DoorDash worker gets $10,000 gift from the company: ‘I almost started crying’

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For one DoorDash delivery worker who received a $10,000 gift from the company this week, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“My husband cut his hand and had been on workers’ comp, so it’s been kind of rough lately,” Peggie, a Michigan resident who asked for privacy reasons that her last name not be used, said in an interview Tuesday. “I’ve had to hold down the fort.” That meant doing more deliveries, especially in the past four months, the longtime DoorDash
worker said.

When DoorDash spokeswoman Jenn Rosenberg called Peggie on Tuesday to tell her that she was one of “the most loyal Dashers” the company had decided to give the money to in conjunction with the company’s 10th anniversary, Peggie said, she thought it was a joke.

“You always hear about fraud on the app,” she said, adding that she tries to be careful to try to avoid any trouble.

From the archives (July 2022): ‘I don’t know how I fell for this’: How scammers target vulnerable gig workers, and why it may never end

But there was also an email from the company, and a video featuring DoorDash Chief Executive Tony Xu talking about the company’s milestones, which Peggie said she “must’ve watched 10 times.” The email said to expect a phone call, and the call came.

Rosenberg “thanked me. She said it was an honor. She said a lot of wonderful things. I almost cried,” Peggie said.

Peggie, a former nursing assistant at a hospital, said she has been delivering for DoorDash full time for years and “wound up making more money doing this.” She works 10 to 12 hours a day, four or five days a week, sometimes six.

App-based gig companies like DoorDash get plenty of criticism, including about their business model treating delivery workers as independent contractors with fewer labor protections than employees; their constantly changing and opaque algorithms that manage gigs, pay and workers getting kicked off the apps, also known as “deactivations“; the level of support when issues arise; and more.

DoorDash, for its part, has said its model allows for flexibility while giving workers a chance to earn on their own terms; that it doesn’t take deactivation issues lightly; and that it invests in support and is listening to its customers, workers and merchants.

Peggie is aware of the issues — including fraud, which she said happened to her sister, and having to call support— but said she is a big fan of the company. She has received bonuses from DoorDash for other things, such as making more than 5,000 deliveries, “but never one like this. This one blew my socks off.”

Read more: DoorDash doubles down on ‘earn by time,’ which gives delivery workers option of guaranteed minimum pay

The company was founded in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013 and now brings in billions of dollars a year as the nation’s top app-based delivery platform, though it has yet to turn a profit. In a blog post Tuesday, the company said it gave gifts of $10,000 each to “Dashers who joined the DoorDash platform in the early years, have completed more than 10,000 deliveries, and are still actively earning on the platform today.”

Cody Aughney, the vice president who heads the company’s Dasher and logistics business teams, would not share in an interview with MarketWatch on Tuesday how many delivery workers received the gift.

“We individually called each Dasher today,” Aughney said. When they answered the phone, he said, they asked, “Is this really DoorDash?”

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