Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Good app idea: Integrate tipping feature

Drivers hear it often from Uber that their contribution keeps Uber Technologies moving forward. Unfortunately, the Uber client app has no tipping feature. Uber continues to thank their drivers, time-after-time again for delivering quality service to clients. Why not perform an update to include a tipping feature for UberX drivers?

UBerX drivers are driving around the clock. They deliver thousands of rides per day. There is no tipping feature available on the driver app. On many occasions, clients request to tip their drivers. However, drivers inform their clients this option is unavailable. Sadly, Uber clients can't perform this tipping operation.

If Uber really wants to thank their drivers, follow Lyft and Sidecar's lead and enable your drivers to receive tips on the Uber app. Taxi drivers receive tips on airport rides and miscellaneous trips.

UberX drivers don't receive anything additional. Clients usually don't have cash available and want to tip via the Uber app. Therefore, UberX drivers have missed out on valuable tips.

We discussed this tipping feature many times. To this day, Uber hasn't updated their app to provide a tipping option. Because of this absent tipping feature, every UberX driver is losing thousands of dollars per year. Moreover, drivers are losing thousands per year paying out a $1 safe ride fee charged to clients and is collected by Uber.

To put all this in perspective, drivers have been paying a $10 per week data fee since late summer. This $10 fee is charged to driver accounts on a weekly basis to cover data on this UBer iPhone. However, this iPhone is locked: (1) no Google Map downloads (2) no text messaging clients (3) no voice calling clients.

Fare prices have dropped 14-15% since September 15, 2014. Tips could help drivers to drive more during off-peak times.

A tipping feature would sure help out drivers who see less of their earnings, as mentioned above. One driver drove 17 hours and paid out nearly $200 in safe ride fees and Uber commission. Out of these 45 rides, this driver could have earned a small percentage of this money back through a tipping feature.

Clients would rather tip via the app than in cash. Cash tips are rare; they don't happen too often.

Consider adding this tipping feature in 2015. This action will show that you really appreciate your drivers. The cost of gas, maintenance, repairs, tolls and other expenses are restricting drivers. At least with a tipping feature, UberX drivers can bridge the gap and financially survive on the roads.

An important cash flow issue is that rides given Monday-Wednesday are not paid out for 8-10 days. Drivers won't see these payments until the following week, on a Thursday morning. There is a 8-10 day waiting period to receive these payments. Because of this payment delay, drivers may choose to invest their resources into driving during weekends to see a fast payment turnaround.

No wonder taxi drivers are still competitive. Ridesharing drivers are experiencing a cashflow problem that is grounding them. If their personal vehicles require expensive repairs and there is no approved secondary vehicle to take the road, drivers are bound to lose money. This problem happened to an UberX driver back in May. We're sure quite a few drivers have faced this challenge.

An in-app tipping feature could help drivers increase ridesharing hours. Clients have expressed interest in tipping their drivers via the Uber app. Lets make this happen Uber.

The only option that Uber clients have available to tip their drivers is to give cash tips. These drivers will gladly appreciate this kind gesture. They need to keep fueling up to stay on the roads.