I was deactivated from the Gig app after a car accident. I wasn’t at work.

I was deactivated from the Gig app after a car accident.  I wasn’t at work.

This article is based on a conversation with Adrian Youngblood, an Ohio resident Party worker who previously worked for Walmart’s Spark delivery service.

Business Insider has verified Youngblood’s identity and past work spark. The story has been edited for length and clarity.

I was going to the gas station on November 17th in my car that I own. There was a deluge of rain. There were bushes to my right and a big dog came out from behind them. I had no choice: I had to deviate. I went straight over the sidewalk, straight into the telephone pole.

I don’t see any choice I had — that’s your reaction, to swerve so you don’t hit something.

I wasn’t logged into Spark at the time. I completed my last delivery two hours ago because I don’t like delivering in the rain.

The car was completely destroyed, but I never thought about whether this was a work issue until December 21st. That’s when I received a “pre-negative action” email from Spark, which discovered this after running a background check . “You have seven days to tell us your side of the story,” she said.

Then, just about 20 minutes later, I received a text message saying, “You have been deactivated.”

I thought, “They’ll see my side of the matter. Maybe the computer will automatically deactivate you when something like this comes up, and it needs a human to look at it.”

I didn’t get an answer from Spark until I emailed a group of people in the corporate office. I tried calling driver support, but they had no idea what I was talking about. They can’t help you.

Thirty-seven days after the accident, I finally received an email and scheduled a meeting with an attorney. He didn’t really want to hear my side of the story. “I hate making these phone calls,” he told me, “but Walmart won’t budge on this.” Since then, I’ve heard from another attorney who said she would recommend reactivating my account, but that was two weeks ago, and I haven’t heard anything since.

I still think I should be able to work until they make their final decision.

If you’re going to deactivate someone, you need to say what the reasons are. For example, Spark’s terms of service say nothing about driver’s license history. You’ve heard the phrase “clean driving record” before, but that’s subjective.

Walmart could make the rules clearer by limiting how many points you can get on your license or perhaps saying you have to take a defensive driving class.

This makes me feel like the lines are getting very blurred here about what we can do as independent contractors. They shouldn’t be able to tell me what to do when things happen outside of work.

If I was delivering for Spark and caused an accident, I wouldn’t fight him at all. But that’s not what happened. Walmart doesn’t insure me or my car or anything else, so they can’t claim that I’ll cost them more in the future.

I don’t think they understood that. This is my full time job. This is how I supported myself.

“Users of the Spark Driver App are regularly screened in accordance with local law to review their criminal record or history of vehicle or transportation violations, and if they fail to meet eligibility requirements, they may become ineligible to use the Spark Driver App, subject to the Terms of Use,” a Walmart spokesperson told BI. We take safety seriously, and we have these measures in place to protect our customers and drivers on the Spark Driver platform.

Do you deliver food, groceries, or other items as a gig worker and have a story idea to share? Contact this reporter at abitter@businessinsider.com

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *