“Why Won’t Postmates Deliver to Me?”

“Here’s a zoomed out photo of their delivery zone. Weird chunk out by Trinidad/Arboretum”

“Dear PoPville,

I live at 1600 Maryland Ave NE, not exactly off the beaten path, but for some reason Postmates won’t dare go north of H Street. I’ll leave it to them to explain why that’s different than, say, Dupont or Gtown. Whatever their reason, it’s not an issue for Uber, Instacart, Seamless, GrubHub, etc.”

Ed. Note: As of this posting Postmates had not returned the OP’s query. Will update when/if they do.

31 Comment

  • justinbc

    “won’t dare go north of H Street”
    It seems like they go north of H Street for quite a long stretch. Looks like the issue is more with Trinidad in particular. Maybe the drivers are spooked.

  • What on earth is Postmates?

    • justinbc

      A very overpriced food delivery service.

      • disagree that Postmates is over priced – 10-12$ to get anything delivered to your door in an hour? I’d say that’s a quality service at a reasonable price.

        I live outside the delivery area for Sichuan Pavilion, and if I want decent Chinese I often don’t mind forking over a few extra dollars for someone to bring it on over.

        • check out Door Dash. Its basically the same thing for only $6 delivery fee.

          • Ally

            Just tried signing up with them and unfortunately looks like they don’t have any restaurants using them in my area (I’m over around 16th and A St SE near Stadium Armory). Sounds good, though, if they expand out a bit. Thanks for the heads-up!

        • justinbc

          It’s funny you mention Sichuan Pavilion, since that was one of 2 orders I made from Postmates, and the last one I’ll make. Here’s a recap of the receipt for anyone curious:
          Order Summary
          Purchase Price $40.09
          Delivery Fee $14.00
          Service Fee (9%) $3.61
          Total $57.70

          They charge not just a delivery fee, but then a service fee based on your total order. $17 in fees to order 3 containers of Chinese food. Yes, I do think that’s overpriced.

          • Ally

            Yeah, I use them a lot and it’s pretty steep, especially if you’re ordering from the other end of the city (that’s when you get that $14.00 delivery fee). I think closer restaurants have a slightly more reasonable delivery fee, and they have a bunch at the $4.99 rate. But, yeah, it’s pricey. I’ve also found that it’s been impossible to get a delivery driver at certain peak times, though they’ve been a bit better about that over the last few weeks. Definitely a god-send of a service, though, if you’re in your 3rd trimester and not able to wobble out and about 😉

          • HA that is more than it costs to get it at my place, but at least we agree Sichuan Pavilion is the spot!

      • Thanks to CapitalDame and JustinBC for this question/answer — I too was wondering what on earth Postmates was.

      • I agree with Justin that it’s (very) overpriced. And the three times I’ve tried to use it, it has literally failed to deliver. Meaning that on two occasions, they accepted my order then had to cancel after more than a half hour because of coordination issues with the restaurant. The third time they brought the wrong food. Won’t use it again.

        • I should add that I’ve only used it these three (attempted) times. They’ve never delivered what they’re supposed to deliver.

        • justinbc

          I’ve heard the canceled order issue from other people too. An hour after ordering someone calls and just says “Nevermind, you’re SOL.”

          • Exactly. One of the times, I ordered from Sundevich, and found out after waiting a half hour+ that Sundevich did not want to work with third-party delivery services. How did they not have that ironed out before advertising that they delivered food from Sundevich??

  • I have a feeling that Postmated used one of those “stereotyped” DC maps floating around to create their delivery zone?

  • “I’ll leave it to them to explain why that’s different than, say, Dupont or Gtown.” Presumably it’s because Dupont and Georgetown are pretty “established” neighborhoods and Trinidad is a “transitional” neighborhood?
    What I’m curious about is what other neighborhoods Postmates doesn’t deliver to — like, whether it’s excluding all “transitional” neighborhoods equally or whether it seems to be picking and choosing.

    • It seems like Trinidadians would be exactly the type of people who would need this service. Enough disposable income to spend on this service, and far enough away from certain things to need it.
      I don’t know what someone in Dupont would need so badly that they couldn’t just walk 5-10 minutes to get it.

    • Right. I mean, you need someone to explain why Trinidad is different than Georgetown or Dupont? I think that’s painfully clear. Trinidad is an outer-lying neighborhood for their customer base, so obviously it’s not going to be as adequately served as people who live literally in the center of everything.

    • From the picture it looks like they are delivering basically everywhere in DC except Trinidad and SE of the river. Maybe it’s those places are less “established” but it’s most likely those locations are out of the way. Also as people mentioned it’s quite expensive and fees increase with the distance of delivery. An order from 2 Amy’s to West End racks up a $14 -16 delivery fee and a few extra bucks for extra fees, the whole dinner for two ends up costing about $45-50 after tip, fees, etc. My guess is that even if you had the option of using Postemates the pricing would be just way too high to justify for delivery for most items.

  • Postmate here. It’s not that they “don’t deliver” to your address, but rather you have a harder time getting a postmate to leave the hotter zones of NW.

    • So is Postmates a service along the lines of Lyft/UberX, where it’s “regular people” doing it as a sideline?

      • Not sure what you mean, but even those who do it full time always have choice whether to take the job or not – they’re not forced upon you, so if the postmate / uber driver does not deem the job worthy, he/she will not take it (which seems to be the case here).

      • justinbc

        In a manner of speaking, yes. You get an email, or notification on the app, saying “Reginald has accepted your delivery request.”

    • Ah, pretty sure they actually “don’t deliver” there. If you try to put that address into the Postmates website it gives you a dialog that says “Sorry, it looks like we’re not in your area yet. In the meantime, why don’t you browse our current cities?” Not sure what this could mean other than they don’t deliver to this address. You get the same fro any address North of Florida/Benning Road.

  • I live there too, and have not been able to get them to deliver. However when I lived at 11th and H it wasn’t an issue. It’s frustrating since I mostly used them for Trader Joe’s delivery, which Instacart doesn’t offer. It’s a bit disappointing and frustrating.

    • They deliver Trader Joes?!?!?!!?!? Holy smokes, I’d written Postmates off (prices/surcharges didn’t really make it worth it for delivery food). Might have to give them a second look.

  • I used to have a similar problem with Lyft. They wouldn’t do pickups east of 13th St NE (I’m on 14th and F), so I always had to change the pickup location and walk to meet them. Not sure if that’s still the case, though.

    • That was the case way, way back in the day when they first launched. My boyfriend lived on 15th NE and we would always have to walk, but they expanded their footprint to the whole city quite some time ago.

  • Hi, OP and “there too!”

    I’m in the leasing office at this building. I apologize — I didn’t know this was an issue! I will reach out to Postmates directly to hopefully form a partnership and encourge them to deliver to our residents! I know numerous other similar services like Relay Foods, Instacart, etc. deliver to us, so I don’t see why Postmates wouldn’t.

    You can contact us at live(at)flatsatatlas.com if you have any questions! I am reaching out to Postmates today!


  • We had a similar issue with postmates… if we just enter our address (Woodridge area) the website said there was no delivery in our area. However, after signing up for an account and starting an order, I could enter our address as the delivery address no problem, and have never had an issue.

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