I’ve seen this many times where someone will report that they were told a policy by Doordash care representatives that seems very much against how things are supposed to be. They’ll be told that they are required to accept orders, or told that they have to go back to a customer or go to a customer who is several miles from the given address.
Here’s the deal folks: When you are dealing with a care representative, either by phone or by chat, you have to take those things with a grain of salt. Here are some important things you have to understand when it comes to car representatives when working with Doordash.
Doordash Care Reps are Not Supervisors
The role of the care representatives is not to act as your direct or even indirect supervisors.
In fact, in an independent contractor relationship, a supervisory role is a big no-no. It is one of the primary indicators that courts will look at when determining whether or not contractors should have been classified as employees. The last thing Doordash needs is to be forced to re-classify their drivers as employees, which is why they’ve pledged $30 million to fight the AB5 law in California.
The care workers you talk with are the same as customer care. Their one role is to take care of delivery related issues. Whether communicating with restaurants or customers, or providing resolutions when a delivery cannot be completed, their role is to assist with deliveries, not supervise drivers.
Doordash Care Reps are Not Doordash Employees.
There may be rare exceptions where a local Doordash employee could be involved, but for the most part when you are calling or chatting with care, you are talking to someone working for an overseas call center.
Care representatives are employees of the call center, not of Doordash. They do represent Doordash in the role that they fill, just in the same way that when we are delivering for Doordash we represent them in that particular role. Care workers have no more authority to speak of policy outside their roles than I do.
There is a language barrier issue
The bottom line is, Doordash care reps may not totally understand what they are telling you OR what questions they are answering. I can only speak from my own experience, that I’ve had a number of times where it was necessary to state the issue in several different ways until the representative understood. I’ve had times (that’s plural – as in multiple times) where it has taken five to ten minutes just to get them to understand that I’m the drive, not the customer.
A common issue lately has been a glitch where rejecting offers has impacted completion rates. I’ve heard of a number of drivers who have been told over the phone that rejecting orders (something that really doesn’t matter) is the same as not completing an order. You have to understand that the person saying that is someone who has never worked with the app, who probably doesn’t even realize what the different driver ratings even are or what they mean, and then when you throw in the fact that English is not their native language, may very well not even understand that there is a difference between acceptance and completion.
Let’s face it – I find plenty of American Dashers who don’t understand that.
How many times do we have trouble translating an idea or a concept to someone in our own language? There are a number of times that I’m just not convinced that the reps even know what it is they are saying.
There is a training issue
I’ve worked with call centers in a number of capacities. I’ve worked in tech support myself, and I’ve worked as a telecom vendor supporting call centers. I’ve seen very extensive training regimens, and I’ve seen places that essentially sit new hires down with a script. It’s usually the lower quality centers that do the latter, where it’s more about getting bodies to handle the calls than it is about handling calls well.
I don’t know what the exact training is for workers with Doordash. I don’t know about you but too often my experience with them leads me to think it’s more of the latter.
But all of this takes me back to something that I said earlier – that they work for this third party company, not for Doordash, and they are there for a very particular reason: to handle delivery related issues. That means that their training and their scripts or whatever are for those particular instances.
The problem is, when something comes up outside the scope of their training and outside their role of delivery support, they haven’t been prepared for how to answer the questions. At that point, they have to either wing it, get a supervisor, or explain that’s not their place to answer.
Here’s the problem that these folks run into in those situations: Handle time is a very important metric when working in a call center. Sometimes it comes down to the fact that keeping your job depends on keeping the call short. I can tell from other interactions that getting a supervisor is next to impossible. If a rep admits they don’t know the answer, that usually leads to a request for a supervisor, so frankly it’s easier to wing it. Fake it til you make it. Just say something so they can get us off the phone. And that’s not being critical, that’s understanding that these poor folk are being put between a rock and a hard place in these situations.
The problem is NOT with the representatives. It’s with Doordash
I can’t help but feel for the people who work these call centers. Where I feel really bad is when I hear about Dashers who are cussing them out about the pay conditions for drivers. Here’s the thing about that: We are being paid incredibly well by their standards, even on the $2 orders. I don’t think most of us have any concept just how different the standard of living is, to the point that hearing us complain about $2 orders can feel a lot like listening to spoiled rich kids.
The issue here is that Doordash is trying to do support on the cheap. And in so doing, they are not supporting their drivers OR customers well. They are not providing the kind of support who CAN answer these kinds of questions and not equipping their support personnel well enough. This is not an issue with the people providing the support, it’s an issue with the company.
Is this only a Doordash problem?
I’m sure it’s not. Most if not all of the major delivery apps utilize overseas call centers. I do know that Grubhub has a driver care team that does still appear to be stateside and they do have local driver specialists. Doordash does keep local staff, though my experience is they are harder to reach than Grubhub’s. Postmates is one of the harder ones to reach. Ubereats does utilize overseas call center support but they also have local support at their greenlight hubs.
Ultimately, the problem is very much related to our being independent contractors. It all comes down to the fact that they are trying to do very labor intensive work without paying as much as you should pay for that kind of work. That means not protecting your workers as employees, and that means farming support out overseas.
In the end, you want to make sure you know the role of the person you receive your information from. Are they employees? Are they in a position of authority? Are they speaking from an area that is within their role in the company? Ask these questions before you start to take anything too seriously that you’ve been told.