I read this article on Angelina Travels, and I just had to write my thoughts on it because, frankly, the comment section was just gold. High tensions, both pro- and anti-driver, pro- and anti-tip factions out in full force. I wanted to share my perspective, which you may or may not agree with. However, the topic of Uber and tipping makes both the customer and Uber driver very, very passionate – like politics, religion, and more.


Angelina’s Experiences

Like the title says, “Uber Driver Tip-Hustling Schemes Are Getting Out of Control”.

Angelina talks about drivers who “scout” passengers’ destinations, to determine if it makes sense. Moreover, she focuses on the hustling in two of her rides.

Ride 1

Uber driver sob story begging for tips. Unacceptable, and simply unprofessional. I don’t take an Uber to talk to people, I’m usually busy, travelling for work, or on a call, or have a task to complete. I don’t need to be guilted into tipping, especially when the entire premise of Uber is that it is cashless and tips are not mandatory.  When reading this section, I felt bad she felt uncomfortable, and I certainly can relate to it with pushy drivers. Thankfully, the vast majority of my drivers have been professional, clean, without any issues. They get an automatic 5-star rating.

Ride 2

Placards all over the car are a no-no

Placards all over the car are a no-no

Angelina gets an automated text attempting to trick her into thinking its an Uber official communication informing about tips. Additionally, the driver went so far as to solicit tips with Uber-branded materials in the car! To me, this just seemed like overkill. While something similar has happened to me, although not to the same degree, it’s just frankly disrespectful and uncomfortable for passengers. I’ve been there, where I get in the backseat and there’s placards everywhere begging me for a tip. Obviously, they automatically won’t get one, and depending on the day their rating will get hit as well.


General Arguments

Both sides came out in full force in her comments, of which I read a great majority. Words were exchanged, tempers got heated, and it was a great discussion to review.

Uber Driver Argument

The argument won't be resolved anytime soon

The argument won’t be resolved anytime soon

Uber drivers made a number of arguments for tips and tip-hustling, some of which I’ve heard before and some being new and unexpected.

  • Doing extra things – grocery bags, baby strollers/chairs, etc. No argument here – outside of the standard luggages, I could see an argument for tips
  • Complicated trip – waiting, extra stops, pickups, etc. – debatable
  • Supply and Demand – driver supply is still lacking, so Uber/Lyft have been more susceptible to letting drivers with sub-par ratings slide and still drive. Drivers argued that business is on the driver’s side, rather than the passenger’s.
  • Low Pay – having to drive out of the way for a short trip doesn’t make sense from a hourly pay standpoint
  • High Uber Fees – not sure how this is relevant from a passenger standpoint
  • Rate cuts – rates halved over the years, resulting in lower pay
  • Have the passengers drive for a day or a month to see how it is


Passenger Argument

  • Uber business proposition – No Tips, not mandatory
  • Cashless transaction – again, this is expected. I don’t carry cash for a reason, this being one of them.
  • Choice & business agreement – drivers agree to drive for Uber and accept their rates, throwing out all of their blame on low pay, etc.



The terms of Uber should be updated with tipping and clarification of what is allowed, to avoid confusion

The terms of Uber should be updated with tipping and clarification of what is allowed, to avoid confusion

Obviously, this battle will continue, especially as the employee vs. independent contractor fight is still raging. While Lyft has a PR boon with its tips feature – having collected over $200 million since inception – Uber still steadfastly refuses to implement this solution into their app. Thus, drivers will resort to shadier and shadier tactics to hustle tips, deceiving customers and brow-beating them into submission.

Thankfully, I haven’t experienced too much of this – the worst being subtle placards all over the car. Regardless, unless they provide exceptional service – perhaps with an aux cord, water, etc., they won’t be getting a tip. I expect drivers to take me from point A to B efficiently and safely, with a minimum of conversation, like a taxi. Most of my issues arrive with drivers cancelling on me, or showing up and their vehicles reeking of cigarette smoke – which is unacceptable and a health hazard. I have no problem reporting poor drivers or solicitation, and passengers should remain strong and exercise their right in the free market, with their ratings and dollars.

Also, if anyone has any questions or want to start a productive, friendly conversation on these topics, I’m more than happy to do so in the below comments section!


Featured Image is of a car’s windshield while driving, from Unsplash.

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