Until now Uber has insisted that your decision to tip – and how much – cannot affect the rating you’re given by drivers. Drivers have to rate you first before they know what tip decision you’ve made.
Tipping wasn’t even a part of Uber until recently. The idea was ‘the price is the price’ and indeed at the outset they contended that the tip was included. However in their quest to redeem their image, in part by accommodating drivers, Uber added tipping inside the app. At least Uber’s tipping has become cashless.
Now Uber’s new CEO insists you should tip aggressively — apparently acknowledging Uber itself isn’t paying drivers enough — and indeed that’s how you improve the rating drivers give you.
“You should tip more,” Khosrowshahi said. “I am a very aggressive tipper right now. I pick the highest tip every time. Somehow my rating is getting better. I’m not sure if it’s aggressive tipping. Everybody, tip aggressively.”
For the past two years it’s been possible to figure out your ratings from many trips. Passenger ratings have been more easily accessible for the last 9 months. And now drivers can even submit narrative feedback on riders.
Currently your rating doesn’t actually much matter unless it falls so much that it’s questoinable whether you’ll be allowed to continue to use the service (although a new phone and new email address should solve that in any case). A year ago Uber introduced new rules for what will get you kicked off the platform.
However according to Uber’s CEO that could change – he “wants to introduce a higher level of service for riders with better ratings, too, aside from just offering nicer cars.”
Presumably the new head of Uber was just talking up tipping as part of their campaign to be driver-friendly, and the way tipping works through the app doesn’t currently affect passenger ratings and passenger ratings continue not to matter along a margin that affects most riders hence the hedging that he’s not sure if tipping is driving ratings. Although the CEO of Uber should certainly understand – and be sure – how their algorithms works.