Opinion: Be alert for dishonest drivers taking advantage of DoorDash customers

Our security camera caught a fuzzy image of the late-model maroon Ford Explorer my fake DoorDash driver was operating when he made his delivery.

Nelson County Gazette

Sunday, July 30, 2023 — My family and I have used DoorDash from time to time over the past couple of years when we have a craving for fast food without taking time to drive to town to pick it up.

DoorDash uses a smartphone app and allows you to order food, groceries and other items from a variety of local restaurants and stores. We’ve had a very good experience with DoorDash — until now.


I recently ordered a sandwich and fries from our local McDonalds via DoorDash. The DoorDash app lets you know the first name of the driver assigned to bring you your order.

My order was assigned to a driver named “Brooke.” When my Dasher arrived, it wasn’t a woman named Brooke, but a man who exited the vehicle with my food.

This kind of switch really isn’t unusual; some DoorDashers bring a co-pilot — a girlfriend, spouse or child — who they have run the food order to the front door or specified delivery point.

The driver brought my food, but instead of leaving, he asked me about my giving him a tip.

It took me a moment to understand what he was asking for, but I finally realized he was asking for a tip that was above and beyond the tip I had already paid the driver via the DoorDash app.

When you order on the DoorDash app, you specify the tip you wish to give your driver. You can go with the app’s recommended tip, or you can provide a larger or smaller tip.

I explained to the driver, who I’ll call “Mr. Q,” that I paid a tip when I placed my food order.

Mr. Q told me that DoorDash no longer gives those tips to their drivers. The only money he would receive was if I gave him a tip outside of DoorDash.

This was news to me; a change like this would have been all over the tech news websites, and I hadn’t read anything about such a change. There certainly had been no change in the DoorDash app itself.

But Mr. Q was adamant that I give him a tip while he was standing there — in cash or via his preferred cash transfer app.

“That’s why they’re such a big company, dude,” he explained, telling me again that he would only get a tip if provided outside of DoorDash.

Everything about this sounded wrong, but since this was just a $3 or $4 tip we were talking about, I gave him a tip via the app of his choice. With the tip sent, he left me alone with my lunch, which by now was cold and stale.

While I munched, I checked DoorDash’s policies regarding tips; I quickly found out DoorDash hasn’t changed how it pays drivers tips — Mr. Q. was an out-and-out lying scumbag.

But my decision to tip Mr. Q had one benefit — in the process, I was given his full name. I checked Mr Q on social media and learned a lot about who he was.

First, I discovered he was a good friend of Brooke, the actual DoorDash driver. He apparently was using her DoorDash account and making deliveries on her behalf. I don’t really have a problem with that. The problem was his scamming me out of an additional tip with his bald-faced lies.

Mr. Q’s social media also revealed he formerly lived in Gainesville, Fla., and that as of earlier this year, he worked at Tower Automotive.

At this point, I decided it was time to report Mr. Q’s activities — and his misuse of a DoorDash account.

I wrote a lengthy complaint to DoorDash’s support folks, explaining in detail Mr. Q’s tapestry of falsehoods he wove while working to extract a tip from yours truly.

DoorDash is diligent about checking who they hire. They require background checks on all their drivers. Mr. Q was not vetted by the company, and that created an additional concern for me — if a man is willing to lie to your face for a $4 tip, what else is he capable of doing for money?

Later that day, I had a call from DoorDash’s corporate headquarters following up on my complaint. We had a discussion about what happened, and the DoorDash rep told me the company’s fraud department would investigate the incident.

A later email from DoorDash corporate apologized for what happened. To resolve the problem, the company said my future DoorDash orders would not be assigned to Brooke, the DoorDash driver.

After giving it some thought, I decided their resolution really didn’t address the real problem — a non-DoorDash person telling lies to con a customer out of additional tips. That’s when I decided to write this column — to alert other DoorDash customers that they may meet their own version of Mr. Q..

If someone delivers your DoorDash order and asks for a tip outside the app, don’t believe them. The company pays its drivers a base rate for each delivery and adds the tip customers give the drivers through the DoorDash app. No matter what the delivery driver tells you, the actual DoorDash driver DOES get the tip you specify when you order.

I’ll follow my own advice next time, too — if something looks suspicious, dig a little deeper to confirm the story you are being told is the truth.

Let the buyer beware.


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