Instacart shopper slams company for going public after slashing shopper pay

@wfantry/TikTok sdx15/ShutterStockwq (Licensed)

‘Making a Spotify wrapped for your employees is wild’: Instacart shopper slams company for ‘Thank You’ after slashing worker pay

'Exploitation Wrapped.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Sep 26, 2023   Updated on Sep 26, 2023, 2:32 pm CDT

An Instacart shopper is criticizing the company for not sharing any of the wealth it earned after the popular delivery application went public on the stock market, electing to show its appreciation for its employees by creating an algorithm-based “Spotify Wrapped” style presentation delineating their on-the-job statistics.

TikTok user @wfantry launched a sarcastic diatribe against the company where he walks through each portion of the slideshow, commenting on the individual words of encouragement and gratitude from the company, but then comically asking at the end whether or not he’s going to get a raise or promotion after dedicating three years of his life actively working for the company.

He also mentions how the business’ billionaire founder decided to leave the company after it went public, right around the same time the application cut pay for its employees, dropping its minimum shopper order from $7 pay per delivery to $4.

@wfantry so we’re gonna get paid more now right #gigworker #pizzaparty #work #deliverydriver #employee #doordash #instacart #billionaire #deliveryapps #workersrights #union #wealthinequality #ceo #stockmarket #corporate #quietquitting ♬ original sound – Wfantry

The TikToker begins his video by showing a notification bubble inside of his Instacart application that he feigns excitement over.

“Oh, the company I work for just went public on the stock market, raised a whole bunch of money. I wonder if there’s gonna be new perks for the workers,” he begins.

The shopper then points to the app’s summary of all the work he’s done. “Oh what, for me? What, no way! I know that guy! That’s me I’m him! I’m him! I’m that guy!” he says. “That’s a freaking lot, you’ve been doing a lot of work, working hard doing a lot of work huh?”

He goes on to comment on the company’s messaging to him as an employee, rattling off his thoughts on the work statistics Instacart populated as part of his “wrapped” employee experience.

“Oh, you noticed that we put a lot of thought and effort into our jobs and have a positive impact on the community and you remembered that I’ve been working for three years and I start during the pandemic!” he says, still feigning excitement.

The TikToker then points to the number of Instacart deliveries he’s made: 2,420. “It is kind of wild stepping back and seeing that’s how many total I’ve actually like fully shopped and delivered to customers. I can barely count that high,” he says, before the next slide reveals that he’s shopped for 29,646 items over the last few years. “OK, that’s out of hand. That is way too many items, holy crap, that’s, scary to think about.”

He continues to lambast the “Spotify Wrapped” stylized summary of his work as an Instacart shopper, continually making fun of the different slides in the presentation the company put together for him that pieced together his on-the-job statistics working for the food delivery application. “This is bananas! B-a-n-a-n-a-s,” he sardonically cheers, mocking the statistic that highlights the number of bananas he’s picked up for Instacart users.

“And let it be known that this company used to tank your batch availability in the algorithm if your average rating was anywhere below a perfect 5 stars in the last 100 orders you did, and it was actually pretty common for customers to not leave a star rating on your orders. So like, this has to be a really good like overall average for my entire order list for my entire time working here,” he says, pointing to the 948 5-star ratings he’s received from patrons he delivered groceries to. “Surely, right?”

“And the company noticed they see I’ve been working hard and doing a good job at my job! They noticed! I’m getting a promotion! I’m getting an increase in pay!” he continues. “That’s what they’re doing that’s what’s happening, right? This isn’t it, is it? There’s more right?” he says, looking at a final screen that shows an aggregate of his statistical highlights, along with his Instacart profile picture.

“That’s not all, is it? Right? Please? You just raised $660 million and your market value’s about $10 billion, you, you, I can have $2 bucks?”

He then highlights another news article via green screen on his TikTok video which details how Instacart has cut driver pay, “Oh no,” he says, laughing. “Why’d that happen? Why did this happen? Oh no! Why did this happen?”

This green screen was followed up by another green screen of an article that details how the founder of Instacart, Apoorva Mehta, who has a net worth of $1.3 billion, ultimately “cut ties with the company” after it went public and raised a bunch of cash. “Enjoy the $1.3 billion dollars, and also Instacart still owes me $1,359.90 in paid time off that they never paid me for when I had to go down to Florida for my grandpa’s funeral.”

Numerous TikTokers who saw the clip thought that the move from Instacart was as insensitive as @wfantry did.

“Making a Spotify wrapped for your employees is wild,” one viewer commented.

Another person simply penned, “Exploitation wrapped”

Someone else also speculated as to the financial injustice that will occur as a result of Instacart going public and sharing the wealth with shareholders who did nothing to make the company successful instead of the employees who provided services for the business. “And now their going to send all their profits to Wall Street Shareholders who don’t work at the company and didn’t do anything to create the profit,” they argued.

One TikToker said that this is a clear-cut reason why gratuities need to be removed from the business models of delivery applications and the food service industry in general. “This is why tips needs to end because now it’s an excuse to pay workers less than the bare minimum,” they claimed.

“You know what’s even better? The workers are now more reliant on tips, but The purchase fees stay the same,” another user on the platform ironically pointed out.

There was another TikToker who seemingly responded to @wfantry’s last point about not being paid for his time off when he had to head to Florida. “Gig workers need to be classed all full time employees if they’re out on the road for 8+ hours a day. Given benefits and a proper wage,” the user said.

@wfantry did remark in the comments section that pay was a bit better in 2021, but the IPO news, paired with the “Wrapped” gift the company gave to its workers, was a slap in the face. “In summer 2021 I worked 60-90+ hour weeks, pay was better (appropriate, even) back then, but the point still stands,” he said.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Instacart via email and @wfantry via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Sep 26, 2023, 2:31 pm CDT