Instacart Announced today that it is changing its tip policy to protect its growing shopper network from tip-baiting. Tip-betting is a bizarre tip when customers give shoppers a large tip and then reduce the tip to zero after receiving their groceries. It emerged as an epidemic demand that skyrocketed due to the epidemic and people being unable to visit the grocery store.
Instacart continues to say that tip-biting is rare and less than 0.5% of orders have post-delivery tips. It states that tip totals for shoppers have doubled since the COVID-19 epidemic began. However, the change in policy shows progress on how the company treats its shopper network, which is essential for shelter as people are ordered and immunity controlled by visiting grocery stores.
Instacart now requires customers who remove tips after delivery to leave feedback, and claims that it will deactivate any customer who constantly removes tips. The company also said that it is reducing the duration of the tip-adjustment window (how long the customer can change the tip) from three days to 24 hours.
The shorter window will, ideally, limit the amount of time a shopper needs to wait for the final tip.
With the change in tip, Instacart is updating its instant cashout feature, which was first launched in 2019. Shoppers will now be able to cash in tips 24 hours after completing delivery for immediate access to money. The company is also waiving all cashout fees for shoppers using Visa cards by the end of July 2020. Instant cashout is also expanding in Canada.
News comes that Instacart’s Shopper network is becoming more dissatisfied. For reference, the company has announced its shopper network to grow by about 250% due to epidemics and demand for shelter-in-place orders. Some shoppers say that aggressive renting adds fuel to the fire and does not address core problems with Instacart, such as bugs in the app, tip-baiting or lack of security kit delivery.
In March, Instacart shoppers went on strike to demand better treatment, including asking if Instacart could change the default tip percentage to 10%. Today’s policy change does not include this change. The default tip percentage is 5%.
Gig workers are essential workers during this period. It is long overdue for Instacart to start making policy changes that treat them like that.