On-demand grocery delivery service Instacart took action earlier this year to change the way it pays gig workers, called shoppers, after a class-action lawsuit argued the company was mishandling their tips. But new reports in Vox say gig workers claim Instacart’s fixes have only made the problem worse.
The publication reported on Wednesday (May 15) that some gig workers hired as shoppers for Instacart say the company’s changes to its pay structure and processes have made it more difficult to earn money. One gig worker told the publication that while Instacart used to pay shoppers per item (via a 40-cent commission on each item), its changes to a batch payment model have made the payment structure confusing.
“We don’t know how our payments are calculated, other than the fact that Instacart gives us a $7 to $10 baseline, and then some payment that’s supposed to cover the costs of mileage from a store to a customer,” the gig worker told the publication. “Instacart says our payments are based on some sort of algorithm, but they aren’t transparent with us and none of us know how the payments work.”
She added that the pay structure can be “frustrating” and “unreliable,” and that compensation is sometimes “high, and sometimes it can be really low.”
In a statement provided to Vox, a spokesperson for Instacart said the company is working to turn “feedback into actionable changes for shoppers.”
In February, reports said Instacart was facing a class-action lawsuit from shoppers claiming the company “intentionally and maliciously misappropriates gratuities in order to pay plaintiffs’ wages, even though Instacart maintained that 100 percent of customer tips went directly to shoppers.”
The suit was filed after Instacart made changes to its shopper pay structure in an effort to improve transparency. The company announced the move in February in an effort “to more fairly and competitively compensate all our shoppers.”