Am I the only who who tips Uber drivers?

Last night, after taking an Uber with friends, on the way out of the car, I leaned forward and gave the driver a few bucks... and my friends yelled at me!

They proceeded to berate me for tipping the Uber guy, saying that no one does that and no one's SUPPOSED to do that... and that, by me tipping the guy, I'm ruining it for the rest of the world because if enough people start tipping Uber drivers, then that will be become the norm.

I was just trying to reward the guy for good service (clean car) and good conversation, so my question is... was my tipping the Uber guy a berate-able offense?

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Comments (46)

Aug 8, 2018

Yes, you are the only who who tips Uber drivers

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Aug 8, 2018

I've taken probably thousands of Uber rides, none of them in the US.

I might tip $1-2 USD in countries where I can get an 1 hour Uber ride for less than $10 USD.
(certain countries in South America, Africa, etc.)
Just feels like the right thing to do.

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Aug 8, 2018

Okay... so apparently I'm the only one who tips U.S. Uber drivers.

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Aug 8, 2018

Dude I'm a college student, I can barely afford the uber itself lmao

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Aug 8, 2018

I don't think it's weird to tip, but I think most people tip with the app.

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Aug 8, 2018

1) Tell your friends to fuck off

2) No one tips.

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Aug 8, 2018

Okay, fair and balanced... I respect that.

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Aug 8, 2018

Nobody tips, that was one of the original selling points for Uber. Order a cab and know the total upfront cost without needing to tip. The new tipping feature is to appease their employees.

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Aug 13, 2018

I think that the tipping culture in the U.S. has gotten way out of control. One of the largest selling points of Uber was that you could take the ride for the price shown (i.e. tips are already included). The price has not gone down, and they want me to add on what is effectively another tip now? No thanks.

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Funniest
Aug 13, 2018

Between this post and the one about your "friend" who wouldn't smoke some weed with his boss you sound like a weird guy.

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Aug 13, 2018

You're very astute.

Aug 13, 2018

I tip in three situations:

  1. The service was exceptional (not just good).
  2. The ride was long (over 30 minutes).
  3. My company is paying for it.

90% of my tips fall into the 3rd bucket.

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Aug 13, 2018
N0DuckingWay:

I tip in three situations:

  1. The service was exceptional (not just good).
  2. The ride was long (over 30 minutes).
  3. My company is paying for it.

90% of my tips fall into the 3rd bucket.

This. I only ever use Lyft on the work card and always tip. Never use Uber but we'll save that for another thread.

Aug 20, 2018

Now I genuinely want to hear your thoughts on Uber vs. Lyft. Feel like there is a story behind it.

Aug 16, 2018

Indeed. This falls partially into your second category, but ever call in a pool ride for a <2 mile trip and you pay maybe a couple bucks? If you get caught in traffic, the driver is likely making less than minimum wage. I just feel bad at that point.

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Aug 13, 2018

The reason tipping at restaurants is customary is because the server is making ~$2/hr. Since this isn't the case with a driver, I don't think tipping should be mandatory. But if your service was truly exceptional for whatever reason, it's not a bad thing to tip, lol.

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Aug 13, 2018

I don't tip because society says I have to. Alright, I mean I'll tip if somebody really deserves a tip. If they put forth the effort, I'll give them something extra. But I mean, this tipping automatically, it's for the birds. As far as I'm concerned they're just doing their job.

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Aug 15, 2018

Yeah way to stick it to society by not tipping... You're a real rebel.

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Aug 16, 2018

He's never worked in the service/restaurant industry.

Aug 18, 2018

Woosh on the reservoir dogs quote

Aug 14, 2018

I've only tipped on a couple of occasions, both for exceptional service. Once when my drunk ass was being carried by some friends in a grocery bag and the driver was still willing to bring along the puke accompanying me, and when I had to take a 3 hour ride in the middle of the night during a hurricane, and we almost lost our lives on the highway from the winds and trailer trucks. But those are the only times where the service was truly exceptional and the driver's went well beyond expectations. Other than that, the app calculates a fair price and it's not like servers or waitresses making shit wages.

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Aug 14, 2018

Not from the US, so tipping is never seen anywhere unless you're at a fine dining restaurant. However if the service is exceptional (additional benefits that you didn't even ask for) and top notch, then I would tip.

Aug 14, 2018

I always tip like $1-$3 dollars, by no means do I think it is necessary with Uber. But I use it mostly for to/from airports and they help put the luggage in the back so I want to compensate them for the lifting.

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Aug 14, 2018

I primarily tip during bad weather or if I'm hauling along a carload of drunk friends. Have to protect that rating.

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Most Helpful
Aug 14, 2018

Kinda surprised at the answers here.

Of course I tip. In NYC, you tip your cabbie. You ought to tip your Uber. Yeah, I guess it saved a couple bucks a few years back when Kalanick & Co. were building their subscriber base by encouraging a culture of non-tipping, but it's really not what's culturally normal, at least in NYC.

If you can afford an Uber, you should be able to afford to tip (if, and to the extent, the service justifies it). Not to do so is probably just greed masquerading as "but you're not supposed to tip". BS.

Aug 16, 2018
Fugue:

Kinda surprised at the answers here.

Of course I tip. In NYC, you tip your cabbie. You ought to tip your Uber. Yeah, I guess it saved a couple bucks a few years back when Kalanick & Co. were building their subscriber base by encouraging a culture of non-tipping, but it's really not what's culturally normal, at least in NYC.

If you can afford an Uber, you should be able to afford to tip (if, and to the extent, the service justifies it). Not to do so is probably just greed masquerading as "but you're not supposed to tip". BS.

I guess I might be coming in that direction.

It is just a bit odd for me as in my circle and region, the norm was not to tip Uber drivers. When it first hit my area (in the south). The whole thing was ... "its Uber - its a great deal and you don't have to tip!"

The drivers seemed to appreciate the extra cash flow and the passengers seemed to like the service and price. I think a big reason Uber got into the market was on this 'no-tipping' policy that drove their price point lower than competitors to break into the market (great technology as well).

Now I guess the drivers want the tip and are complaining? I don't know. But, societal norms are bleeding to support driver tips and I do hear some people in my social circles complaining. I can't keep up with this stuff and try not to. But, in general I am thinking of starting to tip Uber drivers and have tipped a couple in the past for great service and intelligent conversation, but if I do tip, what kind of scale is it?

10-15% or is it 15-20%?

I don't know. You're right though. I definitely could tip. Maybe I should.

But, what about that horrible driver that keeps talking, misses the turn, gets lost, takes 20min for a 7min trip and then is laughing or being obnoxious when you get there?

0% or bottom line 5%?

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Aug 17, 2018

I think tipping customs largely vary person to person, and that's okay.

Personally, a serviceperson has to botch the service in a monumental way for me to give 0% tip. These jobs tend to pay so little on an hourly basis that even if the service is mediocre or subpar, I will give 10%, or so, because in many cases the tip is a substantial portion of how they're compensated. I did, however, get taken for a ride through the worst traffic in town the other day, by a cabbie that was clearly attempting to jack up my fare. I gave 0% there.

Assuming the service has no flaws, I'd do 15% minimum. If it's enjoyable service, I'd do 20%. When it's truly superb (e.g. when a cabby pulls up to me when some tool tries to swoop my hail at the last second, out of a sense of loyalty) I'd do 25%.

Aug 17, 2018
Fugue:

Assuming the service has no flaws, I'd do 15% minimum. If it's enjoyable service, I'd do 20%. When it's truly superb (e.g. when a cabby pulls up to me when some tool tries to swoop my hail at the last second, out of a sense of loyalty) I'd do 25%.

I wasn't referring to cabbies, I was referring to Uber.

I always tip cabbies.

Just curious - what do you tip the cabbie for the ride to JFK?

Aug 17, 2018

Understood re: cabbies vs. Uber - I just view them (and my anecdotes about them) as interchangeable.

Same tipping standards apply for a ride to JFK.

Aug 17, 2018

If they get lost and waste my time in an egregious manner (20 min for a 7 min ride qualifies IMO), I am not tipping. I'm probably complaining to Uber support.

But for minor things, I still tip, maybe a little less than usual.

Aug 15, 2018

I tip Uber drivers unless they fuck up. I don't know man, I've just always been of the mindset that they could probably use the extra $3 more than me. It's not like I notice that money missing from my back account at the end of the month.

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Aug 15, 2018

I always tipped my cabbies back in the dark ages and am glad to do the same for an Uber driver who gives better service and takes cards.

FWIW I live in an Atlanta, dallas, Denver, Phoenix kind of city.

Aug 16, 2018

I was tipping Uber drivers long before they made it possible in the app. It is a service and I tip I in those situations. That said there has only been handful of rides where the driver drove or behaved so poorly that I was like F THAT on tipping.

My Uber experiences vary a bit depending on the city I am in but for where I live they are substantially more friendly than the cab drivers on their best day.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

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Aug 16, 2018

I tip Uber drivers on the app. They don't make that much.

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Aug 16, 2018

I interned this summer and was making good money (and obviously my parents still pay for most things) so I tipped $2 every ride. If it was on the company, I would tip even more. I'm also in Texas, but I think everyone should tip at least $2.

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Aug 16, 2018

The thing I don't understand about tipping is that is so random in the sense that I don't really understand why we tip for some services, but not for others. I am also a bit annoyed by the ridiculous increase of what's expected we've seen over the last decade or so. For example, the rule for NYC cab use to be that you leave a dollar tip for each $10 (ie. you pay $19 for a $17 ride), but to convince cab driver to accept cards, they set the options at 20%,25% and 30% of full fare (including tolls) and you have to manually change it if you want to pay lower, which takes forever. Same with restaurant dining, it's not that long ago that 15% was the norm.

Frankly, 95% of the time I take an uber / Lyft / cab, the driver provides zero service apart from asking from my name so I really don't see why I should tip. If you help me with luggage or do a stop or something out of the ordinary, then sure, but that doesn't all that often.

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Aug 16, 2018

You are not wrong. But, typically my drivers are usually hispanic immigrants, and as one myself I feel compelled to tip given they need the money way more.

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Aug 17, 2018

I don't know man - why do M&A lawyers get paid by the hour and M&A bankers get paid a percentage fee? It's just a cultural convention we observe and I'm skeptical of anyone that's trying to "break the convention" when it conveniently benefits their bank account as well.

A couple bucks a ride/meal/etc is really not that much to ask for people who are paid very little for what they do and who are providing you what is, in essence, a luxury service.

Not laying any of the above criticisms at your feet in particular, @mtnmmnn , and I do agree with you that I also dislike the "tip creep" where they present you with pre-packaged tip options that are ludicrious (30%? give me a break)

Aug 17, 2018

I think there's 2 issues at play here. First, I don't think it's my job as a customer to subsidize the wages of workers. Not that I think the uber drivers makes a lot, but just that companies should pay living wages and charge for products / services accordingly and it shouldn't be my job as a customer to parse who does and who doesn't and compensate for that. Plus, if you think a company is taking advantage of their workers, how about you don't buy their products / services instead. I think that would be more impactful. Plus I don't see why uber drivers are more deserving than the guy stocking the shelf at my grocery store or the lady cleaning up our offices all night and they both get minimum wage and zero tip.

Secondly, I have an issue with the way tip is shared in the hospitality business. I worked in restaurants and a hotel when I was younger as a cook, bartender and room service attendant. Worked as a cook and bartender in a mid-range restaurant (think entrees $20-$30) and then in a 5star hotel as a room service attendant. As a cook, I busted my ass in a hot, disgusting kitchen, burned / cut myself all the time and had to stay at the end of my shift to clean up the kitchen (which was an absolute mess, every single day). I made minimum wage and the tip sharing brought my hourly wages to $12/13 an hour. As I bartender, I worked almost as hard, but in a much better and cleaner environment and usually got to leave at a decent hour (the restaurant didn't stay open past 11). Got way more in tip sharing so made maybe $25-$30 hour (but with slightly shorter shifts). These were all in a ski resort town so servers made bank, probably averaging $70/$80 hour during the winter. I don't think they worked any harder than what I did in the kitchen, yet they earned 6x,7x. What made it especially unfair was that because the tip sharing was paid by the restaurant, it showed up on my pay stub and I had to fully declare every $ I made while the servers would hardly declare anything (and therefore pay almost no income tax).

In NYC for exemple, unless you go to a very high end restaurant, all of the kitchen staff is illegal and working for minimum wage or less without any benefits, while the servers make at least $40 / $50 hours and often more (source: my gf younger sister recently graduated from Tisch and pretty much her entire class is waitressing because they are all trying to be actors...). I personally just don't think that's right.

I also think that there's a huge bias inherent in tipping. When I worked as a room service attendent, I made $15 / hour (was 15 years ago so was really good then) and then probably averaged $50-$60 / hour in tip over an 8 hour shift. All I had to do was to push a cart up to a room, bring the cart in and remove the covers on the plate. Yet, people almost always tipped 15-20 % of the total charge and regularly got extremely generous tip from families after chatting for a bit (I was doing a gap year being a ski bum and going to a very good college the next year so it helped). Yet, the vast majority of people left no or almost no tip to the housecleaners and they worked much harder and did a much shittier job than I did.

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Aug 17, 2018

I don't agree that tipping culture needs to go away, but I do agree with a lot of what you said. I consider myself a very good and consistent tipper, and feel like a bad person if I make errors while tipping that benefit me financially. I have a certain disdain for people that try to cut corners on tipping - in my opinion, it reflects poorly on one's character.

But look - the reason that people who stock the shelves don't get tipped (cooks do, except with the unfair limitations accurately portrayed by you) is because they aren't "front of house" employees in a context where the value of the good is influenced largely by the value of the service providing the good. Tipping is customary in contexts where a "luxury" service is being provided - someone serving you a meal, or transporting you somewhere, or providing you hospitality. It doesn't apply in contexts where staples like groceries are being purchased, and it doesn't apply in contexts where an asset is being brokered, and it doesn't apply when a professional service is being rendered - for all those contexts (except, I suppose, for shelf-stockers), there are commissions, fees, and other customary forms of remuneration which, when used correctly, serve to align the interest of the principal and the agent.

Tipping makes sense in a "luxury service" context (I use this term recognizing that a night at Applebee's is not luxurious in the conventional sense) because it aligns the otherwise potentially-different interests of the service provider and the service consumer. Without tipping, or with inflexible tipping, the waiter's incentive is to get you in and out of your seat quickly. With tipping, there is an incentive to work hard and explore the solution to the problem of providing a bespoke service to several customers a night, that really makes the "special night out" special, or the "effortless journey" effortless.

In my experience with places where tipping has been abolished (Europe, for example), the service is markedly worse because there is no incentive to serve. And service is what dinner out with the family is about just as much as the food. I didn't come out to dinner to have something unceremoniously stuffed down my gullet - I came out for that date, or that business lunch, or whatever other special occasion. If you just want no-frills food and not to tip, go to Chipotle, or McDonalds, or somewhere else that doesn't provide service along with the meal.

Going out to dinner/taking a car ride etc. is not comparable to a lot of other jobs because equally if not more than the "thing" you're purveying, you're supposed to be purveying a feeling - a feeling that the customer is king, that they are being waited upon.

Aug 16, 2018

I tip Uber Eats drivers as they get out of the car, get the food, drive, and get out of the car again and come to my door (3rd floor walkup). I do not tip Uber drivers.

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Aug 16, 2018

I personally despise Uber. There's no reason you should be using it unless you're in a foreign country where you absolutely cannot speak the local language. Uber solves this communication impasse. Hence my thousands of rides in Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, and rural parts of Italy.

Other then that, drive your own car, go pick up your own food. Don't even get me started on Amazon. The bastion of laziness. The (future) cause of the demise of mankind.

I know, next year they're coming out with Uber Shits.

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Aug 17, 2018

Shine on, you crazy diamond! Do you tip the martian piloting the moon-buggy when you visit the lunar craters? And do you have any recommendations for where I can get a sumptuous carafe of java forty thousand leagues under the sea??

Aug 18, 2018
Aug 17, 2018
Aug 19, 2018
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