To my knowledge, this is the first time DoorDash is actively warning customers that if they don’t leave a tip, they may experience poor service.
Join RSG Contributor Paula Lemar as she covers the latest headlines in the rideshare business. This week’s news covers DoorDash’s new pop-up screen, a letter to billion-dollar companies demanding fair wages, and children being at risk and injured.
Meanwhile, things get worse for robotaxi company, Cruise, and the price war between Lyft and Uber continues on.
Let’s dive into each summary and Paula’s take on the news.
New DoorDash Information Pop-Up Screen Could Change The Way Customers Tip
DoorDash has started to warn its customers on an information pop-up that they may have to wait longer for their food order to be accepted if they don’t give a tip.
Users of the online food ordering app who enter zero as their tip amount will now receive a pop-up warning telling them that drivers, named Dashers, can choose whether or not they want to accept the order.
“Tips can help make orders more attractive to fulfill,” one of the app’s information pop-ups says.
DoorDash’s delivery drivers have absolute freedom on whether they choose to pick an order based on what they view as “valuable and rewarding.”
In the United States, we do have a rampant tip culture. Tips are expected in several instances, and food delivery is no exception. When we provide a service such as serving or delivering food, we expect to be tipped for our time and care. And it’s oftentimes a supplement for poor wages from the start.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We tipped our pizza delivery people before these platforms came around and took over the food delivery industry, so why wouldn’t we tip these drivers?
They are using their own personal vehicles that they need to fill with gas (with no reimbursement from the company) and maintain. The least we can do is throw a few dollars onto our delivery orders.
Things Are Going From Bad To Worse For Cruise’s Robotaxis
GM’s autonomous vehicle Cruise division is already going through a rough patch, with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently suspending its driverless permits over safety issues.
Now, several new reports have highlighted other issues with the company, including problems with its autonomous vehicles (AVs) recognizing children and the frequency with which human operators must remotely take control.
The company also just announced that it’s temporarily suspending production of its fully autonomous Origin transport.
The Intercept reported that the most concerning issue is that Cruise reportedly kept its vehicles on the streets even though it knew it had problems recognizing children.
According to internal, previously unreported safety assessment materials, Cruises autonomous vehicles may have been unable to effectively detect children in order to take extra precautions.
“Cruise AVs may not exercise additional care around children,” the document states.
Because of that, the company was concerned that its robotaxis might drive too fast near children who could move unexpectedly into the street.
Cruise also lacks data around child-specific situations, like kids separating from adults, falling, riding bicycles, or wearing costumes.
Yeah, this seems like a pretty bad problem if you ask me. Kids, obviously, should take care when crossing the street, but for an autonomous vehicle not to recognize that there’s a child in front of the vehicle… that is not great.
Heck, even during my driving test, a kid rode their bike unexpectedly through the middle of the road. I had to slam on my brakes and hope I wouldn’t fail my test automatically (I passed). Kids are unpredictable at best, and a driverless vehicle isn’t necessarily going to exercise the same caution and care as a human driver would.
It also makes you wonder if these robotaxis can adequately maneuver around an object in the middle of the road. The last time I was on a long drive, a semi-truck had lost a sizable part and ended up in the middle of the lane.
If I hadn’t noticed it (in the dark), my vehicle would have been very badly damaged. It was smaller than a child but big enough to cause damage.
NYC Uber Eats Driver Accused Of Fleeing After Hitting 9-Year-Old Boy Who Just Got Off Bus
A 9-year-old boy in New York City is recovering after being struck by a food delivery driver in an alleged hit-and-run Wednesday night.
The delivery driver was on two wheels at the time, working for Uber Eats and taking food from a pizza shop on Harrison Avenue in Brooklyn.
A driver’s dashcam video shared with FOX 5 New York shows the incident happening around 5:30 p.m. after the child had gotten off a school bus.
I am glad that the child is in stable condition. I can’t even imagine. That’s so horrible, and for the driver to just take off? That’s despicable.
Please, drivers, be extra cautious around school buses.
Lyft’s Price War With Uber Yields Mixed Results
Lyft’s strategy of slashing ride-hail fares to compete with Uber has resulted in slow and steady gains for the company, but competition remains fierce.
According to Lyft’s third-quarter earnings, reported Wednesday, Lyft’s active ridership numbers have increased sequentially quarter-over-quarter this year. In the three months ending September 30, Lyft recorded 22.4 million active riders, up from 21.5 million in the second quarter and 19.6 million in the first.
Last quarter, that bump in ridership caused Lyft to take a hit in revenue per active rider. In Q3, that problem seems to be correcting itself. Lyft’s revenue per active rider was $51.67, up from $47.51 in Q2.
Overall, it sounds like good news for Lyft. They are striving to close the gap between themselves and Uber. But I don’t think they’ll ever have an equal or better market share than Uber. Just based on historical data, it doesn’t seem plausible.
Obviously, Lyft wants to continue having a strong foothold in the industry, and they seem to have improved throughout the year. If they continue trending as driver-focused and consumer-focused instead of just seeking out profits, I think they’ll get a stronger foothold. Drivers and customers just want to be treated right.
Gig Work Wages In U.S. Are So Bad They’re a Human Rights Issue, U.N. Poverty Expert Says
A United Nations poverty expert sent letters to Amazon, DoorDash, and Walmart, demanding they address allegations of extremely low wages and misclassifying workers as contractors.
Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty, also sent a letter to the U.S. government, requesting a response to allegations that the U.S. minimum wage and earnings for workers in the gig economy are so bad that they’re forced to rely on government assistance.
“I am extremely disturbed that workers in some of the world’s most profitable companies—in one of the richest countries on earth—are struggling to afford to eat or pay their rent,” De Schutter said in a statement.
“Multi-billion dollar companies should be setting the standard for working conditions and wages, not violating the human rights of their workers by failing to pay them a decent wage.”
In 2022, DoorDash reported $6.6 billion in revenue. Walmart reported $572 billion. Amazon reported $514 billion in net sales.
This isn’t surprising. It is surprising that someone in a position of power is willing to acknowledge it, but we’ll see if anything actually comes from it.
I know several people who are disgusted at how much these companies (and their higher-ups) are earning compared to the workers who are actually doing all the work.
We’re so driven by the markets and earning more than in previous years. Why can’t we maintain the numbers from previous years and give any extra profits back to the workers who made the profits possible?
We should be rewarding workers, not CEOs.
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