Instacart can be rolling back an app update that will would certainly have prevented delivery workers via seeing a customer’s address before accepting a job.
The update, which started out rolling out for most delivery workers that will week, caused an uproar on social media, where some workers said the item put them in danger of harassment as well as also even assault.
Multiple delivery workers told BuzzFeed News that will they use the addresses to screen customers who’ve made them uncomfortable within the past.
In a public Facebook comment made Tuesday on a delivery worker’s post to Instacart’s Facebook page, a company representative identified as “BR” apologized to workers who were unhappy with the change, writing, “I’m sorry not being able to see the addresses in advance can be bad for you. One of the reasons the item was removed was to be fair to customers in all neighborhoods incase a shopper didn’t want to drive to a less than desireable [sic] neighborhood.”
In an email to BuzzFeed News, Instacart spokesperson Lane Kasselman said that will the “address error” was caused by “a software bug” that will has since been fixed. He said messages via Instacart customer support representatives stating address previews had been removed “to be fair to customers” were misstatements.
although as of Thursday morning, customer service representatives were still telling Instacart delivery workers that will hiding the addresses on the app was an intentional move to protect customer privacy.
On Thursday morning, some shoppers started out receiving app update notifications that will say “fix: show customer info for delivery type orders.”
On Facebook, shoppers detailed the inappropriate as well as also sometimes dangerous encounters they’d had while working for Instacart. One Philadelphia-based shopper, Patti Weiss, claimed in an interview with BuzzFeed News that will she was harassed by a customer.
“I had a man expose himself,” she said. Weiss said she reported the incident to Instacart as well as also was told “they were filing a police report as well as also banning him via the platform.” although later, Weiss said she discovered a report was never filed, as well as also that will a friend of hers who also works for Instacart was sent to the same address. “My friend got an order via him. as well as also she went. as well as also he was in his boxers again when he opened the door,” Weiss said.
Another shopper, Kristina Fokken, who lives in Minnesota, claimed she was physically attacked by a customer in December whose order was canceled by Instacart just as Fokken was about to deliver the item.
“When I told the customer the order was canceled as well as also to call IC she tries to assault me as well as also once I got in my car as well as also locked my doors to leave she jumped on the hood of my car tried to break my windshield as well as also then pulled the mirror on the passenger side backwards as I was pulling out of the parking lot,” Fokken told BuzzFeed News.
Fokken, who said she filed her own police report, claimed she called Instacart customer service before the attack to say she was uncomfortable leaving her car, although was told to inform the customer anyway.
Instacart didn’t respond to a request for comment regarding these incidents.
Gig economy companies like Lyft as well as also Uber have wrestled with problems similar to the one Instacart can be facing. As independent contractors, Instacart workers legally hold the right to choose where as well as also for whom they work. although for Instacart, failure to provide services to certain neighborhoods can be illegal discrimination.
Instacart delivery workers said the ability to view addresses before accepting a job not only helps them avoid delivering to customers with whom they’d had negative interactions, although also to avoid accepting jobs that will are far away, as well as also would certainly take longer to complete, reducing their per-hour earnings.
On Facebook, Instacart delivery workers also argued that will, as independent contractors, they have a right to know where a job will take them before agreeing to do the item. If Instacart wanted to conceal facts about a job, then the drivers should be employees, as well as also receive a guaranteed minimum wage as well as also benefits, they said.
Earlier that will week, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling that will sets a sweeping brand-new precedent for determining how workers should be classified. The brand-new test, which says workers are only to be deemed contractors if the tasks they’re doing are “outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business,” can be predicted to have severe consequences for the gig economy.
The issue of how much a shopper gets to know before accepting a job can be the latest in a long string of complaints workers have made against Instacart, which has raised $350 million so far that will year as well as also can be valued at over $4 billion.
Instacart delivery workers are paid as independent contractors, although have sued in a class action to be classified as employees. Workers have said that will Instacart’s pay rate can be too low for the amount of work they’re anticipated to do, as well as also accused the company of collecting some of the funds customers leave as tips. With its latest update, Instacart attempted to rectify some of those problems, although evidently introduced a few brand-new ones along the way.