Virtual Reality Porn Coming to Hotels and Uber Drivers Will Be Able to Solicit Tips

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  1. […] Uber will pay $100 million to settle class action lawsuits by Fast Company via VFTW. Part of the settlement is that drivers can now solicit tips. Personally I hate tipping culture, because it usually means workers are being grossly underpaid. I kind of wish Uber would stop dropping rates, they are already cheaper than their competitors everywhere and I wish they’d focus on a better experience as well as a better price point. […]

Comments

  1. If I see a tip solicitation, the Uber driver automatically gets 1 star. You’ll see those tip signs disappear real soon if more people do that.

  2. If you don’t want to tip, that’s fine. Just remember that drivers are making a loss for every trip that they’re making at non-surge trips.

    @J.C. If the driver is a fulltime driver, your giving him a 1 star has much less effect on him than him giving you a 1 star. All ratings are calculated on the basis of the previous 500 trips, and he’d have been driving much faster to replace that 1 star than your riding fast enough to replace that 1 star. End result – you’d get more cancellations on you if your rating doesn’t look good.

  3. @joel

    Just remember, joel, that Uber’s offices are in Bermuda to evade taxes. Their drivers and customers are paying the tax, not the terrorist Uber executives.

  4. @ Joel: Yes, by myself the 1-star resting would not be an effective tool, but if many people used it then drivers would feel the pain.

    One of the things I like about Uber is the whole cashless concept. Cash tipping is a pain. I seem to recall that the Uber app has a tip function built into it. It seems, however, to be a general tip and not customizable as a per-trip solution. Why can’t Uber allow tips, but specify that they are entered into the app for each individual tip? Drivers wouldn’t know whether or not they have been tipped until after the ride is over and, presumably, after they have rated the rider.

  5. @ Melissa: Do Uber drivers have to pay income tax on their earnings? Are they given a 1099 or is tax withheld from their payments? Just curious.

  6. @J.C. @Melissa The only reason why I said all that was because I drive with Uber too. I only drive part time so it doesn’t really affect me as much as it affects the fulltimers, but heck, in Australia we do have to pay a goods and services tax on the fare pre-Uber cut.

    Guess what happens if you 1* each driver? Below a 4.6 rating, we get knocked off the system. So we use 4.6 as a guide to whether we really want to accept potential “problem” passengers. (I’ve driven 4.2s and 4.3s a few times and regretted accepting those requests in the first place.) Getting knocked off the system leads to 2 things:

    1) Less drivers = more surge. If I were consistently taking 4x surges in NYC, I wouldn’t bother about tips. Back when Uber started, the rates were at least twice as high, so drivers wouldn’t really bother about tips or surges. As an aside, 4x surges in Detroit are still a joke at $1.20/mile.

    2) To overcome the lack of drivers, there will be an advertisement for more drivers, who don’t realise that driving at anything below $1/mile is not worth their time and money. That way, Uber can slash rates further to “increase more demand”, more drivers decide to quit the system, and Uber becomes even more unreliable. Is that what you as a rider would hope to achieve? You’d just be shooting yourself in the foot if you 1 starred everyone who solicited tips.

    And yes, independent contractors get 1099s that have to be declared as taxable income.

    The tip function in the Uber app is solely for the Uber Taxi branch of operations. UberX, Lux, Select and Black do not get the option of receiving tips. So, at the end of the day, if you would think about it: If you have to fly out of town for work – would you call an Uber because it’s cheaper, safer and cleaner than a taxi? If you took a taxi instead of an Uber, you’d tip the taxi driver but not the Uber driver even though the ride was cheaper and safer? Now when you get to the airport/hotel, the Uber driver can take your bags out of the trunk and the bellhop/skycap can take care of them, but you’d tip the bellhop/skycap instead of the Uber driver?

    Why can’t Uber build an in-app tipping function much like Lyft does? Most drivers are preferring Lyft nowadays, and some are actively driving on both platforms and signing up Uber customers to the Lyft platform. Why not?

  7. @Melissa the fact that we drivers in Australia have to bear the full burden of the goods and services tax while Uber gets away with zero tax burden because Uber Global revenue is sent all to Holland (prior to Bermuda) is something that also gets on all our nerves too.

    In the end, why do I drive? I don’t do it specifically for the money. But if I have to go from Point A to Point B and I manage to catch a rider who is going halfway, I defray the cost of my trip and get a bit of extra for gas… Not too shabby, but well…!

  8. If the new paradigm is that we have to tip when using Uber, I’m fine with that, but it HAS to be built into the app, like Lyft. The whole point of Uber and Lyft is that the transaction is cashless. I don’t walk around with wads of dollar bills in my wallet. For the time being, I may turn more to Lyft for my rides because of this.

  9. @DWT Like I mentioned, the rates were way higher in the past so nobody actually bothered about tips. But when the rates are cut to a fraction of the previous rates, drivers end up losing money for each non-surge trip. Those who can count realise that, which is why they start to solicit tips. Tipping restaurant staff has become part of American culture because diners know that these staff get paid peanuts. In Australia, nobody bothers to tip because wait staff can be easily paid $20/h.

    As the pay rates decrease, people will try to find ways to compensate. This is the Uber of today, unfortunately.

  10. @ Joel: For me, it’s not that I am against tipping a driver. It boils down to two issues:

    1. The need for cash. If built into the app, that’s great.

    2. Feedback blackmail. If I’m going to get penalized because I won’t, can’t or don’t tip, then I will not feel that pain alone.

    Build the tip function into the app and make it so that it cannot possibly influence the driver / rider feedback.

  11. @J.C. Completely understood. But it’s also Uber’s stubborn insistence to not build in a tip button that gets really annoying.

  12. @ Joel: Why doesn’t Uber want to build in a tip function?

    Not sure if it’s still there, but on the payments tab at one time you could enter a percentage for tip on a global basis.

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