Both companies' changes come after their controversial policies earned criticism.

By Mike Pomranz
August 23, 2019
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The online delivery services sector is relatively new. Instacart was founded in 2012. DoorDash was founded not long after in 2013. Similarly, Instacart came under fire for its tipping policy this February, and not long after, DoorDash received criticism for its nearly identical tipping system in July. All the uproar has proved to be a learning experience for the billion dollar industry — and the good news for both consumers and workers is that these controversies appear to be leading to changes.

Last month, after DoorDash cofounder and CEO Tony Xu acknowledged that customers were unhappy with his company's tipping policy, he said changes would be announced "in the days to come." Despite taking more days than that phrase usually implies, Xu has finally revealed the solution. In a blog post to the company website, Xu provided the most important detail most customers probably wanted to hear: "Every dollar customers tip will be an extra dollar in their Dasher's pocket." The issue previously was that base pay and tips often intermingled. Additionally, Xu writes, "We have been testing the new model this month and refining the details based on feedback we've received from Dashers."

Additionally, in what CNN notes as a change in policy, DoorDash will apparently be altering when tips can be added, too: Customers will be able to tip either before or after delivery. Though drivers get all of the money either way, Xu explains that drivers will be able to see the "before" tips as part of their guaranteed pay — which would seem to impact whether or not they might take a certain job.

Meanwhile, for Instacart — which changed its tipping policy almost immediately after controversy arose — the company appears interested in trying to move on to bigger and better things for its over 130,000 independent contract workers (aka its "shoppers"). In a blog post, the company announced a "new shopper perks program." The program includes "Shopper Injury Protection" insurance for all U.S. full-service shoppers, free access to Care.com, access to the "full suite of health and financial savings and deals" available on the Stride Benefits Platform, and student loan assistance through the Peanut Butter platform.

"We're constantly working to build better products, resources, and programs to make the shopper experience better tomorrow than it is today," Instacart wrote. "It starts with learning about who Instacart shoppers are, listening to their feedback, and making incremental changes to improve over time."

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