Columns Apr 29, 2015 at 4:00 am

Tip Your Driver, Richie Rich

Steven Weissman


Directly from Uber (…


You don’t need cash when you ride with Uber. Once you arrive at your destination, your fare is automatically charged to your credit card on file — there’s no need to tip.

Stop complaining about the customer when your employer is the problem.
I have used uber many times and the gratuity is included in the fare. If a person wants to add to that then it's up to the person to do so. Now that brings up a question about the gratuity. Does uber pay the contractor (driver) for the gratuity? Maybe that's the issue.
Sorry, but if you don't like the work without extra tips, then quit. It's a free world, man.
When you insist that the car belongs to you, is maintained and cleaned by you, driven by you, etc., you are fundamentally making the point that you are not an employee, but an independant business owner (albeit one affiliated with a corporate licensing).
Tips are meant for underpaid employees, not for business owners. Do you tip the owner of the restaurant ?
When I want a raise I go talk to my employer. I don't hassle my customers.

Uber drivers need to pressure Uber to raise rates instead of harassing customers. Part of the attraction is the "everything is included" price.

I tip for service in the typical places (restaurants, etc) but when its part of your company's policy not to tip I don't see how you can be upset.
I'm an Uber driver and I'm not going to lie, it does kind of suck that people don't tip. In my experience, a driver is among the people in the service industry you customarily tip. I tip drivers. People tip taxi drivers. People tip limo drivers. Uber even includes a 20% tip for drivers in the ubertaxi option on the app. (nice tip!) Doesn't seem fair, but apparently that's the way it is. Judging by the vitriolic reaction of people in these comments, my service doesn't merit one.

That being said, it's still a pretty good job and I have a good time doing it. If you see it fit to tip, that is much appreciated. If you don't, that's fine, too. Either way, I will give you the best service I can and get you to your destination safely and quickly in my car with a smile.
Didn't Uber make it a selling point that TIPS WERE NOT REQUIRED?
Fuck Your Tip! You drive a car, so what. Your expenses are your own. Not a customers. Why do you think you deserve a tip for driving a car? Asking a rider how their day has been is not great service. You chose to be a Uber driver. If you don't like it, Kick Rocks! If you don't like the money you make,get another job. Like a Waiter! We're not here to support you.
"Just because your services are dispatched through a smartphone doesn’t make you a technology company. You’re a car service, and you have the responsibilities of being an employer of the people driving the cars.”

-Liss-Riordan, attorney taking on sharing-economy companies trying to circumvent labor laws.…
I used to always tip my Uber driver. But now I use Lyft. It's better anyways. I tip my Lyft drivers now. Gotta say though, everyone's comments on here are pretty shitty. Tough world out there.
Organize, organize, organize. Solidarity forever. Talk to you fellow Uber drivers and form a union. How has this country fallen in a timewarp to the late 1800's?
What a greedy little twit. Maybe you just suck at it?
@12, no kidding. It's amazing what people will say when safely ensconced behind the anonymity of their computer monitors.

That said...I'm a little weirded out by two posts in such short succession dealing with Uber. What's going on here IA?
Uber drivers are starting to sound like baristas, you pay $6 for some foo-foo coffee that takes them 40 seconds to make, and they want you to drop an additional buck in the jar.


Don't like it, work some other dead-end job with shitty tipping.

Seriously, what is it with these Uber taxi drivers, so it's now the same as a taxi?

I'll take the taxi with the fucking insurance.
So glad to see the comments here critiquing the driver for complaining about the policies that he agreed to when he signed up. Now I don't have to say it.
judging by these comments, I have to say that young people seem to be major league assholes. Can't afford a couple of bucks to a nice person who just drove you somewhere and obviously could use the money?

I remember when Seattle was cool, not filled with home schooled assholes from the plains who have watched too much FOXNews and read too much Ayn Rand.
First two Uber rides, I tipped, drivers were surprised. Third, was rebuffed by driver. Oh, okay. Fourth, I didn't even think to tip.

So whatever the tipping rules are, I don't care, just make up your frikkin mind(s).
@18: What part of the OFFICIAL Uber policy and advertising that says tips are not required do you not understand?
If it wasn't just the blatant marketing of uber to convince everyone that tipping wasn't necessary, it would make more sense to be mad at those Amazon employees but bitch, I use Uber for the same lure because I'm poor. Do you think I get tips for the pet behavior and nutrition advice I give and is expected of me and with a huge smile on my face as only being the bear minimum of my job as a mere pet store clerk at $12.50 an hour? Hell no. Are you likely to tip someone else in the low wage service industry that isn't in the arbitrary escelon on tipped workers? Yeah right. Fuck you, you entitled POS
@21: Thank you! I would tip if it were an option in the Uber app itself to add a tip. The first couple times I used Uber I was surprised that the app didn't give me the option to charge a tip to my card (as, say, Square does when I get a taco at a food truck). If a company or app makes it an option to add a tip, whether it's for a barista, a tattoo artist, a taco truck, a bartender, or a driver, I WILL TIP THEM, PERIOD. But I never carry cash.
Uber explicitly points out that tipping is not expected or required, and supposedly isn't even allowed. OP seems pretty clueless. OP should probably switch to driving for lyft, where an opportunity to tip the driver is right in the payment flow for each ride. I usually chat with my lyft driver about the business, many of them used to drive for uber but cite more money, tips, and a better corporate culture for switching to lyft. I always tip my lyft driver, never tipped my uber driver.

Uber operates by flouting the law on several levels. Cheap car insurance specifically excludes any kind of commercial activity, Insurance for carrying passengers for hire costs thousands more and is required by law. Are they licensed by the state and local authorities and registered with the dept. of revenue? So they pay no insurance or taxes, why are you desperate enough to patronize such a business?
I thought that was one of Uber's competitive advantages vis a vis taxis: It was an all-in price that was more predicable than a taxi and easier to use because of the smart-phone app.

Once Uber is required to include all the same costs as taxis, then it's just a fancy taxi and most of its cost advantage goes away.
Blame Uber and quit taking all the losses on Uber's business plan. Uber is not your friend, dear under-employed driver with a fancy car.
The best part about Uber is not having to carrying cash and.... not tipping! It states on their website that you don't need to tip. No tipping. If you're a driver, take it up with Uber, don't label riders as assholes. Asshole.
My first trip with uber, I asked the driver why he preferred driving with this company rather than taxis, and his answer was simple. "No cash on hand keeps me safer. My cousin was killed last year because a robber wanted his money pouch." I've heard this No Cash=No Danger philosophy by at least 3 Uber drivers. That is why I don't tip. Cash is not preferable and there is no way to tip on credit card on the app.
The whole point of using Uber is that the tip is included. The end.
Uber makes the point that the tip is included in the fair and that passengers don't tip. If you ask them to tip them you defeat the fucking purpose of Uber in the first place.

Take it up with Uber: NOT the passengers!!
If they're saying "whee cards mean no tipping ever" not "whee cards mean we tip for you"? That is NOT what I thought.
It seems to me the whole idea of Uber is to give tightwads a cheap ride by paying their drivers squat (and hence why taxi drivers everywhere loathe them, for dear of being forced to drive for even less money then they already make). It also seems to me this is pretty well known info, and the tightwads who use Uber don't actually care how little you make (and some even make a point of it, you know, because a world where people aren't forced to live in poverty is worse than crime). So I think you're actually barking up the wrong tree. Get another job, and good luck finding one.
Yes, you work for a company where part of the promotion is the fact that riders DO NOT NEED TO TIP. It is not like they hid that part of the arrangement, they aggressively push that point in their promotional material. I do not use Uber for the very fact they treat their employees like shit.
So why don't you quit? Well, I am sure it has something to do with the fact that you alone shouldered all the expense of joining Uber (new expensive car) and are now finding out that Uber's support for its drivers is telling them "Go fuck yourself." So rather than complaining that customers should ignore the promotional material and know that you should be tipped, go demand that Uber add a tipping feature to its app (Note: see previous sentence about Uber's support for its drivers).
@22- Seattle taxis provided abysmal service prior to Lyft/Uber. I think that's what made Lyft/Uber so popular, even more than the lower prices.

Not that there aren't other good arguments for taxi regulation. That said, I am in support of Uber/Lyft just on the basis that it's the best transportation for drinking in our city, and the US has an atrocious drinking and driving problem.
A tip is never required, but you tip for good service. If I raging drunk I tip my uber drivers because I know I'm annoying, but if I'm just tired and want to get home from work I don't tip. I know that they make a lot of money off the rides and I don't think anyone ever expects that their drivers ONLY drive for uber as a living. They usually have two jobs, and if they don't, how the hell did they afford that nice car?
I thought I've also read that some drivers refuse cash tips because they want to Uber to eventually put tipping into the app. If cash tips became the norm then Uber may have less incentive to update their app for tipping.
"The tip is NOT included on your Uber ride. But deep down, you knew that, didn't you? That cleaner, nicer car providing far superior service for a MUCH lower price than a taxi is owned, maintained, and insured by your driver. Your driver buys the fuel and the tires. The miles go onto your driver's car. I know it seems unbelievable, but..."

... you are responsible for knowing what type of situation you're getting yourself into when you decide to accept the position to drive for Uber.
You're an adult.
Stop acting like you're entitled to more than you're getting.
This Anon letter is like ordering something online and having it shipped via Ground, and then chewing out the FedEx driver for not delivering Next Day.
Here's the link he tried to post...
It seems like the idea of a tip starts with someone who is inherently underpaid. Like waitpersons who would get $2.50/hr back in the day and it was assumed that (see Dan Savage's post of yesterday) at least bring it up to scale, with the option for extraordinary service to be rewarded.

But if you're talking about someone who already gets paid a good salary or fee for service, there is no reason to have an additional tip since whether he performs better or worse he still gets a good fee/wage/salary.

By the way, the "I should be tipped" philosophy has spread all the way up the ranks of Government and Business. What high level executive doesn't feel he is entitled to stock options on top of salary before a single day of performance reviewable work is done?

Even mid-level bureaucrats believe that their salary is only enough to buy their presence at a few meetings a week. If any real work is to be done, it is all sub-contracted. Ask for anything other than people sitting around in meetings, and the whines and moans begin with "well, IF I had a budget of 10 million, and we had the right subcontractrors, we might be able to write a plan...BUT........"
Anonymous doesn't seem to understand one of the main reasons many people use Uber in the first place, which is that the payment process is EASY and straightforward. If tipping an Uber driver was the norm, I would take a cab instead so I could get reimbursed for my tip.
When I tried to tip on an Uber, the driver actually turned me down. We reached the destination, I had my cash in hand, and I said, because I had never done this before, "Hey, can I tip you or something?"

And he said "no, you're good, thanks though."

In my mind, there were two possible explanations here. One is that I am God's gift to mankind, and the driver was so pleased at having had the opportunity to have me in his car that the mere idea of me giving him money was offensive to him. The other is that tipping is not expected at Uber, because, and I'm speaking as a tipped worker here, no tipped worker will ever turn down a tip if one is expected.
I knew that Uber drivers weren't actually considered "employees" but I didn't realize that Uber drivers didn't actually read the terms on the website -- where it explicitly says that customers are expected to not tip. Uber riders who don't tip aren't assholes, they're just people who know how to read the Uber website and understand what they're expected to pay.

You knew exactly what you were getting into, and if it doesn't pay you as much as you had expected, maybe you should get out.
A major point of these services for me is that they eliminate the need to carry and deal with cash.

Lyft allows me to tip in-app when the ride is complete. I have always done so, and I always will if the service warrants it.

Uber does not allow me to tip in-app. According to the hyper-entitled humanoid that wrote this screed, I'd better find an ATM, let it hit me for a rapacious service fee, and get some cash I wouldn't otherwise carry in order to enjoy the privilege of a ride on Uber.

You know what I'll do instead? Use Lyft. Problem solved. Glad I could do my part to eliminate the anguish of not getting tipped -- no customer, no tip. You're welcome.

A comprehensive history of The Tip would be very interesting. I have no idea how one would research such a thing, but if someone did, I'd pay money to read it.
Alden, there is an interesting Freakonomics podcast on tipping. I listened to it a long time ago so I do not remember how much it gets into history but you might find it interesting.…
I feel for you Uber driver, you got suckered by the sociopaths that run Uber who are taking 20% of your earnings while you pay ALL of the costs/expenses and take ALL of the risks. Right now Uber is trying to kill all competitors including Lyft, by having the lowest rates (unless there's big storm or a terrorist attack then you can charge people 10X normal rates, amirite?). But don't despair, if Uber succeeds in killing the Taxis and all other car for hires and become the only game in town, like say, Comcast, then they can jack the rates up to whatever they want and all the drunk libertarian tech lordlings will have to pay it, surge price every day! Woo! You won't even have to provide good service or clean car or courtesy then (again, see: Comcast! ). That is, if by that time your car hasn't broken down from overuse and inadequate maintenance, and you haven't starved or been in an accident and is in a hospital and being sued because your car insurance won't cover your bills or your passengers', since you didn't have a commercial driver policy!
Seriously, you need to go read Goldy, and then quit letting Uber get filthy rich at your expense. You ARE their victimized employees not a small business owner. If you OWNED your business, Uber wouldn't be the ones forcing you to accept the unlivable prices and no tip policies!
Regulations are there for a reason, just ask the banks' victims, ya know, all the people who lost homes, jobs, pensions, life savings; the child laborers; the sweatshop workers; the miners.
fuck the sharing economy.
What @45 said: If I'm tipping, I'm writing it off. So the tip and the fare need to be on the same slip of paper.
P.S. This isn't a Slog thing, but if you are a member of a private club (Rainier Club or Alaska Airlines board room), no tipping is allowed. Members are allowed at year end to contribute to an employees bonus fund at the Rainier Club, but tips are verboten. At the Alaska Airlines board room, unlike most other airlines, tips are verboten, but the staff will collect your tips and donate them to charity. The point is, they are paid sufficiently not to depend on the whims of senile old men, ladies who lunch, and harried travelers. And as previous commenters noted, it's never necessary to tip the owner of the business (as Uber drivers appear to be), only their beleaguered employees. The self-employed are supposed to be able to figure out a sufficient charge for their services that makes their business turn a profit. The employees are understood to be a bit at the mercy of their circumstances. Obviously, with the "sharing" economy, this is changing, but if you work for an employer that pays you mileage, get by with the cheapest vehicle you can. You'll lose money on that leased Mercedes C-class (even if you think it makes you look successful).
Why not let riders tip through the app?
well it took 32 posts for someone to call out this BS, but right here from my profile:

Gratuity for TAXI

Your preferred gratuity will be applied to any future TAXI trips that you request through Uber. This will apply to TAXI fares only (not Black, SUV, or uberX) and be paid to your driver.

TAXI Gratuity 20%

No idea what that means, but it's Uber's problem, not ours. We don't have the option to add tips to UberX, and fuck carrying or worrying about cash. That's the whole point.
But what about this on the Uber site:

When using uberTAXI (requesting a ride from a cab via the Uber app, available in select cities), drivers will input the metered fare into the Uber driver application. A default 20% of the metered fare will be automatically added and paid to the driver as a gratuity. You can select the percentage amount of the gratuity by signing into your account at then clicking the ‘Payment’ link at the top."

Automatically adding 20% seems like plenty of tip. The X and Black fares are more than double the Uber taxi rate, so those rates seems sufficient as well.

You may as well be calling customers assholes for expecting you to drive them places, you stupid fucking dickhead.
A "disruptive" libertarian company draws the same crowd, wouldathunkit.
This is the pinacle of passive-aggressiveness. So the fare doesn't cover operating costs of their drivers? Sounds like Über should raise their rates. Tips ought to be a courtesy, not a requirement. A business model that doesn't take operating costs into account, preferring to keep rates low to become ubiquitous, while handing the burden to the "volunteers" is deeply flawed.

I guess the bearded classes are unaware that Uber isn't just some crowd-funded "great idea" company, but instead came into being through venture capital from Bain Capital of Mitt Romney fame. Or maybe they do know, which makes their beards all the more suspect.
@59 - Bingo! Hilarity ensues.

All I can say to Anonymous and @8 - Yes, Cabbies get tipped. The company you decided to "contract for" by "sharing" have gone out of their way to keep telling us you're not a cab company (livery), so yeah, fuck you, read @11 to get a clue. Sorry playing beggar thy neighbor isn't working out so well for you.

I refuse to use "sharing eCONomy" scams, and keep supporting the non-sociopathic (and positive-cash-flow) traditional services, so they'll be around for you when you decide to stop working for sociopaths. I tip too. You're welcome.
oh mah gerd, who carries cash anyway? CASH? WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?

The problem is UBER not the customers. I would tip through the app -- as I do with LYFT -- but I am not going to fumble with currency as I'm hurrying out of the car.
You don't tip Uber, as I'm sure most of the previous comments have pointed out. A driver once told me they aren't supposed to accept tips at all unless you offer it to them three times.

Whatever the case, IA sounds like they'd rather be driving a cab. Maybe that's more their speed.
Damn, there are a bunch of nasty comments here. Is lack of empathy a part of the new economy?
What a racket. Uber gets people to drive their own cars, so they're out nothing. Driver pays gas, upkeep, insurance... why the hell would Uber not allow tips? Or mislead people into thinking the tip is included? What percentage of the fare does the driver get? Jesus, even pizza delivery would be a better deal, at least those guys get tips.
I'm sure there are people who work at Burger King or Target who could use a tip, too. Like uber, their employers have, for better or worse, eschewed the tip model. I'm pretty supportive of the idea that Uber drivers (and workers at Burger King and Target) should organize and fight for better wages. But I'm not going to get on board with scolding customers for not tipping in industries designed to avoid tipping.
Uber taxi is the taxi drivers that.are driving cabs being dispatched out by the Uber app. They are the only ones that have the tip option. No the regular cars Uber x does not have a tip option. Tips are not included. And if you like having these nice cars nicely maintained, clean and safe guess what an Uber driver makes at the end of the day having to pay all their maintenance and car care needs not to mention the gratuities some great drivers offer like water. Yeah about $4.00 hr. Not to mention they have families to feed. Plus you arrive in style not a yellow ugly cab. Yes I am a driver. I am on the driver sites. Many drivers will purposely lower your ratings for not tipping. I don't because its not your fault that Uber lies to you. You don't know that we drive for .90cents a mile only loaded so we drive free to pick you up. That's why most drivers won't accept any longer then 5 minutes away. A cab charges almost $3.00 a mile and you wait forever unless you live in NY. I drive for Uber to feed my family and stay off welfare which its barely covering for that. No there is no tip option. Most of what you are paying for is the min fare .90c and 20c a minute. You could take the public bus for almost the same cost as most of the rides. Also you don't know out of that fare the $1.00 safe ride fee we pay for from that 90c a mile and 20% so The company Uber on must these $5.00 trips is taking 30% of earnings with no tip included. On a $5.00 fare we make about $2.40 from that trip. Which for drive time to pick you up wait and then drive to drop off and wait again for the next ride can be a 30min ordeal. I would suggest
Wow! Really? Did you not know this when you went through the on boarding process? Don't like it drive for another platform that allows tips...something like Lyft....I drive for Lyft part time and I did my research before choosing which platform to use. I read way to many complaints like yours on the Uber side. Use your head man, ditch the Uber and follow the light.....
Bad riders. This is why I don't give water, breakfast bars, or clean my car every day for you ungratefuls. You would tip a cab and they are paid 3x the amount. Same concept higher priced and shitty service. SMDH you all are bus riders don't waste our time. Drivers are rating 1* on passengers like all of you to get you suspended off the platform. Just FYI Uber is a privelage not a right. Slam my door I will also report that you tried to damage and dent my car. Have a Uber day SOB's
OK OK OK Everyone calm down Geezers! Fine you don't have any cash or your poor. I think we can all say at the end of the day. Uber, Lyft ect has improved our mode of transportation. If you do have some spare change or cash give a buck or two. I think we can meet in the middle of these frustrations.

Lyft is cool & Uber is kinda. Uber seriously has issues. Uber has a theme of constantly singing PR damage control mode. Now they are cutting fares so low to take out everything. And it's causing a ripple effect of frustrating drivers & now passengers. Uber is and can be problem. They have us all mesmerized by their elegant app but when you peel back the sheets their bed is rocky with the springs poking us in the ass.

I believe we as passengers need to step up & help Uber grow up & make a difference by giving a little relief in the name of GRATUITY! ( ) gra•tu•i•ty (grəˈtu ɪ ti, -ˈtyu-)

You're Allowed To Tip Your Uber Driver (And Maybe You Should) http:/
I love the spin that tells people they're allowed to tip, as if the problem is that people simply didn't know it was acceptable. Like people are supposed to flip their attitude from "Uber is a no-tipping service by design" to "people don't tip on Uber because there is this misconception that it's forbidden," which is designed to be the first in a series of attitude shifts that ends at "tipping is customary on Uber."

Usually when you hear someone saying "well if you don't like it, don't work there" it's bullshit libertarian idealism that minimizes the real-world pain of changing jobs, but let's face it: these jobs did not exist a couple years ago and if they want to create a whole new segment of jobs based on a no-tipping taxi service, then don't take that fucking job if you don't like it.
Thank you pacymano for understanding. And beef rallard No these jobs existed they were just a different color. Guess what its still a Taxi just because we are paid and dispatched differently doesn't make the job different. That's like saying just because you can order a prostitue on line makes her a call girl. Service is the same.
The difference
We bear the maintenance and wear and tear along with insurance of our personal family cars.
We take the risk if in an accident Uber will NOT repair our vehicles
We take the risk of our personal insurance canceling us since no ride share policies are in place
You may think that "these jobs didn't exist" well its not that simple. Many of our jobs that did exist and paid half decent are shipped off to another country or being replaced to be automated even this job will soon have driverless cars. Yay more welfare for the rich and tax payers to pay for all the thousands of drivers when they loose their jobs. Tipping wasn't an issue 6+no ago until Uber pulled the rugg out from the drivers and cut the rate by 2/3rds of the pay. Most of your drivers were making a decent living and went full time. Some bought new cars just to service people. Why because they like to service people. Not so much anymore. Drop then pin in the wrong place you better correct it or you get charged for a driver sitting there for 5min $5.00. Drivers are becoming so outraged that at the end of the night they will report issues to charge riders $200 cleaning fees. Can of soup cost only $1.00 and looks like vomit make an easy clean up and money. That cracked tail light hmmm yip rider concern $200 passenger kicked car due to surge pricing after reviewing the fare. That wallet you dropped. Go pick it up yourself at the police station hopefully the driver didn't see your cash you left behind Especially if you didn't take $2.00 and tip. 1* if you are under 5mile ride. So good luck with treating people like crap all because you really knew you should tip but use the excuse Uber told you not to. Eventually all the above mentioned will start happening more frequently because these drivers exist and talk about it all the time.
While I totally recommend people tip for services (and find it annoying that a lot of wealthier people seem to tip less for some reason), the tipping policies for Uber are kind of confusing. I don't know if it's different here in Washington but when I used Uber a couple times in Illinois, and we tried to tip the driver, he literally said he wasn't supposed to accept tips (one guy accepted the cash tip anyway, the other didn't).

I was an undercover Uber driver

TL;DR: Drivers in Philly make $10/hr (+/- $0.50).
75 old am I?
...(ok pretty old)
jitneys and rickshaws and cabbies and hacks and checkers and ubers and jetpacks and and and..........understand...u guys kinda busted up a cabbie scene.... in pc land..... so just be happy your face doesn't get squashed like it would if you were in south philly.................(if you deserve a tip.....u will get one.......) bro has been driving cab for 40 years ...i know nuts...all he drives are regulars on schedule....earn your way to a career if you are serious about it.....and accept that it may not be for you..... you need to be special. a great driver needs to be as intelligent and advisory as the black taxis on the shank hill road in belfast .......please imagine yourself as ernest borgnine in a last gasping vehicle, omniscient and caring............only then will you get tips. its a paper money chase........the hard gotta earn it...... now i am wondering about the name choice.

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