- A lawmaker in NY says DoorDash encouraged drivers to send her pre-written emails.
- The emails encouraged legislators to stop supporting a bill capping delivery fees.
- DoorDash told Insider that the bill could hurt delivery workers and their ability to earn money.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A New York county is considering making delivery fee caps permanent, and DoorDash is pushing drivers to email local lawmakers about it.
Monroe County legislator Rachel Barnhart, who introduced a bill that would cap fees delivery services can charge restaurants, tweeted Saturday that she was receiving emails from DoorDash delivery drivers saying a fee cap would hurt their earnings.
She received between 50 and 100 emails all following the same format that led her to believe the emails were written using the same form, Barnhart told Insider.
-Rachel Barnhart (@rachbarnhart) August 21, 2021
A DoorDash spokesperson told Insider that the bill could hurt delivery workers and their ability to earn money.
“Dashers are concerned about how the commission cap in Monroe County will impact their earnings. This bill could raise the price of deliveries and result in less orders, hurting delivery workers and their ability to earn. Local restaurants would similarly be affected by the decrease in orders, in addition to how it’ll impact their ability to choose what works best for their small business,” they said.
On August 21, DoorDash emailed Rochester area delivery drivers a message with the subject line “Take Action Now to Protect Your Earnings,” according to an email viewed by Insider.
“Monroe County is considering new legislation that could negatively impact your ability to earn money on delivery platforms like DoorDash. Your legislators will be voting on this bill this coming Monday, August 23rd, and they need to hear from Dashers like you TODAY!” the email said, linking to a form where drivers could fill in personal details to the outline.
The form DoorDash sent to drivers looks to be the same as the emails Barnhart received. It begins: “My name is [@advFirst] and I am a [@advCity] based courier with DoorDash,” where drivers could fill in the information to easily send it out.
The pandemic of the last 18 months more than doubled business for delivery services like DoorDash and Grubhub as people stayed home and indoor dining was limited or outlawed. DoorDash alone controls about 50% of the market.
The bill proposed by Barnhart would make the cap on delivery fees third-party services can charge restaurants permanent. Fees have been capped at 15% since December 2020, when County Executive Adam Bello signed an executive order.
“It’s not uncommon for these services to charge restaurants as much as 30 percent of the purchase price on an order. This common sense executive order worked, it saved countless restaurants thousands of dollars the six months it was in effect,” Bello said, according to Rochester City Newspaper.
The proposed bill will make exceptions for restaurants to pay more for marketing purposes, Barnhart said, and she will table the bill while that section is rewritten. Barnhart has also proposed a bill that would require delivery services receive consent from restaurants to list them for delivery.
“Small restaurants need some protections here,” Barnhart told Insider, “Or we’ll be left with only chain restaurants.”
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