Shipt's "Bringing the Magic" Is Insane

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Target's Delivery App Workers Describe a Culture of Retaliation and Fear - Vice

Shipt workers told Motherboard that customers who order from Target often seem surprised when independent contractors in plain clothes driving their personal cars show up at their homes with massive deliveries from Target.


Workers say Shipt customers often live in gated and upscale communities and that the app encourages workers to tack on gifts like thank you cards, hot cocoa, flowers, and balloons onto orders (paid for out of their own pocket) and to offer to walk customer’s dogs and take out their trash, as a courtesy. Shipt calls this kind of service “Bringing the Magic,” which can improve workers’ ratings from customers that factor into the algorithm that determines who gets offered the most lucrative orders.

On the first point, I totally get the confusion. I too was confused when this rolled out because Target really talked it up as though this almost just what they were calling their own delivery service. And when you look at the app today…

It's even harder to differentiate where the Target and Shipt delivery line is.

  • Order for in-store pickup: Target
  • Order for drive up pick up: Target
  • Order for next day deliverey: Target + UPS
  • Order for normal delivery: Target + UPS
  • Order for same-day delivery: Shipt

That second bit about writing thank you notes, walking the dog, and taking out the trash is maybe the most insane thing I've heard this year though (and we have a maniac in the White House, so you know…). First off, this is absurd to ask your workers who aren't getting paid nearly enough, and second, if someone dropped off my groceries and then asked to walk my dog I'd just about want to call the police because a dog theif is on the loose.