To safeguard its shoppers from having their tips reduced to zero when customers receive their groceries, Instacart is modifying its tipping process after shopper complaints. The delivery company, however, says tip-baiting is not common and under 0.5 percent of orders have tips taken away following delivery, according to reports.
Instacart is now making clients who remove tips following delivery provide feedback and says it will take any customer who continually removes tips offline. Additionally, the company noted it is decreasing the time in which a customer can modify a tip to 24 hours from three days. It is also revamping its Instant Cashout function that was first rolled out last year.
Shoppers will now have the ability to cash out tips 24 hours after a delivery is finished to get access to funds faster. Instacart is also waiving cash out charges for shoppers who use Visa cards up to the conclusion of July, while Instant Cashout is growing to Canada as well.
The news comes as four U.S. senators were asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine “potentially unfair and misleading” tipping practices on Instacart in addition to other services.
U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Brian Schatz and Chris Van Hollen wrote in a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, “Shoppers choose which orders to take based on the expected compensation, which is largely driven by the estimated tip. By permitting customers to ‘bait’ shoppers with high tips that are then revoked, online delivery services facilitate the deception.”
At the time, Instacart said in a statement, “Our goal is to deliver a high-quality experience for both customers and shoppers. By allowing customers to tip after delivery based on their overall service, we see shopper tips increase or stay the same on 99.5% of orders. Additionally, since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in North America, shoppers’ earnings from tips have nearly doubled. Tips are always separate from any Instacart earnings and all tips go directly to the shopper.”