Uber has been under fire for many things lately, including the behavior of their CEO. Common refrains from drivers have revolved around not getting paid enough. It appears they’re announcing moves today to address some of those concerns.
Effective immediately, tipping is available as an in-app feature in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston. Uber plans to roll it out to all US markets by the end of July, 2017.
Uber is also narrowing the cancellation window for customers (without penalty) to two minutes from five.
Finally, they will begin charging customers when drivers have to wait more than 2 minutes after arrival.
Are These Good Changes?
I’ll be honest, the changes don’t concern me too much. I’ve always considered Uber an “all-in” service. I’ve never given a driver a cash tip, other than the first ride where I just didn’t “get it”. Uber is a cashless service, so leaving a cash tip seemed to defeat the purpose. I don’t decry drivers who request tips in a polite fashion, though I think the in-car signs are tacky.
Okay, I lied. I did think of one time I tipped. It was when I got violently ill at Disney World and I begged the driver to go really slow on the ride back to the hotel. He was awesome about it.
The cancellation and idle charges make sense to me. Drivers should get paid when they’re waiting for customers who don’t ultimately fulfill their part of the contract (being on-time and not cancelling a ride for no reason).
What About The Customer?
I’m happy Uber is doing some things to placate drivers. I’m not happy that they haven’t dealt with drivers who treat customers badly. There are an increasing number of reports of Uber drivers who refuse to pick up customers when they won’t disclose their destination via phone. That’s just plain wrong. And, some drivers are getting downright rude about how they solicit for tips. I’m not entirely sure in-app tipping makes this go away.
The Final Two Pennies
It seems obvious that Uber is trying to make things better in the wake of their CEO taking a leave of absence. I’m not sure why a CEO needs to take a leave of absence for a company to do the right thing, but that’s an entirely different point. The announced changes are good for drivers. Hopefully, that makes the frustrated ones better at customer service.