Uber Australia: What’s Next?

Uber Australia to Introduce Tipping App

Uber Driver Tipping in Australia

Uber is rolling out in-app tipping in the U.S. on a state by state basis and we believe that it will be introduced into Australia by the end of the year.

All you will have to do as an Australian Uber driver once tipping has been announced is update the app to the latest version, and then use the app's settings to Enable Tips. As long as your rider has updated the rider app on their phone, they will then have the option to leave you a tip.

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How Will Tipping Affect Ratings?

The short answer is that it won't. At the end of the trip, the rider is invited to rate the driver, as now. After the rating, the rider can choose to leave a tip, either by selecting an amount or a percentage, or by entering an actual amount. However, you won't know if they've left you a tip or not until you've left them a rating (or chosen not to, of course). But the point is that you can't rate your rider on the basis of whether or not they've tipped you.

A problem with the above is that the rider doesn't see the tipping screen if they don't rate you. Uber are working on some alternatives to overcome this.

Will Uber Tipping be Embraced in Australia?

While it's been welcomed by Uber drivers in America, many Uber drivers in Australia (along with others) have predicted that it will be a failure here, because tipping is "un-Australian".

I don't agree.

Australians are happy to tip for good service. What we don't like is the assumption of entitlement, like the waiter in a New York restaurant who chased a couple down the street because they "forgot" to leave a tip. Or organisations that build a gratuity into their bill automatically.

So my "tip" for Australian Uber drivers is simply this: Always give the best service you possibly can and I believe that a majority of riders will reward you with a tip. After all, they are already getting a low-price ride and most Aussies have a well developed sense of fairness.

Double the Tips for Uber Drivers in Australia?

When the tipping feature was first rolled out in the U.S., Uber matched all the rider tips on the first day, at a cost of US$1.3 million, so drivers took home an extra US$2.6 million. No guarantee it will happen here, but great if it does.

How Much to Tip?

Constance Hoffman, owner of US etiquette firm Social and Business Graces and author of Tips on Tipping, advises that passengers should offer a base tip of $US1 to $US2 per passenger for short rides, with additional tips added for things like traffic, road construction or other inconveniences, distance, and whether the driver helped with luggage.

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Phil Lancaster

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