In an email sent to Uber customers today, the ride-hailing company reiterated that there's no need to tip drivers. "You may have seen speculation in the media about whether we've changed our approach to tipping," it said. "The answer is no: Tips are not included nor are they expected on Uber."
The message refers to a settlement the company reached in two class-action lawsuits last week, in which it confirmed that Uber drivers were allowed to post signs in their cars that solicit tips. Similar companies, such as Lyft, have cashless tipping features integrated directly into their apps.
Uber's email appears to be consistent with the settlement agreement. In court documents, the plaintiff's attorney wrote that "Uber has agreed to make good faith efforts to clarify its messaging regarding tipping, clarifying on its website and in communications with drivers and riders that tips are not included on Uber's platforms (with the exception of UberTAXI) and that tipping is neither expected nor required."
Uber drivers have previously expressed concern that passengers believe tips are included in the fare, and therefore they do not tip. While Uber's email clarifies that tipping is not included, it does not encourage customers to tip in addition to the fare, but rather makes it clear that it's acceptable to not tip at all. " Of course," the email adds, " if you want to tip your driver—we estimate riders offer tips on only a very small number of trips—you're free to do so, and drivers are free to accept." SK