This Disabled Woman Tipped 26% And Asked Her Grubhub Driver To Drop Her Food Where She Could Get It — He Purposely Left It Out Of Her Reach, And We Need To Hold Businesses Accountable For Disability Discrimination
"For many Disabled people, food delivery services are imperative for our well-being; it’s not a luxury, but something we’re dependent on."
Meet Hunter. She has incurable leukemia (a subset of chronic lymphocytic leukemia), along with Ankylosing Spondylitis. "I use a wheelchair for pain, as chemo has weakened my bones and the AS is fusing my spine. I also have significant fatigue from everything," Hunter told BuzzFeed.
And Hunter recently caught the attention of over 3.5 million people when she took to TikTok to share an awful experience she had ordering food from Grubhub. "When people talk about disability discrimination, this is kind of what they're referencing. Yesterday, I ordered some food from Grubhub, and when my food was delivered, I received this message from my driver. ... My driver, in retaliation for receiving a 26% tip — which he did not like — left my food in the middle of my driveway," she explains in her TikTok.
"I am in a wheelchair, so I couldn't go get my food in the middle of my driveway. I ended up having to wait an hour until my caregiver came home so I could eat. When I approached Grubhub about the issue, they decided it wasn't that big of a problem and didn't do a whole lot. So I am hoping we can spread some awareness here as to how this is discriminatory and hopefully things like this never happen again," she concluded in her TikTok.
Hunter said she wasn't shocked by the Grubhub driver's actions, she was just incredibly frustrated. "Not being able to get to my food meant I couldn’t take my pain medication, so I had to play catch-up with my pain later. Thankfully, I don’t have something like diabetes where not having food could’ve been an emergency," she said.
"He did deliberately leave my food where he did. I have a note, that hopefully comes off as polite, for anyone who delivers food to me asking them to place it by the door that’s easiest for me to get to. I don’t list that I’m in a wheelchair in the notes, as it’s a safety issue. However, as soon as I stated in the text that I was in a wheelchair, things could've been better addressed by him I think."
Not wanting this type of situation to happen to anyone else, Hunter reached out to Grubhub. They offered her 15% off her next order from them.
Rightfully, Hunter was not satisfied with that response, so she attempted to reach out again through Twitter. "It took a few days to get a decent response. I’m still really frustrated that it took that long. What if I was in a different situation and didn’t have a caregiver and this was my only way to get food?"
Grubhub claimed they were going to "take any and all corrective actions necessary," but Hunter was worried they were just going to brush it off and nothing would be done. In her final interaction with the company, Grubhub continued to state that they are working to investigate and they cannot provide the results of the internal investigation (or if the driver even received any reprimand).
Grubhub then offered Hunter a $100 gift card. She thinks she only received it because her video went viral. "What if my video hadn’t taken off? I think it’s fair to say that my message wouldn’t have been received the same way. And a $100 gift card for their own company services after everything seems really hollow. It’s pretty obvious that I won’t use them again, so it’s a moot point to have offered that," she said.
Hunter said Grubhub doesn’t list anything on their FAQs about issues like this. "It’s like they don’t want to take full culpability because the driver was a contracted worker, but that’s part of the whole issue to begin with. I am worried that this will happen again, and unless Grubhub takes more responsibility, it will be a continual problem. There’s been hundreds of comments on my video of people having faced situations like mine. For many Disabled people, food delivery services are imperative for our well-being; it’s not a luxury, but something we’re dependent on."
Hunter continued, telling BuzzFeed that she understands this isn't solely on the driver."I know that the vast majority of drivers for these companies are really decent people — the comments on my video show that. But it’s important for drivers to understand that their services impact people in ways they probably aren’t even aware," she said, adding that these kinds of problems could be avoided in the future by making sure delivery notes are not overlooked. "Perhaps the most important thing is to understand that retaliating against the person you’re delivering to really is unacceptable."
"I think it’s important to note that one out of every four Americans is Disabled. We’re a huge part of the population but rarely noticed. We still don’t even have marriage equality; many of us will lose our benefits if we marry, benefits we constantly have to fight for and that often take years to get. So, including us in the conversations about doing better and being allies is really important. I’d also like to give a shoutout to the service dog community, as they’re the ones who encouraged me to make the video," Hunter concluded.
BuzzFeed has reached out to Grubhub for comment. We will update you if we get a response.
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