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Instacart is adjusting its tipping policy again to combat tip-baiting

The company said Tuesday it will cover the cost of tipping a customer, up to $10, if a customer withdraws the tip after delivery without reporting a problem with their order.

The update is just the latest incremental measure Instacart has announced in recent years to combat so-called tip-baiting, while claiming it is an “extremely rare” for its buyers. Two years ago, CNN Business reported that some Instacart customers were baited workers and switched by offering a large tip — sometimes $50 or more — then withdrawing it after delivery.

As demand for Instacart soared in the early months of the pandemic, customers struggled to get slots. Some have used tipping to entice Instacart shoppers, who are treated as independent contractors, to pick up their orders first, but then removed tipping after delivery, leaving shoppers demoralized.

An Instacart spokesperson told CNN Business at the time that the vast majority of people adjusted their tip up or did not adjust their tip after delivery. Instacart also claimed that customers typically leave feedback if and when a tip is removed.

Two months after the CNN Business report, Instacart announced several changes to its tipping policy, including requiring customer reviews that remove a tip entirely after delivery and shortening the time window in which customers can change a tip. at 24 hours, down from the previous one. three-day window. While customers are still required to provide feedback when clearing tips, unless they also report a problem with their order, a shopper’s tip — up to $10 — will now be protected.

Instacart is adjusting its tipping policy again to combat tip-baiting

Tip protection is one of several updates the company announced on Tuesday aimed at supporting its shopper workforce, which has more than doubled to 600,000 during the pandemic. Other updates include prompting customers to add a tip if they didn’t leave one, or increase a tip if they give a buyer five stars.

As CNN Business reported in late February, pandemic demand has begun to level off and some buyers are feeling the pinch. Last month, Instacart announced a “renewed commitment” to its shopping community, teasing that it would unveil new product features in the coming months. He also announced several new services for grocers, including an offer to help retailers tap into the 15-minute delivery craze.
Along with the announcements, the 10-year-old private startup revised its valuation to $24 billion, down from its pandemic-fueled high of $39 billion for its business.

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