DoorDash takes on drivers' Walmart gripes

Meager tips and heavy loads are just some of the complaints Delivery app DoorDash has received from its drivers who pick up grocery orders from Walmart.

And now DoorDash has confirmed to Reuters it's taking steps to address these frustrations.

Kat Ensey, who makes money on the side making deliveries through Doordash, said the Walmart orders are not what she signed up for.

"My idea is we'd be picking up hot dogs, pizza, not people's weekly grocery shopping. I've been asked to pick up cases of soda, bring it up 3 floors of stairs."

Her worst experience: hauling 13, 30-pound bags of soil from her car to a Walmart customer’s back patio.

"I get up there and the man says, I asked for that to be delivered to my back patio. So he literally expected me to take 13, 30-pound bags of soil to his back yard and through his muddy side-yard. Because I agreed to pick up the order, I did it. I wasn't happy about it but I did it."

DoorDash paid her $4 for the delivery. The customer did not tip.

Now, according to documents seen by Reuters, Doordash is promising changes are on the horizon.

In late February, DoorDash surveyed its more than 1 million independent drivers, asking them to share “experiences” about deliveries for Walmart.

Afterwards, DoorDash said “We heard your feedback. Make Walmart orders better,” according to a version of the survey that DoorDash confirmed as authentic.

What the changes are, DoorDash did not specify and declined to provide the survey results to Reuters.

But the partnership has been beneficial for both Walmart and Doordash.

For Walmart, the world's largest retailer, the partnerships with courier companies, including DoorDash, have allowed it to reach consumers in and around scores of U.S. cities and better compete with Amazon.

For DoorDash, it's helped the company take market share from rivals including Grubhub.

But as DoorDash expands beyond its urban restaurant roots, it has run into etiquette issues.

Americans who are used to tipping for food deliveries do not always think to tip for delivery of household goods or pet food. After all, they do not tip for postal, UPS or Amazon deliveries.

Ensey says, after so many issues with Walmart orders, she tries to stay away from them and says, she's not alone.

"And I actually work with someone who also Dashers and she says there's no way she'd ever pick up a Walmart order."

Video Transcript

- Meager tips and heavy loads are just some of the complaints delivery app DoorDash has received from its drivers who pick up grocery orders from Walmart. And now, DoorDash has confirmed to Reuters, it's taking steps to address these frustrations.

KAT ENSEY: I have been asked to pick up cases of soda bring it up three floors of stairs.

- Kat Ensey, who makes money on the side making deliveries through DoorDash, said the Walmart orders are not what she signed up for.

KAT ENSEY: My idea was that we'd be picking up-- I'd be picking up hot dogs, you know, pizza, things like this, not people's weekly grocery shopping.

- Her worst experience? Hauling 13 30-pound bags of soil to a Walmart customer's back patio.

KAT ENSEY: I get up there and the man says, well, I asked for that to be delivered to my back patio. So he literally expected me to take 13 30-pounds of dirt to his back patio through his muddy side yard. Because I agreed to pick up the order, I did it. I wasn't happy about it, but I did it.

- DoorDash paid her $4 for the delivery, and the customer did not tip. Now, according to documents seen by Reuters, DoorDash is promising changes are on the horizon. In late February, DoorDash surveyed it's more than 1 million independent drivers, asking them to share experiences about deliveries for Walmart. Afterwards, DoorDash said, we heard your feedback-- make Walmart orders better, according to a version of the survey that DoorDash confirmed as authentic.

What the changes are, DoorDash did not specify, and declined to provide the survey results to Reuters. But the partnership has been beneficial for both Walmart and DoorDash. For Walmart, the world's largest retailer, the partnerships with courier companies, including DoorDash, have allowed it to reach consumers in and around scores of US cities and better compete with Amazon. For DoorDash, it helped the company take market share from rivals, including Grubhub.

But as DoorDash expands beyond its urban restaurant roots, it has run into etiquette issues. Americans who are used to tipping for food deliveries do not always think to tip for delivery of household goods or pet food. After all, they do not tip for postal, UPS, or Amazon deliveries. Ensey says, after so many issues with Walmart orders, she tries to stay away from them and says she's not alone.

KAT ENSEY: And I know some Dashers-- I actually work with someone who also dashes, and she said, there's no way she'd ever take a Walmart order.