I’m going to let you recover from the vlog and just use my keyboard this time. It’s also because I’m writing about a subject that is near and dear to me and I’ve seen some comments in other places about this subject that get me a little fired up.
Stabby, as it were.
I’m talking about tipping.
No, not cows.
I mean that little extra cash you leave on the table for a good waiter/waitress that does not leave a DNA sample in your dinner, or pass to your barber for not slicing off your ear . . . . or your driver for not killing you.
I’m bringing the topic up because Uber seems to have left people with the impression that they pay us SO much that riders should not tip because it’s just adding extra gravy to our already overflowing gravy boat.
This assessment would be incorrect.
It was this Huffington Post article that got me started on the subject. The article itself was ok, it was the comments left on it that poked my sleeping bear.
It only resembled truth before they cut the rates in half in order to drum up business in a “temporary” test. A temporary test that started nearly 2 years ago and still hasn’t ended.
Uber’s website still encourages its riders not to tip, however.
Ok, it doesn’t encourage not tipping, it gives justification to the “I don’t believe in tipping” crowd.
The last sentence should have ended at “your fare is automatically charged to your credit card on file.”
Your FARE is automatically charged to your credit card means just that, your FARE. While that statement is true, what it leaves out is that there is no gratuity included, and that despite the rate drops, Uber’s cut from the fare did not drop. There is also no option on the app to add a tip, so the driver isn’t getting one that way either.
By adding “there’s no need to tip”, they may as well have also added “so feel free to be a complete asshole”, because it is my experience that the riders that are the biggest pain in the ass, are also the ones that don’t tip.
Funny how the assholery permeates throughout their entire existence, isn’t it?
Case in point:
I drove a gentleman and his daughter home from the airport to the next city over. A 71 mile trip at 1:00 in the morning, for which I had to drive the 71 miles back for free. The man grilled me for 1 hour and 14 minutes about Uber, what working for them was like and what kind of free shit Uber as a corporation might like to do for his organization. I got my own ass home at around 4:00 in the morning.
I drove a guy home from work at 3:30 in the afternoon. A 1.6 mile trip that took 6 minutes and it cost him $4.67. Notices my USMC sticker on the car, hands me a $5 bill and says “thanks for your service”.
I would have been happy with a $5 tip from the first guy. That would have covered most of the gas to get me back home again.
Yet most of us feel like a tool when we don’t tip a cab driver. Somebody explain that to me.
71 mile trip in my UberX car – $80.59
71 mile trip in a cab – $199.87
. . . and we feel like a tool for not tipping the cabbie.
Even with a 15% tip, the UberX trip would have been $92.68, still less than half the price of a cab before a tip!
With the UberX (Me), he got a clean, air conditioned modern car in excellent mechanical shape, music station of his choice, charger for any possible phone he may have had, a friendly and responsive driver for whom English was his first language, and I never once told him to go fuck himself (that he heard).
What are the odds he’d get all that in the cab?
Funny part is, the local cabbie commission is trying to shut down Uber using the argument that their background checks are better and that people are safer in a taxi cab . . .
Yes, that is a cab driver robbing a bank. We know this because his getaway car WAS HIS FUCKING CAB.
I know, right?! It’s hard to be hilarious when real life is funnier than I am.
I wonder how many people felt like shit when they couldn’t tip him?
Probably this delusional jackass that responded to the article I linked to at the beginning of this post.
I would have blurred out his name, but the moron apparently did that for me.
. . . and bear poked:
I may have been a tad irritated.
Before it comes up, let me head it off at the pass because I can already see it coming . . .
“But Eric, how much of that $80.59 fare did you get to keep”?
Excellent point. Let me break it down for you:
$80.59 – Total fare
$63.92 – My cut
-$11.75 – Approx price of gas used round trip
-$15.98 – Approx tax I will pay on it at the end of the year
-$1.25 – Toll paid by me
Total time spent with customer & driving home = 3 hours
That’s $11.64 an hour and we still haven’t mentioned my car insurance, daily car washes, oil, phone data usage, or vehicle wear and tear.
THAT’s how much I “get to keep”.
But don’t tip for great customer service, because living on $11.64 is easy to live on, right?
Can I also add that this demonstrates one of those rare GOOD fares, so $11.64 is a “high end” night.
We don’t want to forget the jackass that same weekend that I drove 9 miles to pick up and only took him half a mile.
So the next time you wonder if you should tip your Uber or Lyft (At least Lyft has a tip option in their app), let me just answer with this:
Yes, if you received good customer service, were delivered to your destination safely and in a clean vehicle, then you absolutely SHOULD tip your driver, because if you can’t be bothered, you can go back to paying twice as much for a cab that smells like burrito farts while the driver talks on his cell phone in another language. Damn well better give him a 5 star rating too, because the rules about drivers ratings are pretty damn harsh and any average below a 4.6 gets our account suspended and we can’t drive anymore. Low ratings for bullshit reasons can hurt us more deeply than you think, and NOT being offered a free bottle of water (as some riders seem to have come to expect), or not showing up in a Cadillac when you ordered an UberX ride is NOT a valid reason to drop a star off the rating. You want a Cadillac, order an UberSelect.
It’s sad that I have to say that, but for the same reason people have to be warned not to use a hair dryer while still in the shower, it needs to be said.
I’m a tipper. I believe in it, I’ve had to live on it before and now I’m kind of doing it again. My son is living on it as well. It’s what some people have to do to get by. I always tip. No exception. If I can’t tip, I don’t go out. Period. I usually tip 20 – 25% or even more in the case of exceptional service. If you get a tip from me that is only %15, then that means you probably suck at customer service and should choose another career path.
To those of you that “don’t believe in tipping”, we know who you are and we see you coming and you have a giant set of balls coming back to a place where you have repeatedly not left a tip . . . don’t you dare wonder why your service was shitty.
You get what you pay for.
Besides, how could you not tip this guy?: