If you order food on a delivery app the likes of DoorDash, get ready to pay through the nose. You’ll suffer a service fee, delivery fee, an inflated price on the food (that comes from the restaurant to cover its own DoorDash charges), and an optional gratuity for the delivery person.
Predictably, some people forego the tip reasoning that they’re getting gouged already — and are entitled to skimp therein. So pervasive has this problem become that one TikToker has taken to confronting non-tippers while “taping” the encounter and posting the videos to his account.
Understanding the nature of this problem, DoorDash has a trick it plays on its delivery people to get them to accept low-paying jobs. The company will “stack” (offer two deliveries in the same deal) a big tipper with a no-tipper and hide the fact that one pays well and the other not-so-well. Take a recent dash I accepted for example.
The offer read $17 to go 3.3 miles on my pedal bike in Manhattan — with three different destinations all to be picked up from Panera — and going downtown on the island in the neighborhood where I live. I hit “accept,” locked the bike (I was right there), and went in to pick up the orders.
The first went to a ritzy complex close by. The woman tipped on the app and most uncharacteristically, added a five-dollar bill when I handed over the delivery (that almost never happens). This was looking like a cherry with whipped cream.
Next up was 100 Centre Street: Criminal court building. The last time I was there it was in handcuffs. Not a positive association. Still, the recipient came down quickly — and he wasn’t the DA who prosecuted me. I can’t recall what the app read as to my payment for that particular delivery.
Number 3 was the real stinker! It went to a junior high school far downtown and east on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The teacher came to the door and was quite friendly when I arrived. No problem. But when I cleared the app, I saw how much I’d been paid to make this delivery: $3 — no gratuity. Hardly a windfall!
Had DoorDash offered this job alone to any dasher, nobody would have accepted it given how far away the delivery was and what it paid. So what do they do? The company hides the low-profit delivery behind a well-paying job to get one of us to accept the dog with fleas. And there’s no way to access how much each dash pays on a stacker in the app so you can dump the loser and keep the cherry.
This is all by design. I once called in to support while waiting for one delivery on a stacker to see if the one I was waiting on was a stinker — and the support person told me he wasn’t allowed to disclose that information. And that would be for a reason: So I wouldn’t dump the loser.
I realize this all comes with the territory. But I will say this: If you order DoorDash and you don’t tip, you’re more likely to wait a long time for your food. Not every delivery is a stacker — and when it isn’t, we can see you’re a cheapskate. Personally, I simply don’t accept deliveries without a gratuity unless the fact that you’re a cheapskate is hidden in a stacked dash with your partner being a big spender.
Caveat emptor. May you cheapskates get your food cold. It’s what you deserve if you skimp on the gratuity. You don’t like how much it costs to have food delivered? Get your ass out in the cold and get your own food!
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