Woman talking(l+r), Hand holding phone with door dash app(c)

Diego Thomazini/Shutterstock @_sydneyjewell/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Same thing happened to me’: DoorDasher delivered through snowstorm to complete referral bonus orders. She never got the money

“And they’re like ‘We don't know where the money is.’”


Grace Rampaul


Posted on Jan 31, 2024   Updated on Jan 31, 2024, 5:53 am CST

DoorDash holds a net worth of $43 billion and has become one of the leading food-delivery services in the industry. So why are the workers claiming their bonuses are being withheld?

Four days ago, Tik Tok Sydney (@_sydneyjewell) opened a can of worms on DoorDash calling the corporation out for its apparent inability to uphold promises. After allegedly not receiving her promised $400 referral payment from the corporation, Sydney gained over 80,000 views on her video while pleading with  DoorDash to simply “do better.”

“I have a really big bone to pick with doordash right now,” Sydney began. 

Sitting in the driver’s seat of her car, the college student began informing viewers about her experience with DoorDash. To make a little extra cash, Sydney joined her boyfriend’s dashing escapades in hopes of receiving a $400 referral bonus if she completed enough deliveries in the designated time. 

“You could do a referral fee for a bonus, so he would work for me and I would have to do 130 deliveries within 60 days and we would both receive $400.” Sydney said. “We were doing really good.”

Little did she know that Knoxville, Tennessee would quickly begin to battle a major snowstorm, almost shutting her city down entirely. Determined to help the couple, Sydney’s father decided to drive the hopeful youngsters through the surrounding neighborhoods, dropping off orders as they went.

Sydney even showed footage of her boyfriend running down a snow-ridden, icy hill to get a delivery out in time. After spending the totality of the storm completing orders, they had finally done it. 

“We were so excited because it had taken a few days and we worked really hard and we were just ready to receive the money.” Sydney said. 

Yet as days became weeks, it was clear to Sydney that paying the couple for their donkeywork was not a top priority for DoorDash. She then contacted DoorDash multiple times to be struck with the same continual set of questions and responses.

“Verify your date of birth, zip code, last four digits of your driver’s license,” the email stated followed by a reference number. 

When finally met with a real response, DoorDash intel was of little help. 

“We don’t know where the money is,” Sydney quoted. 

After her TikTok finally began gaining traction, other dashers were complaining of similar situations, so DoorDash left a comment asking for Sydney to reach out one final time. So, she did. But in an update posted Tuesday, Sydney was met with the polar opposite response of what she so desperately awaited. 

“We regret to inform you that your dasher account has been deactivated because your completion rating fell below the minimum threshold required under your Independent Contractor Agreement and the Service Provider Platform Access Policy.” the email stated. 

While Sydney isn’t exactly sure if this deactivation is correlated to her seemingly endless attempts at getting paid, she mentions that it is clear to her that the timing is fishy. 

@_sydneyjewell do better @DoorDash #dasher #doordashdriver #doordasher #greenscreenvideo ♬ original sound – SYD💞🪩🎀💅🫶

It’s common for customers and Dashers alike to complain about the platform and its rules in viral videos.

In a Daily Dot story from a month ago, TikToker Brice (@missbriiiice) expressed her frustration on DoorDash after it refused to refund her for items she never received. And while DoorDash also commented on her video, Brice was flabbergasted that it took a video going viral to get a human response. 

“I’ve spent so much money on this app and y’all are hanging up on me for THREE DOLLARS????? Time for uber eats,” Brice said. 

And much like the comment section of Sydney’s video, the page was flooded with users sharing their similar situations. 

Sydney, however, managed to stay composed and unflustered in her update video relating to these commenters and acknowledging that life isn’t always fair. It’s unclear if the Knoxville couple will ever receive their compensation, but Sydney is happy that she at least could tell her story.

“It’s a learning experience but yeah I definitely learned a lot how big companies don’t always have to hold their word with you,” she said.

The Daily Dot has reached out to DoorDash via email and Sydney via TikTok comment and DM. 

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*First Published: Jan 31, 2024, 6:00 am CST