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Uber Introduces In-App Tipping: Who’s Excited?

Yesterday, Uber announced a new in-app tipping feature in Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston. In-app tipping will be rolled out throughout the U.S. by the end of July, “so we can get the experience right.” So this is essentially a test-run to work out any kinks before a mass roll-out. That makes sense, but I am surprised at how long it has taken for Uber to catch up to its main competitor, Lyft. I’ve written about why you should tip your Uber driver and I’m glad this is finally being rolled out. Uber drivers are paid ridiculously low wages for our convenience, so it’s good to finally see the company treat its drivers less like crap.

Uber cars lined up in a parking lot

There is still no obligation for passengers to tip drivers. However, for those who want to, its nice to be able to do it without carrying around cash. There have been times when I’ve chosen Lyft over Uber because of the in-app tip feature. I will likely also take advantage of this new feature when using UberEats (eats-uberpointchaser) for lunch deliveries at work. It’s fast, convenient, and saves me from having to endure the 100+ degree weather to grab a bite to eat. The fact that I can leave a tip in the app, something food delivery apps like Postmates already allow, is a nice bonus. Even more incentive to put my $200 annual Amex Uber credit to use!

The subject of tipping Uber drivers (or anyone really), is a divisive issue. Not like healthcare reform or anything, but it does get people riled up. A lot of folks express frustration with America’s tipping culture in general. I’ve talked with people who felt tipping Uber drivers defeated the purpose of cashless transactions – a main convenience of using rideshare apps. I disagree with that. The true convenience of using a rideshare app is being able to conveniently (and cheaply) request a ride with a vetted driver. The cashless transaction part is just icing on the cake.

That being said, I’d like  your thoughts: Are you going to tip drivers now that Uber enables it through the app?

Do you plan on utilizing Uber’s in-app tipping feature? Why or why not?

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Ariana Arghandewal

12 Comments

  1. Excited? I’ve not yet “uber’d,” though have a young friend who drives for them…. So sympathetic to him, yet also saw Chuck’s concern @ docofcredit: “There is a catch is that the rider is forced to rate the drive in order to be able to tip….” That’s got trouble all over it — plus apparently drivers can also “rate” riders…. (after they see what the tip is….) I’m with those who resent the increasing pressures corporate “merika puts on us to tip in the service industry — much loathe the suggested outrageous tipping percentages at restaurants (which they do on cc bills after taxes)….. Here we have ‘America’s richest corporate tycoons (think Trump to the casino billionaires) trying to get us to subsidize their ill gotten gains, to cover for their miserly/stingy/benefits poor treatment of their workers…. (ah yes, and their hired shills/anger goons in the media will take my head off as a “socialist”)

    Not excited.

    • I don’t see the rating requirement as a hinderance. Most people rate Uber drivers and I imagine that’s especially true if you are voluntarily leaving a tip. I agree – corporations like Uber (and the restaurant industry) pay their employees slave wages and expect us to pick up the slack. It’s horrible. But it likely won’t change for a long time, so it’s up to us to counteract that with compassion and by tipping (reasonably) when we can.

  2. I saw this and was immediately irritated. One of the greatest things about Uber was there was no concerns over a tip. I loved that!!!!! Tipping is RIDICULOUS in US. Utter BS. I don’t like the pressure behind it. I was so happy that element was removed. I will not tip Uber drivers, ever.

    • I disagree. The great thing about Uber is the convenience of hailing a ride via an app, the referral credit system, and the fact that it’s more pleasant and cheaper than a cab. While it’s really Uber’s fault for ripping off drivers, if they picketed tomorrow, our fares would go up. It’s unfair for us to get everything we want and them to ensure absurdly low wages as a result. The least we can do is tip a little to compensate for the inequality.

  3. Pleased, not excited. I tip Uber drivers, but sometimes have no cash or no small bills. This is convenient.

  4. I think this is good. I never tipped Uber drivers because the whole draw for me was that it was all done through the app. I don’t have to tell the driver where I’m going and don’t even need to swipe a card. I use credit cards for just about everything now so I rarely even have cash. If I was going to give a cash tip I would just call a taxi. I will definitely tip through the app when appropriate. I have had a few bad Uber drivers recently, but for the most part they have been good.

  5. As a driver I expect no tips and appreciate the times I get them. Having a full time job, anything I get in tips is extra, and I consider it just that: extra. Some drivers overstep their boundaries and rate passengers down when they do not tip.
    As a Rider I have tipped my drivers every time. They may be in need of the money that I would consider extra.
    It amuses me that some people call out the U.S tipping culture and Uber’s poor wages. Yes, the tipping culture is the exception, and yes Uber should pay it’s employees better. But using that as your justification to not tip is a joke. “I’m not going to tip you because Uber should be paying you better” (which would mean higher rider fares) is essentially saying “I should be paying a higher rate to you. But since nobody makes me I’m not going to.”
    –That’s on you.

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