The idea of driving around with a friend while delivering food and making some cash on the side sounds great, doesn’t it? And there are a ton of food delivery services that open a window for something like that.
And thanks to the gig economy culture, everyone is signing up for these jobs to diversify their source of income and make a quick buck. Now, if you feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew with these jobs, it’s nice to have a little company so that life doesn’t seem as dreary as it is. But when you work with a company like this, there are certain rules that you must follow. This is not a drug delivery system in a lawless jungle called the streets.
Consider this. If you were to get into an Uber or a Lyft and saw that the driver has brought a buddy along, you wouldn’t really like it and even feel like your safety is threatened a bit, right?
Some people feel the same way about food. The idea of a person who wasn’t given the permit and did not have a background check done tinkering with your food is a rather unpleasant one.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, it has become crucial to have the minimum number of people in the vicinity of your delivery objects, food or otherwise. But before this global health emergency struck the planet, what was the policy of DoorDash, the on-demand delivery app, with respect to having a companion along on the job? Let’s see.
Yes or No?
It is a simple question but when the company does not make hard and fast rules, it requires a little digging around to find out whether or not you can take a friend along on delivery duty.
DoorDash is one of the companies that does not particularly have a rule against having a partner. Quite a few drivers have said that they occasionally do drive with another person. However, there is a small catch even in this scenario. The companion almost never leaves the vehicle. The dasher, as they are called, runs up to the customer with the food while the friend stays in the car.
So, since it is not prohibited you have the freedom to interpret the rules to your liking. In fact, with DoorDash, you will notice that often couples dash together as a team but the account is under one name. This is quite helpful when there are a lot of deliveries or it’s a rough day.
But DoorDash, like every other such platform, is particular about keeping their platform secure. This is crucial for the reputation of such delivery apps. So even if you are dashing with a friend, make sure you don’t let someone else sub in for you. It is not acceptable to have someone else use your account or do your shift. If you are wondering why anyone would do that, there are a few factors to take into account.
The restaurant and the customer only see a first name. The credit card does not have a name on it and these are loopholes that tempt people to let others use their account, sharing the burden of the job and the earnings too. Also, you must consider that when you are working as a team, you can do longer hours and get paid for them all under one name.
But, unsurprisingly, account sharing is a strict no-no when it comes to providing services for DoorDash. This is for more than one reason. Such behavior is actually an abuse of the system. It also means you might tag team with a person who has not been checked for insurance. It is also someone whose background has not been thoroughly verified and if something goes wrong it is a PR disaster for the company. Firing you does not even begin to mend the bridge. A closer look into the company’s requirements for a dasher will make the case clear.
How Could Things Go Wrong?
A little bit of research shows that DoorDash support is notorious for deactivating drivers. So, it is safe to assume that the smallest violation on your part will get you deactivated. While that does not mean you will lose your job, it is a bit of a pain to go through the process of getting yourself back on the street. Consider these scenarios.
One of the best things about qualifying to be a dasher is that they don’t ask for prior experience. But if you have the experience, that will help you earn more.
- As a dasher, you are required to be at least 18 years old. So if your buddy is a minor, you will have more than one problem.
- You need to have a valid driver’s license. If someone else uses your account, the company has no way to verify this and will consider this a violation.
- You need to have a valid insurance with your name on the policy. So, you can’t ask your buddy to drive for you. That is a no-no.
- You need to give your Social Security Number for a background check. This is to make sure it is okay for you to drive around handling strangers’ food and knocking on their doors. Your buddy might or might not have that clearance. So, that’s a problem too. It might work if they don’t exit the car but it is still a risk if the customer has a problem with your friend handling their food.
- You need to get your driving record checked. That’s just another reason you can’t let someone else use your account.
- You need to do an orientation either online or in person. Your buddy doesn’t know the things you do. So it’s not considered the best idea to take them along.
In many ways, DoorDash is pretty lenient. Unlike Uber and Lyft, DoorDash does not have any requirements for the vehicle. You can use a car or a bike or even walk to get the delivery done. They don’t do any checking for the vehicle which gives you a lot of room to function. You can see why so many people are tempted to take friends along or let them use their accounts, right?
However, the background checks, the most crucial part of getting this job are quite elaborate. It’s not CSI elaborate but they do have multiple and complex background screenings. They are pretty set on the idea of learning as much as possible about you. That’s understandable because they are letting you make money with very few restrictions. The basic idea, of course, is to make sure there are no violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, property damage or felonies against your name. They look into country- and county-wide criminal records for that.
While they don’t have vehicle requirements, they do look into motor vehicles and license records. That gives them an idea of what you are like as a driver, one of the two parts of the job. The other is, of course, having to deal with restaurants and their customers. So when you take someone along, none of these checks have been done on them and that can be considered a serious violation by the company. If you do it under the radar, you might be in big trouble even though the rules don’t explicitly stop you from taking a friend along.
Why Some Dashers Want Company
It is a company that services about 300,000 restaurants across more than 4,000 cities. It has a delivery fee that is more than UberEats and GrubHub. It delivers groceries and alcohol without ifs and buts like some of its competitors. Your work with DoorDash can be compared to that of an independent contractor.
So why would someone jeopardize a seemingly profitable gig? Well, it is not always boredom. There are a lot of people who have chosen this as a backup job if they are not sure that their full-time job will last a long time, for whatever reason. In times like these, it is all the more understandable why someone would diversify their resume, right?
Some dashers have pointed out that their extraordinary circumstances make the situation a “need to take a friend” instead of just wanting to take them along. Women dashers have said that taking a male friend along makes it a lot safer for them to do late-night deliveries to strangers’ homes. However, they are careful not to let the friend do the delivery because the customer is expecting her and not a man. Those receiving the food might have similar safety concerns.
There are also examples of dashers who are disabled saying that having a teenager help them out makes the gig a lot easier. In this case too, the dasher is the one who responds to the customer but they get their friend to pick up the order from the restaurant.
The gaping holes in the logic of the customers, the dashers and the accompanying friend are there for all to see. So, try not to violate the integrity of the company if you don’t absolutely have to take someone along. But strictly speaking, there is no rule against it. As a casual reader, you might think that this is alright until the day there is a huge problem. That’s just the risk everyone involved needs to take.