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Customer Gets Called Out By DoorDash Driver For 'Only' Tipping 30% Despite Having A 'Nice House'

Photo: @millennialrx / TikTok
Screenshots from @millennialrx TikTok

There have been countless clashes between DoorDash drivers and customers over what constitutes an appropriate tip, with each incident dividing people’s opinions. DoorDash drivers and other food delivery service workers are notoriously underpaid, and it’s not uncommon for frustrated drivers to lash out at customers who leave unsatisfactory tips.

On the flip side, it can be hard to tell what a reasonable tip would look like. You might think that 30% would be an appropriate tip, but one driver apparently disagreed.

A man posted a TikTok wondering if he was in the wrong for leaving a $5 tip on a $15 DoorDash order.

“Has this ever happened to you with DoorDash?” Ethan Melillo asked in a recent TikTok. He posted a message he received from his DoorDash driver, who said, “Nice house thanks for the $5 for 20min ride.”

Melillo went on to explain that his order was only $15 and that he had been under the impression that 30% was a generous tip. “Let me know, how much should I be tipping on a DoorDash order?” he said at the end of his video.



People in the comments of Melillo’s video mostly reassured him that his tip had been appropriate. “Former delivery driver, $5 tip for 20 min ride is completely reasonable,” one man said.

Others were struck by the audacity of the driver’s message, with one woman saying, “Wow... you’re better than me. I would’ve called DoorDash to get my tip back.”

While not many people condoned the driver’s message, a popular sentiment was that instead of tipping by the percentage of the order total, customers should tip based on the distance traveled by their driver.

“I always do $1 a mile with $5 being the lowest. They use their gas, their mileage, and have a higher insurance rate since they do delivery,” one woman shared.

Another commenter had a similar mindset, saying, “I always try to do at least $10. That's factoring in their time, gas, and wear on their car. It's not like going to a restaurant so % doesn't factor.” 

The $1-a-mile tipping strategy came up in multiple comments, with some suggesting doubling the miles traveled to determine a tip. “If the miles are bigger than payout I wouldn't drive it,” one person said.

Others pointed out that the driver could have declined the delivery if he felt that the tip was too small, although others added that this would affect his acceptance rates.

Ultimately, people agreed that the onus should be on DoorDash, or other third-party delivery companies, to fairly compensate their workers.

One comment summed it up nicely: “The problem is DoorDash pays like $4 for a 20-30 minute delivery, then you have to drive back. That’s not even gas money. It’s not even the customer's fault. But it gets taken out on the customer because they only interact with you. It’s not right but that’s what’s happening. Also, a lot of people lost their jobs during covid and need income.”

The fact that third-party delivery companies don't compensate workers enough, let alone reimburse them for any gas or expenses they've racked up, shows just how much of a bigger issue this is. When drivers can't afford to make a living wage, despite how hard they work, it's clear that tipping isn't even the "tip" of the iceberg.

Tipping culture in the US is complicated, of course, and it can be frustrating on both ends. If DoorDash drivers continue to be exploited, it’s likely that we’ll keep seeing these kinds of interactions in the future.

Jessica Bracken is a writer living in Davis, California. She covers entertainment and news for YourTango.