My name is Joseph Mandracchia, I have been making money using driving apps on a full-time basis since mid-late 2018 and have completed over 7500 deliveries. It is my hope to impart some of my knowledge to you to help you succeed in the gig economy!
So the inspiration behind this article was because of this ridiculous yet relatable driving experience that I had when I had some spare time visiting some family!
If you don't believe in fun and don't want to laugh at my problems, click here and skip past the story.
So recently I took a trip to Pompano Beach, Florida to visit some family, I got bored because everyone is either working or just busy doing other things
At some point and turned on Doordash, like why not make some money while I didn't have anything better to do right?
Received an order, Distance seemed a bit exaggerated but I was on the A1A and if you know what that is like, it's a strip of land, a body of water, and the mainland of Florida.
So when I got this order, I thought that it was a solid $8.50 with 5 miles of driving in total, and it was. So I decided to head downstairs from the 8th floor of the building I was staying in, in the slowest elevator ever, and get to my car.
Got a notification, "you don't seem to be moving towards your vehicle, if you need help contact us here" I am like, great hop in my car and drive behind, from what I can gather from where I was and the way she was driving, the oldest woman in the world.
Come ON really??
Now the A1A is a 1 lane road so I can't just go around her so I have to deal with it.
I turn left onto Atlantic Blvd and I am seeing flashing red lights and a bar coming down. Why? A drawbridge was going up and for 10 minutes I am sitting there.
Get a notification, "Please make your way towards the restaurant or we will have to remove the order from your application."
Oh geez, now I am stressing out!
Bridge goes down and of course, I hit every red light at least once! Some twice because making a left turn on US1 means you have to be in the left lane and with the amount of backup on Atlantic it was a nightmare to just make it down the road.
Now if I were in NY, I would have no problem just using side streets because I know the roads, but here in FL I am in unfamiliar territory and don't know as much as I should.
Now I am on US1 driving down, and come to find I was wrong. This was clearly the oldest woman in the world in front of me. Imagine Mr. Magoo as a woman, this is her.
Now this time it is different, I am in a 3 lane road so I can go around her. Can't go left around her because she is in the left lane, merge right and someone merges left what feels like right in front of me to wall me off.
Try merging again, someone turned right onto US1 cutting me off! Now I have 3 slow cars driving down US1 next to each other and while it doesn't seem coordinated, it really feels that way.
Finally got to the restaurant, and picked up the order from Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, and I don't know why but it felt like all the people who were slowing me down just decided to get off the road all at once.
I drop off the delivery and I am furious to find I got a contract violation for being 12 minutes late from the expected time!
Go into my ratings page and at the very top it said, 1 contract violation. I had the worst pit in my chest after that.
So I decided to look into how to fight this and how to really go about not getting deactivated to simply put it.
As I did this, I decided to write an article about contract violations to help you not have the same kind of panic attack I had.
What are Contact Violations?
In the recent times of Doordash's growth into what may be the most lucrative and fastest growing food delivery service in recent memory, you are bound to have some people who don't follow the rules and regulations, especially with a low barrier of entry.
So in an attempt to help filter out the Dasher's that do not follow the rules, they implemented what is known as contract violations.
Contract Violations are when an independent contractor for Doordash (dashers) does something that breaks the contract you agreed upon to open a Dashforce account (dasher account) and that violation would serve as a valid basis for deactivation on the platform.
Now this may seem like a negative thing and is a negative thing, this is actually a positive development overall.
This was put in place as opposed to what they used to do, and that would just straight up deactivate you, and you would be forced to fight them on it, be given a ridiculous run around and thousands of upset people would post about it on YouTube.
In this case, you have a chance to explain your side of things before they deactivate you on the platform and just take the customers word for it.
"I'm a Great Driver for Doordash, I am not worried"
That's great and I am happy you are taking this seriously, I am not telling you about this because I think that you are doing something terrible. If you were, you wouldn't have been looking into this at all.
But let's be honest here, things are going to happen with your car and on the road which can lead to random nonsense that you cannot truly control slowing you down, and knowing how to plead your case in the event that this does happen is going to help you out a lot.
It's because of this, simply speculation, that Doordash has put together such a great team of people who can look into your case for you and prevent you from getting deactivated in the first place.
I am very thankful for that personally because if they didn't have that in place, I might not have been able to tell my side of the story, which may have resulted in deactivation.
What are the Most Common Contract Violations?
So there are really two contract violations that can come up frequently enough that it needs to be talked in depth about, they are what they define as extreme lateness and customer marked order as never arrived.
These may not be the only ones and it can grow over time, but these are the ones people are seeing so far.
Let's go deeper into these subjects and have a look at what they are, what can you do in the event you do get one and how to prevent getting them in the first place.
Customer Marked Order as Never Arrived
So a customer marking an order as never arrived means that the customer claims that the order never made it to their home. While that may seem self explanatory, there are more reasons you can receive one of these violations.
Let's say you mark the order as delivered, the instructions say leave at the door and you choose to mark it as "handed to the customer". Whether that's because you did, or you wanted to save time and just leave it at the door, ring the bell and run back to your car.
The customer can mark it as delivered and because you didn't cover your behind, you open yourself up to that.
Now let's say the customer is just being dishonest and you did the proper amount of work, you took the picture, sent it to them and left a kind note saying you dropped it off at whereever and hope you had a great day.
Doordash has a team to do a thorough investigation on people who do that as well as the dashers to determine what actually happened.
Now if you are one of those people that steal peoples food, get off my website you unbelievable d*ck! I am not here to tell you how to not get away with stuff that you shouldn't be getting away with!
What to do if you Receive an Order Never Arrived Violation?
If you get this violation, the first thing I need you to do is calm the heck down! Yes, I did say it like that! You aren't going to be able to convey a proper explanation for what happened if you are all uppity and emotional, so chill!
Chilled out? Good.
Now this part is assuming that you delivered the order, as you should have and the customer is being either dishonest or more frequently in my experience, they put the wrong address and you are on the receiving end of their nonsense.
Next let's go to your ratings tab and tap the contract violation rating, it will then tell you to provide additional details. This is the part where you provide as many relevant and case building details as possible to ensure that you are covered properly.
Before we do however, let's talk about what types of details that you should and shouldn't include.
Details you should include if you have them:
Where you dropped off the order (front door, mailbox, bench, apartment number provided by the customer, building number, location identifying landmarks, etc.)
Who you left the order with (the customer themselves, the customers significant other and their name, a family member and their name, etc.)
When you dropped it off (what time, were you early, on time, was it night or day, etc.)
Why you chose to hand to customer as opposed to leave at the door (the met you outside, they opened the door the moment I arrived, weather challenges, etc.)
What the customer/person who took the order looked like (gender, age, ethnicity based on appearance, clothing, tattoos, other identifying factors, etc.)
Their reaction when you arrived (were they happy to see you, did they give you a rude look, were they rude in general, did they have any reaction at all, etc.)
What words you exchanged (comments, complements, complaints, conversation, insults, etc.)
What the weather was like that day (raining, sunny, cloudy, dark or bright, super hot or super cold, etc.)
Glitches in the system (GPS, bad service area, app crashes, etc.)
Respect and Appreciation to all parties involved (give everyone the benefit of the doubt, there may be more happening than what is on the surface)
Details you should NOT include:
Your opinions (of the customer, of the Doordash policies, of the restaurant, of the situation, etc.)
Profanity or insults of any kind (Curse words, name-calling, discriminating commentary, etc.)
Stereotypes ("this is another one of those scammers", "I have seen people like this before", "I know what you are doing", etc.)
Anything that can seem like finger pointing (I know it's hard, but just give the facts, the last thing you want is a fight on your end)
False information (lies, manipulations, overexaggerating the circumstances, etc.)
Some of this may seem like common sense, however common sense is not common practice anymore so I am taking the time to write about it.
The details should just be a simple paragraph, I think they have a 500 character limit as well so do your best to convey the facts in a concise manner.
However, if you have more details that cannot be conveyed properly in 500 characters I would also give the full story in an email to DashForce@DoorDash.com
You can also give Dasher Support a call and fill out a report with them, although this is usually less reliable than an email.
Now that you have done everything you can move along throughout your day from here until Doordash reaches out to you, if they even do. Sometimes, you just don't hear back from them and.
However, what this does is provides your side of things which is taken into account by the deactivation appeals decision.
Doordash also has a specialized team that works to identify the reports made by customers who are providing fraudulent information and works to have those reports to not count against Dashers.
Preventative Action Against Order Never Arrived Violations
So there are a couple of things you can do to ensure that these things do not even come up in the first place.
These things are very simple to do and only take a few seconds of your time, as opposed to going through the whole fiasco in the first place.
Follow the Instructions (hand to the customer, leave at the door, ring the bell, call/text upon arrival, knock on the door, etc)
Take a picture anyway (if a customer comes out to meet you, even when they stated leave at the door, just say that Doordash expects it of you for fraud prevention or something along those lines and you should be fine)
Provide Additional Details upon delivery as well as a complement (Hey just dropped off your food *insert location details here*, I hope you have an awesome day! is more than enough)
Mark the order as delivered immediately after you deliver it (Not beforehand to keep your on-time rating up, not much later when you are driving away, when you walking back or when you get back to your vehicle)
Communicate with your customers (can't find the building, can't find the suite number, can't find the front door, etc.) **if the customer is unresponsive make sure you follow the app instructions with as much detail as possible and to the T
Now this isn't going to prevent bad people from being bad, unfortunately you cannot change people. What this is going to do is cover your behind when things potentially go south in this way.
All in all, try to keep track of as many details as possible. In the event, that it does happen you are covered 6 ways to Sunday!
Now let's talk about the extreme lateness side of contract violations, because I feel you are more likely to see this than order never arrived.
Extreme lateness is defined by Doordash as failure to complete an opportunity you committed to in a timely manner.
According to the Dasher Support team, the metric that they are using to define "timely manner" is arriving to the restaurant or customer more than 10 minutes past the expected arrival time.
Now let me be clear, the time that is actually being calculated is the driving time from your location when you accepted the order to the restaurant and from the restaurant to the location.
This means that wait time in the restaurant, the time the customer ordered their food does not count towards the "timely manner" of you completing that order.
That doesn't necessarily mean that I think it is enough to account for extenuating circumstances, but these aren't my policies unfortunately.
What to do if you Receive an Extreme Lateness Violation?
Again first thing, calm down and relax. Get your emotions in check, and let me reassure you on something as well you are less likely to get deactivated with this violation than Order Never Arrived if you explain your position and side of the story properly.
I know it doesn't change how annoying it is, I know the amount of dumb nonsense that happens on the road that can prevent you from moving, and yeah 10 minutes is not actually enough wiggle room and that should be looked at more objectively.
However, I implore you to do your best to keep a level head here, follow my instructions and you will be okay.
You good? Great.
Now let's go to your ratings menu and hit contract violations so we can provide additional details.
Before you fill this out though, let's talk about the details you should and you shouldn't provide because they aren't the same as the ones you would use for Order Never Arrived.
Details you should include if you have them:
Unusual Obstacles that the GPS didn't account for (drawbridges, road closures, car accidents in the middle of the road, construction, etc.)
Traffic Conditions (morning rush hour, evening rush hour, traffic build up from a car accident, etc.)
Emergency vehicles with active sirens (fire trucks, police officers, ambulances, etc.)
The route the GPS took you (what intersections had the most back up, where were the obstacles on your route, what roads had only one lane, etc.)
Challenges that happened in the process of departure or arrival (stuck in a slow elevator from the whatever floor you were on, couldn't find parking, looking for the customers location, customer unresponsive, etc.)
The customers positive reaction upon receiving their order (were they pleased and excited, did they express gratitude or kindness, did they give you a complement, etc.) **this might be the most important because this is why Contract Violations are put in place. Weed out the bad dashers so customers are happy.
Any other type of factual verifiable information
Details you should NOT include:
Your Opinions (what you think of Doordash policies, what you think of the restaurant and their worker, what you think of they old lady that cut you off, etc.)
Insults or Profanity of any kind (Curses, name-calling, discriminating commentary, etc.)
The customers negative reaction or even lack of reaction upon receiving their order (Any kind of negative feeling from the customer towards you whether it's true or not is something you would rather just keep to yourself)
False information (lies, manipulations, overexaggerating the circumstances, etc.)
Again, some of this seems like common sense which really needs to become common practice. Which is why I am writing so much about this.
You will have about 500 characters to proper convey your side of the story, so again keep it concise. If you need more to proper convey your side of things email DashForce@DoorDash.com or call Dasher support and file a report with them.
You may or may not hear back from them, but as long as you send in your side as quickly as possible, you should be good if you did it right.
The specialized team will do an investigation and they will work with the appeal team to decide if it should count against your account.
Preventative Action Against Never Arrived Violations
Now there are a few things you can do to prevent this issue in the first place that you do have more control of.
Start in a location near restaurants and limit your driving distance getting to the restaurant
Know your roads and area like the back of your hand
Know where construction is being done and stay away!
Know the common obstacles would be (drawbridges, bad intersections, one-lane roads with slow drivers, etc.)
Choose to not drive in a certain area during rush hour (not always recommended but something to consider)
Consider making parking and other location based obstacles part of your NO-GO list if you have one
This isn't going to stop extenuating circumstances from happening, they will happen and you may receive a violation for that.
This will keep the frequent challenges of Doordash from making your life more challenging with preventable violations.
Just make sure when those circumstances come up you have a great amount of details that will help you and you should be okay.
How Long Will my Violation Stay on my Account?
Now that we prevented you from getting deactivated immediately, let's talk about how long it is going to stay on your account for and you how your driving for Doordash can help you remove the violation yourself.
The truth is, just like every other aspect of Doordash and gig economy as a whole, nothing is based on time but rather the work you actually do.
Therefore, the lifespan of that violation being on your app is determined by your work ethic.
So as it says on your app, your violations are based on your last 100 eligible deliveries. Therefore, you can literally work the violations off your account.
What is an Eligible Delivery on Doordash?
Eligible delivery is another one of those terms that don't have a definition on the website, it's like trying to give a real definition to desirability as a pay model metric (still can't find by the way). This time however, I contacted Dasher Support and got a definition from them.
An eligible delivery towards the last 100 orders, that the number of contract violations on your account is based off of, are orders that you accepted and completed.
So the more orders you accept and complete without contract violations, the more likely you will be able to work them off your account.
Can this be a way for Doordash to increase the orders being accepted that really should never be? The jury is still out on that but it is possible.
What Can I Do If I Get Deactivated from a Violation?
While it is frustrating to have this happen and I am sure there are people that have come back from that, I cannot speak from experience on this fact because I have never been deactivated as of yet.
*knock on wood*
There is a form you can file with Doordash one their website to actually appeal and it will be reviewed objectively by their specialized team.
You can always submit an appeal to towards a deactivation from contract violations or parts of the deactivation policy such as abuse, fraud, or violating the safety of the platform.
However, you cannot appeal to towards a deactivation based on objective metrics such as the minimum thresholds of Customer Rating or Completion Rating.
One thing I will say about this is I don't view this as something to be super concerned about and honestly I think this a great development Doordash has put in place.
It allows people who made a mistake to properly appeal their case, while still setting boundaries and kicking off dirtbags who try to take advantage of the system.
This is just my opinion of course, but I am really liking the direction Doordash is taking towards growing their organization and evolving in a positive way.
With that said, thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! I hope you found some value and that you can apply and help you succeed in this gig economy!