Here’s Why You Should Tip Your Uber Driver
I’ve used Uber to supplement my full-time job for quite sometime now. When it first came out, I appreciated the opportunity. I like to drive. I know my way around and I enjoy talking to people. Why not give it a shot?
But as an Uber driver, I am sometimes jealous of Lyft drivers. It’s actually not because of the lower rates. Sure, I’ve heard jokes that we are the Walmart of taxis, that we cater to lower end passengers. I think that it’s hogwash and a bit unfair to look down on one company over another and anyone who does so, probably is a bit negative. Maybe they need a psychologist? (Pick me! Pick me!)
But I digress.
There is one area I am jealous and that’s in the way the two platforms are setup. Simply, Lyft drivers are protected and appreciated by their company. Uber, well, initially we were not allowed to accept tips and after a huge lawsuit, we’re finally allowed to be tipped, but Uber got in one last jab: “Tips are not included nor are they expected on Uber.”
What’s the big idea?
Tips Not Included on Uber. Say what?
I understand that tipping your Uber driver is different from, say- a waitress, waiter or bartender. To an extent, I can understand that Uber wants to stay hassle-free and promote an easy-to-use app. But to encourage customers not to tip? In the words of Lando Calrissian, “This deal is getting worse all the time.”
Now, fair is fair. If a passenger doesn’t want to tip, that’s their prerogative. I’ve worked in the service industry. It’s shady and bush league to pressure anyone into tips or even suggest that a tip is necessary. But to setup a system that virtually suggests passengers not to tip is really damaging to the hard-working drivers who place an effort not only to know the city like the back of their hands, but also on being conversationalists, listeners and travel guides.
You Pay For the Service, Not Just the Ride
Being a great Uber driver is an art form. It’s one that I love to perfect. I want to get to know my client for the short eight-minute drive that he/she is in my car. I want to serve my client well, offer suggestions, strike up conversations and, yes, even be a psychologist (of sorts). I always have phone chargers (for both, Android and Apple), bottles of water, gum, tissue… If nothing else, I’m their sounding board who they vent their frustrations to practically anonymously.
And the biggest thing? I don’t demand a tip for that. But I’ll gladly take one! It makes the difference between the Uber experience being a side income and a potential full-time gig. Yes, it makes that big of a difference. I estimate that suggesting customers not to tip means that the majority of would-be-tippers turn into stiffers.
Updated Tipping Policy…Still Unclear to Riders
And even with the updated policy (result of the recent court settlement) where Uber kind-of-but-not-really supports tipping (seriously, can it be any more passive aggressive than saying, ‘we don’t expect a tip, but go ahead if you kind of want to!’), Uber has just made the entire process murkier and confusing for drivers and customers. Should you tip? Should you get angry if a driver solicits a tip? Do you realize you cannot tip on the App? Do you have cash? What should you do?
Leaving the tipping option off the app is a huge mistake. It sends the wrong message or, at the very least, it sends a mixed and confusing message. Uber is no longer stress-free and cash-free, it’s just confusing.
Tippers Want to Tip Drivers
People do want to tip. I remember driving a lovely couple around and at the end of the ride they brought up, unprompted, the whole tipping policy. They were confused (as was I) and asked if people normally tipped. I told them that most didn’t and it actually wasn’t expected, but it was certainly appreciated. The husband of the couple said that he would have left a tip if they could have done so electronically, but he didn’t have any cash on him. I told him not to worry about it. These two were so nice, however, that they offered to stop by a convenience store and made change. It truly was a sweet and amazing gesture.
But you know what? Most people won’t (and shouldn’t) have the time to drop by a store. Many more people want to tip, but cannot find a way to do so.
Cue in TipBx
Keep a lookout for TipBx.com, our new app coming soon to solve your tipping problems!
Let’s Start Tipping Uber Drivers!
In my years driving for Uber I have come across people from all walks of life. I have worked with people traveling from halfway across the globe, businesswomen, young college kids getting home and old college kids on holiday. It is a pleasure to serve. And I actually believe most people want to show gratitude when they receive good service. I know I do! When I’m on the road and have ridden in a taxi or Uber, I have always tipped when the driver has given excellent service. So why discourage the behavior?
One of the reasons Uber provides to support this is becuase they claim racism exists. But the way to combat racism isn’t to shut down the tipping system. If that’s the case, then no tipping industry should exist. Uber also claims that it may encourage drivers to only serve wealthy passengers. That seems highly impractical, not to mention, misinformed – it’s easy for higher class and lower class individuals to be anywhere in a city. We’re talking about a car ride, not purchasing the actual car!
However, again I digress. Tips represent gratitude and serve as an integral part of the service industry. So let’s not make it confusing. Let’s make it easy for everyone. Otherwise Uber drivers really are going to be passed on by.