Update: Shipt Continues to Fail to Provide Adequate Solutions to Shopper Concerns

Shipt Shoppers
8 min readApr 8, 2020

While we appreciate that Shipt did respond to part of our demands in AL.com about nationwide Shopper issues, they failed to adequately address our concerns or provide any sort of legitimate solution to the issues plaguing Shipt Shoppers. (Shoppers response in AL.com)

HAZARD PAY
We’ve demanded that Shipt HQ offer us hazard pay for choosing to risk our health to deliver groceries to those who are self-quarantining. The Shipt spokesperson said that they are essentially using promo pay as a substitute.

This is not the case. Promo pay has been around for a long time. It is used as an incentive for Shoppers to pick up orders that are close to the delivery window, so that orders would not be further delayed or cancelled altogether.

This is not the same as “hazard pay,” as it does not address the risk Shipt Shoppers are taking on due to the coronavirus. It is simply something that has always been in place.

The spokesperson also said that the company is paying up to four times the amount of normal promo pay. When the seriousness of COVID-19 was recognized and major organizations and businesses cancelled events starting approximately March 12, many orders that normally would have had promos attached to them did not.

This morning, in the Birmingham Metro, there were 675 unclaimed, open orders. Only 12 of them had promo pay attached. That’s less than 2% of open orders.

While there may potentially be more promos, this is simply due to the increase in number of orders — not because shoppers are risking their good health for the company.

Further, promo pay per order is not any higher than it previously was. In the past, it used to be as high as $20 or $30. Now, the highest it gets is $15.

Expanding Covid-19 Policy
In a March 12 email, Shipt told Shoppers that “should any shopper be diagnosed with coronavirus, or put under mandatory individual quarantine by a public health authority, Shipt will provide them with financial assistance for up to 2 weeks.” Shipt explains this policy helps guard against fraudulent claims.

However, when Shoppers who had been diagnosed by a doctor with coronavirus reached out, they were told they had to have been diagnosed by the CDC or a public health official, meaning they had to go to a public testing site instead of a regular doctor. Shipt told AL.com that this existing policy was to prevent fraudulent claims and each case would be reviewed individually.

However, doctors are licensed and board-certified. They can adequately diagnose coronavirus and for Shipt to say that they would write a fraudulent diagnosis so Shoppers can get COVID-19 pay is unethical and undermines our entire healthcare system.

To get a diagnosis from the CDC or a public health official is close to impossible on multiple fronts.

First, as seen in many states, including Alabama, it is nearly impossible to tested at a public testing site. Birmingham had 2 days of testing be at Church of the Highlands. They ran out of kits within a few hours, leaving hundreds of people in line untested and undiagnosed.

Furthermore, someone who is sick should not be driving to a public testing site. They are sick. They cannot drive. Plus, they are likely exposing others to coronavirus in the process. If family members share the same vehicle, coronavirus can stay on surfaces for multiple days and increases the risk that a family member would catch the virus as well.

The CDC also says to stay home if you only have mild symptoms instead of going to the doctor or hospital. This was in an attempt to keep hospitals from overflowing, but it means that Shipt Shoppers who may potentially have coronavirus are not getting tested or diagnosed and cannot claim COVID-19 pay.

PPE FOR EVERY SHOPPER
We asked that every Shipt Shopper be supplied with adequate PPE, including masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. Shoppers have been asking for this since coronavirus first came to the US.

Target, which owns Shipt, has had gloves for its own employees’ for weeks but has not given them to Shipt Shoppers.

More than 3 weeks after coronavirus became a pandemic, on Friday, April 3, Shipt announced via email to shoppers that they will be able to pick up gloves and masks at your nearest Target store within the next 2 weeks.

This is too little too late. Here’s why…

Not all areas have Targets.
Shoppers shop at more stores than just Target. Many Shoppers do not have nearby Target stores, which means they will not have access to these gloves and masks.

This week is “peak week.”
The White House has urged people to stay home from grocery stores as the coronavirus peaks (theoretically) this week and we are expected to have the highest death rate this week. Though Target and Shipt have known we need protection for more than 3 weeks, they won’t be supplying it until after a few thousand more die from the coronavirus.

As Shipt shoppers, we are more exposed to the coronavirus than most other Americans. Grocery stores are frequented by everyone — sick and healthy — and we are being exposed to all of it, in hopes that we can help others self-quarantine.

A higher exposure rate means an increased likelihood that we will catch coronavirus. We have already seen grocery store workers and young New York physicians die from being exposed to the virus over time , when some of them had some protection. We have none.

FREE PPE KIT
In the same email, they also said…

“Next week, shoppers who live in coronavirus hot spots and shoppers who’ve been the most active during the pandemic will receive emailed instructions on claiming a free kit that will include gloves and hand sanitizer.”

This, too, is problematic for a number of reasons…

Not all shoppers will receive it.
Shipt has not defined what constitutes an “active shopper.” Many Shoppers who are shopping orders during this pandemic said they did not receive an email with instructions to access the password-protected kit order forms.

Nobody has received a kit.
Yet again, it’s “Peak Week” and Shipt/Target has known we need PPE for weeks. It will still be 2 weeks before we get them. Despite confirming it has obtained supplies, Shipt has not communicated any plans to expedite PPE to shoppers. This is truly unconscionable for Shipt to continue to ignore the gravity of the situation given The White House Officials warning that the pandemic would peak within the next 6–7 days. The very least, Shipt could overnight these desperately needed kits to the highest risk shoppers.

Kits do not include masks or hand wipes
We need masks just as much as we need gloves. Perhaps even more importantly, we asked for disinfectant hand wipes. We’re touching everything from groceries to our wallets and phones to the interior of our cars. Between shops, we need to be able to wipe our hands, at minimum. Using a public restroom between orders just isn’t going to cut it and will expose us to even more germs.

6-oz of hand sanitizer will not last.
It’s a nice, reactive gesture but for Shoppers who are doing this fulltime, or even part-time, that will not last more than a few days. Because we’re not jerks, Shoppers will end up sharing hand sanitizer with their Shopper colleagues, meaning the hand sanitizer may be gone even sooner.

You don’t have to be in a hotspot to get coronavirus.
Coronavirus does not contain itself to these supposed “hot spots.” People in smaller areas can also catch coronavirus.

REVERT SHOPPER PAY - TRANSPARENT PAY STRUCTURE
Over the past few months, Shipt has been rolling out V2, or Version 2, Pay.

This new formula changes the order pay from the standard $5 + 7.5% of order cost to something unknown and significantly less. This 7.5% of order cost is already based upon the retail cost, not how much Shipt upcharges its customers.

According to research with thousands of data points, V2 pay can cut Shopper payout by as much as 40–50%.

If an order is over $90, Shoppers will start losing money on V2 pay compared to V1 pay.

Shipt continues to say that V2 payout is more than what Shoppers would have received on V1 pay. A look at the data says this is simply untrue.

Shipt did not address our concerns with Al.com, claiming this is still a “trial program in select markets.” Despite this being a trial program, they are continuing to roll it out across the nation.

TIP TRANSPARENCY
There are multiple, major issues with tipping at Shipt.

The app does not clearly show people where to tip, and customers are reporting that they cannot tip their shopper. Shipt has not addressed this issue, despite multiple complaints from both Shoppers and customers. This should be an easy fix for a technology-based company.

Customers are being charged for their tip, and the Shopper is not receiving it. Multiple customers have reported and shown receipts that include a tip. However, the Shopper has not received the tip, and the tip does not show up in the Shopper’s delivery history.

In close Shopper-Customer relationships, the customer will occasionally send the Shopper a text via their personal phone numbers asking if they received their (often generous) tips. Unfortunately, many Shoppers have reported to both the customer and to us that they Customer showed evidence that they had tipped but it did not come through on the Shopper side. The individual Shoppers and Customers have only been able to get this resolved on a few cases by pressing Shipt HQ.

This issue is absolutely much more widespread than reported, because most Shoppers and Customers are using masked numbers that disconnect after order delivery, ending all communication. Shoppers are forced to assume that the Customer just decided not to tip them.

Shipt admits delays on online orders.
In Kalamazoo, Michigan, Shoppers were not receiving their tips on Meijer.com orders. Shoppers eventually received an email saying that their tips had been delayed on these orders and they would receive them on the next pay period.

Shipt tried to blame this issue on Meijer and claim that this is only happening on Meijer.com orders, but this issue is again much more widespread across retailers.

For more information, check out our Medium.com article.

NEW SHOPPER EXPLOITATION
When COVID-19 hit, the current Shipt HQ system could not support veteran Shoppers who knew what they were doing. Wait times to chat or talk with HQ were hours long.

Then, Shipt began hiring Shoppers en masse to help fulfill order demand. Unfortunately, Shipt HQ suspended Shopper training and orientation, something that they later admitted to doing.

With no training or support from HQ, new shoppers were left to fend for themselves and troubleshoot issues on their own.

While we understand that Shipt needed to hire rapidly, suspending training and phone support has caused Shoppers to feel overwhelmed and unsupported. It has also resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of bad customer experiences.

While Shipt may gain many new customers due to this pandemic, they will also lose many long-standing customers (and Shoppers) as a result of bad experiences.

Media inquiries: Shopperpress@gmail.com

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Shipt Shoppers

We are a collective of Shipt Shoppers. Our individual voices were being silenced. Collectively we put forth our plights without fear! FB: The Shipt List