Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"I don't need to tip you, You're Uber"

An Uber client taking a ride in the early AM requested a ride near Whole Foods right off California Street in San Francisco. Though this client had a low star rating, his driver shared that his contribution during this trip would probably lead one of his projects into a high commercial position.

The Uber client reeked of alcohol. He purchased a bottle of liquor to drink near Chinatown area. It was sad to see that his previous drivers rated him extremely low. This client was very honest, sharing an important word and theme to incorporate into a script. 

There is nothing as great as useful advice to stimulate a work of art. This UberX driver is thankful for this client making this trip an enlightening process. 

At the end of the ride, the client said, "I don't need to tip you. You're Uber." He repeated this phrase a second time to reiterate the point that Uber drivers don't get tipped. The word-of-mouth out there is that Uber drivers can't get tipped because the client app disallows this action.  

We covered this tipping problem on numerous occasions. To this very day, the tipping feature hasn't been resolved in this archaic ride app. What is Uber waiting for? Why do Lyft drivers and Sidecar drivers get tips? But on the opposition, UberX drivers will only get tipped if they decline a cash tip the first time. It is rare that clients will offer a cash tip. It is generous action that may only happen 1% or less. 

This Uber client, who we suspect may live on the street or in a rundown part of San Francisco as part of the homeless housing program, raised an important issue. Uber now has a reputation that clients don't have to tip their drivers. Not only are UberX rides cheaper than taxis, the widespread perception is that Uber drivers providing these ride services don't get tips. There is no way to tip drivers on this ride app unless cash tips are given to drivers. However, cash tips are scarce.

Uber has done a good job of spreading the word that their UberX ride platform is the cheapest in town. The word around the street is that Uber clients are not required to tip their drivers. 

Because it is Uber, we don't need to tip you. You're Uber, so that means no tipping. It is all included in the ride app. What clients don't know is that UberX drivers must give Uber the $1 safe ride fee charged to riders. Moreover, drivers who choose to use the Uber iPhone must pay a $10 weekly fee that covers the data plan. All apps and functions are disabled, except for the Uber driver app. Nevertheless, Uber drivers are expected to pay for Uber promo cards, as well. 

In short, an Uber client with a 3.8 star rating and one who provided excellent writing advice identified Uber as a no tipping ride platform. He knows that Uber doesn't have a tipping feature. 

Sad to say, but Uber is not winning the ridesharing battle in the tipping department. Lyft drivers receive tips often. The same goes for Sidecar drivers. Unfortunately, UberX drivers can't get tipped since Uber left out a tipping feature. Their second rate ride app has one-dimensional navigation, no ride filters to block rides from 30 minutes to 1-hour away, clients have extremely low ratings, and an array of other problems exist on this ride platform. 

Fortunately, Uber has a large user base and allow drivers to service a wide range of areas. This is their best selling point to attract new drivers. We believe this GEO advantage is what sells UberX to ridesharing drivers at competing companies.   

Adding a tipping feature on the Uber app would align UberX as an elite ridesharing option. Clients want to tip drivers using their credit cards. Nonetheless, Uber is lacking this tipping feature. It is known on the street, that Uber drivers don't receive tips. Clients truly believe that not tipping their drivers is part of this rider culture because it is Uber. 

Does this mean that on Uber all tips are included in the overall fare? Or that Uber clients are not recommended to tip drivers based on an a tipping feature that is unavailable on this ride app? 

We ask why Uber left out this tipping feature? Why did Uber wait until May to launch in-app navigation? What inspired them to finally update the app to show ETA on the top header?

What is most challenging on Uber is why clients are given access to driver profile and vehicle type. But on the opposing side, drivers have no idea what their clients look like. With Lyft, drivers can view a Facebook profile to locate riders with picture images. 

The "I don't need to tip you. You're Uber. I don't need to give you a tip. You're Uber" is the first time we heard of a client emphasizing a valid point (tipping feature on app) that we touched upon several times. Marketing that we are 30-40% cheaper than taxis lack merit if drivers are losing out in the fare race and also don't get the standard 20% tip that taxi drivers are accustomed to receiving. 

Taxi drivers are winning with higher fares and tips. They also get paid much faster as independent drivers who have access to their credit card fares and tips in a few days, while making cash fares and cash tips. Meanwhile, UberX drivers don't receive tips and must wait 8-10 days to get paid out on Monday-Wednesday trips. Taxi drivers don't cover maintenance cost and repairs, not even oil changes. UberX drivers must maintain their personal vehicles to survive as ridesharing drivers. 

Who are the real winners in the transportation industry? In the ridesharing industry? Not UberX. UberX favors the clients who switched to this ride service to save money. It is all about cost, savings and quality of service. UberX drivers are providing first-class service at coach prices. There is no tipping option available on the Uber app, showing a lack of appreciation for UberX drivers.