- Instacart is reversing a controversial payment policy that workers say drastically cut their wages.
- In a blog post published on Wednesday, Instacart’s CEO Apoorva Mehta said that the company had “fallen short” in delivering its promises to shoppers. The company will be increasing its minimum payment fee to between $7 and $10 and keeping customer tips separate from its own contribution.
- Some workers are still dubious as to whether Instacart will deliver on its promises.
Instacart shoppers are rejoicing after a protest against the company’s new payment structure resulted in it being overturned.
In a blog post published on Wednesday, Instacart’s CEO Apoorva Mehta admitted that the company had “fallen short” on delivering its promises for shoppers under the new payment structure, which was rolled out nationwide last year.
Instacart had promised that the new payment structure would make the process more transparent for its shoppers by allowing them to see a preview of the job – and how much they would be paid – before accepting it.
But the fees also changed. The former flat delivery fee was removed and replaced with a “Batch Incentive” fee, which was set at a $10 minimum and determined by the makeup of the order, trip length, and location.
However, shoppers said that under the new system, customer tips were also factored into this fee, which meant that Instacart was often paying them as little as $1 to $2 for a job.
Mehta addressed this issue in his blog post: “While our intention was to increase the guaranteed payment for small orders, we understand that the inclusion of tips as a part of this guarantee was misguided. We apologize for taking this approach.”
The company is increasing its batch payment fee to between $7 and $10 and keeping customer tips separate from its own contribution.
Moreover, it will retroactively compensate shoppers who were negatively impacted by the changes in the past few months by reimbursing them for the times when Instacart’s payment fell below the $10 threshold.
Matthew Telles, who has worked as an Instacart shopper since 2015 and has been leading a boycott effort against the new payment structure, told Business Insider on Wednesday that while he is “all smiles and celebrations,” the work is not over.
“We are cautiously optimistic about this victory. Their history shows that what’s said is never really what’s actually done. We will continue to have Instacart and their policies under a microscope as we move forward,” he said.
Debi L., who has been an Instacart shopper since July 2017, echoed Telles’ thoughts: “In a few words, I am wary.”
She continued: “I am cautiously optimistic that we will finally, finally start making the money that we deserve and that our tips can now be an added bonus for us for our hard work. This has been a maddening, frustrating and, at times, incredibly disheartening experience. I am really hoping that Instacart will actually bring a group of us Shoppers into the corporate office to listen to our experiences and our ideas on how they have the ability to make this platform great for both their contractors and their customers.”