Uber: Why won’t their App allow us to tip the driver ahead of time or at all?

I love Uber. It’s one of the best ideas we’ve seen in our time. However, that’s not to say it’s not without its flaws. Not the company per say but their Uber App. The App has been downloaded millions of times and is well-known throughout the world but it has one flaw– tipping. I find it amazing that we as tight-budget consumers complain when we CAN’T shell out the extra money.

Tuesday night I hit the town with a few friends in Manhattan. After several drinks, I saw no need to catch my normal 3 trains back to the Bronx so I opened the Uber App and reserved a car. In 3 minutes our driver was at out place of pickup. Fast service, already off to a good start. He then proceeded to engage us in conversation in regards to our night but I was too loaded to talk– at least anything sensible.

Not much traffic on the FDR or Cross Bronx and we were in the Bronx in no time.

As we reached my house I asked him why I couldn’t leave him a tip after I paid for the ride beforehand. I get it– all rides may not be as pleasant as mine were but for a company that deals in PayPal, Credit and Debit cards mostly, why would I want to give this driver cash? Uber is supposed to be a safe ride, not only or the passengers but the drivers as well. How many stories have you heard about Taxi Drivers being robbed of cash? Well, Uber was set out to eliminate that fear.

So why is there no way to tip a driver unless you have cash on hand?

Lyft has the upper-hand on Uber in that department and they shouldn’t. Uber was first on the scene and common sense should’ve had them ahead of the curve. If I was a driver I would speak out on their lack of concern for their workers. If I pay for something online, I want to continue to be able to do that. If I use Grubhub, I can scroll through a menu, select my food, pay for it and give a tip at the same time. If I have to use my card, 9 times out of 10 I don’t have cash on me.

As I exited the car, I handed my driver $10 and the look of astonishment was priceless. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the first passenger to ever give him a tip but some of these Uber Drivers do not expect it. This is what the App has done to their profession. It has robbed them the satisfaction of knowing they did a great job.

Uber should feel bad about this. They make a ton of money off their drivers but have yet to find a way to show them they are respected in an industry that has often taken them for granted. If I can tip someone bringing me food off an App– why can’t I tip the person making sure I get home safely?

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