I’ve seen this many times. Someone reports they were told something by a Doordash care representative that seemed off.
The Doordash rep will tell them they have to accept so many orders. They’re told they are required to go back to the restaurant when the restaurant messed up the order. The customer entered the wrong address, the actual address is several miles away, and a care rep will say you have to take it to that address.
We know all those things are wrong. But, someone from Doordash said it so it has to be right, doesn’t it?
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. However, 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. But then, as long as you are on an active delivery, so do you.
What that means is, care reps have no more authority to tell you how it is than you are I do. They are not speaking from a place of authority.
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. 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 DRIVER, 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 telling you this is someone who has never worked with the app. They’ve never delivered. They likely have no experience with what the driver ratings even mean.
Now, throw in the fact that English is not their native language. It’s not uncommon for them to not comprehend 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?
If you’ve dealt with care much, you know there are times where they are struggling to understand just what it is we are talking about.
There is a training issue
I’ve worked with call centers in a number of capacities. I’ve been a support rep myself. In my telecom career I’ve helped call centers with their phone systems.
I’ve seen very extensive training regimens where they train you for weeks before turning you loose on the phones. I’ve seen places where a new hire is essentially given a script and a phone and away they go.
It’s usually the lower quality centers that do the latter. In those situations 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. 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. These are not Doordash employees. They are employees for a third party. They are there for one reason and one reason only: To handle delivery related issues.
In other words, their training and their scripts are related to that particular instance.
They are not being trained on policy or how to supervise, because that is not their role.
The problem is, too often situations come up outside that role. They aren’t prepared to answer some of the questions we throw at them.
At that point, they have to either wing it, get a supervisor, or explain that’s not their place to answer. I’ve noticed that getting a supervisor is next to impossible. The default then is they have to wing it.
Fake it till you make it.
Think about how their job performance is measured.
You want to know the most important measure of performance in most call centers?
Handle time. How quickly can you be done with the phone call?
When you notice they are quick to get off the phone (or chat) with you, that’s probably why. If it takes too long to handle an issue, they get bad marks. Sometimes keeping your job in a call center all comes down to keeping the call short.
Handle time is often more important than anything else. Even more important than successfully resolving the issue at hand.
It’s easier to make something up than it is to dig into what the real issue is. If you have to wait for a supervisor, that lengthens your call and that can cost you your job. Wing it. That works better.
The huge problem with low quality call centers is that the poor folks on the line with you are king of between a rock and a hard place. They’re discouraged from actually resolving the issue if resolving the issue keeps them on the phone too long.
My experience is that the best way to tell if you’ve got a low quality center is the availability (or lack thereof) of a supervisor. When they’re not willing or allowed to escalate the call to someone who can get you the right answer, you’re dealing with a low quality center.
Want to guess how I feel about the center Doordash is working with? It’s more about handling support cheaply than it is with quality.
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. I feel particularly bad when I hear about Dashers cussing reps out about their pay.
Here’s the thing about that. There’s a reason the call center is over seas. It’s cheap. Doordash doesn’t have to pay much.
You’ve got a lot of people who aren’t that sympathetic about the fact that the lower paying orders are “ONLY” $2 or $3. You have a lot of people who would LOVE to get that much.
I don’t think most of us have any concept just how different the standard of living is. To a lot of them, our complaints about pay 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.
Doordash is providing the kind of support who CAN answer these kinds of questions. They won’t invest in the kind of training needed to provide reliable answers. DOORDASH made the choice not to equip their support personnel very well.
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. Grubhub has driver specialists in most markets (also hard to get ahold of). Uber Eats does utilize overseas call center support but they also have local support at their greenlight hubs.
Ultimately, the problem is very much related to their business model.
Gig economy work is all about trying to handle a very labor intensive industry without spending much on that labor. That’s why they use independent contractors.
As part of that, they need to structure things so that the support side costs them as little as possible. Doordash just takes that to the extreme.
In the end, you want to make sure you know the role of the person you receive your information from.
Is that representative an actual employee of the company?
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 they tell you.