TO TIP OR NOT: Wheels24 readers selected to not tip Uber drivers in a recent survey on whether Uber drivers should be tipped or not. Image: iStock
Cape Town - Uber has taken the taxi industry by storm with rival taxi associations in SA going so far as to protest against the ride-hailing service.
So large is Uber’s presence that numerous car companies, such as Toyota, are joining forces with the company.
'We should tip these types of workers'
The link that exists between an Uber driver and a client is perhaps the most important aspect of the ride-hailing experience.
Should you tip an Uber driver?
Just like other service professionals, "we should tip these types of workers," says Sharon Schweitzer, etiquette consultant and founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide.
Many of them have to reach into their own pockets to pay for fuel, bike repairs or other costs, and a tip could help drivers make ends meet, says Schweitzer.
READ: Should you tip your Uber driver? Here's what to give them
We asked 'Would you tip your Uber driver if it was an option?' and our homepage poll garnered 16 710 votes:
• 4783 (29%) respondents said they would tip the driver if it was an option.
• 5394 (32%) said they would tip the driver depending on the service they receive.
• 6533 (39%) of voters said they would not tip Uber drivers.
Uber's approach to tipping
In April 2016, Uber settled two class-action lawsuits in California and Massachusetts after drivers claimed the service did not allow them to accept tips.
The company said: "When we started Uber six years ago, we thought long and hard about whether to build a tipping option into the app. In the end, we decided against including one because we felt it would be better for riders and drivers to know for sure what they would pay or earn on each trip — without the uncertainty of tipping.
"That’s still the case today. Tipping is not included, nor is it expected or required. In fact riders tell us that one of the things they like most about Uber is that it’s hassle-free. And that’s how we intend to keep it."
"Tipping could give drivers an incentive to spend more time where tips are likely to be highest — typically the wealthiest neighborhoods. We’ve worked hard to provide a service that reliably serves entire cities and is not just concentrated in central business districts."