The convenience of using a smartphone to “hail” a ride and pay for that ride is still a new concept, but it’s already one that is hard to imagine living without. So, the big question is whether you Uber often? And if you do, do you tip your driver? Living in the United States, this would be a common question to ask, as it is a tipping-friendly culture where we tip our waitresses, our taxi drivers, our baristas and even our pizza delivery man.
Ride-sharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have been getting popular as ridesharing services over taxis as passengers can use the smartphone app to hire a driver to come over to your exact location and beat the crowd, rather than walking over to a designated taxi stand with a long line. There are also studies shown that the entrance of Uber in major cities has caused the number of arrests for DUI to decrease by as much as 10% or more, which is a great way to keep one’s driving record clean and reduce insurance premium costs while having a great night out with friends and drinks.
What Is That Uber Thing?
First of all, Uber isn’t a taxi service. However, it is described as a service that connects passengers with willing drivers. To you and me, this is may not make much of a difference from traditional taxi services as we are hiring a driver to take us from point A to B.
The way it works is pretty simple. A passenger calls for a car with a smartphone running the Uber app. An Uber driver nearby accepts the request and drives over to the passenger’s location, who then takes the passenger to their destination. No cash is exchanged, as payment is taken automatically from the passenger’s debit or credit card from within the App. Best of all, no tip is required, as this is included in the service charge which Uber auto-deducts from your card.
So Why Can’t You Tip Your Driver from Within the Uber App?
Uber’s goal is to make the process of hailing a cab seamless and easy, without requiring users to carry cash or even have any idea what street address they’re at as the app knows exactly where you’re at through your smartphone’s GPS. Uber’s policy states that drivers may not ask for tips. Even if the driver shows a sign in the backseat, this can get a driver in trouble.
And it makes sense! In general, consumers don’t like when tips are an expected but unspoken part of a transaction: it makes things awkward and sometimes means having to actually talk to their driver.
Good news for customers who really do want to give tips for genuinely exceptional service – you as a passenger can voluntarily offer tips to the driver, which is great. The bottom line is that the drivers can’t ask.
On the other hand, Uber’s competitors such as Lyft allows a passenger to tip their driver from within the app when they reach the destination by adjusting the tip amount from within the app.
So which service do you think is making quality of service better for its passengers?