Tipping option coming to Uber

Old Jun 20, 17, 11:48 am
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Tipping option coming to Uber

I received and email today saying that a tipping option is coming to Uber. It was rolled out today in three cities (Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston) and will be in every city by the end of July. This is most likely in response to Lyft's tipping option, and their announcement yesterday that over $250M in tips have been paid out to drivers since inception.

I personally like having the option to tip through the app. I often want to tip but don't have cash, so this makes things more convenient.

Thoughts?
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Old Jun 20, 17, 3:47 pm
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It's an increase in the cost of riding with Uber. Tipping will no doubt become a driver expectation, rather than a bonus, such that riders who don't tip or, in the eyes of a particular driver, don't tip enough invariably get punished with lower ratings, no?

Last edited by SAT Lawyer; Jun 20, 17 at 3:53 pm
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Old Jun 20, 17, 4:28 pm
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Can't wait to hear all the excuses for not tipping the Uber driver now from the folks in the other thread who said they don't tip because they don't carry cash.
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Old Jun 20, 17, 4:49 pm
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1. Many people do tip Uber drivers, but it's a pain to carry small bills and thus people who might well tip do.
2. Lyft does this and as it competes in the same pool for drivers, which one would you select if you are a driver?
3. It's the right thing to do in the US. Without going off onto one of those juvenile arguments about "they don't tip in my country, so I shouldn't tip here" it's just a part of life and cost.

Lyft permits the tip to be added for up to 24 hours after the ride and Uber claims that it will be permitted for up to 30 days. I don't think that drivers have the option of rating a passenger after the ride is closed out.

So, don't tip because you are worried, tip because it's the right thing to do.
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Old Jun 20, 17, 6:08 pm
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On Lyft, does the driver see the tip before rating you?

I am very surprised that under the Uber model, riders can add tips so far after the ride. And on Uber, can drivers change ratings after the ride? I know riders can (or at least could...haven't checked recently).

Last edited by ikwia; Jun 20, 17 at 6:50 pm
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Old Jun 20, 17, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
1. Many people do tip Uber drivers, but it's a pain to carry small bills and thus people who might well tip do.
2. Lyft does this and as it competes in the same pool for drivers, which one would you select if you are a driver?
1. My neighbor is an Uber driver. He is tipped roughly 2% of his rides. He is a 4.87 rated driver, after over 3,000 rides so obviously is a good driver. In other words, many people do NOT tip.

2. Uber. Lyft's driver platform is cumbersome, and poorly designed. They are at least 6 months behind Uber in terms of tech savvy.
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Old Jun 20, 17, 7:06 pm
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Originally Posted by scottmlew View Post
On Lyft, does the driver see the tip before rating you?

I am very surprised that under the Uber model, riders can add tips so far after the ride. And on Uber, can drivers change ratings after the ride? I know riders can (or at least could...haven't checked recently).
No.

And yes.
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Old Jun 20, 17, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Miami305 View Post
1. My neighbor is an Uber driver. He is tipped roughly 2% of his rides. He is a 4.87 rated driver, after over 3,000 rides so obviously is a good driver. In other words, many people do NOT tip.

2. Uber. Lyft's driver platform is cumbersome, and poorly designed. They are at least 6 months behind Uber in terms of tech savvy.
So, stick with Uber.

Reports suggest that there is a large shift to Lyft. People tend to care about price & value.

None of this is an excuse to stiff the driver. People just don't want to carry cash.

If you are too cheap to tip, then don't. But, don't try to rationalize it.
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Old Jun 21, 17, 7:54 am
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So if Uber claims tipping has been included in their rates all along... and now Uber is explicitly adding a tipping feature... does that mean Uber will be reducing their rates to remove the previously automatic "tip" that was baked into the rates?
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Old Jun 21, 17, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by javabytes View Post
So if Uber claims tipping has been included in their rates all along... and now Uber is explicitly adding a tipping feature... does that mean Uber will be reducing their rates to remove the previously automatic "tip" that was baked into the rates?
A tip was never actually built into the fare. Uber was actually sued by drivers (and lost) because of this false claim.

I've given 300+ rides with Uber and have received exactly 2 cash tips.

So far with Lyft I've given 32 rides and was tipped on 18 of those rides, ranging from $1-$8, with the average being around $4.

I don't believe that tipping should be expected or required, but it's always a nice gesture. When I use Uber and Lyft as a rider I will tip if the driver makes a conscious effort to make the ride enjoyable. If it's not a comfortable ride I don't tip.
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Old Jun 21, 17, 9:00 am
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I never tip on Uber. Sorry, cash tipping is stupid and 20th century. I won't do it, ever.

I always tip on Lyft. Lots of $2 tips on $6 rides and $5 tips on $20 rides. Prints nicely on the receipt. Easy to expense. I notice that in most cases, the base cost is a little lower cost, but my total after the tip is likely higher than the Uber cost would have been. I'm okay with that, and I can't think of the last time I had a bad Lyft.

I actually got my original Lyft referral code from a driver when I was on an Uber ride, and I've since heard from many drivers how they like Lyft because of the tips. Therefore, I always try to use Lyft first, only using Uber when there are no Lyfts nearby. In Phoenix, NYC, Chicago, and DC - the four places I hail the most rides - Lyft availability is rarely an issue.

Once Uber allows tipping, I'll use it like I do with Lyft. I will definitely check closely to see if the Uber base cost drops a bit as tipping is rolled out. I doubt it'll affect my behavior much, since I already check Lyft availability first. However, for Uber-first people, this could certainly cause some of them to check Lyft.
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Old Jun 21, 17, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
cash tipping is stupid and 20th century. I won't do it, ever.
So, when you stay at a hotel, what do you do for the bellhop? Or valet? Or housekeepers?

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Old Jun 21, 17, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by Miami305 View Post
So, when you stay at a hotel, what do you do for the bellhop? Or valet? Or housekeepers?

I can't even recall the last time I used a bellhop. If I ever travel with so much crap that I can't handle it personally, then yes, I suppose my penalty should be that I have to find local currency and tip the bellhop.

I can't think of the last time I used valet. These days I tend to arrive in a Lyft, and I tip the driver well.

Housekeeping is a basic function of the hotel. I pay for my room, and don't believe I need to pay additionally in order to get basic cleaning service (assuming it's a full-service hotel where this is a custom). I don't trash hotel rooms or otherwise create unusual work for housekeepers.

However, none of this really applies to Uber, which was specifically launched as a no-tip platform to disrupt the existing taxi model. Uber did not launch their product with the intent that drivers had to be tipped outside the platform. Lyft launched with a different model, and now Uber is making a business decision to adapt to that model.
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Old Jun 21, 17, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Housekeeping is a basic function of the hotel. I pay for my room, and don't believe I need to pay additionally in order to get basic cleaning service (assuming it's a full-service hotel where this is a custom). I don't trash hotel rooms or otherwise create unusual work for housekeepers.
I do know how poorly hotel housekeepers are paid, and leave a few dollars as a kind gesture. I don't think I have ever left more than $5, and I have been stopped on many occasions by grateful housekeepers who express their gratitude. That moment is worth far more than the Starbucks coffee that $5 would have bought me.
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Old Jun 21, 17, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by Miami305 View Post
I do know how poorly hotel housekeepers are paid, and leave a few dollars as a kind gesture. I don't think I have ever left more than $5, and I have been stopped on many occasions by grateful housekeepers who express their gratitude. That moment is worth far more than the Starbucks coffee that $5 would have bought me.
I don't really know what the labor demand curve for housekeepers looks like or how (if?) tipping affects it. I figure that's between the direct suppliers and consumers of the labor, with the hotel guest being an indirect participant.

My expectation is that the hotel handles paying their staff a competitive-enough wage for that market to successfully provide the service, with a reasonable amount of regulatory oversight to ensure they aren't violating labor laws in the process.

But if you want to tip them, fine.

Originally I liked Uber's no-tip model because of the complete transparency. The market would function and correct itself in real-time via surge pricing. But then I gravitated over to Lyft, at first for better service, and have accepted their tipped model in the process.
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