Instacart shopper says customer asked her to drive 20 miles for $4.

@calijessxo/TikTok sdx15/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Ur Instacart shopper is not your servant’: Instacart shopper says customer asked her to drive 20 miles for $4. It got worse

'I just feel abused.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Jan 17, 2024   Updated on Jan 17, 2024, 9:08 am CST

Gig workers are getting sick of people treating them poorly and not tipping well on top of that. This Instacart driver directly called out a customer, saying gig workers aren’t servants.

As gig work, like driving for a rideshare company or doing food and grocery delivery, becomes more popular and integrated into daily life, the people actually doing the work have noticed that some customers have become more demanding and stingier.

These workers often take to TikTok to share their experiences and air their frustrations. One DoorDasher called out a company that made her go out of her way to set up the food they ordered (which is not in her job description) just to leave no tip. Another driver got their revenge by eating the person’s food because they were rude.

In this viral video, Instacart driver Jess (@calijessxo) recounted an experience that left her feeling upset and undervalued.

“PSA ur instacart shopper is not your servant nor is it their responsibilty to fix ur mistakes,” Jess said via text.

In the TikTok, which has more than half-a-million views, Jess explained that she picked up a birthday cake for a woman and had to drive it 20 miles to her house, even though the pre-entered tip was only $4.

Initially, Jess said she was fine with the tip amount, saying it was “no biggie” since she likes working in the area where the cake was being delivered to.

“I don’t mind the sacrifice,” Jess said.

Jess said she got the cake and started her 30-minute drive, but as she was headed to the customer’s house, the woman messaged her, saying she needed the cake to arrive sooner. Well, given where the cake needed to be picked up from, getting to the customer’s house any sooner just wasn’t possible.

“I can’t charter a jet. I’m not Kylie Jenner,” Jess said to herself. To the customer, she just apologized and said she was on her way.

Then, another message popped up as Jess was nearing the house. It was the customer demanding that Jess deliver the cake to a different location instead, this time to a restaurant in Laguna Beach.

“Who … do you think you’re talking to? Your … husband? … Not me. Not me!” Jess said, her calm demeanor evaporating. “That … pissed me off. I wanted to … go off on her so … bad, dude.”

Jess pointed out that the woman either shouldn’t have waited until the last minute to get the cake or should have thought through the timing better and chosen a cake from a closer location.

“You’re gonna make all your … issues, all your … bad planning my … problem?” Jess questioned.

In a follow-up video, Jess said she ended up going to the woman’s house (the location listed on the order) and was still polite and apologetic upon delivery. The woman, she recalled, seemed pleasant enough in person, but the $4 tip was actually a $2.22 tip that she then reduced to $2.15.

In the caption, Jess said that she used to love being an Instacart shopper, but the job has soured.

“I hate this gig sm…it used to be great but now every time i shop a batch i just feel abused for my time and my vehicle,” Jess said.

@calijessxo I hate this gig sm…it used to be great but now every time i shop a batch i just feel abused for my time and my vehicle. #gigwork ♬ original sound – Jess🌈🌈

The video has more than 1,300 comments with a range of thoughts.

“When u took a bite I thought it was gonna be of the cake,” the top comment read, hoping the story would get juicer.

“One time I got smart with a customer and her whole family was waiting outside for me,” a worker shared.

“The $4 and expecting it to be delivered at a different address is Hilarious,” a person said.

The Daily Dot reached out to Jess for comment via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Jan 17, 2024, 4:00 pm CST