Wed, Jun

DoorDash Dilemmas: Sneaky Fees, Delivery Disasters, and Customer Frustrations Reach Breaking Point


AN ANGRY ANGELENO - Nothing great can last forever. 

I last wrote on March 25 about DashPass members getting slammed with sneaky fees after-the-fact if their DoorDash grocery orders dip below the 35-dollar minimum because the store is missing one or more of their items.  Kinda seemed like Google Search was hiding that column...maybe DoorDash does a lot of advertising with Google.  You can try to find it using Google Search.  Anyway, now I have to be extra careful when doing grocery orders to make sure I don't get hit with those sneaky fees....I have backup items for everything and/or I order significantly above 35 dollars.  DoorDash should just increase the minimum order and/or increase the upfront service fee in order to get rid of this horrible corporate policy, which feels like a bait-and-switch.  I should get paid a consulting fee by DoorDash for these columns. 

I also previously mentioned that DoorDash stopped delivering from stores that are farther away from me like Aldi and Grocery Outlet (they still deliver booze and a limited snack menu from the latter).  A larger minimum order and/or larger fees would have made more sense than cessation of delivery services from those stores. 

I'm also increasingly dealing with drivers that have severe English communication problems...good luck getting your delivery if they can't find you!  I also recently had a delivery where the guy refused to walk up the stairs to make the delivery (I live above garages)...he demanded that I come down.  He claimed (I'm paraphrasing) that he was not physically able...that's a new one.  I ended up meeting him halfway in my socks. 

By the way, I use DoorDash a lot...or I used to...because I stopped driving over a decade ago.  One reason was that my Beverly Grove neighborhood was so walkable.  But now, with all the homeless people on the sidewalks (I live in Katy Yaroslavsky's council district) and all the closures, it's not as great.  I was recently eating at the Johnny Rockets at 3 rd and La Cienega in the mall next door to me, the very popular Beverly Connection value mall.  Homeless woman walks in barefoot with a blanket and marches to use the bathroom; then she solicits me to buy her a drink on her way out.  Another homeless person was staring at me through the windows.  Lots of nearby restaurants have closed...in the strip mall at 3rd and La Cienega.  Also, Plancha Tacos at 3rd and Sweetzer just closed.  I don't know if this played into it, but there were usually homeless people hanging out nearby on 3rd Street (primarily at the 3rd St bus shelter in front of the strip mall).  Increasing labor costs may have played into it.  Pitchoun Bakery closed at the bottom of the Beverly Center.  I believe they blamed the landlord.  Even 99 Cents Only just announced that they're closing all of their stores, over 300 of which are in California, because they're primarily a CA operation.  They cited labor costs and “shrink”...think minimum wage increases, homelessness and shoplifting.  There were always homeless people hanging out nearby when I used to shop at the 3 locations that were closest to me. 

A new really frustrating problem is that DoorDash is now delivering to the MALL next door to me.  I have a residential street address.  I do NOT live at the mall.  Instacart has delivered to the mall in the past, while DoorDash was delivering correctly.  My guess is that Instacart was using an inferior mapping/GPS provider, and that now DoorDash has switched to that inferior provider to save money.  I live on Croft Ave, which has no light.  I watch the delivery driver moving within the DoorDash map on my computer monitor in real time, as they are instructed to turn on Beverly Connection Way (which has a light) into the mall parking lot.  Ridiculous. 


The best is that when I called Customer Service to fix the problem, they can't fix it.  I suppose each delivery driver can take my address and type it into a (different) GPS/mapping app...outside of the DoorDash app that led them to the wrong place. 

So, now, I have to spend half an hour each time that I do a delivery...monitoring and babysitting the delivery driver via text and phone, telling them not to go into the mall and not to go into the alley.  Did the Big DoorDash Founders/Investors just cash out their stock?  Because it feels like they did and like they retired with their money and like they're no longer minding the store. 

Another problem I ran into was a recent 7-11 order that I did (because of a 6-dollar promotion) through DoorDash.  I was charged a ONE DOLLAR “Regulatory Bag Fee” for a single bag.  It should have been 10 to 20 cents.  It also appears that I was charged way too much Sales Tax.  Should have been just on the pizza, not the rest of the order, so about 72 cents (10.25 percent of 7 dollars, because it came from the City of West Hollywood), not 1.92.

These are all new problems that didn't exist before.  It's like somebody took the great DoorDash and broke it.  Hopefully the DoorDash executives read this column and start fixing it...if they can find my column with a Google Search.

(“The Angry Angeleno” is the nom de plume of Yuval Kremer.  Yuval is a Registered Democrat; a Cali-Camp, Harvard-Westlake (pre-merger), USC, and Loyola Law School Alum; and a former ballot candidate for Mayor of LA (failing to prevent Mayor Garcetti's reelection) and LA County Supervisor (ran against Sheila Kuehl, Katy Yaroslavsky's former boss).  The opinions expressed by Yuval are his and his alone (not those of CityWatchLA), but will likely be yours soon!)

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