Uber Sets A Tip Limit, Without Informing Drivers

Damir Mujezinovic

In July 2017, Uber announced in-app tipping. Rachel Holt, Uber's Head of U.S. Operations and Aaron Schildkrout, Head of Driver Experience, announced this in a blog post, published on the company's official website.

Uber had held off on including tipping in its app for six years, much to the dismay of its drivers, so the in-app tipping announcement was considered a great innovation. Customers no longer have to carry cash if they want to tip a driver, they can simply do so via the Uber app.

More recent developments, however, show that things aren't going that great for Uber drivers. According to a report from CNET, published today, Uber has set a tip limit. CNET's Dara Kerr talked to numerous drivers, who seem to be puzzled and outraged by the limit. Should there be a limit on generosity, they wonder?

"Generosity should be something that you have no limit on," a driver told CNET.

Another Uber driver recounted an experience of driving a customer around Los Angeles, for 90 minutes, but traveling only 35 miles. The passenger needed to run a bunch of errands, as fast as possible, so they were impressed by the service.

However, Uber uses mileage to calculate its fares, so the ride didn't cost much. The passenger didn't have any cash on him, so decided to tip the driver via Uber's application - but couldn't.

"Over the limit," a message on the screen read.

Other drivers have come out and shared similar experiences. At first, they thought the limit on in-app tipping was a glitch, a software bug Uber will soon sort out. As it turns out, it is not. Uber has set this limit, to combat "fat fingers."

A company spokesperson told CNET that the tip limit is meant to aid customers. In case someone wants to tip $20, but accidentally adds another "0," they don't have to go through the time-consuming process of getting their money back, Uber claims. Instead, the tipping limit will prevent something like this from happening.

Passengers are free to tip additional amounts in cash, but it is safe to assume situations like the ones Uber drivers described will be inevitable.

According to Uber, the tip limit is currently 200 percent of the fare.