Chronicles of a Jamaican Uber Driver Part 4 – The Ginalship of Uber’s Tip Ap

I’ve been driving for a while now and whenever riders ask me if I like it – my answer is an emphatic YES!  There are however a few things I don’t like about Uber and the new ‘rule’ about tipping is one of them.

Uber recently allowed for riders to tip their drivers who they merit deserve it. Ok, no problem you’re probably thinking – why would a driver be upset about getting a tip.  Well I’m a Jamaican Uber driver and I have to tell you – we can spot ginalship a mile off.  Uber has nothing on Anansi in the conman tactics.

Before Uber ‘allowed’ tipping, riders would  tip on an informal basis with a cash payment, (usually a minimum of $2 per ride).  I can now admit that I’ve been extremely lucky in the tip department, the highest tip I have received thus far is the time a rider gave me $50!!!! I was so shocked I asked whether she had made a mistake – but God bless her – she hadn’t made a mistake and wanted to thank me for my exemplary service.  On average my tips are normally $20 but no matter what the tip, that cash payment came in very handy indeed.  Many a time I used my tips to fill up the car, buy lunch, pay for a car wash or the many other incidentals that occur when you are driving for a living.

Now Uber has come to ‘mash up mi dolly house’.  With their tip ap – the rider makes the payment via credit card to Uber’s payment ap which is then forwarded to the driver.  Can you spot the ginalship yet?  So now my tips become ‘taxable income’.  Boo Uber – that’s no fun.  Tips are a gratuitous payment given for a well-performed service – usually those tips are not reported as taxable income.   The other downside to the advent of Uber’s tip rule is that my  tip receipts have dipped considerably.  Riders who didn’t have the option to tip using their credit card, were more forthcoming with cash tips handed to the driver on arrival at the destination – it’s an immediate action.  On ending the ride – more riders are ‘forgetting’ to tip the driver – after all the ride is over and they’ve moved on with their lives, where’s the incentive to add an additional amount once they’ve paid for their ride?

My solution – I’m going to write a very polite note
‘Riders – if you’re happy with your service and wish to leave a tip – feel free to leave your cash with the driver’.  I’ll let you know how I get on, because I definitely miss my cash tips.

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