Uber is brining tips to its app that will allow riders tip drivers; something it should have done since especially in countries where Uber drivers are currently protesting low fares like Nigeria. The $70b startup presented the move as a reconciliation move following its many recent scandals but maybe the harm may have been done largely.
Speaking on the move after the sudden departure of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, cofounder and Chairman Garrett Camp wrote in a post about its new relationship with drivers going forward, he said
“A friend recently asked me, “What went wrong?” and the answer is that we had not listened well enough to those who got us here… our team and especially our drivers. In a highly competitive market it is easy to become obsessed with growth, instead of taking the time to ensure you’re on the right path. Now is that time… to pause for a moment and think about what really matters here: providing 65 million riders transportation when they need it, giving 2 million drivers flexible work options, and creating a company culture we are proud of.”
That said, in Nigeria for example where Uber has cut ride fares by up to 40 percent to encourage more people to use its service while overlooking its closest competitor Taxify, drivers are increasingly abandoning the service saying it can no longer pay their basic monthly needs while Uber keeps its 25 percent at the expense of drivers.
But tipping may not be a bad idea but the main challenge would be if users would tip enough to make drivers happy. The tipping culture in many countries is still not as good and this means the difference this would make may be marginal at best in some climes.