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Uber Drivers discuss giving 1-star ratings to passengers who don't tip (uberpeople.net)
46 points by stevenjohns 20 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 77 comments

Lyft really screwed this up for everybody. We had a good thing going where this inane concept was missing from digital ride share. But no, they had to pretend they’re doing something “pro-driver” by allowing tips and now we end up here.

I’ll never tip via an app. I’m paying for a service and expect the price to include everything. Note that I do tip in cash but that’s done on a case by case basis because I decided to do so, not because I feel obligated.

I don't tip often for Uber/Lyft, but I do always tip for Uber Eats and other food delivery apps, mostly because my condo unit is kind of hard to get to. I find that if I don't explicitly say "Will tip for door delivery" in my Uber Eats delivery instructions, about 15% of drivers won't come anywhere near my door and will just wait for me outside of the building. After adding that line, it went down to 1%.

So for me, tipping is kind of just an added cost I have to account for to get the app's actual promised service.

You haven't been a driver, have you? IMO, I think it was a pretty great incentive to bring up quality of service. Sure, I was never going to make as much in tips as, say, some pretty women, but I don't feel entitled to any of that.


I find the US attitude toward tipping to be extremely toxic. Any effort against it is a good one.

Taking action against the victims of the system isn't moral.

And this is precisely why. If I decide not to tip the driver/waiter/etc... should not be a VICTIM. There should be no morality involved, the person doing the service should be fairly rewarded as a baseline for their work.

As consumers, what else are we to do?

Change the culture with tools like the $15 minimum wage for everyone, including wait staff. That would make tipping less necessary, if not irrelevant. Other countries manage to do it with no tips because they pay better.

A number of restaurants in NYC tried to go the "no tip, it's included in the price" route, and had to reverse course.


New York is not the ideal testbed for this concept.

And that is achieved easiest by not tipping at all. If everyone stopped tipping tomorrow then people who work for slave wages(because they get the rest in tips) would hopefully leave and find better paid jobs. People running restaurants would have to increase their wages to keep staff working. Problem would fix itself overnight without any need of government intervention. Every time you don't tip yes, the employee will think "what a skint bastard" but hopefully also think "god, this job sucks I need to find something that pays more".

And just as a counter point to your last sentence - waiters in UK frequently make hardly above minimum wage(£8-10/hour) and tipping is neither required nor expected.

> ...people who work for slave wages...would hopefully leave and find better paid jobs.

You really have no idea how tenuous employment for people is in those situations, do you? They don't take these jobs because they pay well, they take these jobs because that's all they have.

What they're going to think is "what a fucking asshole". Zero tipping is reserved for the sorts of dickheads that leave "Jesus money" instead of actual cash.

Minimum wage in the UK sounds a lot higher than minimum wage for wait staff in the US which can be as low as $2.13 in some states.

£10 is $13.29, which is a hell of a lot closer to $15 than $2.13.

This is a very good point. To just stop tipping wouldn't teach the restaurants anything. They still get their money from the food you ordered and can always churn out more wait staff willing to work for those low tips because it is better than nothing. Regulation that takes away the need to tip would be extremely helpful, else this probably won't change.

>> They don't take these jobs because they pay well, they take these jobs because that's all they have.

Really? Because I keep hearing how waiters in the US are actually paid very decent thanks to tips. They are ignoring the fact that the employer pays very little because they can at least make a living from tips. That's not acceptable.

It depends on where you live and work. In a busy urban environment where you're catering to people much richer than you, sure, you can do well.

If you're stuck in a rural location with light traffic and moderate incomes you're screwed.

So my position comes from what I can already see over here - you can go and be a regular delivery driver(with no tips) or work for Amazon Prime for minimum wage because there is a chance of tips. It's destroying the market because people who would otherwise never consider being delivery drivers for minimum wage are now considering it on the nebulous idea of maybe getting tips. And Amazon execs are giving each other high fives because stupid customers are subsidizing something that a multi-billion-dollar corporation should be paying for. The only way to fight against it is to not tip, and convince everyone you possibly can not to tip either. That's the only way to avoid this disease from coming over here. And I don't see how this wouldn't work in US either - yes, maybe there are people for whom like you said there is no other choice. But surely there are people who specifically agree to lower wages because they know they can get tips. If that promise was removed then this wouldn't be the choice people would be making.

It’s the companies that are paying the workers so little that they sustain themselves on tips that need to be fought against. Not leaving tips is not the solution until the workers don’t need the money.

Giving a tip will just perpetrate the system and companies will have no incentive to change a system they benefit from. Not tipping will cause people not to be drivers because there is no money to make, leaving the company in hot water, in which case they will either pay enough for people to want to work or perish.

The US is proving time and time again that the government will side with companies(capitalism, yay) so you can't expect the system to change unless the companies lose money.

Uber started by saying the tip was included in the fare. It was part of their marketing that nothing else was needed besides the transaction.

Can't tell if this is sarcasm.

I use Uber precisely because of its predictability and lack of social dances and pressures. At this rate it will just be another taxi company before long. I want the drivers to be paid fairly, and if that means making the rates more reasonable then so be it I'm happy to pay a fair price. Just don't make the drivers livelihood depend on how well he can pretend to be interested in my day etc to eek out as much tips as possible. The dynamic it creates is not fun for either side.

In the linked thread I'm also seeing someone giving riders 3 stars for "short trip" and BS like that. Really ruins the service if you have to worry about those things.

edit: they're also talking about retaliatory ratings "if you give me a 1 I'll go back and change you to a 1 and you'll have a hard time getting picked up again", I thought that wasn't possible? Did Uber change that?

> Did Uber change that?

Not sure about on the driver side, but on the passenger side you could log into the desktop website & modify ratings for a previous ride. Was useful when a driver forced you to give 5 stars, you could revise it once you got back to your laptop.

Have you had experience with a driving forcing you to rate 5 stars? That seems incredibly crazy to me. That just throws the reasoning behind having a rating system out the window. If a driver has 5 stars merely because they uncomfortably made passengers rate them that way then the system is pointless.

Yes, but it was three years ago [1]. The driver even gave me his empty McDonalds bag and asked me to throw it out for him. It was around the time when taxi drivers in my city all started becoming Uber drivers because taxi use had plummeted.

Uber quality has improved in my city a lot since then though, at least for me. And I've personally had far worse experiences from regular taxis in the past[2], so I'm still a fan of Uber.

[1] https://twitter.com/syneryder/statuses/756130867269873664

[2] https://web.archive.org/web/20170816073734/https://www.msn.c...

> I want the drivers to be paid fairly, and if that means making the rates more reasonable then so be it I'm happy to pay a fair price.

Agreed. Rather than tipping, I prefer Uber's other ideas like UberX Plus. For 20% extra, you get a driver with a 4.80 rating or higher. It's one way to make sure your driver earns more money for the same trip, and to encourage quality of service over lower price. There's also Uber Black, if you can afford to pay 2x the cost - I used to get Uber Black all the time, but unfortunately right now I can only afford/justify it on occasional trips.

Sadly, I think the ridesharing services have discovered (like airlines) that most people just want the cheapest cost, not better service. For some people that makes sense - eg my neighbour is a pensioner, and making Uber cheaper than a taxi means she can now afford to go more places, it's improved her life. But for those of us who liked the free mints & free water, a comfortable ride, and a driver who helps you with your bags, we've got to pay higher prices & choose higher tiers to make those service levels sustainable.

Changing human nature is really really difficult, maybe impossible

EFIT: because of the downvotes I want to clarify that I meant: if Uber is developing towards other, older taxi companies it’s maybe because of human nature and not because they wanted to become like that

Not in this case. The culture around tipping is not universal.

There is nothing "human nature" about tipping. A significant majority of humanity gets along just fine without tipping.

You don't need to "change" human nature for this. Just pay them fairly and don't encourage tipping culture since it leads to things like this.

Tipping is only “a thing” in the United States, it is in no way a human universal.

In the US, Uber doesn't show the presence or amount of an in-app tip until after the driver has rated the passenger, so this is impossible. I can't imagine why they'd implement it any other way in other countries.

Whatever one's view of tipping, this specific problem isn't likely to be an issue.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but how can they give you a 1-star rating? They don't know if I tipped or not as a rider, right? Isn't it all just added into their pay, no way to tell if a specific rider they had tipped X or Y? Or do they mean cash tips?

That’s correct, the driver will rate the passenger before they can see any tips. This thread is nonsense. https://ride.guru/content/newsroom/can-my-uber-or-lyft-drive...

Can they edit the rating after the fact? I know as a passenger I can edit a driver's rating.

Really? I think you need to engage customer support to do that https://help.uber.com/partners/article/i-want-to-change-my-r...

Riders can change driver ratings afterwards. One way is to log in to the website on desktop & go through your trip history. Another is to use this DIY webpage on the Uber help site to do it instantly:


In the thread it shows that passengers that tipped are given a green check next to their ride.


At least as of 2018 (I haven't seen the driver app recently), after giving a ride, a driver is basically restricted to the passenger rating screen until they complete it. Screens like this one, if they exist, are only visible after a driver has rated a passenger.

The driver's rating of a passenger can only be changed by opening a support ticket, not in the app (https://help.uber.com/partners/article/i-want-to-change-my-r...).

If drivers did that. Uber would surely and swiftly take that out of the UI.

This is why I don't use Uber. I find their whole corporate culture to be really bad, and that has filtered down to the drivers. As for Lyft, they should just pay people a proper amount and get rid of tipping altogether. Why are we STILL supporting this relic of slavery?!

Without tipping, the base fare isn't enough to be a "proper amount". If they raise the base fare, people won't use ridesharing as "too expensive".

The economy is at full employment (in the US; Australia has a substantial minimum wage already). 68% of Uber drivers churn within six months [1]. I doubt that's sustainable.

[1] https://therideshareguy.com/7-reasons-why-uber-and-lyft-driv...

> If they raise the base fare, people won't use ridesharing as "too expensive".

So the next startup will introduce an 'only one dollar wherever you go' system. In addition you have to pay a tip that related to the time and distance. If you do not pay (at least...) that proposed tip, you are banned for ever.

Next idea: free shopping ! But we propose a tip for the whole experience of visiting our store, keeping everything stocked, the number of items you took and some other variables.

Then ridesharing is too expensive. If the only way to make it work is to trick people at seemingly lower prices and then have them feel obligated to make up the difference for the drivers salary.

That's the situation in a nutshell. You either burn up VC money or you exploit drivers (or a combination of the two).

Who the hell tips uber drivers. And why. I sometimes "tip" taxi drivers if the change is not worth getting(like if the ride was £28.84 then I'll just hand then £30 and not bother with change), but to consciously pick a tip on the app? Yeah it might feel nice for the driver, but all you're doing is sending an email to Uber that says "hey guys it's fine if you pay like shit, because we customers are totally willing to subsidise it instead. Thanks!".

I live in America. I rarely tip Uber. I have tipped before, one that comes off the top of my mind is when I asked for a ride into downtown, where there was a huge parade/celebration going on. Due to traffic from other vehicles, there was no way they were getting out of there in any reasonable amount of time after dropping me off. It easily would have taken them 10 or 15 minutes just to get to the point where they'd be able to get out of the area I put them in. I genuinely felt bad for them.

It's not obvious from the title, but this is Uber in Australia. Australia doesn't have a culture of tipping generally, because we expect that people are getting paid a living wage by their employers. Not just a minimum wage, one that's sufficient to actually live.

Moving to the US I encountered a huge culture shock when I learnt that there was such a thing as working for almost nothing from your employer and relying entirely on the variable generosity of random strangers to make ends meet. It seemed rather backwards to me.

I don't think this will fly too much in Aus.

"Well boys and girls, you're about to find out how tight pax's really are. Uber about to allow tipping via the app. We're all rich!!! If only. Looking forward to my additional $5 per month."

I have been able to tip for years, what am I missing?

Edit: I was missing the location, it's AU specific

which is even weirder, because tipping generally isn't a thing in Australia.

Is there any reason cities haven't rolled out an app similar to Uber/Lyft for the actual licensed taxi drivers? The whole idea of Uber was that you could get a ride on demand and didn't have to fight for or wait for a cab as well as paying less. The paying less part isn't really all that true anymore, from what I have seen - they are about on par. Especially if tipping is now expected.

But I think the taxi drivers would benefit greatly from an app like that. I see no reason that there couldn't be something akin to what ParkMobile has done for public parking.

I don't know about cities, they're usually not the ones running the taxis. But taxi companies most definitely have mobile applications.

In Singapore, the largest taxi company has an application that's much better than Grab. It's faster, doesn't force you to rate the drivers, and doesn't bombard you with ads in the notification area.

(yes, I know Grab doesn't force you to do it anymore, but it used to be that the only way to not rate the driver was to hard kill the application)

I'm currently on vacation in "bargaining countries", last in Vietnam. People use Grab there because they don't want to bargain before going to the cinema.

You can leave a tip - but generally, you pay the price from the app. This is the damn reason you use the app.

Just don't tip the uber driver. Tipping leads to more discrimination and confusion.

No, fuck this. You think riders care about their rating? We care about not having to tip where it's not customary because it's a stupid fucking idea. It's bad enough you have to tip in the US for restaurants because business owners are too cheap to pay their workers a living wage and the US doesn't give a fuck about its people making a living as long as the rich get richer. Now this stupid custom is even spreading outside the US. I was in Prague and every restaurant wanted tips. What the fuck? I'm tired of having to pay others' salary because the fucking laws don't protect people and business owners prefer it. Fuck them and fuck this tipping culture. Uber drivers don't do shit to deserve tips and they don't deserve tips. Not killing me is not a fucking tippable act. It's expected as part of the fucking service. Fuck them for expecting it and fuck Uber for not paying enough and fuck the government for not fixing this.

So without tipping, going to a restaurant, you aren't paying the employee's salary?

I can see how it can be confusing, the first few times you are in a tipping situation, coming from a non-tipping culture. But after that, what is the issue? If the tip is an onerous financial burden, then you shouldn't be eating out anyway.

I mean, how many times are you going to grumble to yourself, "the bill says x but I gotta really pay 1.2x" before you just understand that's the way it is.

No, you completely misunderstood and jumped to the wrong conclusion. I have no problem tipping at restaurants in the US, and I tip well because I realize the US system and culture are broken. The problem is with this ridiculous system and culture spreading everywhere else, to other industries and to other cultures. And no, I'm not paying the employee's salary directly anywhere else. That's the employer's job. It's absurd to suggest otherwise.

This is so much like the Black Mirror episode "Nosedive" that it's almost not funny

I remember days when you can not tip in uber app and It was a articulated feature that tipping is not requited.

Reading this makes me want self driving cars to put all of these people out of business ASAP.

Tipping really makes your budget unpredictable. I am travelling there (not for the first time) from a country. What's the current tip rate?

This type of correlation would be pretty easy for an Uber ML model to detect and flag those drivers.

Why do we have to “ML” everything? A simple database query should provide good evidence.

I’m confident that a significant portion of problems that ML is applied to today can be solved by some Excel sheets.

“Half of the time when companies say they need ‘AI’ what they really need is a SELECT clause with GROUP BY.” — https://twitter.com/matvelloso/status/1001899539484192768

Machine learn is also called statistical learning. It does not mean deep learning which is a subset of ML.

Creating a model in python or R is going to be much easier than in excel.

>Creating a model in python or R is going to be much easier than in excel.

True, but my boss will ask for it in Excel anyway.

Because nobody wants to spend time crunching an Excel sheet when you can train a computer to do it for you, automatically, all the time.

If you have a strong ML work flow it’s going to be easier to scale and automate an ML solution than an excel solution.

The scale one of the posters provides is laughable. Why would they implement having the driver view the tip prior to rating anyway?

Can't drivers just raise their prices?

Wait before rating the driver...

I might be in the minority but I actually like tipping for good service. It is personally gratifying to help somebody out that might need it and it rewards and encourages better service for everyone.

Not tipping is a lazy action where you are taking out your annoyance at the system on the people who are most damaged by the system. It does nothing to change the system.

Tip heavy, if you can afford it, and lament how annoying the whole system is over a drink with friends.

If you really hate it actually take political action (vote, protest, etc.).

I did take action. DC actually had a referendum to eliminate the tipped minimum wage, so that all jobs would be required to be paid the same minimum wage. I voted for it. A significant majority of the city voted for it. You know what happened?

The city council overturned it because of lobbying from the restaurant industry. Also, a minority of servers who make far, far above minimum wage (like 70k/year) because of tips were heavily against it. Note that the referendum said nothing at all about eliminating tipping, it was just about providing a fair wage for everyone.

So, the political route doesn't work. If we want to end tipping, stop tipping. If people who work jobs that depend on tips don't like that, they can negotiate with their employers for a fair wage, you know like every other job in the world does. Employers and employees are the two relevant parties who need to be involved in wage negotiations. Leave the customers out of it.

>> It does nothing to change the system.

Quite the contrary. Not tipping is the best way to change the system. Those people most affected by it only agree to work for poor wages because they know tipping will make up for it. If tips evaporated overnight then employers would have to pay more to keep those employees.

Counterpoint: Not tipping IS voting (with your pocketbook).

You are then voting by decreasing your waiter/waitress's salaray for the night. We shouldn't punish the people who depend on the money to live, we should protest the politicians too worried about corporate money.

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