Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck IT

Instacart Reverses Course After Backlash From Shoppers Over Plans To Eliminate Tips (techcrunch.com) 97

Instacart says it is adjusting planned changes to its pay structure for full-service shoppers. The change of heart comes after independent contractors threatened to boycott the grocery delivery startup's plans to replace tips with an optional 10 percent fee collected by the company. From a TechCrunch report: CEO Apoorva Mehta stressed that the decision came from customers looking to continue tipping, rather than complaints from shoppers, which he called a small group that was "very vocal" about the change. However, following removing tips, Instacart received some backlash from shoppers who said they were losing significant portions of their earnings. The backlash went so far as to inspire a boycott among some shoppers, though again Mehta said that this was not the primary cause for returning tipping. [...] Originally, the company sought to raise the overall earnings payout per delivery while removing tips, which was an attempt to make earnings more reliable instead of burst-y as a result of tips. Top shoppers, however, accustomed to getting larger tips because of their performance were concerned that they would lose a significant portion of their earnings. The vocal minority, it seems, was loud enough -- and perhaps so was the customer base -- that Instacart had to reverse course. Update: 10/15 21:25 GMT by M :Title updated to fix a typo. I regret the error.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Instacart Reverses Course After Backlash From Shoppers Over Plans To Eliminate Tips

Comments Filter:
  • What is "elimanate" anyway?
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday October 15, 2016 @03:46PM (#53082475)
    3 times it was people recently laid off desperate for work to make rent and the 4th was a lady laid off from a good paying job as a clerk (work moved to Mumbai) and now making 1/2 as much.

    This isn't the sharing economy, it's the desperation economy.
    • That's exactly it. I was laid off from summer job (not high enough in the Union to work through the winter). I had to do similar jobs through the winter to make ends meet. Big jump to go from making 6k a month to 1600/mth. I delivered pizza, booze, moved items with my truck. Tips often helped.
    • Once Uber/Lyft is allowed in my state I'd do it weekends for a few reasons:
      1. To spite the shitty, shitty cab companies and
      2. Because the heated back seats of my nice car seem wasted otherwise.
      3. Extra cash on weekends would be nice, though won't make/break my bank

      I don't actually care if I simply break even. Anything to make the taxi cartel quiver in their boots.

  • Although illegal, tips are frequently unreported income.

    That means effectively 40% more of the value goes to the servicer. When the company does it, it's all reported and taxed.

    (And also the thing about tipping for good service, versus tipping across the board.)

    • Since the tips are paid via the app I doubt your observation has anything to do with this case. Yes, I use Instacart.
    • In certain fields such as waitress, you have to report tips. Albeit, nobody reports 100% of their tips. Cash based jobs like pizzas delivery don't either
    • by NotAPK ( 4529127 ) on Saturday October 15, 2016 @04:32PM (#53082669)

      *ANY* kind of gratuity that is added to the bill automatically, and paid to the employee by the company, is (IMO) by definition NOT a gratuity. It's just the price and should be part of the cost, and it should be paid to the staff member as part of their wage. Slicing and dicing it any other way is just bullshit.

      Here in the UK we pay staff a solid wage and dining prices (for example) are much higher than in the US. When I go to a restaurant I do not generally tip but when I'm really impressed (which is the whole fucking point of tipping) I do throw in some extras. However, when I receive a bill that contains the gratuity added automatically I specifically remove it and tell the manager why I've removed it and that I won't be returning to the restaurant because it's a *scummy thing to do*. Yes, I'm fun at parties...

      • by PrimaryConsult ( 1546585 ) on Saturday October 15, 2016 @09:13PM (#53083399)

        Unfortunately laws allow wait staff to be underpaid significantly due to the US's tipping culture. While I applaud your effort to change it, the immediate effect is that you actually did the scummy thing by stiffing the service staff. Then again, theoretically, if everyone did that, we might have this changed.

        Personally I find it stupid that tips are encouraged to be a percentage of the bill. If I go to a discount Vietnamese restaurant or a general chain restaurant, the waitress did the exact same amount of effort, so should receive an identical tip. Yet people yell at me when I overtip at cheap restaurants and (supposedly) undertip at expensive ones.

        • by Desprez ( 702166 )
          Well, as menu price increases, you're theoretically getting a higher level of service and food/drink expertise. This isn't always the case, but I'm not expecting the Olive Garden server to have detailed knowledge of the food and preparation. Whereas, if I'm at a world class establishment on Las Vegas strip, I would expect the server to be able suggest the perfect wine, and have detailed knowledge of the menu, and be able to customize an experience tailored to individual guests.

          Not everyone, wants or uses th
        • Unfortunately laws allow wait staff to be underpaid significantly due to the US's tipping culture.

          Which part of the OP's

          Here in the UK

          wasn't clear? Service staff in the UK do not get much in the way of tips, and never have done. They get their wages. It's only the exceptionally good service that attracts a tip at all. I can't remember the last time I added a tip to a restaurant bill, or any other part of the "service economy. But I do routinely remove added or suggested gratuities on the bill.

          Same with r

          • The part where he completed the sentence with

            than in the US

            made it seem like he was referring to tipping here. Also,

            However, when I receive a bill that contains the gratuity added automatically I specifically remove it and tell the manager why I've removed it and that I won't be returning to the restaurant because it's a *scummy thing to do*.

            Adds to that.

            You passive aggressive prick.

    • Although illegal, tips are frequently unreported income.

      sigh...

      The government has more than a few employment classifications that do not require reporting tokes, which are instead estimated.

    • Although illegal, tips are frequently unreported income.

      That means effectively 40% more of the value goes to the servicer. When the company does it, it's all reported and taxed.

      (And also the thing about tipping for good service, versus tipping across the board.)

      Go to a restaurant, and ask the manager about their waitstaff's unreported income.

      The do keep track of the tips, and how does a tip not be tracked on a credit card payment?

      Been a long time since those 47% freeloaders who wait on us got away with robbing the guvmint of billions to pay for their yachts under the table.

      Now its just cigar boats, and vacation homes in MArtha's Vineyard for the perennial takers.

    • This is the entire problem. Even if the dollar amount is the same (or slightly higher) the end result is a reduction in direct income for the guy doing the work.

      Honestly I think tips should either be eliminated from society (full stop) or removed from taxation. The current situation simply rewards the unethical.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday October 15, 2016 @03:48PM (#53082487)
    any one else notice that these "Sharing Economy" workers aren't the same immigrants that I always used to see driving taxis? Why haven't the immigrants moved to Uber/Lyft/Instacart?
    • I think it's all about the low barrier to entry and the fact that doing one of these jobs won't prevent you from looking for another job and attending job interviews when they come up. So if the choice is between looking for a job and staying at home in your underwear watching movies the rest of the time, or looking for a job and driving a little bit so you can pay your rent while you're still job-hunting. The choice is pretty easy.

      There is also the language factor, I know someone who got a low rating on U

  • by jader3rd ( 2222716 ) on Saturday October 15, 2016 @04:01PM (#53082531)
    Tips are a non-advertised hidden cost to a good or service, and make an excuse for an employer to not pay their employees higher wages. I would be much happier if they were eliminated all together.
    • by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Saturday October 15, 2016 @04:05PM (#53082549)

      It's also hard for tourists who come from a non-tipping culture. When I go to the US tips are clearly expected, but I have no basis for judging what the should be, or which industries deserve / expect them.

      • by shess ( 31691 )

        It's also hard for tourists who come from a non-tipping culture. When I go to the US tips are clearly expected, but I have no basis for judging what the should be, or which industries deserve / expect them.

        Why do you think it's easier for people who live here?

        I just mostly only bother to figure it out if it's a service I use frequently, like restaurants or haircuts. If some bellhop or shuttle driver really really really wants to get $5 or something for lifting the luggage I just shuttled across the country all by myself, well, sorry.

        • For my haircut I tip a ridiculously good amount, somewhere in the neighborhood of 200% (still cheaper than a stylist). This has resulted in situations where I walk in and am skipped in front of the line because "I had an appointment" even though I never called :). Since this sort of unspoken benefit is not really possible in any other situation, I stick to 15% otherwise. Hotel maid gets $2/night that they actually had to clean my room. Taxi serviec in my area is shit so they get nothing, but while on va

          • by Desprez ( 702166 )
            That kind of unspoken benefit works plenty good in bars too, and comes in handy when they are busy. I would think in delivery food as well.
        • I guess because you tend to understand the nuances of your own culture if you live there.

          Where I live you don't tip unless the service has been absolutely spectacular. As it crazy way above and beyond. I cannot actually remember the last time I tipped.

      • by Shados ( 741919 )

        Yup, even for residents its really hard.

        All service industries have SOME tips, the question is how much. And that even varies between states, drastically. And if you get it wrong, expect someone to spit in your food or an asshole cab to kick on your luggage. Doesn't happen often but it happens.

      • It's the entitled NA. I've gone to places where it's expected, even poor service. I remember 1 server, our drink order came to say 19, you give $20 at a bar. She goes no, I get $1 per drink tip. That prompted a request for the manager.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Tips were a "bonus" for exceptional service.
        Now they simply wage payments paid by the customer rather than the employer.

        And its not just tips that are a deception, try taxes and other fees.
        Rent a hotel for $200 a night...well yes but its + taxes, + resort fees+tourism fees etc etc etc.

        NOTHING advertised in the US is ever for the price you will actually pay.

        Why can the US not be up front and honest ?

        • Airline tickets are required to include taxes and fees.Theoretically train and bus tickets too but they usually don't have taxes and fees to begin with.
          I've been hoping for a similar rule for hotel stays - sometimes staying even 1 county over will yield significant savings over multiple nights, but no one includes them in their search listings.

    • by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Saturday October 15, 2016 @04:16PM (#53082603)

      Seen from Europe, tips are this quaint little way of lording over the working class that you have more money and power than them, and here are your alms.

      • No matter how much you tip waiters in Germany, they can't ignore you any harder than they already are.

  • by ukoda ( 537183 ) on Saturday October 15, 2016 @05:57PM (#53082867) Homepage
    One of the more annoying things about visiting the USA is tipping. Always trying to figure out when you need to tip and how much. Most of my travel to the USA is business so costs are reimbursed but trying to fit tips in to official paper work is a pain as my country has no tipping so no accounting system for it.

    I have traveled to quite a lot of countries around the world but the USA is the only place where I have had to deal with tips. It leaves me wondering if there are any other countries that consider tips a core income for employees as it apparently is in the USA?

    Tip for USA international travelers. Don't tip in other countries you travel to, unless you have been told it is customary there. It annoys the crap out of the rest of us as setting an expectation that all foreigners tip. Your tipping systems is annoying, we don't want it infecting the rest of the world.

    As a side note we have a 'minimum wage' here (New Zealand) and there is a push to have a 'minimum living wage' where the minimum wage is set to a level that you can live off it. The numbers are not far apart so I suspect it will happen soon. Such ideas as minimum wages and the minimum living wage are gather popularity around world, certainly in first world countries. It sounds like something badly need in the USA before you can phase out your tipping system.
    • It's not just a thing in the US [cntraveler.com]. However, perhaps you didn't have to deal with tipping because they simply added an extra 10 or 15% to the bill. There are some non-tipping cultures such as China, Japan, S Korea, New Zealand, Australia, etc, but I'm not sure they outnumber tipping cultures.

      • by ukoda ( 537183 )
        That may well be true, as I note the countries you list are the most common ones for me to visit. From memory tipping is not common in the UK. The key thing you mention is when it is added to the bill automatically. I have no problem with that as it is then simply another cost like a tax and I don't have to work out how much it will be and if it applies. It will also appear on the receipt then so no problem with reimbursement either. The only catch then is mentally preparing to pay more that the listed
      • by jimmux ( 1096839 )

        I don't think the information in that link is reliable. I can't speak for most countries, but for Australia it's just wrong. No tipping is ever expected here in any circumstances. For exceptional service it may be offered, but even then it would be a small token amount, like rounding up to the nearest whole note.

        The suggested amounts for Indonesia and France seem high, too. Or maybe I have only traveled with very cheap companions.

        • by ukoda ( 537183 )

          I don't think the information in that link is reliable. I can't speak for most countries, but for Australia it's just wrong. No tipping is ever expected here in any circumstances.

          Yes, exactly the same in NZ, no tipping is ever expected here in any circumstances. That link is exactly the kind of rubbish we can do without. To quote directly from that page they admit directly "tipping has spread "because Americans forced it on people."". Please stop it, seriously! I had to laugh at the suggestion you would tip a taxi driver in NZ. I have yet to find another country with taxi fares as high as NZ. A ride from Auckland airport to the CBD is about 20minutes but will set you back an e

  • I'm don't want to pay tips on a regular basis. Tips are for when someone goes out of their way. I'm really tired of the standard 20 percent and having to keep change on hand as well as to add it to calculations in my head. Standard service and price it into the product. I see tips and jobs where people get tips as the bottom of the barrel. Those employees are always cheated.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

Working...