By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 1/23/2021
Occurred: 9/25/2020
Topics/Keywords: #Coronavirus #Maui Page Views: 195
By myself, in the car, at the beach.

When I lived in Arizona, I did Doordashing as a side job when I wanted a little extra cash, and it worked very well for me. When I applied myself, I easily brought home an extra $400 a month.

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But Doordash hasn't worked so well for me here on Maui. On my last trip, I didn't earn enough for the gas there and back. Yet, we really need cash to keep our generator in gasoline since the solar panels don't seem to be working very well. And so, Keith and I decided I should go to Lahaina to dash today, spend the night there, and dash again tomorrow, thus saving on the round-trip gas for the car.

That doesn't mean I wasn't stressed even before I left.

The cows were busy mowing the upper level as I left.

By the time I got to Safeway (which is one of two places with the cheapest gas),the car was nearly empty. Luckily I had a few dollars to fill it with, so that dashing would even be an option.

On my way to Lahaina, as always, I passed a number of forlorn, empty tourist traps, awaiting an end to the pandemic.

I had a couple orders in the morning, which was encouraging. Keith had pre-made and packed a breakfast for me, which I heated on the hood of the car..

Five minutes under the tropical noonday sun, and breakfast was as hot as when Keith first cooked it!

Since I knew I would be sleeping at the beach tonight, I checked out a couple of likely spots as I waited between orders.

By the way, the island in the center of this next photo is Oahu, where Honolulu is located. It's about 116 miles from where I stood.

Orders came few and far between, leaving me time to do selfies.

It slowed down even more around sunset. (That's the neighbor island of Lanai.)

After one or two late orders, I decided to call it quits. I drove to my chosen spot at Papalaua Beach Park, which fortunately was still empty—very few people were there, in fact. I had the back of the car tricked out with a mattress, sheets, and pillow.

With something near to a full moon, Iwent to sleep lulled by the sound of waves washing ashore, and the sight of the sea gently illuminated by moonlight.

Despite the beauty of my surroundings, I was very disappointed in my earnings for the day, and decided to write aan email to the Doordash support folks (on the recommendation of their customer support agent when I called) to clue them in on the dashing conditions in Maui.

I moved to Maui in March but began Doordashing here just a couple months ago. Previously I lived and dashed in Mesa, Arizona. I was one of your Top Dashers there, so I hope you will take what I have to say seriously.

Maui and Arizona are as different as can be. In Arizona, with arrow-straight roads and high speed limits, I could typically deliver a 10 mile dash in under 7 minutes. NEVER more than 12.

In Maui, the roads are extremely twisty; common speed limits range from 20-35 MPH, and a 10 mile delivery generally takes 30-40 minutes to deliver.

But you pay by the mile.

Oh, and gas here runs $3.69 a gallon.

So the bottom line is, you are underpaying dashers to the point that we can't even cover our gas on a slow day.

Wednesday I worked from 11:31 AM to 10:15 PM and only made $50.95. That comes to under $5 an hour.

Your "peak pay" is also a bit of a joke, since it draws people to the area but if we get no orders we get no Peak Pay either.

I've spoken with 4 dashers in the past week who told me they were about to quit because they can't afford to continue.

I love Doordash and the Doordash concept, but it just quite work here. It might on other islands; I don't know as I've only dashed on this one. But Maui is a very small island, with a VERY limited number of potential dashers. The more that become disillusioned with Doordash, the harder it will be for you to replace them. Eventually, it will be impossible and then you will lose Hawaii as a place in which you can do business. And that helps none of us.

I recommend you offer a standby pay so in a peak pay period, a driver can at least be afford to drive to where YOU WANT US TO BE. Otherwise, no one is going to bother.

And you need to pay based on how long Google Maps says the trip will take, not on mileage.

You also need to pay extra for alcohol runs, since your app cannot scan Hawaii licenses and the manual process takes a LOT longer and often your app gets it wrong.

I actually live in Hana, a 2.5 hour drive from Lahaina, so gas is admittedly more of an issue for me than some locals. But since you don't service Hana, I can easily just switch to making grocery runs for my neighbors. I'd prefer to continue to dash because of all the quarantiners in Lahaina; they really need our service. But I can only do it if I get paid enough to do it.

And that doesn't seem to be happening here.


P.S. PLEASE do not respond by telling me to go to a hot spot. Ive been sitting in one for an hour with no orders. And it's infuriating to receive a reply that doesn't actually address my concerns.