Is your pizza cold? Blame your food app – Not your courier

Dear DoorDash, your hotspot is not working

After Postmate’s unpredictable payout, I signed up for DoorDash, curious to see how it compares.

The difference is immediate: Dashers earn a flat fee of $ 12 per delivery, and customers always get a tip; it’s typically around $ 3. This works at a much more stable average hourly rate than Postmate, in that payments vary according to time of day, distance, fast pricing and whims of customer.

The second difference is that in San Francisco, hunters choose a hot spot from four high-density restaurants. Hotspots sounded like a welcome innovation from a free experience for all my Postmate friends, but I soon found out that they waste a lot of time and energy. than.

At 5:30 pm, the main dinner delivery time, I head to Mission hotspot, open the app and wait. The sun set, mist entered, and… nothing. After half an hour of standing at the view of people coming home from work, I got an order to deliver Mediterranean food to the Hayes Valley, a short and quick ride of $ 15. I’ve never had a lot of downtime with Postmate.

Idle time is not the only problem. After each delivery, the dashers must return to the hotspot to take the next order. With Postmate, I switched to a different job instead of cycling back to my starting point.

Sometimes the app seems to forget that I need to cycle back to the hotspot. After delivering Mexican food to a neighborhood on the west side of the city, the app immediately buzzed, asking me to take the barbecue and deliver it east in 32 minutes – a 4.5 ride mile. It seems impossible. I texted the customer service department asking them to return the order. I didn’t get another order for the rest of my shift, leaving me wondering if the city had suddenly gone quiet or if I got overtaken because I refused to deliver before or not.

Author’s overlay delivery routes. I went further to fulfill the DoorDash orders than I did for Postmate. For a sushi delivery to Noe Valley that I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish on time, I called job support for help. The phone number leads to a voice recording and then another to indicate the support method has changed and that I should text customer service. The clock has passed more time, and I am still nowhere near Noe Valley. I kicked hard to get to the restaurant, where I discovered the order was wrong and it would take 20 minutes to fix. Meanwhile, the app is buzzing with another order to take a pizza and deliver it in the other direction. “That won’t happen,” I thought to myself. My written requests for customer service went unanswered, and anxiety and discomfort gave way to resignation and indifference. I will go there when I get there. I finally delivered the sushi an hour after I was supposed to arrive, for a total of $ 15.

Average hourly price: $ 16.18.

Now I am extremely pleased with the army of couriers serving these delivery startups – black Postmate bags, red DoorDash t-shirts, special PEX debit cards, apps that open on whose phones there. Despite its flaws, I finally found the Postmate easier to cycle, even though DoorDash was better for a peak midday in the city center. But in a month, who knows?

The post office friends emailed almost every week to announce, “We’re growing like crazy!” and advertising guaranteeing minimum hourly wages for the week or bonuses if you get certain jobs done. The competition is very fierce. Once, after choosing vegetarian Indian food, a woman stopped me: “You work for Postmate? GrubHub is the better way, ”she announced. On another day, when I was wearing a red DoorDash T-shirt, a stranger approached me and asked: “Do you work for DoorDash? If you switch to Postmate, we will each receive $ 300. ”

Given that these companies cannot deliver food without a delivery person to us, it is worth noting that their support services are incomplete. Unlike any of these companies with a monopoly on the city’s transportation team – in San Francisco, Caviar, Sprig and GrubHub are all signing up for bike deliveries. I am clearly biased, but I believe the courier’s experience is just as important as the customer experience. The race to dominate food delivery is likely to be rotated by the way we deliveries vote on our wheels.

Photo taken by Anna Vignet
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