The Madness of March has made its way to blog comments. Some of the reactions to fellow BA blogger, Angelina’s post Uber Driver Tip-Hustling Schemes Are Getting Out of Control are crazy. One guy wrote, “This post is really shameful. These are people trying to make ends meet, and it’s somehow an affront that they ask for reasonable compensation? Here’s an idea: instead of whining on the internet, why don’t you tip them?”
The point of Uber is to pay less than traditional taxis. An added benefit is avoiding the awkward moment when the taxi driver asks, “Where’s my tip?” Uber is also great because it is cashless and because the passenger is protected from shady taxi drivers, especially overseas. Having to tip or being pressured to tip defeats the purpose of Uber.
I understand the frustration of Uber drivers who are receiving increasingly less money, are forced to deal with Uber Pool, and will eventually lose their jobs to self-driving cars. Those grievances should be taken up with management, not the passengers.
For those that say that Uber drivers have it bad, I ask you to read my daily routine as a taxi driver. I worked 14 hours straight, endured hours at the depot, and did not have the safeguards that Uber drivers have. I did this all for a measly $200 on a good night (and as the greatest marketing idea for my book). Compared to that, Uber drivers have it easy. That was my experience as a cabbie in Phoenix. I couldn’t imagine driving a cab in New York.
If you’re an Uber driver and hate your job, then get a new job. Don’t make passengers feel uncomfortable by asking or implying that a tip would be appreciated. (For those that receive tips, I’m curious how many are declaring this extra income to the IRS.) And don’t be petty by not giving a 5-star ranking because a passenger didn’t give you a $5 bribe. My rating has plummeted to 4.65. Coincidence?