Tip-baiting: we see it too (well, some of us)

From the Daily Mail:

Instacart workers say that customers afraid to head out to the supermarket during the coronavirus lockdown are luring them with big tips only to cancel the gratuity entirely after delivering the groceries to their homes.

 The big tips are offered so as to increase the chances of having an order delivered within a reasonable time frame – a challenge these days considering the surge in demand for grocery deliveries.

The practice is known as ‘tip-baiting’ – but customers have up to three days after delivery to change the tip amount or remove it entirely.

One Instacart worker said she was left ‘demoralized’  after being promised a $55 tip, only for the customer to switch it to $0 after she put herself at risk to fetch and deliver their groceries.

‘I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe it,’ employee Annalilisa Arambula told CNN Business.

A spokesperson for Instacart told CNN that it is rare for customers to adjust their tips downward after delivery.

The spokesperson said the company recently removed the ‘none’ option for a tip, so if a customer chose not to leave a tip they would have to type in ‘0’.

Observers from the far future will read a story like this and be puzzled at why we weren’t puzzled. You have an unskilled job, really no training required, record unemployment, and yet a shortage of workers. I see it, but indeed it doesn’t seem that many of my contemporaries do. The shortage is not natural: we created it.

I do wonder how much of the lengthening of the great depression was accounted for by policies that attempted to make society wealthier by limiting the number of useful products that could be created. You had the Agricultural Adjustment Act in the United States, which paid farmers to destroy their products or not plant on their lands. Britain, India, the Netherlands, Siam, and France agreed to limit rubber production. To make sure the production energies of the region couldn’t be channeled into other types of economic activities, tea production was also reduced. On January 28, 1939, the British and Germans agreed on a coal cartel.

In our era, it’s only for oil where economically illiterate bozos like Trump are demanding lower production in order to make society wealthier.* But the unemployment policy is having the same effect: we’re paying people not to supply labor and then wondering why we don’t have enough of it. Madness.

*The Left isn’t raising much of a fuss as restricting oil production supports its “green” agenda, and is privately laughing at all the dumb Blompfers following their cult leader.

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