I created my YouTube Channel, Jen-On-The-Go, just two months after becoming an Instacart shopper. I was desperately seeking support and answers regarding the lack of fairness and equity on the Instacart Platform and couldn’t find it. This void inspired me to build a community where Instacart shoppers and other gig workers, could be heard and validated.
It is no secret that Instacart’s rating system is unfair, relentless and punishing. The first low rating I received left me shocked and confused. I accepted this order which did not include a customer tip, but was certain the customer would be forthcoming with the tip, post delivery. I was naive and I was wrong.
I shopped with extreme professionalism and efficiency, along with being communicative every step of the way. Not only did I not receive a tip, post delivery, I received a low rating with no reason given, from this same customer. Relying on Instacart Chat Support to help with a ratings removal is impossible and beyond their scope of abilities, so here I was, defeated and helpless.
From this moment on, I committed to refusing every single customer order without a tip in the app pre-delivery, and stand firm on this commitment today. Thousands of other Instacart shoppers have also experienced the wrath of the Non-Tipper and stand behind the “No tip, no trip” statement.
Instacart has proven they do nothing to protect their shoppers against fraudulent customers, therefore shoppers must protect their ratings and earnings, which go hand in hand.
There is a pattern in frequency with non tipping customers who report items missing, damaged, or worst case scenario, falsely report their entire order as not delivered. This results in immediate deactivation with grim recourse.
Refusing customers who don’t see the value in tipping, is gig workers’ first line of defense in keeping their accounts safe. These are the customers who are more likely to be impossible to satisfy and to seek to justify why they didn’t tip in the first place.
In two recent videos posted on my YouTube channel, I brought the tipping issue to light, and called out customers who justify not tipping their gig workers. The backlash I received from these customers was malicious, vile and relentless. Here is a sampling of some of their comments:
“These gig workers are arrogant. We are paying for a service. They think because you can afford some food you’re rich. They have a gimme attitude.”
“Quit Bitching! Millions still unemployed and 500K dead from Covid. Just because someone didn’t tip you for picking up milk and eggs isn’t a big deal lady.”
“It’s not the customer’s fault that you choose a crappy paying job. Instacart pays your wages. A tip is a gratuity, look the word up. Earn that tip, shop, pack, bring to the customer, earn that tip! You have a menial bottom-of-the-barrel job and you are mad about it, and want lots of tips to make up for your bad wages. You do realize your job is now in jeopardy, now that COVID restrictions are getting lifted?”
“These people think the customer is their employee. Most aren’t that educated.”
“Jen-on-the-Go! Why are you a gig worker if you are educated?”
“Jen-on-the-Go! Bullshit you’re down on your luck and driving your car into the ground at an unskilled job.”
“Lunatics holy f#$%”
“BS. I won’t tip. Go find a real job and work hard.”
“Get over yourself lady, you do not deserve a tip before I get my groceries. Instacart shoppers seem like trashy people.”
“Jen-on-the-Go you are a self-entitled loser, earn your tip shopper, don’t expect it.”
“Jen-on-the-Go! You would never get a tip from me, you are not worthy of anything but spit.”
“Get a better job. Everyone else should work hard to make a living except you?”
In spite of these bullying, faceless comments and threats, I remain committed in encouraging gig workers to know their value and will continue my plight in doing so. These so called customers who hatefully lashed out at me, admitting their refusal to tip, further validate my position in encouraging gig workers to reject their orders.
There is a negative social stigma associated with being a gig worker. Working in the gig economy is certainly not for everyone, but gig workers shouldn’t have to face the harsh criticism for making the choice to choose this line of work.
I am incredibly grateful to all of the customers who reached out to me in support of tipping for services they receive, and applaud all gig workers in their quest to earn an honest and prideful living.