Open Letter to Molly Snyder, Shipt’s Chief Communications Officer
Dear Molly Snyder,
We heard you were just hired as Shipt’s new Chief Communications Officer. We’re sure you’ve read about some of the issues currently plaguing Shipt shoppers. Prior to the pandemic, Shipt launched a pay cut known as V2 — replacing a transparent, fair pay model with a shady algorithm. Shipt further cut shopper earnings by reducing cancelled order and promo pay during a global pandemic. Additionally, Shipt’s censorship and cult-like environment has only worsened. We’ve recently had issues with missing tips, and the company only agreed to provide basic PPE after being publicly shamed in the press. The relationship between Shipt and their workforce is at an all-time low, and we hope you’re here to address that.
Kelly Caruso, Shipt’s CEO, has repeatedly failed her workforce by ignoring us and lying to the public about what Shipt is doing to help its shoppers. She has manipulated data to cast Shipt in a better light. The company even tried to discredit its Shoppers to the media.
By failing to address and fix outstanding issues, while creating new ones, Shipt has compounded our struggles. Sweeping our issues under the rug has not made them go away, it has only created bigger issues. Shipt’s goal is to replace us with new Shoppers who are desperate for work, but new Shoppers are already voicing the same concerns as us.
Shipt’s main focus is still on censoring workers. They’ve recently doubled the number of moderators that are active in the main Facebook group. All posts are set to approve, every post that isn’t complimentary is denied and negative comments are quickly deleted. On the day of our May 1 protest, the moderators approved a post that mocked the historical significance of May Day and mocked contemporary efforts to effect change by Shoppers. The post remained until a Shopper called Shipt’s Social Media Response Lead, Nicole Adkins, out for her team approving the post and dishonoring the sacrifices of labor organizers both past and present.
On top of the censorship, Shipt has relied on the age-old tactic of dividing and conquering its workforce. Utilizing MLM recruiting techniques, Shipt encourages Shoppers to actively recruit customers on behalf of Shipt, promising it will boost their revenues. Shipt has cultivated an expectation that Shoppers should police and regulate other Shoppers because a failure to do so would hurt their own bottom line. Shipt has pitted new and veteran Shoppers against each other using this dynamic. It has become a disturbing trend for veteran Shoppers to haze new Shoppers by placing orders only to provide live-recaps of all of their Shopper’s perceived missteps in Shopper groups. This antagonistic, us-against-them culture only benefits Shipt. Instead of Shoppers finding blame with Shipt, where their grievances rightfully belong, for not providing proper training, some Shoppers are doing the uncompensated labor of monitoring and policing their own coworkers. Shipt has achieved this dynamic largely by reinforcing the need to always “bring the magic,” or to put it more simply, go above and beyond the actual enforceable and measurable expectations of Shoppers. “Bringing the magic” often means performing uncompensated labor, paying out of pocket to give gifts to customers, or both. Shipt has convinced its workforce these are the gestures necessary to get the best ratings and metrics, and ostensibly the best orders. They have cultivated a sense of fear that doing what is expected is never enough and that without a host of expensive or uncompensated gestures, customers will take their business elsewhere. Ultimately, Shoppers are enhancing customers’ satisfaction and loyalty and elevating Shipt’s brand out of their own pockets, and while it is a wet dream for Shipt, it is a nightmarish position for workers.
Shipt is a cult, Molly. This behavior is toxic, unethical, unprofessional and embarrassing. We hope you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and dismantle Shipt’s bizarre behaviors and expectations.
We have valid grievances and we are hurting right now. Our issues must be addressed. Censoring and silencing us in groups will not make us go away. It leaves us no option but to escalate our organizing and outreach to the media. We will continue to take our issues out of Shipt’s grasp, and share them with every single Shopper and journalist who will listen. Shipt has shown us that our issues don’t matter; but our fellow Shoppers, our communities, and journalists do hear us and do care about our grievances.
Shipt is in the news more than ever, and nearly every mention of it is negative. Last month, a publication put out a positive article. Many workers privately messaged that reporter to try to get their true voices heard. By continuing to ignore and discredit us, you are building turmoil in our relationship. We will not be silenced. We will continue to publicly air our grievances until you actually address them.
Molly, we are asking for the following:
1. Meet with us in person. Sit with us face to face and address our grievances. Shipt’s response to our concerns is to minimize our efforts. This only strengthens our resolve to have our voices heard and will further widen our positions. Its time for Shoppers and Shipt Executives to work collectively on these issues.
2. Create a process for escalating collective grievances directly to Shipt executives. The current process of individually emailing Shopper Success is very discouraging. Most of the replies are canned answers and designed to placate as opposed to resolve. We need a more effective process for addressing wide-spread issues we discover.
3. Hazard pay. The way Shipt has handled this pandemic is shameful. We still do not have hazard pay. What we do have are pay cuts during a pandemic that have disproportionately benefited Shipt. On top of everything, we have provided evidence of tips disappearing mysteriously and customer complaints involving inability to tip.
4. Stop the censorship, surveillance, and monitoring in Facebook groups. We are not a cult and have a right to express our individual opinions without fear of retaliation.
5. Shipt pledge to clearly communicate any changes in pay to all shoppers. The unilateral changes Shipt has implemented have blindsided shoppers. While Shipt has great resources to absorb changes, Shoppers do not. Any decrease in pay creates great stress on shoppers and is leading to greater dissent. Advance notice of at least fifteen days would help shoppers prepare for such changes.