‘Free’ is rarely free.
Not all the "good guys" who drive for this delivery app are veterans and firefighters.
Sometimes we say someone is a “good guy” when we don’t know what else to say about them. He’s just a good guy, we might say, without even knowing what he does for a living.
Until recently (yesterday, actually), the delivery app PICKUP was very specific in regard to what it saw as the attributes of a good guy, which is the only kind of guy the Texas-based company says it hires as drivers. “Good Guys are trusted veterans and firefighters,” the company had stated on its homepage (see above).
Then TINA.org shot PICKUP an email saying that this suggests that all of its drivers are veterans and firefighters when, according to the company’s own Terms of Service, only some of them are. PICKUP CEO Brenda Stoner responded to our inquiry and after a brief phone interview, the language on the homepage changed. It now reads (emphasis added): “Good Guys include trusted veterans first responders and other good guys.”
At the direction of Stoner and the recommendation of TINA.org, the company also added a disclaimer to a post on its Facebook page that commends a PICKUP driver in part for his service in the Marines. (Regardless of whether an applicant is a veteran, firefighter or one of those “other good guys,” Stoner said everyone is subject to “deep vetting.”)
TINA.org looked into PICKUP’s advertising after a reader who said he used to drive for PICKUP complained that, despite the representations, only about 50 percent of the company’s drivers are veterans or firefighters. Stoner said the percentage is “north of 50,” with firefighters in the minority. But she added that the appeal to veterans specifically has more to do with recruiting than marketing, though she admitted that it can be difficult to tell one from the other.
“We’ve always wanted to be 100 percent (military) but we’ve always had some guys who were not veterans,” she said.
Find more of our coverage on the military here.