I was suffering from some confusion regarding Uber, and had to go back and re-read the posts both here and elsewhere. The confusion rests with the tip that we have plugged into our profile. In the past 3 weeks, we have used Uber twice locally, and in both instances, the drivers have said that they have never received a tip online. This concerned me, as I know that both with my account and my husband's, we have opted to provide a tip (in terms of a percentage) with the transaction, to make the service truly cashless. So today I got online and did some research. As best as I can determine, here's what I found:
The above Uber services go from lowest to highest, with UberSUV having the highest rates
So I'm still a little confused. "Do we tip, or not?" It sounds like we don't need to, which is the beauty of cashless. Is the tip factored into the rates then? Regardless of what Uber advertises, do drivers expect a tip? Can anyone set me straight?
You are right...Uber tipping has become a confusing subject. The Uber Website indicates that "there is no need to tip" and that "You don't need cash when you ride with Uber". As noted in this article in the NY post last fall some drivers expect it and if you don't tip then you may get a lower rider rating. Does your Uber driver expect a tip? | New York Post
It would be nice if the app allowed users to add an optional gratuity. I recently came across an online petition for this this. Also Uber's rival Lyft apparently has this feature but Lyft is not available in as many places as Uber. Hopefully Uber will eventually add this feature. I may get into the habit of having some extra cash when traveling for this purpose or utilize Uber Taxi when its available.
Also noteworthy if you have a SPG account and link it to Uber then you can earn points for all of your Uber rides. I'm hoping Marriott continues this relationship with Uber after the two companies merge.
Thank you, vaboywnder. That was a good article. Still, I'm not happy about the confusion, either. The Uber mothership doesn't seem to care what it's drivers or riders think, with respect to it's decision-making in general. Perhaps the best way to make our consumer preferences (for less ambiguity, thank very much) known, aside from raising the issue loudly, is to put the squeeze on by going elsewhere. There are other services out there. Nothing wrong with a traditional taxi. In fact, we now have our own go-to taxi guy. The only reason we didn't use him on the inbound this time was because - he too went on vacation.
So having had time to think about this, here's my position. Uber advertises no cash, no tip, no hassle. I'm going with that. If a driver asserts a request for a tip, I will direct him/her to the website, and if further discussion renders it necessary, I'll suggest that he/she take it up with Uber. I don't think it will be a problem however, now having examined this. If I get a less than 5 star passenger rating, shrug, oh well.
As of now, I have not tried Uber but have been considering it. From what I see, it was Uber's intention that it be cashless and no tips. However Americans seem to feel that they must tip everyone. Having spent a fair amount of time in Australia, they resent us for ruining it for them. They not only didn't expect a tip but considered it an insult. Over the years, Americans would tip and now some tipping is considered acceptable. I think this is what has happened to Uber. People just tip and the drivers come to expect it or at least like the extra money. Now, if it was the intention of Uber that no tips to be given, drivers should not be able to rate a customer down if they don't tip.
And that's the problem. We as a nation have a "tipping" mentality. (misterchk, please don't go there.) Shifting to a "tipless" business model apparently isn't easy for any of us. It's programmed into our psyche.
pluto77 I promise not to go there if you tell me "where is".
I admitted my motivation for tipping was emotional due to savings. Furthermore I'm in agreement with you except the "tipping mentality" is not limited to United States - it is world wide - where in many cases the tipping borders on bribery and the gratuity must be known in advance if you get any service at all.
Oh misterchk, your ever crafty, witty mind that never sleeps must have some idea of where "where" is. Anyway, I have not yet been to any of the places that you've referenced, where tipping borders on bribery and the gratuity must be known in advance to get any service at all. I don't get out much.
And I will not touch it either pluto77!!!!
Like californian I also have not tried Uber even though we were close when the taxi to the airport in Monterey a few weeks ago did not show up for the oh dark thirty (5:15 AM) pick-up for our 6:05 AM flight. Just before my buddy sent the Uber message or how ever it works a nice chap who was on our flight and stayed the the Marriott offered us a ride.
It is definitely Uber's intention to be cashless with no tipping. I just came across this training video on Uber's You Tube Channel. About the 9 minute mark it discusses about how riders love a cashless transaction and how Uber Driver's should inform customers who wish to tip that it is not necessary unless the customer insists on the driver taking a tip.
pluto77, thanks for the comprehensive post updating your experience with Uber. When I posted further up in the thread (2014) I had only ridden Uber a total of three times. I have since done twenty-one additional trips using Uber and one or two using Lyft. On all of those trip I have never been made aware of the ability to add tipping in my profile. Where in your profile can you indicate tip preference? Are you using Android or Apple phone? I do agree that it is confusing without a consistent message and as vaboywnder points out in could affect your passenger rating.
vaboywnder, great reminder about the SPG / Uber relationship. I too hope Marriott maintains it post-merger. Important to note that you have to have at least one stay per year (paid, P+C, or points) in order to earn points for Uber rides.
The tipping option can be accessed through your profile when you log into Uber website(option not available on the app) and as pluto77 noted the tips are only valid when you use Uber Taxi. The default setting is 20% but your able to change it.
Thanks for the info on the SPG/Uber Relationship. I didn't realize you had to have a SPG stay each calendar year in order to earn points. That is disappointing.