The ride-hire company, Uber, will allow UK customers to tip drivers beginning Tuesday, August 15. Tips initially launched in the US back in June but now UK drivers have the opportunity to earn some extra money. The introduction of tipping follows criticism of the company who was perceived to be making it difficult for drivers to improve their earnings.
In addition to tipping, Uber will also introduce paid waiting time; this is a 20p/min charge applied after two minutes if they keep a driver waiting. The change could make the service more efficient as people try to duck the fines but it’s doubtful that drivers will see any of this money, given Uber’s poor treatment. Paid waiting time will start being applied in the UK from August 22.
James Farrar from the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) said:
“This is a cynical PR move ahead of Uber’s appeal next month against last year’s employment tribunal ruling in favour of drivers. Depite its claims, Uber remains completely deaf to the most serious issue facing – excessively long hours earning on average between £5 and £6 per hour.”
Other changes to the service include:
- Two-minute cancellations – riders will have to pay a fee if they cancel after two minutes, instead of five minutes, from being allocated a car.
- “No thanks” button – drivers can instantly reject a trip request instead of having to wait 10-20 seconds.
- Driver destinations – drivers who want to go to a specific area will be matched with passengers seeking a similar route.
- Trip request control – drivers can choose not to receive less lucrative UberX trip requests.
It was revealed earlier this month that Uber drivers have been gaming the system in order to earn more money; Uber will be hoping that the new changes will make drivers more content.
Source: BBC News