Tipping Uber drivers in Australia

Mattg

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Uber recently introduced a new "feature" that allows Uber and Uber Eats users to leave a tip for their driver through the App in Australia and New Zealand.

‘Just pay us better’: Uber’s new tipping function under fire

Personally, I don't like it and I can just see Uber using it as an excuse to (eventually) pay less to drivers in Australia.

What do you think - is this a good idea? Would you leave a tip?
 

nickykim

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I wouldn’t tip this way. Pay a fair rate through the app, if the driver goes above and beyond, slip her/him some cash. At least you know the person it was intended for has it...
 

JohnK

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I read the article the other day. I don't use Uber that often but don't think this is a good idea.
 

perthjay85

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If the past ten or so trips I've had with uber are the standard in future I'm going to suggest drivers tip passengers for taking the trip.

Just over the last 6 months I've noticed uber drivers getting worse and worse. We use uber maybe 4-5 times a month and it's rare to get a good driver. One in five honestly.
 
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I don't like this at all, I hope drivers don't rate their passengers based on whether they tip or not. I tip in Australia based on service because I want to, not because I feel i have to. Honestly, most Uber drivers of recent don't deserve a tip.
 

Berlin

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Given the quality of many drivers, if anything they should have the option to give you a discount after a coughty ride/ unsafe behavior/ homophobia and the likes. And yes, the latter is very widespread: I almost always get a 5 Star rating when travelling alone but as soon as my boyfriend is with me, I get rated down- particularly by drivers of a certain faith.
 

samh004

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Personally, I don't like it and I can just see Uber using it as an excuse to (eventually) pay less to drivers in Australia.

What do you think - is this a good idea? Would you leave a tip?

I would talk to @frankie if I was you. I believe this was enabled yesterday and as he makes an effort to converse and provide extras he has an almost perfect rating, but more importantly, has already found the tipping system to be working well.

I wouldn’t tip this way. Pay a fair rate through the app, if the driver goes above and beyond, slip her/him some cash. At least you know the person it was intended for has it...

Unlike when Uber takes a cut of the ride (I believe 25%), they do not take a cut of tips and actually get the full amount. That said, I'm not sure where tips come in when reporting your income at EOFY. I know people have given cash tips in the past, this is just a way to do it electronically instead. I'm not sure about you, but I never have real money in my wallet. All my transactions are paywave or chip & pin.

I don't like this at all, I hope drivers don't rate their passengers based on whether they tip or not. I tip in Australia based on service because I want to, not because I feel i have to. Honestly, most Uber drivers of recent don't deserve a tip.

That's not how it works. The driver has to rate the ride immediately, but the passenger can rate immediately, or the next day. Further, tips can be given up to 30 days following a ride.

Given the quality of many drivers, if anything they should have the option to give you a discount after a coughty ride/ unsafe behavior/ homophobia and the likes. And yes, the latter is very widespread: I almost always get a 5 Star rating when travelling alone but as soon as my boyfriend is with me, I get rated down- particularly by drivers of a certain faith.

You have to remember that can go both ways, passengers rating the driver down if they find out something about you in the conversation that they don't like. Or drivers that have to hear awful things being said, and then try to hide that those things could apply to them, for fear that their rating will be lower if their passengers find out.
 
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abanat

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I almost always get a 5 Star rating when travelling alone but as soon as my boyfriend is with me, I get rated down

How can you check your rating for individual trips? I can only see my overall rating?
 

samh004

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How can you check your rating for individual trips? I can only see my overall rating?

Presumably their rating is high enough overall that a 5-star would push their rating higher or keep it level, but a 4-star or lower would drop it. Even 0.01 is noticeable.
 

Berlin

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Presumably their rating is high enough overall that a 5-star would push their rating higher or keep it level, but a 4-star or lower would drop it. Even 0.01 is noticeable.
Yep, easy to tell. And very interesting trends there besides the mentioned homophobia. For example, if you travel to rather poor countries and use Uber a lot, you can often tell that every driver there gives you 5 Stars all the time. Then back in Australia, and it goes straight down again.
 
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MickC32

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I like the idea of the tipping function, always feel funny just slipping some cash to a driver when there is no physical payment transaction. Only those drivers I deem over and above will get my tip though, it certainly won't be just out of habit.

I have also noticed a slip in the Uber driver and car standards of late and as a consequence I choose "Select" and/or "Black" services when I can now.
 

frankie

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I would talk to @frankie if I was you. I believe this was enabled yesterday and as he makes an effort to converse and provide extras he has an almost perfect rating, but more importantly, has already found the tipping system to be working well.

As @samh004 said I have always gone out of my way to provide good service, often receiving passenger written compliments after rides. Tipping was introduced yesterday morning and I've received a $3 or more tip on 85% of the fares I did yesterday(10+). On the radio last night I heard people complaining that they'd receive lower ratings due to not tipping, we can't see what you've tipped other drivers and we can't even see who gave us what star ratings.

It's rare I ever give passengers less than a 5-star rating, the only occasion I can think of right now is when I had a teenager in my car who thought it would be funny to open one of the car doors while I was driving 90km/hr.
 

BillytheFIsh

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I use Uber several times a week and good on frankie and other 5-star drivers for providing good service, but I wonder how many people are now tipping because they felt obliged to, rather than as a recognition of excellent service beyond a 5-star rating?

If tips "are neither expected nor required", why should I be prompted to tip at the conclusion of every trip?

Personally I think Uber is too cheap and I am prepared to pay more for the service so drivers are paid fairly, but I despise tipping culture and the expectations it creates.

I'm sure it has its own problems, but I have been meaning to give Ola a go and the introduction of this "feature" just prompted me to switch over.
 

tdimdad

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Wasn't there already the 'Give a compliment' feature to acknowledge drivers who excel at something in particular?
Personally, I find the whole expectation of giving 5 stars for a normal service bizarre. If you look at any competency / maturity model which has five steps, 3 is the 'normal level, meets expectations'. Four stars go to "clearly exceeds expectations", i.e. drivers who go well beyond the norm in good service. 5 stars would be reserved to the handful who master the art of excellent service. Therefore, an average driver (and passenger) rating would be 3, really good or nice ones hover near 4 and the awesome individuals gradually sneak past 4.5.

Tipping? Time will tell but I'll skip over it for now. The fare in itself needs to be adequate to cover the driver's expenses and provide reasonable income.
 

docjames

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Surely it's just a play from Uber to grab a % of "cash-in-hand" revenue that drivers get directly without paying a commission to Uber.

Also, if there's an expectation of tip, the "headline" price looks lower (see: US restaurants)......
 

samh004

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I use Uber several times a week and good on frankie and other 5-star drivers for providing good service, but I wonder how many people are now tipping because they felt obliged to, rather than as a recognition of excellent service beyond a 5-star rating?

I do think that's a fair point, perhaps the prompt could be a little more hidden, such as "if you want to tip, click here" and then the additional screen loads. However, I imagine they have basically copied the app from the US and if that functions fine over there, it probably doesn't need changing (despite the model being different).

Personally I think Uber is too cheap and I am prepared to pay more for the service so drivers are paid fairly, but I despise tipping culture and the expectations it creates.

I've always said I'd only ever tip in an AA lounge, but only because of the tips that have been posted here about what that does for you... for everything else, if they want to get paid more they should elect representatives who fight for better minimum wages.

Wasn't there already the 'Give a compliment' feature to acknowledge drivers who excel at something in particular?

Trouble with compliments are that they don't actually provide anything to the driver, beyond a good feeling. Can't eat a good feeling, etc. Also, because of the nature of the platform, when you request a driver you can't see a selection, look at the compliments and then pick one, you just get a lucky dip, so if the compliments don't provide for anything more than a warm fuzzy feeling for the driver and don't give anything to the rider, it's not actually a useful system?

Would it be great if more compliments and higher ratings resulted in the driver getting a greater cut, or if riders could see randomised data of drivers in the area, but essentially see compliments and choose their ride based on this? This would better reward drivers, as they would get more fares.

Surely it's just a play from Uber to grab a % of "cash-in-hand" revenue that drivers get directly without paying a commission to Uber.

As mentioned already upthread, Uber DOES NOT take a cut of tips. I am sure if they did try and do this the public backlash would make them reverse course quickly.

Also, if there's an expectation of tip, the "headline" price looks lower (see: US restaurants)......

I do share your concern though – perhaps not as a rider – that if tipping were to really take off, they could lower the cost of rides to make their service more attractive, arguing that the rider will be paid the same as they'll be tipped. I imagine this too would receive some negative publicity, especially as Australia really isn't a tipping nation, IMO.
 

Berlin

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Personally, I find the whole expectation of giving 5 stars for a normal service bizarre. If you look at any competency / maturity model which has five steps, 3 is the 'normal level, meets expectations'. Four stars go to "clearly exceeds expectations", i.e. drivers who go well beyond the norm in good service. 5 stars would be reserved to the handful who master the art of excellent service. Therefore, an average driver (and passenger) rating would be 3, really good or nice ones hover near 4.
Glad to hear that I’m not the o my one who feels that way.

And one of the issues of the “Always close to 5” rating is that the occasional bad rating due to racism/misogyny/homophobia/etc. appears so much more impactful. And that both ways I am sure- I bet many Uber drivers get as many racist marks as I get homophobe ones.
 

Flashback

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I've always said I'd only ever tip in an AA lounge, but only because of the tips that have been posted here about what that does for you... for everything else, if they want to get paid more they should elect representatives who fight for better minimum wages.

It's an interesting point and the nuances of how US companies operate become apparent here. Having recently done some consulting work for a US based multi-national, it's interesting to see how outsourced labour interacts and how union vs non-union works. For some areas you must use unionised staff; usually built around certain thresholds and if you're above that then you have no choice. However, drop below the minimum threshold and you're open to be able to use non-unionised workers. So while fighting for better minimum wages may help to a degree, there's always going to be those for various reasons that won't apply to that.
 

odysseus

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That's not how it works. The driver has to rate the ride immediately, but the passenger can rate immediately, or the next day. Further, tips can be given up to 30 days following a ride.

That's not really correct. The flow is designed for the driver to rate immediately, but there are ways around that if the driver is so inclined.

Further, drivers can also amend their ratings, so if a driver wants to give a lower score later they can.
 
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