Uber Eats call to not tip

Explain yourself


Last Friday, I got dinner and ice cream. We’re lucky enough to live near the ocean so we got to enjoy a waterfront view and a lil walk after dinner. When we went to buy ice cream, the setup was standard. My wife tried a few flavors and then we made our selections. The bill was only slightly unreasonable, given the fact that we do live in Southern California. The shocking part, however, was the tip. I’m all for supporting the food service industry, but auto-enabling a 30% tip for dishing up ice cream feels wild to me.

I did give a good tip (20%), but it still felt like a lot, even though it wasn’t the highest predetermined amount by the point of sale.

The point here isn’t to call myself out for being cheap when tipping. No, I am more shocked at how out of control tipping culture has become in the United States. What’s worse, if you opt to not tip you’d become some sort of pariah if people ever found out.

This got me thinking about digital surfaces where we regularly tip. One example that stood out to me was Uber Eats and DoorDash. It’s common to tack on a 15-25% tip to your order. To be fair, this is a grueling job and I think drivers earn this.

But what if when you wanted to leave a bad tip (or no tip) you had to go through the extra trouble of calling the driver to explain why you’re opting not to tip them? This would make for many awkward phone calls, and it’d likely impact your profile’s rating to other drivers on the app. My gut says most times you’d cut your losses and tip a few bucks instead of having an awkward conversation.

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