An Open Letter from Shipt Shoppers
Dear Shipt Customers,
This past month has been incredibly difficult for us. Working conditions have been deteriorating. In the past two weeks, the White House urged all Americans to stay out of grocery stores, a hotbed for COVID-19. Some stores now require patrons to wear masks. Others are asking us to wait outside in long lines before we can even begin to shop for you.
Two weeks ago, we held an emergency walk off because Shipt wasn’t taking this pandemic seriously. In response, Shipt made many promises to Shoppers, including immediate PPE. However, Shipt has failed to deliver on their promises.
Today, many of us are fulfilling your orders without proper protection, risking both our health and quite frankly, yours. Instead of focusing on the urgency of this issue, Shipt is solely focused on trying to fix the PR nightmare they created for themselves through inadequate PPE and lack of fair pay.
On Friday, Shipt’s CEO, Kelly Caruso, sent out an email to customers outlining all they have done to support Shoppers and customers. This email is filled with misinformation.
Immediately after the email went out, we posted a survey asking Shoppers to share their thoughts on the email. Hundreds of Shoppers have responded so far. Over 94% of the respondents thought Kelly Caruso’s email to customers was inaccurate, and frankly, a huge slap in the face. Words like dishonest, misleading, and infuriating were some of the common words used by Shoppers.
We’re going to break it all down for you…
“We are adding more Shipt Shoppers nationwide.”
This is true and a major problem. They are adding Shoppers without providing them with adequate training or support. The result is that customers are not experiencing “above and beyond’ service, as Shipt claims. Customers have reported significant delivery delays and quality issues — deliveries hours later than the delivery window, frozen items delivered warm, missing items, and no communication from their Shopper. This is the result of Shipt hiring quickly and recklessly. Shipt hasn’t been able to provide their current workforce with proper PPE. So now even more workers and customers are at risk for getting COVID-19. Instead of trying to protect us, they’re replacing us with new workers. They wouldn’t need so many new workers if they ensured their current workforce was safe.
“We have doubled our customer and Shopper Support teams.”
Even before the pandemic, Shopper Support was sorely lacking with extended wait times. Caruso is now claiming that they’ve doubled their support teams, yet shoppers and customers are *still* waiting hours to resolve order issues. Shoppers are paid per order, NOT hourly. When we have to spend an extra hour waiting for Support to answer our call, we are not paid for that time. Two plus hour hold times for basic support is not uncommon. Some Shoppers have reported as long as four to six hour hold times. As the result of long wait times, hundreds of customers are complaining on social media and attempting to get their issues resolved there as well.
We are taking care of Shipt Shoppers.
This is a blatant lie.
In the survey we conducted, over 82 percent of Shoppers have not received any PPE from Shipt or Target.
At the beginning of April, an email went out to “active” Shoppers that they could order free PPE kits comprised of gloves and hand sanitizer. Most Shoppers who ordered these kits have not received them.
In an email to Shipt Shoppers on April 3, Shipt announced that Shoppers would be able to pick up gloves and masks at their nearest Target store within two weeks. Target publicly tweeted that they would not be giving PPE to delivery workers and there are widespread reports of Target managers refusing to give Shipt Shoppers masks.
We’re greatly disturbed that Shipt would lie about their refusal to adequately protect all workers during a worldwide pandemic; especially considering that the grocery store is one of the most dangerous places to be for your health.
Even more disturbing is that Shipt placed a new item in their Shipt Store — a reusable face mask which they claim is being sold “at cost.” This allows them to further profit from their refusal to protect their workers.
Shipt Shoppers with a COVID-19 diagnosis or those told to quarantine because of coronavirus symptoms are not being paid as Shipt promised. Shipt is requiring Shoppers to provide documentation from a public health authority (such as the Department of Health), the CDC, or the FDA. The CDC and FDA do not provide testing, and it is nearly impossible to be tested for coronavirus by local health authorities. Shoppers called the CDC and FDA to seek guidance on testing. Both agencies referred the Shopper to their primary care doctor for evaluation and testing. Shipt has repeatedly told Shoppers that having a diagnosis and note from their doctor is not sufficient.
COVID-19 pay is also not being extended to Shoppers who are too high risk to shop.
Read Shipt’s full COVID-19 Financial Assistance Policy.
Shipt also said that there has been a 30% increase in pay for Shoppers. This implies that Shipt is paying Shoppers 30% more per order. This is untrue, and Shoppers have NOT received any sort of hazard pay.
According to a recent survey, 85% of Shipt Shoppers said they have not received an increase in pay from Shipt. 12 percent said they have seen a pay increase solely due to the fact that they had taken on more orders and are therefore earning that additional pay, not having it given to them by Shipt.
The algorithms and formulas used to determine pay have not changed. An increase in order pay would solely be due to Shoppers taking on larger orders that also require more time.
In the email to customers, Shipt told customers that the most active Shoppers received a “surprise bonus.” In emails to Shoppers and interviews with the press, this was not considered a “surprise bonus.” It was a “spot bonus.” A spot bonus is recognition given that is “on the spot.” It is noticeable that the announcement of this bonus was delivered the Friday after receiving the first wave of negative media attention from The Hill and other outlets. The bonus amount was shared and distributed on the Tuesday of the “Shipt Shopper Walk Off” in hopes of increasing pro-Shipt sentiment.
Tips are increasing for some Shoppers, though this has nothing to do with Shipt HQ “taking care of Shoppers.” Any increase in tip is NOT because customers are tipping at a higher percentage rate. Instead, it is because people are placing larger orders and then tipping the same percentage.
Some customers are reporting that instead of the tipping screen showing percentage, it is showing flat amounts that are significantly lower than what the tip based on percentages would have been.
In the midst of a global pandemic, Shipt has failed to adequately support both its Shoppers and its customers. Customers, we hope you’ll join us in asking Shipt to finally walk the walk, and provide us immediate PPE, hazard pay, and expand COVID-19 sick leave. You can reach Shipt directly at (205) 502–2500 or email@example.com to express your frustration about this misinformation and mistreatment of Shipt’s essential workers.
Media inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
We asked Shoppers how they felt after reading Kelly Caruso’s email. Below are some of their responses.
Please note: for anonymity purposes Survey Monkey has given each worker a unique ID.
“She makes me feel like we as Shoppers are pawns to use in her own very deceptive game. This email was an outright fabrication! She lied only as a marketing stunt to make HERSELF and Shipt look better. She does not support Shoppers at all.”
“Frustrated & disappointed that Shipt continues to be misleading, untruthful & not transparent. I have never felt more unappreciated by a company I’ve worked for. Shipt was great before Target bought the them. I hate that I need this job & have to tolerate their dishonesty. They do not care about their shoppers.”
“Makes me feel that its misleading shipt customers about what is really going on for shipt Shoppers. That it’s not true and it paints a picture that we as shoppers are being taken care of when we are not.”
“Pisses me off.”
“Like shipt is lying and trying to garner good Will from the customers.”
“Annoyed and angry, she is lying for PR reasons”
“Like they are trying to look good to customers without actually caring about the shoppers”
“Like I’m an idiot and don’t know when wool is being pulled over my eyes.”
“Like throwing my phone.”
“Totally cannot even relate. My income only went up because I took more orders. Absolutely furious about the 3–8% tip. My tips actually went DOWN after that came out!”
“Angry. The whole letter is very misleading and self-serving”
“Like she doesn’t care and is just saying these things to keep up positive appearances for shipt. When in fact the average shopper is struggling.”
“She is just saying words. How did they calculate any of that information? If they actually let tips process and members always saw the option to tip…then tips would go up! Getting supplies at Target is not convenient if your shops are at other stores…what sense does that make?”
“Like I have no value and that Shipt has become a shady company utilizing deceptive practices.”
“She lied. She made it sound like Shipt gave us a 30 % raise when Shipt did not. She also lied about PPE. It makes me feel used and disenchanted. Shipt is not the reputable, honest company they used to be.”
“Like were nothing”
“Angry. She is misrepresenting Shipt’s So called 30% pay increase to make it look like Shipt has raised our pay. And Shipt is WAAAAY late to the table providing PPE to shoppers.”
“It is full of untruths. Yes a month ago they were doing promos for orders but capped them at $15. Now they are limiting the number of orders be placed and changing tip amounts. Shoppers are putting their health at risk to shop for people and this email is propaganda. Not to mention it is still hard to get a hold of HQ when you need something.”
“Like Shipt is going to be not great to work for because they have decided to embrace greed and abandon the principles that used to make this job great”
“I feel used & it’s lying at its finest”
“It’s all a lie. They over hired now we have less orders! Even being on the schedule. I get nothing.”
“We’re not important”
“Disregarded. It’s deceitful and misleading to customers.”
“I think it should be more: customers- please take care of your shopper during this time. They are putting their lives at risk”
“Beyond Livid its a blatant lie!!!”
“Pissed. Customers think we’re being taken care of but we are not! I haven’t not seen any pay increase at all don’t have access to PPE unless I purchase myself”
“Like false info is going to my customers.”