This is a phrase that many gig workers who rely on apps like Instacart, UberEats, DoorDash and Shipt fear the most. Signing into your account one day to only be greeted with this ominous message telling you your access is gone.
This experience can be devastating for any gig app worker who solely uses these platforms to make a living. Oftentimes, a gig worker can be removed from an app without any reasoning and trying to get answers is near impossible.
Some have been successful in restoring their account, if they were wrongfully deactivated, but this task does not come easy. You will spend countless hours emailing support and chatting with the help desk, who oftentimes will tell you…
”Sorry at this point there is nothing we can do, please email corporate for future assistance.”
A few companies have emerged in light of this unfair treatment to gig workers, in hopes of recovering some answers on why they were deactivated. These companies also try to work with the apps to restore your account.
I personally am signed up with a company called Kover. I have mentioned them many times in my Youtube videos as a peace of mind solution to anyone working in the gig app economy. Kover will do all they can to advocate for you, but at the end of the day it will be up to the app company to restore your account.
Sadly for me, I didn’t know about this company when my account was deactivated with Shipt. For those of you who do not know, Shipt is a grocery delivery service where customers place orders online or via the app. Then, shoppers like me go to the store, fully shop these orders and deliver them. I was deactivated with Shipt toward the end of 2019.
I was working with them for about three months before I got the dreaded message… YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN DEACTIVATED.
I know the struggle of trying to get answers into what I might have done wrong. I covered most of this in a video I posted to my YouTube Channel titled “SHIPT Deactivation, What Went Wrong”.
Many scenarios have plagued me, but like all the others who seek answers, Shipt never would give me a clear reason as to why I was booted from the platform. I messaged them in chat, emailed their corporate office, even posted a message on their sponsored Facebook ad that showed up in my feeds. I would get the same copy and paste message...
”Shipt will deactivate an account for a number of reasons, we are sorry this has happened to you.”
Having your account deactivated leaves you in a very uneasy place. As mentioned, many gig app workers don’t multi-app and if they are kicked off the only platform that is their livelihood, it puts them in an awful situation. Lucky for me, I was doing both Shipt and UberEats at the time.
When I was blocked from Shipt, I fell back on delivering with UberEats to continue making money. The one thing this experience taught me was there is no loyalty when it comes to working these gig apps, and always… always, have some other backup app in case this happens to you. I would advise to sign up for as many apps as you can and have them on the ready.
The reason I say this is because oftentimes there might be a waiting list for a more popular app, especially if they pay well. Every day you wait to get onboarded, is another day you are not getting paid. The gig world does not come with any guarantees, sick pay, vacations hours or income protection. For the gig workers who are fortunate enough to be invited back to a deactivated account, they forever feel like they are walking on eggshells because they never know if and when this might happen again.
For those of you who are wondering how or why an account might be deactivated, here are some reasons that are justifiable:
- The driver/shopper misuses the app - meaning they use the platform to lure customers away to their own services, like being a personal shopper.
- Falling below a certain order acceptance rate that each app requires a driver/shopper to stay active.
- Too many failed delivery attempts or multiple reports of damaged items delivered.
- Customer relations is huge when it comes to these service apps so any inappropriate behaviour or abuse to the customer will not be tolerated.
On the flip side, you have countless shoppers who do all they can to satisfy a customer, go above and beyond and still get hit with strikes, or receive reports from customers about situations that are completely false. Customers have reported their food was never delivered, items were missing they never had on their original order, changing the delivery address without verifying with app support, resulting in more bad marks on the driver/shopper’s account.
Gig workers often have photos, documented text communications, even video proving they did everything instructed of them from the customer and still could be deactivated if the app company sides with the customer.
Thanks to social media you can now find many videos of upset delivery workers exposing their customers' false claims. I personally would not recommend this as it could be a very dangerous situation, but it does give you harsh insight on the reality many gig workers face, order to order and day to day.
It’s really sad to have all the best intentions to do an amazing job for a customer, but never stop wondering will this be the order that deactivates my account?
For more information on Kover GigWorker income protection please visit their site. You can also watch my review video for more information to see if Kover is right for you. Use this link and get your first month free. They offer many benefits that might appeal to you, like sick leave, accident protection and help with deactivations. I would like to point out this is not car insurance or medical insurance.