Wait, I'm supposed to tip my Uber driver?

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Wait, I'm supposed to tip my Uber driver?

Funny story! You know how Uber tells their customers that you don't have to tip your Uber driver? Turns out you’re a jerk if you don’t. According to the New York Post, Uber drivers will consistently ding a passenger’s rating if they don’t tip.

If you’re surprised right now, you’re not alone. For years I’ve been deluded into thinking that the whole point of Uber is that you don’t need to tip. I thought that maybe Uber was blazing a trail to a future of cashless, tipless services. But human nature is human nature, and drivers still want tips. What they want, more specifically, is for Uber to give riders to the option to tip straight from the app.

(https://www.policygenius.com/blog/tipping-is-a-terrible-idea-so-why-do-we-still-do-it/) – for some Uber drivers, it’s about making ends meet. That’s the reasoning behind this petition to Uber by the California App-based Drivers Association (CADA):

In the past year, Uber has drastically reduced its fares, while at the same time increasing the commission it takes from each trip. For example, in December 2013, in Los Angeles, the uberX fare was $2.40 per mile, $0.60 per minute, with a base fare of $4.00. Of that fare, Uber would take a 5% commission. Today, an uberX driver will make $1.10 per mile, $0.21 per minute, with a base fare of $0.80. Of that reduced fare, Uber now takes a 25% commission.

The obvious ideal would be for Uber to just pay drivers a living wage, but that would make Uber rides more unprofitable. It’s clear that Uber drivers see tips as a middle ground between these two extremes, but it’s not. Uber wants to aggressively drive down prices, and giving the rider the option to tip creates the illusion that the Uber ride was more actually more expensive. Even if the tip is technically optional, if the option is given, social pressure is high enough that riders would most likely choose to tip. This would be great for drivers, but terrible for Uber – instead of seeing their payment as two payments, one to Uber and one to their driver, riders would view "an Uber ride" as being collectively more expensive.

So, what’s the solution for riders who don’t want to carry cash around for Uber tips but also don’t want to be seen as huge jerks?

I guess you could try explaining to them that it’s Uber ripping them off, not you… but seeing as how Uber is a faceless company and you’re trapped in their car, you might want to take a different tact.

-> How Uber’s surge pricing works (and how you can avoid it)

Image: Uber