Thinking About Being A Door Dasher? Here Are Ten Things You Should Know
Are you thinking about participating in Door Dash in some way? I can’t really tell you anything about being a customer because I have only delivered, but I am going to share with you what I learned during my time as a Dasher.
When you sign up to be a Dasher, you will have to submit proof of insurance. You will also have to agree to undergo a background check. I don’t really know how extensive this check is, but I think they are mainly looking for things like DUIs, violent crimes, and predatory history. My check cleared pretty fast. It was either the same day or the next day. So, if you are thinking about becoming a Dasher, here are ten things you may want to know.
1. Once your background check clears, you will be able to access the app, but you will have to wait a little while before you can work. This is because there are two types of deliveries that come across. Some businesses will sign up to have all the transactions done through the app. This means when the customer orders they pay for the order when they submit it. Then the dasher goes to pick up the order and drops it off to the customer. No money or payments are exchanged during the process.
Other businesses opt to have the Dasher pay for the order when it is picked up. No—Door Dash does not expect Dashers to use their own money. Each Dasher is sent a red debit card specifically for use when Dashing. When an order is submitted that requires payment at pick-up, the funds are placed onto the card so the Dasher will be able to pay for the order.
2. Two things about the app—you have to watch it closely because it does not always sound the alert to let you know there is a delivery available. You have to keep a close eye on the screen to make sure you don’t miss any opportunities to earn a buck. This is not real convenient since it is illegal—and not safe—to be paying too much attention to your phone when you are driving. And I mean, that is what Door Dashing is after all—driving around making deliveries. It defeats the purpose if the app is not working properly.
Second, the map that is displayed on the screen is not always to scale to the area you will be traveling through. It may appear that you are going to have to go a few blocks but once you accept the job and pick up the order you will discover that you may have to go 10 or 15 miles. That’s the thing about this app—they claim you can determine the delivery distance but it’s not always real clear until you accept the delivery and look to see where you will be going.
3. Another issue I had with the app is the GPS is not always real accurate, especially if you are driving in a rural area or when there is a new housing development. I have had the app take me to the complete opposite side of town than I was supposed to go to. It takes some time to figure out where you need to go, and you might have to switch to a different map app. If you just can’t figure out where in the world you are supposed to go, you may have to text or call the customer. Phone numbers are disguised within the app, so the other person won’t get your personal number unless you specifically give it to them.
Yet another app problem I experienced was the app is constantly hesitating, freezing up, or just randomly shutting down. There have been times when I was sitting at my desk waiting for orders and looked at my phone because I was keeping an eye on it and the app had just completely shut down. I have notified the company about this numerous times, and they just don’t care. They either give a superficial apology or just don’t respond at all. Door Dash simply does not care about the difficulties their drivers are experiencing. Here are some emails to prove it. All flowery and full of promises but with no results.
4. Tech support isn’t all that great either. There was one day when I went to a grocery store to pick up ONE item for a customer. I went to the check stand and the card would not work. I tried to contact support, but no one was available. I could not hold up the line, so I left the item there and left the store. About five minutes later a support person came on and wanted me to go back to the store.
The same thing happened at another grocery store later that same day. Again, I couldn’t get anyone on tech support, so I left. Now, normally if there is some sort of problem the company will pay half of what the original delivery paid—but they did not do that for either of these deliveries. Sure, I left—but it was their fault because the card they gave me to pay with would not work and no one was available to fix the problem.
When a tech support person does come on the line, it can be quite the annoying experience. They have this canned script they use that just grates on my nerves. When they first respond they say something like—I hope you are having an absolutely wonderful day. UGH—so sickening. Then when you tell them what the problem is they spew out some ridiculous thing like—oh, I am so sorry you are having this difficulty today. I would be happy to assist you with this issue. Forget the stupid canned speech and just fix the problem!
5. Now that I have all of that nonsense out of the way, lets get to the actual delivery part. When you get an alert, the screen on your phone will display details about the delivery. It will show the business you will be going to in order to pick up the delivery items. It will also show a map depicting the route from where you are located to the store and then to the drop off spot. Again, this is not always the easiest map to read. It may be difficult to figure out exactly how far you will be going.
You have the choice to accept or decline the order. If you want to accept the assignment you will have to click on the big red “accept” button. Once you do that, the screen will change, and a map will come up showing you how to get to the business. If you know how to get to that particular business, you can close the map.
6. If you accept an order, make sure you go right away because the app uses the GPS to determine if you are actually going to the business. If you take too long to get there, the app will remove the assignment from your phone. If you use the map, once you get to the business you will have to close the map and click on the big red button that says that you have arrived. You will then see the order details. Pick up the order and click on the big red button that says that you picked it up.
7. Now you can go and deliver the order to the customer. I said in my video that you should not expect tips. However, that being said, many customers do tip—if they get good service. So…here is my advice on that. If you make sure you are taking as little time as possible to get the order to the customer, you are more likely to get a tip. Go to pick up the order immediately after receiving the assignment. Once you get the order, go straight to the customer.
There are some exceptions to that too. Once you have been dashing for a week or two and Door Dash knows you are reliable and can handle it, they may give you two or three orders at a time. In this case, it may take a little longer to get to some of the customers with their orders. That is okay. Door Dash will not scold you or penalize you for this. They realize that by accepting more orders it will take you a little longer to complete them. If customers complain to the company, the company will back you up and explain the situation to the customer. That is one of the few positive aspects of the organization.
8. Another habit I have found increases the chances of getting tips is to communicate with the customers as much as you can. It is a given that if there is a problem with the order, such as the restaurant is out of the type of soda the customer wanted, you would want to contact the customer to let them know this information. Typically, the business will let you know what options are available to the customer. You can call or text the customer to determine what should be done.
If the order is not ready when you arrive at the business, you may want to send a text to the customer letting them know there will be a delay. Customers usually appreciate being kept up to date on these types of things. It keeps them from wondering why their order is taking so long. Plus, a lot of times customers will give more of a tip if they know you are standing around waiting for their order. Once you have the order, let the customer know you are on the way. While you can let the customer know when you receive the order that you are on your way to pick it up this really isn’t necessary. The app usually lets the customer know when a Dasher accepts the order.
9. Once you pick up the order, customers can track you on the app GPS. This can be handy if the drop off location is difficult to find, or the GPS system is off. Customers who are aware that this problem exists in their area will often call or text you through the app if they see you passing them or if it looks like you are lost. However, this can be a little annoying if you have multiple deliveries. If you get a call or text from a customer in this situation because they think you are going to the wrong place, just explain the situation to them. They are usually okay with it.
10. You don’t have to accept every order. If you can’t or don’t want to accept an order for some reason you can refuse it. Maybe you don’t feel the assignment pays enough, maybe you all of a sudden realized you really, really have to go to the bathroom, maybe you got a call about something you just have to go take care of. You can decline the delivery. It will affect your ratings but it’s not that big of a deal as long as you don’t do it too often. The ratings are only for the last 100 deliveries, so eventually the negative ratings will disappear.
11. I know I said ten things but here's a bonus. If you do a lot of deliveries (Door Dash does not specify how many is a lot) and all of your ratings are high, you can become a Top Dasher. This is supposed to mean you get first shot at the best deliveries, but I have not noticed any difference between when I first started and after I became a Top Dasher. The biggest benefit is this: When you first start out you have to schedule times that you want to dash. Once you become a Top Dasher you can dash whenever you want.
I tried to include as many pictures as possible of the app so you will be at least a little familiar with what all of the screens look like. I even included my rankings from when I was really working hard to be a Top Dasher and then when I was sick of Door Dash and trying to make a point with the company. Now that you have a pretty good idea of what is involved with Door Dash, you can make a decision about whether or not you want to participate. The good thing is, if you decide to be a Dasher you can start and stop anytime you want and you can work wherever you are—as long as Door Dash is available in the area. If you go out of town to visit someone you can still earn an income if you want. If you have any questions, comments, or experiences, be sure to post them in the comment section below.