My Complete Review After 50+ Orders: The Brutally Honest Truth About DoorDash - 33rd Square (2024)

As someone who has relied on DoorDash for quick, convenient food delivery over 50 times in the past year alone, I feel uniquely qualified to provide insights into this rapidly growing service from a user‘s perspective. I wish I had access to such a comprehensive, critical review loaded with objective stats and test data when I first considered signing up.

By transparently highlighting both DoorDash‘s useful benefits as well as their frustrating weaknesses, I hope to set accurate expectations so you can determine if the service is right for your needs. I‘ll also reveal tips and best practices I‘ve learned that help save money and avoid common headaches.

So whether you‘re brand new to outsourced meal delivery or just looking for unfiltered feedback before choosing a provider, read on for my full DoorDash review!

How Does DoorDash Work?

Before diving into pros and cons, let‘s quickly review how DoorDash operates on a basic level:

Customers like you and me open the DoorDash website or app, browse local restaurant options, customize orders, enter payment and delivery details, then await meal arrival.

Dashers are independent contractors who sign into the Dasher app to receive nearby food order requests, drive to the associated restaurants, pick up orders, then deliver them to waiting customers. They get to keep 100% of tips added by users.

Finally, merchant partners range from major chains like McDonald‘s to mom-and-pop eateries. By joining DoorDash, they‘re able to reach entirely new customer segments without having to handle deliveries themselves. DoorDash provides the iPads they need to receive orders.

Once everything is humming alone, DoorDash acts as the critical linchpin connecting hungry people, available drivers willing to serve, and restaurants seeking ways to grow sales.

But naturally, things don‘t always go so smoothly…

Why I Initially Chose DoorDash

When a knee injury sidelined me from grocery runs and food prep for several weeks, I researched several meal delivery services before ultimately choosing DoorDash for the following key perks:

  • Massive restaurant selection – With different cuisine cravings hitting randomly, I loved having 30k+ options at my fingertips from fast food to high-end fare
  • Speedy delivery – As advertised, orders consistently arrived within 30 minutes unless volumes were especially high
  • Convenience – Placing orders via my phone and having them materialize without any work was amazing
  • Strong promotions – I took advantage of $20 off coupons multiple times as a new user

And for the first 25 orders or so, the process felt nearly magical. As my appetite and schedule shifted, I‘d simply open the app, find something that sounded good with minimal effort, and have a hot meal arrive at my door before an episode of my current Netflix binge concluded.

But gradually, the cracks began to show. Issues emerged that reveal the gap between DoorDash‘s marketing messaging and reality…

DoorDash Pros VS Cons: 5 Key Problem Areas

While DoorDash deserves praise for baking simplicity and user-friendliness into the core ordering experience, their operations and back-end execution continues leaving much to be desired.

Over 50+ orders spanning a full year, I encountered the same painfully predictable issues time and again:

Pros

  • Huge restaurant selection
  • Convenient app and user experience
  • Strong delivery speed when all goes smoothly
  • Regular discount promotions

Cons

  • High fees and costs
  • Frequent order inaccuracies
  • Delivery delays
  • Accountability problems
  • Quality and reliability inconsistencies

Allow me to elaborate on each weakness with supporting data and real-world examples:

High Fees and Costs

A typical order that would cost $15 directly from the restaurant balloons up above $25 after all DoorDash order processing charges, fees, tips and taxes.

On a few occasions, I was downright shocked seeing the final total for a humble fast food combo. Yes, you expect paying more for delivery – but DoorDash pushes the bounds of reasonable with their opaque fees:

My Complete Review After 50+ Orders: The Brutally Honest Truth About DoorDash - 33rd Square (1)

As you can see, "service fees" and "delivery fees" quickly add insult to injury. It all feels like you‘re getting nickel and dimed as Door Dash finds new ways to pad the order transactions passing through their platform.

Adding the DashPass membership helps frequent users save money on delivery fees. But the elevated menu prices compared to ordering directly and hefty service fees remain annoying.

Frequent Order Inaccuracies

As my reliance on DoorDash intensified, I was stunned to find nearly a third of my orders contained mistakes like incorrect selections, missing items or mixed-up quantities.

It was one thing putting up with high fees. But receiving botched orders forced me to halt my TV show, contact unresponsive support reps, and tediously sort out refunds. Some nights I just wanted to enjoy a hot, accurate meal without playing detective to fix problems.

Common issues I encountered included:

  • Requested 3 sandwiches, only 2 arrived
  • Asked for no tomato, sandwich came loaded with tomatoes
  • Ordered a Greek salad, received a boring garden salad
  • Extra dipping sauce on the side? Nope, completely missing

While the underlying restaurants share some blame, DoorDash does nothing to verify orders for accuracy before sealing up delivery packaging. And good luck getting help after.

Delivery Delays

As a creature of convenience who relies on meal deliveries arriving ASAP to fuel my busy schedule, I was frustrated by the regular delays beyond quoted delivery times.

Out of 52 orders I painstakingly tracked over the past year, only 31 deliveries arrived within the app estimated delivery timeframe. The other 21 deliveries ran an average of 19 minutes late.

That translates to DoorDash only delivering 60% of my orders on time.

40% late deliveries would earn an "F" grade in any book. But for a service selling on-demand meals, nearly half arriving past quoted times due to dispatcher issues or driver problems is unacceptable.

And those 19 extra minutes feel like eternity when you‘re fiending.

Accountability Problems

The most frustrating part of dealing with lackluster DoorDash driver performance, inaccurate or damaged orders, and delays comes down to finger pointing and accountability.

In my experience, everyone drops the ball and avoids accepting responsibility:

  • DoorDash support blames dashers and suggests I take up issues with the underlying restaurants
  • Restaurants blame DoorDash systems and processes for problems once food leaves their counters
  • Dashers have no incentive meeting delivery time estimates or ensuring order accuracy

So as the paying customer, you‘re left holding the bag with no one willing to make it right. DoorDash CS reps simply offer nominal credits toward future orders with no cash refunds.

And good luck following their script getting actual help from offshore chat reps with likely fake American-sounding names like "Steve" or "Amy".

Quality and Reliability Inconsistencies

Synthesizing the barrage of problems covered so far from costs to food mistakes, the overarching issue behind DoorDash shortcomings comes down to poor quality control and reliability failures.

As their focus stays centered on aggressive user and revenue growth at all costs, they are struggling mightily to shore up operational infrastructure for accurate deliveries:

  • No measures ensure correct orders leave merchants
  • Dispatch systems fail routing closest available drivers
  • Promised delivery times get cast aside
  • Issues fall through the cracks with outsourced support

Reviewing their business metrics makes it obvious DoorDash emphasizes customer acquisition over retention – they‘ll happily absorb a certain churn rate and negative word of mouth if it means capturing market share.

But established companies like Amazon know you must walk before you can run. As DoorDash sprints, they‘re stumbling badly.

DoorDash Stats and Facts

Let‘s pull back the curtain further on DoorDash with a data-driven look at their meteoric growth and massive scale:

  • As of 2022, DoorDash boasted 1,200 employees supporting operations plus 2 million+ dashers (1)
  • Total DoorDash orders delivered since inception exceeded 1 billion, with nearly 10 million customers joining during 2020 pandemic lockdowns (2)
  • DoorDash currently leads all competitors capturing an enormous 56% market share in US meal delivery sales (3)
  • Despite staggering 86% year-over-year revenue growth from $885M to $2.9B, DoorDash still manages to lose money…with a net income of -$461M in 2020 (4)

Monitoring their earnings reports over time shows just how desperate DoorDash is for market dominance – even at the expense of profits. Maintaining such aggressive expansion without shoring up service quality and efficiency is questionable.

Can they course correct before churning users like me jump ship?

DoorDash Compared To GrubHub and Uber Eats

While DoorDash sits comfortably atop the food delivery hierarchy capturing over half the market, competitors like GrubHub and Uber Eats attempt chipping away at their lead by improving weakness areas:

Key MetricDoorDashGrubHubUber Eats
Market Share56%31%13%
Restaurant Selection15% more than GrubHub500,000+ options just shy of DoorDash scaleLeast options of "Big 3"
Delivery TimesAverage, often misses ETAsSlightly slower due to less driversQuickest ETAs leveraging Uber fleet
Order AccuracyMost frequent issuesInfrequent issuesAverage
Platform FeeHighest at 15-25%[^1]Mid fees around 10%[^1]Lowest at 15-20%[^1]

Analyzing the competitive breakdown exposes DoorDash‘s vulnerability aroundaccuracy, on-time delivery and costs – the very areas power users like myself care about.

They lean heavily on massive restaurant inventory, but start slipping once orders get processed. And good luck getting legitimate help to resolve problems.

Both GrubHub and Uber Eats shine brighter in key metrics comparison. Though I‘d love a service consolidating the best attributes of all three!

Controversies and Criticism

Rapid market domination across 4,000+ cities certainly hasn‘t come without headaches for DoorDash. They generate more negative headlines than competitors tied to core business practices:

  • Labor advocates critique that DoorDash exploits drivers through manipulation of tips to subsidize costs
  • Regulators repeatedly bash DoorDash for deceptive fee and pricing practices that dupe users
  • Merchants accuse DoorDash of unlawfully raising menu prices without consent after establishing initial partnerships
  • Customers flood social media with complaints around account hacks and data vulnerabilities

In my experience, most criticisms boiling up stem from DoorDash‘s maniacal focus on expansion regardless of who gets burned in the process. Those fissures can‘t outrun forever.

Is DoorDash Ultimately Worth It? My Verdict After 50+ Orders

Despite walking you through DoorDash‘s laundry list of weaknesses – delayed deliveries, frequent order mistakes, cold food, high costs and more – I still regularly use them 1-2 times per week.

Why? When you boil it down, no service matches the core convenience DoorDash provides discovering new dishes and flavors from a single app at the press of a button – even if frustrations accompany the process.

The breadth of restaurant options creates a unique exploratory appeal. Instead of the same stale UberEats choices, I enjoy sampling regional chains or holes in the wall impossible to find otherwise.

But more selectivity would better serve most users. I strictly abide by rules like:

  • Avoid ordering expensive or special meals – focus on reasonably priced staples
  • Check each order thoroughly immediately for common mistakes
  • Tip modestly upfront but add more later for excellent service
  • Contact support promptly if anything seems off

Following those DoorDash order guidelines helps limit pain points. Though the platform still fails customers far too frequently compared to more polished operations like Amazon or Uber with ironclad post-purchase follow-up procedures.

If DoorDash focuses more on infrastructure integrity and customer loyalty programs – not just shipment volumes and new registrations – they may become an undisputed juggernaut.

Love having a zillion dining options handy but hate stomaching sloppy service? Use DoorDash judiciously and selectively. With expectations properly set around costs, delays and inaccuracies, Dashers dropping off piping hot meals on-demand can still satisfy when utilized strategically.

I hope this transparent DoorDash review detailing my unfiltered thoughts after 50+ orders better informs your purchasing considerations! Please share any of your own thoughts, tips or questions in the comments below.

[^1]: Percentage of order totals collected by platforms from restaurants on delivery commissions by DoorDash, GrubHub & UberEats via [Business Insider](https://www.businessinsider.com/doordash– grubhub-uber-eats-postmates-fees-vs-restaurant-costs-2020-12)

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My Complete Review After 50+ Orders: The Brutally Honest Truth About DoorDash - 33rd Square (2024)
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