A DoorDash driver's confrontation with a customer has highlighted a larger problem delivery drivers are facing that's making them feel "less than human".
After getting a contract violation for seemingly not delivering the hospital worker's $20 meal, the driver and music artist who goes by 'Yung Tuci' went back armed with a camera.
While recording, he questioned the woman behind the desk about "why it says [her] order didn't arrive" to try get a "confession".
She says she has "no idea" what the man is talking about, she said she did get the food and that she "didn't do anything".
"It’s a shared account so it might be something else that someone did accidentally and I would have to talk to them? But I'm currently at work," she said.
"My job's at risk, I can’t just give you free food and sweep it under the rug, it's not how it works," he said, before saying he had five kids to feed. He asked her to call DoorDash support on her phone to advise she did receive the order.
In an update video he shared what happened next. "After that I basically just told her I guess we can’t get this resolved now but if I wake up tomorrow and it's not resolved, its not going to be a fun time. So she took care of that... but y’all were eating her up in the comments section, I almost felt bad for her".
DoorDash responds to incident
Yahoo News Australia reached out to DoorDash, who said both the customer and delivery driver have since been removed from their platform.
"We do not tolerate harassment or intimidation of any kind, nor do we tolerate making false allegations," a spokesperson said.
"After confirming that the customer’s order was delivered, we reversed the Dasher’s contract violation and removed the customer from our platform for fraudulent activity.
"It is never okay for a user to confront or threaten someone else, and as a consequence we have also removed the Dasher from our platform. We expect all members of our community to follow our rules and we will not hesitate to enforce them fairly and consistently."
Delivery driver's false violation highlights larger problem
The Australian Transport Workers' Union says contract violations or deactivations are consistently one of the top concerns for delivery drivers and something they aren't protected against.
“The recent McKell-TWU study of over 1,000 transport gig workers exposed the devastating impact of an absence of rights and protections for workers battling false customer reports and algorithm monitoring," National Assistant Secretary Nick McIntosh said. "Workers live in fear of being ‘deactivated’, a term that not only results in instant job loss without warning or right of reply, but also implies the worker is less than human."
“A quarter of workers surveyed had experienced deactivation, while half said it was one of their top three workplace concerns. Of the 79 per cent of respondents using multiple apps, a third said they needed to do so in order to still have access to an income stream in the event of instant deactivation from another.
"Workers tell us they frequently receive ‘false customer reports’, which can include customers saying food wasn’t delivered when it was, but also other things like rude or inappropriate behaviour."
What can delivery drivers do to prevent deactivation
In the comments, some delivery drivers revealed what measures they take to not be falsely accused of something by a customer.
"I’ve been doing videos of every hand off/drop off. The amount of people lying that they didn’t get their order has risen drastically. I can usually carry a bag under my forearm while my hand is holding my phone and recording, or just film going back and forth from my car," one man commented.
However the Transport Workers' Union has been told not even video proof can be reliable enough.
"The workers are only able to talk to a bot and sometimes even offer evidence [like dashcam footage for rideshare drivers] which is often refused," they said.
So that working conditions are improved, the union urges the government to set "life-saving" minimum standards for all transport workers.
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