On September 8, an article titled “Takeaway Rider, Stuck in the System” screened the Internet. The article pointed out: Driven by the algorithms and data of the food delivery system, the food delivery riders are exhausted, causing them to violate the traffic regulations and race against death. The delivery staff has become a high-risk occupation. Faced with this popular article, Ele.me and Meituan also responded.
Ele.me’s response is to give consumers an option, willing to wait five to ten minutes longer.
Meituan’s response is to better optimize the system, better guarantee safety, improve the rider reward model, care for riders and their families, and listen carefully to everyone’s opinions. After the storm, can the dilemma of the takeaway rider system be completely resolved? What changes have taken place in the consumer experience of food delivery services?
6 violations in 50 minutes! Exclusively reveal the whole process of food delivery by the takeaway
On September 12, 2020, the reporter met Ele.me’s part-time rider Xiao Li in a commercial area within the third ring road in Beijing. He would wait for takeaway orders here every noon.
Xiao Li told us that it was the peak time for take-outs at this time. He took 5 orders and had to pick up the food quickly. In order to fully record the delivery process of Xiao Li, the reporter got on another electric takeaway car and set off with Xiao Li.
5 orders for take-out, from the departure of the meal to the delivery, Xiao Li must complete it in one hour and two minutes. In such a prescribed time, can Xiao Li successfully complete the delivery task?
Less than a minute after the departure, Xiao Li got his first takeaway.
After a quick transition, more than 2 minutes before the departure time, Xiao Li got the second and third takeaway. Immediately after that, Xiao Li ran to the electric car non-stop, and continued to move to another shopping mall.
This time, Xiao Li was in trouble. He didn’t get the takeaway immediately after arriving at the store. One of the two takeaways was still packing. While waiting, Xiao Li’s mood gradually became anxious.
Are you hungry rider:The first few orders (fetching meals) were very smooth, and I got stuck here. You see, one order doesn’t come out, all of my orders are running time.
After 4 minutes of waiting, Xiao Li got the last takeaway. Just 11 minutes have passed since the start of the order, and all the five takeaways that need to be delivered have been received. Next, Xiao Li will deliver all five takeaways to consumers in the remaining 51 minutes.
According to the location of each order and the delivery time limit, Xiao Li arranged the most time-saving delivery sequence. At the same time, when driving an electric car, Xiao Li increased the throttle to the maximum, and he couldn’t delay a moment.
Thirteen minutes after departure, in order to take a short cut, Xiao Li’s electric car began to cross the dotted line in the center of the road and drive in the opposite direction. After turning at the intersection, he drove onto the side road of the opposite lane.
After going retrograde for nearly a minute, Xiao Li ran through a red light again. Fortunately, the normal speed of the motor vehicle was slow and no traffic accident occurred.
After three minutes of driving, Xiao Li came to the first delivery location. In the elevator, Xiao Li once again confirmed the delivery information. He told us that if the meal was delivered by mistake, he would not deliver it again, or he would bear it himself.
Because delivery is in a fixed area all year round, Xiao Li is already familiar with the nearby terrain. Soon Xiao Li found the place for the second order. According to the customer’s request, Xiao Li put the takeaway at the door of the customer’s house.
Putting down the second takeaway, Xiao Li continued to drive the electric car to the next stop. During the delivery of the third order, Xiao Li ran a red light and went retrograde for nearly a minute.
The third sale was delivered, and the remaining time seems to be relatively abundant.
However, Xiao Li told us that there are many emergencies that affect the delivery speed, so it is still not a moment to delay. In the subsequent fourth order, Xiao Li ran a red light again.
After the delivery of the fourth order of takeaway, Xiao Li really encountered an incalculable trouble.
Are you hungry rider:The order has been delivered for two minutes, but now the system can’t be delivered. The network coverage of the old building is not very good, so it is easy to cause overtime. Fortunately, this order takes a long time, and I once delivered it to the old building. Obviously, there were still two minutes before the meal was delivered to the customer. The system just couldn’t order it. The order was successful when I went downstairs. It has caused a timeout and the appeal was rejected, saying that this was not a valid reason.
Xiao Li told us that many complicated factors can cause overtime delivery. Up to now, the delivery of the first four orders took 41 minutes in total, and then Xiao Li only needs to deliver the last order within the remaining 21 minutes to complete the task.
In the last part of the journey, although the electric vehicle also crossed the double solid yellow line in the road, the driving speed has become more stable.
Following Xiao Li, we came to the last stop of the delivery. After some searching, Xiao Li delivered the last takeaway to the customer. It took exactly 50 minutes to deliver all 5 orders.
The five orders delivered within an hour brought Xiao Li a total of 51.4 yuan in income.
Xiao Li said that because the number of orders received on weekends is less than that on working days, and there are not too many troubles in the process of picking up and delivering meals, the delivery time this time is much richer. However, during the entire delivery process, Xiao Li ran through red lights three times, went retrograde twice, and crossed the double solid yellow line once, violating traffic rules six times.
What is the reason why the takeaway rider has to desperately ask for speed?
In the face of violations, the rider said that every takeaway will violate the rules for every order, and this is their helpless move.
Are you hungry rider:Sometimes the merchants get stuck in the meal and cannot get the meal. There is no way you can do it. Sometimes when you deliver food, the office is not allowed to go, you let the customer come down to pick up the meal, and the customer stays down for 20 minutes, and you say what you do, your meals are all overtime. I have waited for the red light for the longest eight minutes. What do you do if you can’t get through? Your order will be overtime immediately, or it’s a violation of regulations. You just need to deliver food and ride a rider. I tell you that 100% of you must run the red light. “
Are you hungry rider:Because the time is too late, customers have to remind orders, fines and deductions for overtime, so we still need to break the red light if we can run the red light while ensuring safety.
The reporter learned from the conversation with Ele.me takeaway riders that many takeaway riders did not hesitate to commit risks and violate the rules repeatedly, not just to make more money, but to avoid overtime punishment.
The hungry rider told us that from March this year to now, he can have more than 100 overtime orders. How much money is deducted is determined based on time.
Are you hungry rider:Within four or five minutes, that is 0.7 yuan, 0.8 yuan, or more than 1 yuan. If it is more than ten minutes, it is 2 or 3 yuan.
Are you hungry rider:The complaint is a fine of 100 to 200 yuan, and a fine of 50 to 100 yuan for bad reviews, which is the case on almost every platform. Sometimes when the salary is paid, there is definitely not enough money, and sometimes there is a difference of 100 yuan or 80 yuan, and no one will pursue this matter.
In addition to the strict fine rules, Ele.me takeaway riders believe that the platform’s distance algorithm is also unreasonable.
Are you hungry rider:Delivery is calculated based on the distance and distance. The time will not be judged based on the speed of the business’s meal or the size of the meal. It is simply based on the distance, regardless of whether the order is good or not.
The reporter learned from Meituan takeaway riders that Meituan’s takeaway rider business is outsourced to various business district sites. The riders are mainly divided into dedicated riders and crowdsourced riders. Specialized riders deliver meals for Meituan, and crowdsourced riders. Will receive orders from different e-commerce express platforms. Generally speaking, the overtime of the special rider is settled by each site on a monthly basis, and the deduction rate of different sites is different.
Meituan rider:The previous rule was that the monthly punctuality rate reached 99%, and no penny was deducted. Now it seems that the monthly on-time rate has reached 98%. If the monthly on-time rate is less than 98%, 0.5 yuan will be deducted and the settlement will be made every month.
Meituan rider:The monthly on-time rate reaches 100%, the bonus is 200 yuan, the monthly on-time rate is 99%, and the bonus is 100 yuan. If the monthly on-time rate is less than 95%, it seems that 0.5 yuan is deducted for each order.
Meituan rider:Bad reviews deduct 50 yuan, complaints also depend on the situation, if the situation is serious, 500 yuan will be deducted.
The reporter learned that Meituan’s special rider earns a fixed income ranging from 9 to 11 yuan per order, while the crowdsourced rider’s income algorithm is more flexible, ranging from 4 to 20 yuan per order. At the same time, overtime deductions are also made. More stringent.
US group rider: Deduction for more than 5 minutes. According to the unit price, 6 yuan per order will deduct 2 yuan. As long as it exceeds one second to five minutes, it will deduct 2 yuan. If it exceeds 15 minutes, it will be deducted half.
Meituan rider:There are different types of complaints. 80% and 90% are deductions. Bad reviews deduct 50 yuan. For example, if you order a takeaway, you think we are not pleasing to your eyes, so you just order a bad review and the service attitude is poor, just one sentence , We don’t have 50 yuan. It’s as simple as that. We have no place to reason or redress grievances. The complaint is 500 yuan.
The reporter found through a follow-up survey of takeaway riders that the takeaway platform system has set up a point level system for riders. The more orders you run, the higher the punctuality rate, the better the customer evaluation, the higher the points the rider will get, and the higher the level The higher the value, the more reward income will be.
The system also packs this evaluation system into an upgraded game of fighting monsters. Riders of different levels have different titles. The higher the level, the higher the reward. Late delivery of meals and complaints from customers are important reasons for food delivery platforms to punish riders.
Driven by the algorithms and data of the food delivery platform system, the delivery time of the food delivery riders is constantly being compressed. Driven by the powerful system, the riders have to choose retrograde and running red lights in order to avoid bad reviews and maintain income.
According to surveys, there was one rider carrying 26 orders at the same time at most; more than 30 riders at a distribution station digested 1,000 orders within 3 hours; and another rider ran orders in a county with a population of 500,000. 16 orders were also allocated at the same time.
Running lights, going retrograde, frequent traffic accidents, takeaway riders become a high-risk profession.
With such a set of data, in 2016, the longest time limit for a 3km delivery distance was 1 hour. In 2017, it became 45 minutes. In 2018, it was shortened to 38 minutes. In 2019, the entire industry in China will deliver delivery orders. The duration is 10 minutes less than 3 years ago.
Correspondingly, there are more and more traffic accidents of takeaway riders. Takeaway riders have become a high-risk profession.
On April 29, 2019, a hit-and-run accident occurred in Qingdao, Shandong Province. After the electric car knocked down the stroller, the delivery person drove away and escaped due to the hit-and-run accident. The perpetrator Liu took full responsibility.
On May 27 of the same year, a traffic accident occurred in Shapingba, Chongqing, caused by a delivery man running a red light. The delivery truck was knocked over by a taxi.
Also in Chongqing, on September 23, 2019, a traffic accident occurred in Chongqing Jiulongpo where a deliveryman changed lanes at will. A take-out electric car collided with a taxi. The electric car was knocked to the ground, and the deliveryman injured his leg.
In Bengbu, the delivery worker Li drove an electric car retrograde on a non-motorized vehicle lane. As he was about to turn and cross the road, he collided head-on with a taxi. The accident caused a fracture to the deliveryman’s wrist.
In recent years, traffic accidents like this have occurred frequently across the country.
In 2018, the traffic police department of Chengdu City, Sichuan Province investigated and dealt with nearly 10,000 illegal riders, 196 accidents, and 155 casualties in just 7 months. On average, one rider was injured or killed every day.
In September 2018, the traffic police department of Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province investigated and dealt with nearly 2,000 cases of traffic violations by takeaway riders.
According to the Traffic Police Headquarters of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, in the first half of 2019, there were 325 road traffic accidents involving the express and takeaway industries in Shanghai, resulting in 5 deaths and 324 injuries. Among them, “Meituan” companies occurred 109 cases, accounting for 33.5%. There were 111 cases of “Hungry?” companies, accounting for 34.2%. Two food delivery staff died.
Can the measures taken by the takeaway companies really alleviate the current situation of riders?
On September 8th, an article entitled “Takeaway Riders, Stuck in the System” swept the Internet, and the food delivery companies were pushed to the forefront.
In order to relieve the pressure of public opinion, Ele.me was the first to respond. They proposed that a small button “I’m willing to wait 5 minutes/10 minutes” will be added to the settlement payment item. It is said that as long as the ordering user clicks this button, the platform timing system will increase the corresponding delivery time, thereby allowing the rider to relieve the pressure of the time limit. Are you hungry? Is this reasonable? Will it alleviate the pressure on takeaway riders in a fundamental sense?
Takeaway rider:For us riders, when the lunch peak is relatively tight, it will have a certain effect, but the effect will not be great because there are more orders. “
Takeaway rider:In fact, we are more anxious than customers, because we deliver the order quickly), and then proceed to the next order, sometimes we are helpless when we are late, we really want to deliver it to the customer quickly, because we also make more money .
Many consumers also expressed their unacceptable response to Ele.me’s response.
consumer:I think waiting 5 to 10 minutes longer does not mean that everyone is particularly anxious. But I think that as a takeaway platform, you should have a more scientific plan. You can’t say that because you don’t plan scientifically, the takeaway rider needs to go around many circles, or increase the workload of the rider, and then this thing will let customers To bear. I think this kind of thing needs a better optimization on the food delivery platform.
consumer:If it is really 5 to 10 minutes longer, it may just be that the takeaway rider has more time to consider, and can choose which order to send first, which order to send later, whether there will be such a situation, it is the takeaway I ordered first, and the last one to take If you get it, will it affect everyone’s fairness?
Tang Jiansheng, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai Municipal Consumer Protection Commission, analyzed that Ele.me’s statement was actually logically problematic.
Tang Jiansheng, Deputy Secretary-General of Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission:Safe delivery, we feel that it also includes the legality and compliance of the entire delivery process, avoiding violations, and avoiding traffic accidents, which are actually the platform’s obligations. In this area, if you violate the regulations, run a red light, have a traffic accident, etc., you want to dump these things to consumers. Obviously, consumers will not agree.
Qiu Baochang, chairman of the Beijing Law Society’s E-commerce Rule of Law Research Association and an expert on the Expert Committee of the China Consumers Association, believes that Ele.me’s statement is harmful to consumers.
Qiu Baochang, expert of the Expert Committee of the China Consumers Association:Now we see that food delivery platforms want to extend the delivery time. Consumers can choose this extended time to make up for the extended delivery rider time. However, what the platform offers itself, so we need to see more. What have you paid for this? What have you profited? You can’t. You don’t hesitate to sacrifice the interests of consumers to compensate for the balance of takeaway riders. If consumers’ rights are violated, what do you use to balance them? Because in accordance with the “E-Commerce Law”, the agreement and transaction rules of the takeaway platform should be formulated in an open, fair, and just manner. Article 35 stipulates that the platform cannot take advantage of technology to impose some unreasonable restrictions. Therefore, we have seen that the platform gives the takeaway riders five more minutes and eight more minutes. The platform does not have this right. This involves consumers. Consumers agree or disagree on rights and interests, so how to make a decision is more reasonable, not by one party, but unilaterally. I think several parties must sit together and negotiate together, and must not allow technology to bully the rights and interests of all parties to the transaction. We must make fair negotiation a mechanism.
Unlike Ele.me, which makes consumers choose to wait a few more minutes, Meituan announced on September 9 that the Meituan dispatch system will allow 8 minutes of flexible time for riders, and continue to optimize the system to ensure riders can drive safely. time. Can this approach ease the pressure on the riders? The riders of Meituan have two completely different views.
Meituan rider:After eight minutes of flexibility, I have a bottom line. Maybe I won’t be so reckless on the road and I’ll look at it more.
Meituan rider:There was a delay of eight minutes, but we sent 5 orders. One order was delayed for eight minutes. This order cannot be timed out. The remaining 4 orders are all timed out. You are going retrograde, running a red light, and deducting money. Is it useful?
The reporter’s investigation found that neither Ele.me’s “letting consumers wait five to ten minutes longer” or Meituan’s internal optimization of 8 minutes could not fundamentally change the status quo of takeaway riders desperately fighting for time.
Qiu Baochang, chairman of the Beijing Law Society’s E-commerce Rule of Law Research Association and an expert on the Expert Committee of the China Consumers Association, called on the relevant government regulatory agencies to play their due role in the formulation of this rule for food delivery platforms.
Qiu Baochang, expert of the Expert Committee of the China Consumers Association:To maintain the fairness and justice of this market, our regulatory authorities must intervene to allow the platform to comply with the relevant provisions of the Electronic Commerce Law and the relevant provisions of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, and to effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers. Through this exposure, Let the food delivery platform bully our food delivery riders and other operators, this behavior will become history.
According to the Ele.me platform, there are 3 million riders on the platform. In the latest financial report released by Meituan, in the first half of 2020, the number of riders earning income from the Meituan platform reached 2.952 million, of which 1.386 million were newly added riders. Meituan completed a net profit of RMB 2.2 billion this year, a year-on-year increase of 95.5%, of which the takeaway business is the biggest contributor to Meituan’s profitability. Behind this profit is the hard work of millions of takeaway riders.
To reflect on this incident, takeaway companies should not just respond to some simple measures. Both platform companies and our regulators need to consider how to further improve and create a relatively healthy and standardized ecological environment. Takeaway companies should strive to provide takeaway riders with a dignified, safe and decent job, so that riders can get better protection of labor rights, so that they can provide consumers with more efficient and caring services.