perhaps, if drivers were given a liveable wage or at least what they would consider to be a fair wage, this kind of thing wouldn’t be an issue because the drivers would be making enough money for this to be worthwhile, no matter if there’s a tip involved or not.

Also, there are always ways for drivers to maximize their earning potential by utilizing RSG’s tips and tricks, but that doesn’t fully make up for low wages.

So, do you think this delivery driver was in the wrong for demanding higher tips for this kind of delivery? Do you consider the weather when choosing how much you tip?

Instacart shoppers banned after woman checks Kroger receipt (WREG)

Summary: Online grocery shopping is supposed to be convenient, but one Kroger customer says her delivery driver stole her money and some items.

The victim, who wants to remain anonymous, warned people, “If you do Kroger delivery (through Instacart), check your receipts! I had a delivery a couple of weeks ago, and the shopper added multiple items for themselves and also kept a few of my requested items.”

She says the delivery person who was picking up her groceries spent about $40 on random food items she didn’t want or receive– even a pair of women’s clogs.

The victim says it didn’t happen just once but twice. She said the second time when she opted for delivery, the person only got $15….

My Take: Where you have many people trying to make an honest living, you’ll also find people doing anything and everything to game the system. Unfortunately, it makes things a lot more difficult for the honest ones.

On the other hand, you also have the other side of the coin, where customers will do anything to get a refund. But the issue in this particular article would be easy to check. Instacart would have a record of what the customer originally ordered and any communication they had with their shopper to add items or make substitutions. And it sounds like this concern is on the up and up, which means Instacart did a good job banning this particular shopper.

As an Instacart shopper, you might encounter issues while completing batches. Here’s how to contact Instacart support.

Starbucks and DoorDash Set to Expand Delivery Partnership Nationwide (Yahoo)

Summary: Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) and DoorDash, Inc. (NYSE: DASH) announced the expansion of their partnership with new delivery service launching today in Northern California, Texas, Georgia, Florida and other select markets. Starbucks delivery via DoorDash will expand to additional markets over the coming months, with full nationwide availability anticipated in all 50 states by March 2023.

My Take: Big partnerships like this likely keep DoorDash in the lead for delivery services apps across the nation. DoorDash seems to keep its customers and the service provided to them at the top of their minds at all times. They have severed ties with big companies in the past to formulate better partnerships that service their customers better.

For instance, in 2022, DoorDash broke ties with Walmart in favor of Facebook Marketplace. By keeping these partnerships in mind and reevaluating their significance and importance to their customers, DoorDash can maintain the top spot.

Hertz to offer 25,000 EV rentals to Uber drivers in Europe (Yahoo! Finance)

Summary: Car rental firm Hertz will make up to 25,000 electric vehicles (EVs) available to rent to drivers of ride-hailing company Uber in European capitals by 2025, the two companies said on Tuesday.

The rollout of the rental deal, which will include models from Tesla and Polestar, will start this month in London, where Hertz will add more than 10,000 EVs by 2025 that Uber drivers will be able to rent.

The program will also be expanded to other European capitals, including Paris and Amsterdam during 2023.

Uber said the models on offer would include the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar 2 and that pricing would be confirmed once rentals launch in London….

My Take: This is likely similar to the Tesla/Hertz/Uber partnership that launched in 2021 in the United States. It’s part of their green initiative toward zero emissions.

Wonder what it’s like driving for Uber with a Tesla? We tried it! Check out our article on what it’s like driving for Uber with a Tesla Model 3.

Uber Working With Auto Makers to Design EVs Customized for Ride-Sharing, Delivery (The Wall Street Journal)

Summary: Uber Technologies Inc. is working with auto makers to design lower-cost electric vehicles tailored for its ride-hailing and delivery businesses, part of its effort to electrify its fleet.

Speaking Thursday at an event hosted by The Wall Street Journal, Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the company is working with manufacturers on vehicles optimized for city use, ferrying passengers and deliveries. For ride-sharing, that includes cars with lower top speeds and with seating areas where passengers can face each other…

Harry’s Take: Drivers are always looking for the most effective and efficient way to earn money, including finding the perfect vehicle for their needs. A vehicle specifically designed for drivers’ needs is a huge step in the right direction.

The catch will be – how affordable will these vehicles be? Will it take into account the realities of being a driver/deliverer? Let’s be clear – many drivers will not be keen on spending their own money to make sure they can charge or even buy a new car.

Depending on the car companies Uber pairs with, this could be great news for drivers, or it could be just another attempt to turn drivers onto EVs without making it feasible for them to make the switch.

Interested in getting an electric vehicle to drive for rideshare or have questions about it? Make sure to join our EV Facebook group here.

Uber Pro Card Review (Forbes)

Quick summary: Wondering how the Uber Pro Card works? This article from Forbes reviews the Uber Pro Card, including benefits and drawbacks, and features a nice shout out to RSG’s research about the average amount drivers spend on gas while rideshare driving.

What do you think about this week’s news – would you ever confront someone about not tipping (or not tipping enough) or let it go?

-Paula @ RSG