One thing I’ll never understand is drivers who don’t tip their fellow rideshare drivers. You know how hard this gig is! We put this question to drivers, and while the majority were in favor of tipping their fellow drivers, some drivers stated sometimes drivers didn’t ‘deserve’ a tip. Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins explains what’s going on and why drivers should consider tipping fellow drivers.
Most drivers know, when you hear the words “I’ll tip you in the app” not to expect anything to come through from that passenger. It’s funny that the phrase has turned into a way of instantly alerting your driver that you have zero intention of tipping.
But what about drivers who say that to their fellow drivers? It should be a guaranteed tip, right? Well, not in this case. I came across a driver on Reddit sharing a story of driving a fellow Uber driver and receiving nothing in return.
Some drivers have never been a passenger on the apps they use, but others partake. In this case, the driver:
“Picked up a guy from the airport, and upon apologizing about the f*cked up Uber GPS, he mentioned that he understood, being a driver himself.
20 minute ride in which we discussed all of the Uber woes ended with a ‘got you on the app’. Actually, he was even more direct with it. ‘you know I got you, bro. Drive safe. Make that money.’
He didn’t tip me. That’s LOW. Another driver? Come on…”
Other drivers on Reddit rallied around him sharing their instances of not getting tips and having his back in being upset at the non-tipper.
A redditor responded, “It makes no sense why people say it. It’s like they say it so they won’t feel like an a**hole but saying it and not tipping makes them even more of an a**hole. It’s also stupid because you can rate and tip prior to your ride even ending.”
We also shared the story on Facebook. Here are some of our readers’ responses:
Jason Anderson said, “I tipped from LAX to Enterprise in Marina-Del-Ray $10. I left a bag in the trunk, called him to cancel his next $40 ride and return. He did and I compensated him $40 cash. Always tip and be generous as a rule in life.”
And Bob Cook stated, “I always tip when I use Uber as a passenger, though I’ve had some drivers/cars that surely didn’t deserve it.”
We as drivers have all been in each other’s shoes when it comes to low pay and disrespectful passengers. The easiest thing we can do to show solidarity with each other is to leave a tip when we take a ride.
Bob Azevedo probably said it most succinctly with: “‘I’ll tip you in the app’ is code for ‘I’m a cheap b*stard and a liar’.”
Rule of Thumb
My rule of thumb is never to be the one to bring up the topic of tips while driving. I’m not looking to beg for tips. I know if someone is planning on doing it, they’re going to do it. Me bringing it up will never make a difference.
But it is disappointing, time and time again, when passengers ask about how frequently people leave tips and what’s a “good” tip, only to leave me high and dry at the end of the ride.
My best tip, though, was when I was driving a van full of guys for a bachelor party. They were bar hopping and the front seat passenger (this was before covid) asked if he could tune the radio to another station. I, of course, let him take the reins on that. A few minutes later a Janis Joplin song came on and one of the guys in the back just went nuts over it.
As they were all climbing out, the back seat guy who loved the song tipped me $20 cash “just for the Janis Joplin song alone”. I literally had nothing to do with the song choice, but he insisted I take the $20. Meanwhile, whoever actually booked the trip also tipped me $20 in the app.
What are your worst tip stories? What are your best tip stories?
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-Paula @ RSG