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Should we be tipping Uber drivers if all they did was drive and get us to the destinations, doing what they were paid to do?

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Denver28
47 Rider
 Posted 1 year, 8 months ago

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    peter.ashlock
    211
     1 year ago  (edited 1 year ago)

    Should you be tipping? The custom of tipping is that it is a gratuity, something to express gratitude and a recognition that the service provider is not otherwise making a decent income. The same is true for wait staff in restaurants.

    This brings up the issue of whether or not the Uber/Lyft driver is in fact being paid to get you to your destination in the first place. The fact is they are not. The fare rates are set by companies who are not regulated by a public agency, such as a taxi commission.

    There is much bad mouthing of "regulation" by the Libertarians many of who make up the Silicon Valley work force and believe that they should be free to make the world a better place for everyone, especilally their bank accounts first of all.

    The reason for regulation is to protect a vulnerable group who might otherwise be exploited. The price for a ride in a taxi cab is set for the following considerations. The fare is designed to allow the driver to make a living wage, for the company...

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    Should you be tipping? The custom of tipping is that it is a gratuity, something to express gratitude and a recognition that the service provider is not otherwise making a decent income. The same is true for wait staff in restaurants.

    This brings up the issue of whether or not the Uber/Lyft driver is in fact being paid to get you to your destination in the first place. The fact is they are not. The fare rates are set by companies who are not regulated by a public agency, such as a taxi commission.

    There is much bad mouthing of "regulation" by the Libertarians many of who make up the Silicon Valley work force and believe that they should be free to make the world a better place for everyone, especilally their bank accounts first of all.

    The reason for regulation is to protect a vulnerable group who might otherwise be exploited. The price for a ride in a taxi cab is set for the following considerations. The fare is designed to allow the driver to make a living wage, for the company to pay for the car, the maintaince of the car which includes the tires, transmission, oil changes, engine servicing and so on, as well as the liability insurance and also the staff at the taxi company which includes the dispatcher and mechanics. I have probably left someone out, but the reality is that most drivers are renting the car from the company on a per shift basis and paying for the gas they use.

    The Uber/Lyft driver is paying for all those "hidden costs" listed above, costs that are NOT factored into the cost of the ride by Uber or Lyft because their equation is not based on the cost of providing the ride, but on the cost of acquiring market share so that all the venture capital investors will be impressed and inflate their value in anticipation of an eventual sale of stock on the stock market, which is designed to make a lot of people rich, but not the drivers. That is why you should tip the drivers and that is why the companies should be regulated.

    By the way, I really like the answer below, which addresses the fact that many drivers are actually skilled at dealing with what they are being paid to do. Unfortunately all too often I hear from passengers about drivers who are clearly unqualified, unprofessional and inexperienced, but the companies of Uber/Lyft want the world to believe that "anyone can do this job" and that is what you get, when "anyone" does it. I just hope that their business model does not extend to medicine because I don't want just "anyone" operating on me or giving me medical advice.

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      SmittenKitten
      2004 Rider
       1 year ago

      Yeah, the mentality of "anyone can do this job" comes from the fact that they think driving is a "commodity".  It's far from the truth, but it's the Silicon Valley culture where they continously seek in a cult-like fashion to replace people and things by smartphone apps or crowdsource, all in the name of making the world a better place.

      Personally, this is upsetting that they thought driving, which involves a special skill as well a customer service, should be a target.  

      I also find irony in this how the Uber app itself is a commodity and can be replaced.  We are already seeing this now, where all drivers carry multiple rideshare apps.  "Dispatching" is the commodity.  Driving isn't.

      And frankly, I think the other taxi aggregators like MeruCab, Didi, and 99 are doing it better how they become the virtual dispatcher of existing taxi companies.  They realize that their app is the commodity and the driving isn't.  This is why Uber will eventually fall.

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        cheesehead
        521 Driver Rider
         1 year ago

        Come on, I know we're all drivers here, but you have to recognize reality. Driving is a commodity. One driver is interchangeable with any other driver. That's what makes a commodity a commodity. Yes, I do realize that some drivers drive better than others, and some provide snacks, or have a nicer car, but these are trivial differences, and -- key -- they do not affect which driver a pax chooses. The market for rideshare drivers is not a competitive market. At the end of the day a driver's only job is to get someone from A to B, and they all do reliably and roughly the same way. The only real way Uber and Lyft can compete is on price. If I could somehow translate my good service, clean car, and witty banter into higher fares, I would agree with you, but that is impossible today. The best I can hope for is a slightly better tip.

        Apples are a commodity too. Even though, yes, some apples are bigger than others, and a few that come through will be rotten and have to be thrown out. At th...

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        Come on, I know we're all drivers here, but you have to recognize reality. Driving is a commodity. One driver is interchangeable with any other driver. That's what makes a commodity a commodity. Yes, I do realize that some drivers drive better than others, and some provide snacks, or have a nicer car, but these are trivial differences, and -- key -- they do not affect which driver a pax chooses. The market for rideshare drivers is not a competitive market. At the end of the day a driver's only job is to get someone from A to B, and they all do reliably and roughly the same way. The only real way Uber and Lyft can compete is on price. If I could somehow translate my good service, clean car, and witty banter into higher fares, I would agree with you, but that is impossible today. The best I can hope for is a slightly better tip.

        Apples are a commodity too. Even though, yes, some apples are bigger than others, and a few that come through will be rotten and have to be thrown out. At the end of the day an apple is an apple. The only way apple providers can compete is on price.

        I'm sure Uber would try hard to convince you otherwise, but they are merely selling a commodity.

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    RedANT
    1075 Rider Driver
     1 year ago

    Pizza delivery drivers generally receive an hourly salary + per delivery fee + tips for driving your pizza 2 miles, and they get tipped almost 100% of the time.  DId they earn their tip?

    People get their coffee from places like Starbucks,  and often tip the barista for making their drink.  His/her tip are in addition to their salary.  What did they do to earn thir tip?

    If you go out to dinner, a waiter/waitress takes your order, then delivers it 30 feet from the kitchen to your table.  They receive a salary + tips.  Do you tip your waitress?  Why?

    Rideshare drivers aren't driving your pizza down the road, they're not making your drink, and they're not carrying your food 30 feet to your table.  Rideshare drivers are paying for gas upfront out of their own pockets, paying for insurance that non-drivers don't pay, making car payments that they're not reimbursed for, paying for vehicle maintenance to maintain a safe ride, driving across town to...

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    Pizza delivery drivers generally receive an hourly salary + per delivery fee + tips for driving your pizza 2 miles, and they get tipped almost 100% of the time.  DId they earn their tip?

    People get their coffee from places like Starbucks,  and often tip the barista for making their drink.  His/her tip are in addition to their salary.  What did they do to earn thir tip?

    If you go out to dinner, a waiter/waitress takes your order, then delivers it 30 feet from the kitchen to your table.  They receive a salary + tips.  Do you tip your waitress?  Why?

    Rideshare drivers aren't driving your pizza down the road, they're not making your drink, and they're not carrying your food 30 feet to your table.  Rideshare drivers are paying for gas upfront out of their own pockets, paying for insurance that non-drivers don't pay, making car payments that they're not reimbursed for, paying for vehicle maintenance to maintain a safe ride, driving across town to find you, and deliver YOU safely to your destination. All that and you don't think we've done anything to deserve a tip?

    Are people really that obtuse that they place a higher value on their latte than on getting to their destination safely without freezing your ass off in the snow, drowning in the rain, sweating your ass off in the heat, dodging dogs, bicyclists, and avoiding getting a DUI? 

    How much is our service worth?  Try going without rideshare for a couple of months, then revisit this thread.

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      cheesehead
      521 Driver Rider
       1 year ago

      I think it's really a matter of culture. Uber screwed it up by going big at the beginning with their "no tipping necesary" mantra. But that is changing. Before Uber came along, it was considered 100% normal and expected to tip your taxi driver. That expectation is coming back to rideshares now. Give it a few years and it will be the norm again.

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        bBerman81
        268 Rider
         1 year ago

        Uber's mentality on no tipping started with black cars and "Your own personal driver" or whatever their catchphrase was.  I think that was totally fine.

        The problem started when they released UberX.  (Gosh, it's been a long time.)  They should have released the tipping feature then when they widened the audience.

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    DriveMeToTheMoon
    285 Driver Driver
     1 year ago

    Wow, lots of different opinions here.

    My response?  Uber drivers do so much more than just drive and get you there.  Is that enough to answer your question?

    We provide phone chargers, we opent he doors and help with the luggage, we clean the cars in between fares, and we try to keep the cabin as comfortable as possible.  We try to drive smoothly, and maybe even try to choose a good music for the mood.  

    We give you tips on the sights to see and directions when asked.  We listen to your problems, and we make sure you are safe while you get on or get off the car.  ...and best of all, we got you there safely.  

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    DonutDrivers
    246 Driver Driver
     1 year ago

    All we did was to get you to the destination?  That's where you are wrong, my friend.

    We do so much more than just driving.  We clean the cars, we keep you safe, we find where you are because it's wrong on the app half the time, we are friendly, provide charging cables, maybe even water bottles, and we entertain you with our wonderful life stories. 

    We may open doors, handle your luggage, and provide touristy tips if you are new.  We will make suggestions, we will take the stress of navigating the streets off of your hands, and we make sure you don't have to worry about a thing for you to enjoy the trip.

    Please. we aren't just getting you from point A to point B. If you can't see that, you must have a twisted level of expectation, lacks empathy of what others do for you, and must be used to be treated like a royalty.

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      cheesehead
      521 Driver Rider
       1 year ago

      Let's not go crazy here. I mean, I agree that we provide a really important service to the world, and that some of us go above and beyond the call of duty in doing so. And we deserve a nice tip for doing so!! But we're not going around pulling babies out of burning buildings. Let's be realistic. The poster is wrong and does lack empathy in this, but he's not wrong that we are paid primarily to drive people to their destinations. It's just that that doesn't mean we don't deserve to be rewarded for it.

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        lguirch
        79 Driver
         1 year ago

        Unfortunately driving is being treated as a commodity especially by younger folks, who think exactly that we are paid to drive and tipping is not necessary.

        i once drove a lady who works in one of the chain  hair cutters joints. Somehow the conversation went into tipping, etc. she told me that when people tip her a dollar or two she feels like they spot her in face and she feels like throwing the tip back at the client. I asked her what would she consider a good tip and she said 5-10$. She must be out of her mind I though, a joint that charges $18 to cut hair is not going to generate such tips. I asked her why she feels she deserves  such high tip vs 15-20% that waiters typically get. She went on to say that waiters do not deserve more than that as they did not go to school V.S. what she did. Strange and twisted mind she had, oh and she did not tip me either;)

        when I give someone a long ride and help them with luggage as well as keep them entertained keeping up with thei...

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        Unfortunately driving is being treated as a commodity especially by younger folks, who think exactly that we are paid to drive and tipping is not necessary.

        i once drove a lady who works in one of the chain  hair cutters joints. Somehow the conversation went into tipping, etc. she told me that when people tip her a dollar or two she feels like they spot her in face and she feels like throwing the tip back at the client. I asked her what would she consider a good tip and she said 5-10$. She must be out of her mind I though, a joint that charges $18 to cut hair is not going to generate such tips. I asked her why she feels she deserves  such high tip vs 15-20% that waiters typically get. She went on to say that waiters do not deserve more than that as they did not go to school V.S. what she did. Strange and twisted mind she had, oh and she did not tip me either;)

        when I give someone a long ride and help them with luggage as well as keep them entertained keeping up with their stories while safely driving them to destination and they do not tip, I leave a   Lower rating. Perhaps when this passenger starts experiencing longer wait times as other drivers will start ignoring their requests due to low rating passenger thinks to start tipping ;)

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    AsStibelDude
    625 Driver
     1 year ago

    Sigh...this question again.   are these people serious?  I am sick of explaining this.

    We work very hard, we make very little, and our "employer" Uber gives us no benefits and treats us horrble.  we are all ni this together.  Be a good pal, and help us out.

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      cheesehead
      521 Driver Rider
       1 year ago

      Hear hear. This is really all that needs to be said.

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    HemiDodge
    360
     1 year ago

    Can we just stick to what our culture is used to with treating the service personnel?  In the USA, we all tip waitors, bellboy, hair dressers, food delivery, and taxi drivers.  Why are we even arguing about rideshare drivers?  

    Who disrupted the commonsense and the market standard?  Is it all Uber's fault?

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      DFosterG11
      187
       1 year ago

      Well, we don't tip everyone in the service industry.  So the attention has to be a level down in the detail. 

      Private cars and with car services, we didn't tip.  The American culture didn't tip.  That's where Uber started, right? With black cars?  That "culture" bled into UberX when it opened up.

      No tip (and hence lower rate) and the "cashless" experience were the reasons FOR Uber AGAINST taxis. so...   

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      AngieKM169
      107 Rider
       1 year ago

      Yeah!  It's Un-american to not tip!!  

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    jphorseshoeluck
    66 Driver
     1 year ago

    I get that tipping culture is backwards but it is the culture we all live in so just do your part and tip. Drivers just like nail techs, delivery boys, and waitresses make so little, we depend on your tips to survive.

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      DavidLawrence
       7 months ago

      I don’t think tipping culture is backwards as the rest of the world is backwards in not tipping.

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    DavidLawrence
     7 months ago

    I look at it as they are using there own personal vehicle. I get not tipping if there is a major surge but sometimes tipping should be done like I drove a guy to Toledo Ohio once during a snow storm, and he needed to go to Cleveland, Ohio from Detroit Metro Airport. I wasn’t able to drive him to Cleveland because I have full time job to make it too, but I waited one hour at a coffee shop off the clock to make sure someone was willing to drive him. He didn’t tip me a cent. Also vehicles depreciate almost 50 cents per mile you drive, & I’m sorry you should tip when they are using personal vehicle to save you time and money. 


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    LCarpenter
    220 Rider Driver
     1 year ago

    What a jerk-off question to post, disrespecting how people make a living in the service industry, and how they shouldn’t be tipped for providing such service. The same thing could be asked about any service industry job. 

    Why tip a masseuse?  Waitress? Landscaper?

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    KitteryMe
    30
     1 year ago

    I don't even see why this is an argument.  We all used to tip taxi drivers, so why stop now?

    I mean, with rideshares, you get a nicer car, cleaner car, and it's hell of a lot cheaper.  So, why not?

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    JPoland
    178 Driver Driver
     1 year ago

    If everyone stopped tipping, all drivers would stop driving.  They will all operate in the negative territory, and would be forced to look elsewhere.  So please tip if you want to keep using Uber and want this whole rideshare thing to stay.

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      CrazyCrayons
      145
       1 year ago

      Well, see, that's where the anti-tipping people get their fuel.  If that happened (i.e drivers stopped driving), Uber will be forced to raise the fares in order to keep the drivers on the road.

      It's capitalism.

      This where it's hard.  I am in the camp that the tipping should happen, but it's a gesture of thanks and a reward for a job well done.  NOT to support the livelihood of an Uber driver.

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    StevenL-NYU
    141 Driver Driver
     1 year ago

    Should you?  That's a difficult question.

    As a driver, I never expect a tip. It's part because of the attitude I maintain but also because I don't get it that often, maybe 30%.  The Uber/Lyft culture is completely different than the taxi culture that I drove 20 years in.  Tip just isn't expected and a part of the job. 

    I am not saying you shouldn't.  I am just trying to be honest with my expectation, as I assume that is what you are asking.

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    HuhnHuhn
    127 Rider
     1 year ago

    Treat your driver the way you would others whose service makes your life better and easier. Even better, treat your driver the way you would want to be treated if you were the one behind the wheel.

    Even a $1 tip means a lot to most of us. Because that tip has meaning that goes way beyond the amount of money. Because any tip tells us you appreciated our effort. That means so much more than a 5 star rating (which is nice).