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About working with Uber Eats (Company)

One good aspect of partnering with them is that you can get to choose the hours and days you want to deliver, with no strings attached and they pay accurately every week. Tuesday nights for me. 

Now the bad and the ugly sides: the UberEats delivery partner app crashes continuously, and sometimes it can get you into trouble. If it happens when making a double delivery, it causes unwanted delays to the customer, who has no fault at all and ends up blaming you and giving you a bad feedback. Also, the delivery map is not updated, I’ve send Uber dozens of emails and communications explaining the mistakes in areas where, for example, an U-turn is not permitted or crossing the road isn’t either, locations where there is no road or access at all. Wrong addresses are a common issue, the app does not recognise the mistake and send you to a different site.

Sometimes, the app changes the proposed route for a delivery while you are on the way, the only solution I have found is to stop the car and find the address in google maps in a different device, otherwise you’ll lose the customer’s details.

When you accept a delivery, you are given a proposed route to reach the customer location, it is very frustrating that after you’ve followed their instructions to reach the destination you get paid less than they offered.. the route varies from several meters up to 2 km. As a ballpark figure, I would say it may translate into many tens of AU$. Again, I have make the complaint lots of times, and the response from the company is always the same: ‘it is automatic taken from a database and we pay the shortest route’, and my response to them is always the same too: ‘right, why we are not shown the shortest route then??’

The only customer support for the delivery partners (us) is done via the app, there’s no other way, so any complaint that is made during deliveries has little to none chance to get received. After a huge amount of attempts reaching them I gave up, and kept doing my deliveries with no chance to get listened, maybe that’s what they want us to do. Stop complaining..

This is as far a possible the dream job, it is one to be done for a short period of time, as a second job or used as a stepping stone while waiting for something else, better, in my case waiting for my so well deserved pension deadline time.

I’ve been doing it for the last two years and what you are about to read is what I have learned by experience.

Let’s start with the shops, only a handful are really restaurants, although all have some sort of kitchen and cooking, they are shops that serve street fast food, some are really raw, primitive,  others a bit more refined. Customers buy online and most likely never visited personally the shops, if they had done it, they would never order from them. The generality is that employees do not: use uniforms, hair protection, face protection, gloves, you can not spot what is in the kitchen but you can not argue that they would be different. People at the counter do not use gloves, if they do,  they touch the food or food container, the register, money, etc., have seen them with the thumb in the bowl  putting the lid, people watching that and grabbing the food anyway, including a cop. Some Asian shops keep a number of trays full of food on hot display for hours on end, decomposing must occur inevitably, Chemistry does not lie. Deep frying shops can be smelled from a distance, you can guess when they changed the oil, it is easily degraded/oxidised/rancid but it is ok for most consumers.

People servicing are another factor, you get from nice, clean looking, smiling, servicing employees to some I would turn back immediately after looking at them, bad-looking, improperly dressed, not having skills to attend public, they are very common. Peaks of ordering food are the way to evaluate a shop, very few  are prepared to handle it, they simply get clogged and the waiting time becomes unacceptable, had to reject many orders, people accept it and they continue doing it, the messenger receives the thumbs down.

Cleanliness is a big issue, dust everywhere, stains on floor, walls, tables, delivering area. The food goes equally to what I easily classify as “dovecotes” to luxury houses in the best suburbs. Now lets talk about customers, in general more than 50% are nice people who appreciate the delivery, others barely talk, not properly dressed (come out in underwear), surly, long face, I understand that the standard of most drivers is very low due to education and physical presence but very few customers recognise the difference. Wrong addresses, incomplete, bad description, change of address at the last moment, places where it impossible to park, to enter, giving the street number but not the appartments or house number are common problems, other seem to expect the delivery at their table not making the minimum effort to help with a complicated delivery, students at Unis are another topic.

In this era of pandemic when we are obliged to take a photo of the package delivery at the  door, barely 1-2% have a table, stool, chair to leave it and it has to be left on the ground, many do not obey the rule to stay inside and take the package when the app says “delivered” and come out to get it by hand, as before the pandemic, complicating the picture taking, that has to be done on their hands, many smile, others get upset for the picture. If the shop fails to give an order complete or there is a mistake or they take a long time to prepare the food (recently one hour), the penalty goes to the messenger, not the shop.

Uber….

The good thing is that one can work the hours an days we wish, no strings attached and they pay religiously every Tuesday night. 

Now the bad and the ugly: the app hangs continuously, sometimes it is a nightmare, especially when it happens between a double delivery, causing unwanted delays to the customer, who normally blames the messenger and rates thumbs down. The delivery map is not updated, I’ve send dozens of communications  giving Uber the mistakes in areas where u-turn is forbidden, crossing the road is too, places where there is no road to go, wrong addresses are common, it does not recognises the real thing and send you  to a different site. It changes route while you go to a place to deliver, one simply have to stop, put the destination in google maps in another phone to get to the customer. You are given a route, you follow it and in the end they pays less, the scrubbing can be a few hundred meters to 2 km per order. My count is many tens of dollars per day in Australia.  Claimed dozens of times, the response from support is always the same (taken from a data base), we pay the shortest route, yes, OK, but why then we are not given that route but another one? The support is only via app, all other chances are gone so any claim is after a delivery, meaning you have no support, do what you can. I gave up, try to solve as I can, by experience and swallow whole with the continuous scrubbing.

Not precisely the dream job, it is one to be done for some time to sort a bad period.

By cferraro44

Chemist, Professor, Naturalist, Wildlife Filmaker

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