Instacart is rolling back an app update that would have prevented delivery workers from seeing a customer’s address before accepting a job.
The update, which started rolling out for most delivery workers this week, caused an uproar on social media, where some workers said it put them in danger of harassment and even assault.
Multiple delivery workers told BuzzFeed News that they use the addresses to screen customers who’ve made them uncomfortable in the past.
In a public Facebook comment made Tuesday on a delivery worker’s post to Instacart’s Facebook page, a company representative identified as “BR” apologized to workers who were unhappy with the change, writing, “I’m sorry not being able to see the addresses in advance is bad for you. One of the reasons it was removed was to be fair to customers in all neighborhoods incase a shopper didn’t want to drive to a less than desireable [sic] neighborhood.”
In an email to BuzzFeed News, Instacart spokesperson Lane Kasselman said that the “address error” was caused by “a software bug” that has since been fixed. He said messages from Instacart customer support representatives stating address previews had been removed “to be fair to customers” were misstatements.
But as of Thursday morning, customer service representatives were still telling Instacart delivery workers that hiding the addresses on the app was an intentional move to protect customer privacy.
On Thursday morning, some shoppers started receiving app update notifications that say “fix: show customer info for delivery type orders.”