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4 min read

    4 min read

    Is Uber stiffing drivers on tips? That’s the claim many drivers have made recently, with various reports from drivers like you about missing tips, the inability of passengers to leave tips, and more. We had senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins look into what could be going on with Uber’s missing tips and app glitches.

    For about a week, drivers across the U.S. noticed they weren’t getting any in-app tips through Uber. Passengers noticed it too. They wanted to tip their drivers but suddenly the feature in the app that used to allow them to do so was missing.

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    Uber App Glitches: Missing Tips?

    Around Labor Day weekend is when the issue appears to have started, which is unfortunate because holidays tend to be busy for drivers.

    A driver from Orlando, Florida reached out to the Rideshare Guy and let us know that he’d received a comment from a passenger that read, “I wanted to tip the driver but could not.”

    All drivers have heard passengers say to their face as they are getting out of the car, “I’ll tip you in the app!” While we all know it’s only about 5-10% of the time that actually happens, for a passenger to state that in a comments section after the ride has been completed, that gives us pause and shows there might be a deeper issue happening.

    Another Uber driver who drives in Florida confirmed the glitch with a passenger. According to this Florida driver,

    “One night a guy wanted to tip me.  We both went over and over his app and couldn’t find a spot to do it.  He didn’t have any cash, so I left empty handed that time.”

    Is this a glitch in Uber’s app for passengers and drivers, or only a glitch for passengers?

    Is This Issue Fixed?

    Passengers’ inability to tip in-app appears to be fixed, but Uber has not offered an insight into how this happened, why it happened or how they will prevent it in the future.

    In fact, the driver who wrote to us said that “Uber support says they are not aware of this” while he’d been told by multiple passengers they can’t tip in the app; it shows an error message instead.

    So, we posted the question to Facebook, and one of our readers posted a screen shot he’d taken from an Uber Facebook group.

    The passenger posted, “My Uber app stopped giving me an option to tip a driver.

    A responder said, “I called Uber and they said they are ‘aware’ of the issue…”

    Are There Any Solutions for this Tipping Glitch?

    The driver who first wrote to us suggested that Uber contact passengers who had been unable to tip and inform them they are able to go back in their previous trips and add a tip to any rides they’d like to tip on.

    We reached out to Uber about this issue, and an Uber spokesperson stated:

    “When any rider who was impacted opens the Uber app, they will be prompted via push notification to leave a tip for all rides that were impacted by the service interruption during that time.”

    However, on Reddit, I found one passenger who’d, once the feature was active again, tried going back and adding a tip and was still unable to, but could for all current/recent trips they’d taken since the feature was fixed.

    They stated: “Uber lets me tip again, but…I still can’t tip the past couple drivers from when [it] wouldn’t let me. It gives me the same error message but the ride I just took I was finally able to do it on the app. I hope this error isn’t permanent on those past rides.

    If you were a passenger during this outage, are you able to retroactively add tips to your previous rides?

    It’s definitely frustrating for drivers to have days or a week where no one can tip them. Passengers who were unaware of the problem and wanted to tip were not given any option.

    One person on Reddit suggested that passengers should just tip with cash, but this day and age, that’s a rare thing. Personally, I rarely carry cash and I know many others are the same way.

    We’d say a good solution would be to take a driver’s average tip earnings per trip and have Uber pay that out to drivers as a bonus to make up for those lost earnings.

    Were you affected by this? Share your experience in the comments!

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    -Paula @ RSG

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins, a graduate of Augustana University, Sioux Falls, is a part-time rideshare driver and a full-time proofreader. She is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In her free time, Paula enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in trivia nights.