Tuesday, 25 July, 2017

Uber to Be Required to Offering In-App Tipping in NYC

Tyrone Siu  Reuters Tyrone Siu Reuters
Cecilia Poole | 18 April, 2017, 01:23

Anecdotally speaking, part of the reason some of my friends prefer Uber to other rideshare services is precisely because they don't have to tip.

The city's taxi and limousine commission agreed Monday to pursue a rule that would require ride-hailing companies to offer tipping as an in-app option for users. "As a result, New York's working drivers are losing thousands of dollars we need for vehicle upkeep and supporting our families in one of the most expensive cities in America".

The Independent Drivers Guild, which is affiliated with the Machinists Union, collected more than 11,000 signatures on a petition calling on Uber to add tipping to its app. Some 29% of respondents say they would actually be more likely to leave a tip if they were presented with a "no tip" button to allow them to opt out, the study by Software Advice, which helps businesses choose software, found. Uber, which allows only credit card payments, creates confusion for customers unclear over how drivers are paid and whether a gratuity is expected, critics contend.

Riders can tip cash to Uber drivers but don't have the option to add a tip via credit card.

The court had earlier directed the companies and the unions to resolve dispute through mediation. That is as much as $6,000 per driver. "But, if I don't get a cab, I will take my own vehicle to office", said Gulshan Raheja, a resident of Punjabi Bagh, who works at Connaught Place. He cited his experience with picking up trips via Lyft. It has also demanded abolition of the 25% commission that the drivers are charged by companies. Besides, there have been multiple times when I've wanted to tip my driver but wasn't able to due to not having cash on hand. Uber initially claimed riders didn't need to tip because gratuities were built into its fares, but admitted in a proposed class-action settlement a year ago that, actually, they weren't. He said that if the companies and the government do not pay heed, they will go on an indefinite strike.

Tipping can be an important income stream for a professional driver.

Welcoming the court order, Uber in a statement said it hopes it will enable drivers to stay behind the wheel, without fear or harassment.

Uber spokeswoman Eva Behrend, noting that the report relates to complaints dating back two or three years, said, "We've significantly improved our processes since then".

The guild, set up past year to advocate for drivers, started a campaign last summer to pressure Uber to add a tipping feature in its app. Uber was "unable to move on the option", said guild founder Jim Conigliaro, so the guild brought the issue to the taxi commission.

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