Poll: Do you tip your Uber driver?

UberOnce I discovered Uber my trips to big cities became so  much  simpler. No need to stand in the  street hoping I can hail a cab. No worry that the credit card machine may be broken and I’ll be forced to stop at an ATM on the way to the airport. No renting a car in cities where parking is a rare, expensive commodity. 

I love Uber because you can get a ride using your phone, know how long it will take your driver to get to you, and not fumble with payment at the end of the ride. At first I felt guilty for not tipping, even though Uber clearly states  there is no need. But after a few rides that lessened as I enjoyed the freedom of not needing to keep small bills on me, simply giving a heartfelt “Thank you!” as I departed.

Then I read an article about Uber and some of their recent legislative/regulation issues. One of the comments was from a frustrated Uber driver. “It would be nice if the riders tipped us! We are providing a service, just like a hair stylist or waiter. Don’t you tip those people?” A trickle of doubt made its way to my mind as I wondered if I had been wrong all this time.

And today I read in the New York Times that Uber has started to allow drivers in California and Massachusetts to put up a small sign saying that tips are appreciated, but that they won’t put a tipping feature into their app. Argh! So you’re saying that I am supposed to tip, but you’re not going to make it easy? “Easy” is the whole point  of Uber! And will Uber drivers give bad ratings to people who don’t  leave tips? What’s a busy traveler supposed  to do?

Readers, do you tip your Uber driver?

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  1. I tip if I have cash. But I don’t always carry cash. And thus the beauty of Uber, I don’t need to. They really, really need to add the feature to the app.

  2. More recently I have found the term “easy” and Uber cannot be used together. Many times I have had cars take my request and then cancel on their way to the arrivals terminal, I assume they either saw a longer fare offer, or during the rush times, I would guess they want to get a lot of short trips. Either way, it has been taking more and more time to get a car these days. Then there is the issue that most recent drivers I have had do not know how to navigate anywhere. One recent driver didn’t take the correct exit out of Reagan and got us stuck in the airport loop with bumper to bumper traffic. We told him to let us out and he still had the guts to charge us for his 40 minute F-up. Which brings me to the third hassle, having to contact Uber to get credits for their driver mistakes and their sightseeing tours of cities. So no, no tipping for me. In conclusion, 80% of their drivers can suck it!

  3. Please correct your poll! Uber does not say tip is included. That is the perception Uber created years ago and something they have continued benefiting (lying) through over the years.

  4. When I first started using Uber, I swear they allowed you to tip in the app. I hadn’t used it for about a year and it had changed when I started using it a year or so ago.

    I don’t generally tip but do make sure I rate the driver very well and leave good comments if they were particularly nice.

  5. I’m an Uber user and driver…

    I usually don’t tip unless the driver is exceptional or I make him/her wait or make multiple stops.

    Tips are NOT included and not expected but appreciated.

  6. In American culture, wherever tips are permitted, they are expected. We may have a legal right not to tip at restaurants, for example. But how often does anyone even think about exercising this right? If we’re particularly displeased with the service, we might boldly leave just 18% instead of 20%. That’ll send a message!!!

    For me, a big part of Uber’s appeal has been that no tip is expected. The price is the price. Period. It’s one reason that I prefer Uber to Lyft, which obviously uses its app to encourage (or at least facilitate) tips.

    I don’t doubt that Uber drivers will accept extra cash whenever riders offer. But tips at this point are not expected. If drivers start posting signs, or if the app starts inviting tips, an expectation will suddenly come into being. That will undercut a big part of Uber’s appeal, at least to me.

    The markets for drivers and riders will determine how this ends. I personally would prefer that Uber enforce a no-tip policy as part of their brand development. If the result is slightly higher fares than Lyft’s pre-tip fares, that would be more than fine with me. In fact, it would be a great reason to pick Uber.

  7. I would tip the driver IF s/he helps me carry my suitcases from/ to my home. But if all s/he does is drive, that is what we are paying for, isn’t it???

  8. Depends on what country you are in. It was not until my third visit to Australia that it was pointed out to me ( by a hairdresser) thata tipping was not the norm.
    Also on a recent visit trip to Hong Kong , with a taxi run from the airport, I did not have any local currency. It may be that a US dollar tip is more universal than GBP?
    If Uber (or similar) add the tipping feature it must come after the journey not pre paid.

  9. I don’t use Uber (I won’t support an executive team that threatens to dox female critics) but I tip on Lyft — tips are built into the app so no cash is required for tipping.

  10. I have only used Uber and Lyft a couple of times each, all in NYC. I gave them each a fiver. Hope I’m not corrupting the system.

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