#deleteinstacart
September 23, 2021 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Instacart workers have organized a national boycott ahead of a rumored IPO. An open letter from Instacart Workers. They're asking all customers to delete the app until it improves dismal working conditions and reinstates a 10% tip and commission pay. Instacart previously: Tip theft reported by Business Insider and Prop 22 ruled unconstitutional by Alameda Superior Court
posted by subdee (37 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Quick note on the text in that last link: Prop 22 has been ruled unconstitutional by the Alameda County Superior Court, not the California Supreme Court. I hope that's coming, but it hasn't happened yet.
posted by freelanceastro at 2:45 PM on September 23 [2 favorites]


:( Maybe a mod can edit the link, then
posted by subdee at 3:01 PM on September 23


Why the hell does Instacart even exist? It's highly inefficient, exploitative by design, and just a dumb waste of resources to send people into a store with a shopping list to purchase items that may or may not be available and pay for them using the normal checkout line.

The local grocery chain just opened up a ghost store that's entirely devoted to online orders and delivery. They have control of the inventory, they can optimize the fulfillment, they don't have to worry about "checking out" and they have a large enough catchment area to optimize delivery routes. (Also, they have a union). From a purely business point of view, this sort of thing should mean the death of Instacart, yet somehow it survives and prospers.

I guess work-at-home middle class suburban people really like having a personal shopper texting them with pictures of produce to ask if it looks ripe enough.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:04 PM on September 23 [13 favorites]


Mod note: made that edit
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:05 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


I know someone who for a while was doing great with Instacart. They could work without abusive bosses (they used to be a chef before their restaurant closed at the beginning of the pandemic) and make their own schedule, etc. Then they made a mistake and accidentally accepted an order they had to drop—they didn't notice it would have taken them halfway across the city—and it was one time too many. They were dropped from the platform without recourse. It was a crushing blow for them. That was just recently.

Before they started working for Instacart, I had read articles about the platform's abuses and of course the Prop 22 stuff, so I refused to use it. While they were working for it, I began using it, because I could see the positive effects having that kind of flexible work had for them. But when the platform did that? I won't use it anymore. I also won't use Mercato, a competitor, anymore either, after it flagged my account for some unknown reason and started requiring me to meet delivery people in person and show my ID, and never followed up on a ticket I opened about this.

Another friend drives for Uber Eats, and it has had similar positive effects on their ability to work flexibly and make their own schedule. But even there, there have been issues, including the Postmates acquisition adding drivers to the same platform and diluting everyone's ability to earn as much. These corporations don't care about the individuals who work for them.

Long story short, I definitely support the Instacart boycott, and I feel for everyone getting abused by these platforms. That doesn't mean the entire idea of these platforms is a bad one, but it does mean that they need to be regulated and forced to do the right thing.


Why the hell does Instacart even exist? I guess work-at-home middle class suburban people really like having a personal shopper texting them with pictures of produce to ask if it looks ripe enough.


Um, there are lots of reasons, if you stop to think about it for a minute, why grocery delivery with that kind of personal touch is useful. There's the pandemic, which limits a lot of people's ability to safely go to the grocery store. Then there are disabled people and elderly people, whose reasons for using services like this I would hope are obvious. If it takes a larger population of users who don't strictly need it to make that kind of delivery a reality, well, to me that aspect makes it worth it.

I wish grocery delivery services like this had been a thing after my father had his first two strokes. Maybe he would have been able to eat better and avoid the super salty, fatty Pizza Hut and other fast food deliveries that likely contributed to his third stroke (the one that put him in a care facility until his death). I did research at the time, and in his suburban area, there was almost nothing affordable or convenient for grocery delivery. So much has changed in just 5 years or so, and the availability of services like this, at least, is not a bad thing. The bad thing is the way they treat their workers.
posted by limeonaire at 3:23 PM on September 23 [33 favorites]


Deleted. Thanks for the heads-up, subdee.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 3:27 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


I have used Instacart once; I felt sick and ordered an at home COVID test to be delivered (no contact) from CVS.
Our local Kroger (Smith's) had in store shoppers where you could order online and they would package up your order for pickup, or for much later delivery. They just announced they were partnering with Instacart instead. Not sure if it's a Kroger wide thing or just our local one. Their marketing PR is that the turnaround for ordered groceries should go from a few hours to 30 minutes, but the subtext is that they no longer need to employ (and benefit) staff to do ordering and it's now outsourced to gig workers.
posted by msbutah at 3:35 PM on September 23 [3 favorites]


The reason I believe Instacart exists is because a lot of grocery stores don't do delivery. I used Peapod which was a local professional grocery delivery company in Chicago but when I came to the Bay Area there was no alternative. I have to use it for personal reasons but I always tip $20 every time. Now another grocery store near here offers their own delivery so I guess we'll be sticking with them. Of course they're just subcontracting to another gig based company. I have heard of another app called Dumpling that's different bc it's set up so the driver is actually running their own business & sets their own hours & prices, so you're ordering from them directly, but the downside is they weren't licensed to buy alcohol so I'd still have to pay some gig person somewhere for something.
posted by bleep at 3:45 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]



Why the hell does Instacart even exist?


I'm disabled at the moment and it's the only way I can get groceries. Next question?

Seriously though. My other options are drive illegally or get pizza delivered every night. The answer here is regulations and unions, not making me starve.
posted by mrgoat at 4:19 PM on September 23 [48 favorites]


Um, there are lots of reasons, if you stop to think about it for a minute, why grocery delivery with that kind of personal touch is useful. There's the pandemic, which limits a lot of people's ability to safely go to the grocery store.

I get that, and Instacart deserves credit for popularizing online delivery and finding a market, but it seems like Instacart's success should be its own downfall because it has no moat. Minus some of the more personal touches, grocery stores with physical plants should be able to provide the same level of delivery service and then some. I've been to Stop and Shop locations where Peapod is fulfilled from inside the store, and a store employee will have a rolling cart with two or three orders on it and what seems like a pull-list that's optimized by aisle, and scanning items as they go. Peapod vans can make multiple stops on the same trip. Instacart can't really do either of those things.

In areas without critical demand, Instacart does provide a necessary service. But it seems like Instacart should be limited to those areas. Once providers get their act together, there's really no reason to have Instacart. It's a transitional company, not a huge about-to-IPO unicorn. They're only here because they could exploit gig workers to achieve enough critical mass to align with grocery chains and keep that from happening.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:40 PM on September 23 [3 favorites]


The question of why Instacart exists, from a business perspective, is a good one. This is from the last paragraph of the open letter:

Even given its exploitative treatment of its shopper workforce and even when essentially “gifted” the pandemic, Instacart is entering its 9th year without ever achieving profitability. Shoppers have sustained endless pay cuts, customers have been deceived and defrauded, entire communities have been put at a heightened risk of virus transmission, and increased fees have subsidized significant salaries to corporate employees. Markets have been oversaturated with shoppers in gross excess of the actual demand, resulting in reduced earnings opportunities for all shoppers. The pandemic created a dynamic in which Instacart saw an astronomical increase in growth, which simply isn’t sustainable beyond the confines of sheltering-in-place. Demand for Instacart’s services peaked in April 2020 and already has begun to wane. To be clear, even with the constellation of bizarre and unprecedented circumstances of a global pandemic, Instacart is still not, and likely never will be, a profitable or sustainable company. But most importantly, it will never be an ethical company. It is crucial that we don’t reward its greed and exploitation with a successful direct listing. Stand with shoppers and #DELETEINSTACART.
posted by subdee at 4:43 PM on September 23 [6 favorites]


The why the hell up above feels paired with the observation that there is delivery, some places.

It's marginally tangential, but the grocery world has become more competitive every year since, oh.. 1970, so margins and logistics are probably a big reason delivery isn't baked into more outlets. I could rant half-informed about VC and market capture, but I'd rather dream about the infrastructure being turnkey and every store having delivery either via a cooperative subcontractor or UFCW members.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 4:43 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


Instacart exists because VCs think grocery delivery can eventually be profitable and grocery stores do not. Even though in theory a grocery store should be able to pick a basket much more cheaply than Instacart so it's grocery stores thought it was a real business they could end Instacart pretty quickly. You'll note in the UK when stores think delivery can work Instacart doesn't really exist the way it does in the us. UK grocers have higher margins as a starting point, the market is more consolidated and population densities are higher so you get better drop densities. I'm totally not sure who is right.
posted by JPD at 5:03 PM on September 23 [10 favorites]


I always cringe at the total when I buy groceries in person. For many years I lived promarily on rice, beans, pasta, potatoes and ramen. Groceries were cheap. Now with a diet that won't kill me in my 50's it's a lot more. I can't fathom padding the bill with delivery and tip. But my parents are retired now and have medical issues. It's the only way they grocery shop.

I worked for postmates for a while and did lots of Walmart delivery. It sucked. I didn't make shit. I'm lucky to have been able to get out of it.
posted by nestor_makhno at 5:42 PM on September 23 [2 favorites]


Why the hell does Instacart even exist?
Although some grocery chains are offering their own delivery in some markets, most are trying to grind their own approach down so as to spend less delivering the same basic business model: hire fewer people, pay them less, work them harder, and count on them having no other options. Basically, externalize your costs of doing business onto your employees, and to a much lesser extent, onto your customers who have to endure the resulting service deficiencies, but still need groceries.

Austerity is easier than innovation, and feels less risky. Offering delivery might imply hiring more employees, more scheduling headaches, and more liability sending employees out in cars. If Instacart is willing to assume that burden, there’s no point at which that doesn’t seem like a better deal for the store than doing it themselves. An IC driver’s money spends like anybody else’s, so the grocer doesn’t feel like they’re leaving money on the table.
posted by gelfin at 5:56 PM on September 23 [5 favorites]


I tried Instacart a bit over the past year and didn't see the hype. Of the handful of attempts, I think I only had one really good experience (offered alternatives, texted multiple times, etc). Every other time they managed to somehow lose at least half of my order, including one where I ended up with someone else's groceries mixed in. Oh, and no option for reusable bags/containers - just lots and lots of plastic. Far less hassle (and cheaper) to just go to the store and do it myself.

The local grocery chain just opened up a ghost store that's entirely devoted to online orders and delivery. They have control of the inventory, they can optimize the fulfillment, they don't have to worry about "checking out" and they have a large enough catchment area to optimize delivery routes. (Also, they have a union). From a purely business point of view, this sort of thing should mean the death of Instacart, yet somehow it survives and prospers.

I would LOVE to have this option - unfortunately none of my local grocery stores seem to offer anything like it. Here's hoping they change that soon.

I guess work-at-home middle class suburban people really like having a personal shopper texting them with pictures of produce to ask if it looks ripe enough.

It's not all WFH suburban people. My mobility-challenged high-risk mother in law used Instacart almost exclusively throughout the past year and a half because she was understandably not comfortable going in to a store (and we don't live nearby). She is more comfortable shopping now that she's vaccinated but still uses Instacart on occasion. Like us, she doesn't have another option for grocery delivery but fortunately she has had way better luck with shoppers than we have, might help she's in a small town and keeps getting the same people.
posted by photo guy at 5:57 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


I used Peapod which was a local professional grocery delivery company in Chicago

They pulled out of Chicago, right before the pandemic. The deliveries weren't quite as convenient as Mercato or Instacart, you'd have to book a day or two in advance if I remember correctly. But the drivers were always professional and the produce was consistently decent to good, so the wait was worth it. I still miss them.

I used Instacart a couple of times. First time I'd hurt my ankle, so I ordered groceries. The delivery person was very friendly and professional. Threw in a couple of reusable totes because he "ran late" (he come in at the end of the delivery window. If I could have had him as my go to person I'd probably have used him weekly.

The next time I used them was for a liquor run. I got orange juice instead of curaçao and two extra bottles of whiskey. I made the mistake or reporting the problem so they could pick up the misdelivered whiskey. My thought was then they wouldn't get in as much trouble for losing the whiskey, or worse, be accused of stealing them. Instacart apologized, but talked around the issue of misdelivered alcohol. I think they couldn't say I could keep it for free, but they weren't going to pick it up. So I came out ahead, but also felt I'd probably caused more trouble for the poor delivery person and just never used the app again.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:15 PM on September 23


You guys should read the open letter, it goes extremely hard. The author is not mincing words.

Also, if you read the other articles from "Gig Workers United" on Medium, it's a long string of articles about Instacart's shady business practices and exploitative business model. It reminds me of the anti-AOL groups from the 90s, where there's a dedicated group of employees who are tireless in their advocacy for worker protections, even if it means the end of the company and the loss of all their "jobs".
posted by subdee at 6:41 PM on September 23 [3 favorites]


Yes it does. Makes Instacart look terrible...

Glad I am still able to be my family's delivery service.
posted by Windopaene at 8:19 PM on September 23


I've ranted about my horrible experiences with Postmates before and I'm not going to rehash that all over again.

One thing I haven't talked about is how it generally just sucks that these gig economy platforms are so exploitative to their workers because if they weren't so bad these jobs might actually be fun and rewarding jobs that provide a service to the community.

One of the really frustrating things about the Postmates platform wasn't just the extremely low pay and brazenly abusing the concept of an independent contractor but the idea that the platform and app from the employee side of things was pretty obviously using dark patterns and game theory to pit workers against each other and give the employees the bare minimum amount of support and service.

I remember within my first week I was frustrated how dumb the app was from my side of the bargain and why there wasn't any logical assistance or situational awareness from the app about routing and delivering orders.

And I started having a lot of ideas about how to do it better and more efficiently, ideas like having the app be aware of elevation gains and losses, real time traffic loads, real time restaurant order wait times and otherwise trying to leverage and share data to make things less stressful and more efficient for everyone involved from the restaurants and kitchens through the delivery proccess to client satisfaction and results.

You could do some really neat tricks with this data, like make it possible to share and combine deliveries between workers not unlike a packet switching network or physical mesh network where there's enough data to do things like hand off orders between workers and intelligently combine orders in ways that enabled more throughput with less stress compared to the "one worker, one order point to point" where being able to stack and work multiple orders at the same time wasn't just blind luck or extra mode hustle.

The general idea would be more like a holistic and integrated system that could meet and exceed the speed and service levels and professionalism of, say, a human operated courier service that had a human dispatcher with their local version of The Knowledge and a good team of riders or drivers in the field.

Every so often I keep having likely unrealistic thoughts about trying to get some kind of delivery job in my small town using my ebike, because if I could set something up like that that worked for me and let me make a bit of extra pocket money it could in theory be a lot fun to get paid to go zooming around on my bike dropping off hot food and groceries and making people happy while getting some exercise and doing something I already like to do.

Further, it wouldn't be impossible for me to, say, do some of the remote work I've been doing these days while sitting around waiting for orders and multitask like that. There's a lot of stuff I do that's not even close to time sensitive, so it would be easy to just stop that work and save my place, throw my laptop back in my bike bag and go for a nice zoomy bike ride. With the way phone and laptop batteries are these days I can log something like 8 hours of uptime and work just about anywhere I want without needed even so much as a power outlet.

Cyberpunk dystopias and late stage capitalism put aside for a moment - I actually really kind of like the idea of being able to live action role play being a Deliverator like it's a real world alternate reality or augmented reality video game.

There were exciting parts about working for Postmates that I really and truly enjoyed. Being out there on the streets in the thick of it, people watching, mixing it up riding in traffic and getting charged up from adrenaline. I remember working the night when the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl and it was totally wild and kind of amazing having a reason to be right there when the streets suddenly flooded with people and most of the city turned into a huge street party and parade.

The technology for this is all very mature. Between ebikes, a decent phone and commonplace technology like handsfree audible navigation, bluetooth speakers, digital trunked commercial radios and even heads up displays the fun, techy, zoomy part of that fiction is right there and it doesn't actually have to suck and be so exploitative.

And I think we're getting to a point where people who do use these delivery services would like to be able to use one that manages to somehow pay a decent wage even if it costs more, but even better if it actually leverages technology and overall platform architecture and design to benefit the workers and provide better service.

The general idea of these delivery services could be a greater community good if you did it right, and is really so valuable that it could almost be brought under the tent of public transportation and traffic reduction to the point that it might even make sense to subsidize it with public transportation funds instead of disruptive, dishonest venture capital schemes.

There's a whole standing army out there of people that would love to be able to make a living wage and get paid for riding bikes or ebikes around. Such a system or fleet could seriously reduce vehicular traffic and pollution. You could focus on electrically powered vehicles that use renewable energy and use that as a mandate to build out more solar and more electric vehicle charging stations.

And, sure, yeah, the window for this theoretically ideal delivery platform is either already closed or rapidly closing if you account for the threat of delivery robots, drones and self driving vehicles. I have some reservations about that happening in a cost effective way and operating the real outside world as opposed to the controllable environment of a factory. Similarly and related, they're already using remotely human piloted surface and air robots for this sort of thing, at least in trials.

I think that's one of the things that makes me most upset about this kind of tech enabled gig economy work - the idea that it really doesn't have to suck this much and be this avidly exploitative.
posted by loquacious at 9:47 PM on September 23 [10 favorites]


That open letter is clear, honest and such a damning indictment of Instacart's policies. Three of their demands:
1. Instacart shoppers must be paid by order, and not by batch. In 2019, when Apoorva Mehta publicly apologized for supplementing pay with tips in response to our protests, the company lowered the base pay floor from $10 to $7. But that’s not even the worst part — that $7 figure could cover up to three orders at once. If we shopped a single order, the base pay would be $7, but if we shopped three orders at once, the base pay would be $7 for the lot. Instead of a shopper fulfilling three orders for a total of $30 base, we now do it for a $7 base. This is effectively a 76% cut to base pay, and is unacceptable.

2. Instacart must re-introduce item commission. When Instacart lowered our base pay, it also removed item commission. The $7 base pay was supposed to be a floor that would raise depending on the size of the order. However, nearly every order now pays $7 regardless of the size. A single two item order pays $7, and a triple 50 item order pays $7. Item commission ensures that workers are paid for their time, since the more items that are in the order, the longer it takes to fill.

3. Instacart’s rating system can no longer unfairly punish shoppers for issues outside their control. For example, the company has an issue with customer fraud that is unfairly impacting workers. Instacart’s lacking fraud detection ability and policies make it very easy for customers to get free groceries by falsely marking items as missing/damaged, with the blame constantly falling on the shopper. Even when we provide photos of deliveries, Instacart can either lower our rating (which prevents us from seeing good offers for weeks), or deactivate us from the platform entirely. A single 4-star rating is enough to affect our pay for weeks. There’s even a Facebook group of 2,000 of these shoppers, the majority of who were deactivated for this reason. Instacart’s inability to properly investigate customer complaints should not result in blame unfairly placed on shoppers.
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:15 PM on September 23 [4 favorites]


I don't use the app. I decided to delete my account. Here's how, so far:

"If you’re sure you want to close your account completely, please contact us directly. For faster assistance, be sure to include the name on the account and the login email address or phone number."

Contact page is here. I'm going to try the chat option, but I expect they'll be busy so I'll have to e-mail.

I know so so so many people who are studying/have studied to do computer programming stuff since the pandemic started, and bunch even before that... surely someone could be paid to make their dang software better, or to track fraud from certain individuals/investigate problems, make it possible to return wrong items, SOMETHING other than lazy "most people don't lie and treat people fairly" zero-protection-for-shoppers coding.
posted by amtho at 10:21 PM on September 23


Totally worked.
posted by amtho at 11:26 PM on September 23


Why the hell does Instacart even exist?

I really feel this question. Not because I don't understand the value of delivery services (I'm partly disabled and don't have a car so they're a big part of my life these days) - but because where I live now (not in the US), every place delivers. Even tiny corner stores have their own delivery setup servicing their immediate area. This has been the case for as long as I can remember. There are lots of people without cars, lots of old people living independently, etc., so it just makes a lot of sense. I was truly confused to find out, when the pandemic started, that most supermarkets in the US didn't offer their own deliveries, because it seems like such an obvious need - and because it was something I took completely for granted.

So I hope instacart gets its act together, and that legislators get their act together and pass comprehensive worker protection measures. But also I wonder if in-house delivery capabilities wouldn't be the best way to go both for businesses and for customers. And I hope that movements trying to reduce car use take the need to encourage, support, and possibly even require solid delivery infrastructure into account.
posted by trig at 1:21 AM on September 24 [2 favorites]


I remember when Walmart tested out their own delivery service back in the mid-90s, before Webvan had its very short life. Given that it never expanded outside the initial test markets and went away in a year or so, I presumed they couldn't figure out a way to make it profitable at a price people are willing to pay.

Amazon's Prime Now service was pretty good while it lasted since they paid drivers a somewhat reasonable fixed rate, but then they started deducting tips from the block rate until they got in trouble for it and now they've shut down the service, so I'm again thinking that there still aren't enough people willing to pay the true cost to make grocery delivery viable.
posted by wierdo at 4:06 AM on September 24


Instacart exists because VCs think grocery delivery can eventually be profitable and grocery stores do not. Even though in theory a grocery store should be able to pick a basket much more cheaply than Instacart so it's grocery stores thought it was a real business they could end Instacart pretty quickly. You'll note in the UK when stores think delivery can work Instacart doesn't really exist the way it does in the us. UK grocers have higher margins as a starting point, the market is more consolidated and population densities are higher so you get better drop densities. I'm totally not sure who is right.

Interesting, I had wondered why it was that the US didn't have this. I wonder if some of it has to do not just with raw average densities but also density patterns. US and UK both have dense urban areas but I think many people who live in them have life patterns that take them past food shops on foot pretty often anyway so the impetus to get food delivered for the week is much less - when I lived in innerish London I would never have considered buying more than a small amount of food at a time. On the other hand England has much denser suburbs so there is a larger number of people who both lives that call for weekly large grocery deliveries *and* live in dense enough areas to make the delivery economics stack up. Most Americans by the time they get to a weekly grocery order phase of life are in much sparser areas.
posted by atrazine at 5:38 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]


"If you’re sure you want to close your account completely, please contact us directly. For faster assistance, be sure to include the name on the account and the login email address or phone number."

Is this…. even legal?

I don’t have Instacart, but I am going to link to a Popehat thread about his partner’s experience trying to cancel long distance service and being stonewalled, in case Instacart has a similar crappy practice.
posted by Silvery Fish at 5:47 AM on September 24


[Try cancelling a NYTimes crossword puzzle subscription...]
posted by trig at 6:24 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]


Amazon's Prime Now service was pretty good while it lasted since they paid drivers a somewhat reasonable fixed rate, but then they started deducting tips from the block rate until they got in trouble for it and now they've shut down the service, so I'm again thinking that there still aren't enough people willing to pay the true cost to make grocery delivery viable.

Seems to still exist in my area, I could get a delivery today. Looks like what got shut down earlier this year was just the app / distinct branding, with ordering consolidated into a single app?
posted by advil at 6:53 AM on September 24


If you want to be the Deliverator, do cannabis delivery. The delivery drivers in my area are all driving company Teslas.

Cannabis delivery services show what delivery jobs can be like if you pay good wages and don't overwork your drivers. In terms of revenue $/trip it's pretty similar to grocery delivery. But supermarkets are very low margin, not just compared to weed, but compared to retail in general.
posted by ryanrs at 11:06 AM on September 24 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile NYC passes protections for food delivery drivers
As first reported by THE CITY, the Council’s six-bill package — which includes granting couriers access to restaurant bathrooms, mandating minimum payments per trip and ensuring that tips get to workers — is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
posted by trig at 11:51 AM on September 24 [2 favorites]


The delivery drivers in my area are all driving company Teslas.

In L.A. this is definitely not so. In your area, Starbucks baristas may be driving Teslas. Or, if they really are company cars, maybe because that's the driver's conveyance has been deemed too declasse.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:58 AM on September 24


I have sometimes wondered if it's wise for them to have company vanity plates on their fleet of Teslas, given the trunk is filled with weed and cash. This is in the Bay Area.
posted by ryanrs at 12:05 PM on September 24 [1 favorite]


Is this…. even legal?

It shouldn't be, but to tangentI think I finally solved my rampant SnapChat signup spam problem with yet another scathing letter to their stupid wishy-washy support contacts by including the phrase "class action lawsuit", because now it seems like all of the various IPs I have available to me are now banned from the "report or remove account" links.

Which, yeah, might not be the victory I think it is because it probably means they're still letting random people abuse my email address while authenticating and activating via their phone or app or something.

But seriously if there's ever a class action lawsuit about this account activation spam from Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat those fucking fuckers owe me a shit ton of money for wasted time.
posted by loquacious at 4:36 PM on September 24 [1 favorite]


If you want to be the Deliverator, do cannabis delivery.

I would be into this but in Washington State it's kind of a grey area, and I don't live somewhere dense enough to support it.

The delivery drivers in my area are all driving company Teslas.

I really don't want to drive a Tesla*. I want to ride my ebike at inadvisable speeds and maybe even upgrade it until it's even more ludicrously fast and being able to bend and break rules that licensed vehicles can't get away with.

I can't take shortcuts through twisty off road bike trails and singletracks with a Tesla or ICE car, and with the way I like to ride my bike there's a lot more risky physics and legal danger involved with any kind of licensed vehicle.

In addition to that I'm trying to break transportation paradigms, not because I'm afraid of cars but because I'm ideologically opposed to them and I want to be different or something.

*Caveat: Oh hell yes I would love to take a Tesla Roadster or Model S Plaid on a closed track just for fun. But getting stuck in traffic or speed limits is not as much fun. YMMV.
posted by loquacious at 4:46 PM on September 24 [3 favorites]


I'd rather have one out on a very empty 395, tbh.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:16 PM on September 24


Seems to still exist in my area, I could get a delivery today. Looks like what got shut down earlier this year was just the app / distinct branding, with ordering consolidated into a single app?

AFAICT, that's only for Whole Foods stuff. Prime Now had all the standard grocery items plus a smattering of random bits and bobs. I would love to be corrected if I'm missing something.
posted by wierdo at 8:41 PM on September 24


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