Despite the rumours, Uber won’t be adding a tip option any time soon.
In a blog post yesterday, Uber reiterated that “tipping is not included, nor is it expected or required.” The dialogue and debate around tipping is inspired from an impending settlement the ride-sharing company reached in California and Massachusetts.
As part of the settlement, Uber must clarify its language and policies around tipping.
As the company states, it’s better for “riders and drivers to know for sure what they would pay or earn on each trip — without the uncertainty of tipping.” Previously, Uber said that there was “no need” to tip, but that’s not the same as saying a tip is included. Many users therefore assumed that the tip was included in the ride, like it is south of the border with Lyft, Uber’s biggest competitor. While the company is clarifying their thoughts on tipping, they are not rectifying tipping for drivers.
The main reason Uber won’t support tipping is a good one: it could alienate poorer neighbourhoods. The company says that adding tips would lead to bias from riders and drivers, and entice them to “spend more time where tips are likely to be highest” — typically the wealthier areas of the city.
Under new rules, however, drivers can now post signs in their cars informing unknowing passengers that tips are not included in the fees they pay for service through the app. So, if your driver goes above and beyond (with everything from a free therapy session to candy and phone chargers), you can always tip in cash — or, of course, just give them a 5-star rating.
Just don’t keep your driver waiting; the company has just started to test fees for late passengers.