San Francisco-based riding hailing firm; Uber Technologies Inc. on Tuesday said that it will for the first time ever allow drivers to collect tips through its smartphone app, an about-face from previous company policy, as part of the ride-services firm’s broader effort to improve an often-contentious relationship.
According to reports by TimesOfIndia, for years the firm opposed adding a tipping feature to its app despite drivers’ arguments the extra money would help compensate for decreasing wages. The issue had been a longstanding source of disagreement between Uber and its drivers.
An Uber spokesman declined to say why the company reversed its tipping policy, though he pointed to a company blog post that called the change long overdue.
Uber drivers who are independent contractors, not employees lack paid sick leaves, vacations, and must pay for car maintenance and other costs.
The Uber Tip Driver feature has been made available to all drivers in the US which will roll out till the end of July. There was no comment/mention of whether this will be made available to other markets globally.
TimesOfIndia reports indicate that the firm also rolled one other feature – paying drivers while they wait for passengers and reducing the time passengers have to cancel a ride.