I’m Done With Food Delivery Services

The dirty secret you are supporting by using these apps.

We can blame this one on Postmates, but really it was only the straw that broke the camels back for me. Uber Eats, Door Dash, Postmates, Grubhub — all of them are completely shit services which are actually pretty sketchy and worrisome, so I am done with them.

Here’s the thing, growing up I knew that going through the Drive-Thru was a risk. You had to check it, because as Pesci says, they really fuck you in the drive thru. The service is shoddy at best and, yeah, he’s right: you are miles away before you realize you got fucked.

Except I think that’s not the case any more. Rarely do Drive Thrus screw up any more — they are pretty good actually. However app delivery services? They fuck you. They fuck you every time.

Why? Because they know you have very little recourse.

When you move, or when you have small kids, all too often you find yourself just wanting some food. These apps are super easy and pretty inexpensive to utilize, so you start ordering stuff from them. Whatever, better than you loading crying kids into the car, or trying to figure out where your wallet is in the sea of boxes. Great if you are sick, right?

The thing is, in theory, these services should kill drive thrus. They should wreak havoc like Uber and Lyft have on the taxi cab industry. But they don’t and they won’t, and there’s a few reasons why:

  1. The food is nearly cold: because the drivers don’t have a ton of incentive to be quick about it, your food often arrives barely warm. If you ever ordered from one and thought “I could drive there and get this faster”, I mean that’s what I am talking about.
  2. They are slow: as far as I can tell there’s no rhyme or reason to what driver is picked, or even if they are near. I have seen more than a few times where my order is “accepted” but the driver never heads towards the place to get the food. The delivery times are atrocious. An hour for McDonalds when it is 3 miles away?
  3. Shit is always missing: I get it, no one is perfect, but these drivers don’t treat this like a job. They treat it like a favor they are doing for you. Forgot that one thing you really wanted? Sorry, here’s your money back for that thing. Better luck next time. No, that’s not how customer service works, and this is 100% customer service.

But, above all else, there’s something that I cannot accept: drivers driving for multiple companies at once. We’ve all been in an Uber or Lyft where they have signs and stickers for both Uber and Lyft. Two phones, and they drive for both based on whichever is hottest. Whatever, this isn’t too large of a problem because they can physically only drive for one at a time.

But with these food delivery services they can drive for all of them at the same time. And I’ve seen it happen all too often. You see it’s one thing if shit is slow and it takes a while, or there’s traffic and the food is cold — ok bummer. But watching your driver get your food, then drive to another restaurant 10 minutes further from your house, wait for food there, and get that food, and then maybe come to you. That’s bullshit, and that’s where I draw the line.

So I called Postmates about it — actually like picked up the phone and talked to them. They are super nice! They gave me my money back and a credit. But that didn’t change the fact we waited 65 minutes to get dinner, it never showed up, then I had to run out and get food anyways.

And you know what, had Postmates said “we’ll remove this driver” I would have been happy. But they didn’t, in fact Postmates when out of their way to tell me that all of these services have no rules against this type of policy. That there’s nothing they can do, nor will do, about a driver pulling this kind of shit.

And there’s a dirty secret why, and it gets to the heart of the ‘gig economy’ — it has to do with independent contractor status. You see, if Postmates said: if you are driving for us, you can only drive for us — that would border on (if not completely making) that driver an employee of Postmates. There is literally nothing more terrifying to these companies than having to classify these workers as employees instead of contractors — because employees get basic human rights. Wait, no, I mean they get benefits, that’s what they get — I don’t know what I was thinking there, got ahead of myself.

So these companies won’t do anything, and these drivers make shit money doing this job so they do whatever tricks they can to try and make more money — like driving for more than one app. I get it, I’m fine with it, I just didn’t know the rules of the game beforehand.

For me, that’s it. I am done. I am not using any of these food delivery apps again. Partly because I am tired of them fucking me over. But also partly because it is bullshit that these drivers don’t get any status as employees, and are also getting fucking over.

They fuck you in the delivery apps — whether you are getting the food or delivering the food.

There’s an entirely other rant to go on about safety here, but not my fight anymore.

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