Instacart grocery delivery orders soared amid the pandemic, but workers say their wages have tanked
What initially seemed like a dream gig has become a nightmare for thousands of “Instacart shoppers,” who say the grocery delivery service company hung them out to dry. Now, ahead of the company’s rumored stock market IPO, shoppers and members of the Gig Worker Collective are asking customers to #DeleteInstacart, The Guardian reports. These shopper-workers were initially enticed by the flexibility to set their own hours and make decent money. But they now say that the app removed certain features, like its default 10 percent tip and commission model, that allowed shoppers to earn more money for filling larger orders or those with heavier objects. And that’s resulted in a decrease in pay. One shopper told The Guardian his income dropped between 10-15 percent during the pandemic. The group is demanding Instacart reinstate those features and provide greater transparency about how orders are assigned, plus a rating system that doesn’t hurt these laborers for issues they can’t control, like when items are out of stock. They’re also asking the company to provide occupational death benefits as gig workers say they’ve experienced a rise in carjacking, assaults, and murders that target them. While Instacart issued a statement saying they take “shopper feedback very seriously,” workers say their demands are being ignored. The company was the subject of two class action lawsuits in 2017 and 2019—the latter for using shoppers’ tips to meet its $10 minimum wage.