An UberEats driver has exposed a way some customers trick the system to get their food quicker – and in turn “screw over” the delivery team.
Owen Lindstrom, from Oregon in the US, set himself a challenge of making $20,000 by delivering food through the app in 100 days – but quickly discovered “tip-baiting”.
He explains that some customers put in a large tip offer while making their initial order, in order to encourage drivers to take their order.
However once the delivery has been made, they scrap it or drastically reduce it.
Owen says: “In food delivery apps, the customer has the ability to increase or reduce the tips after drop off.
“Tip baiting is when a customer offer a large tip to get their food faster and then take it away at the end.
“While it’s good to protect the customer from having bad service by holding the tip over your head, it leave a big opportunity to screw over the driver.”
His video has been viewed by millions of people around the world, most of whom had absolutely no idea tip-baiting is a thing.
However his rant hasn’t gone down well with everyone, and while some are sympathetic others has criticised his approach to taking orders and even joked that they will start tip-baiting themselves.
One wrote: “Tipping is not automatic or guaranteed. A tip is a reward for great service, not mediocre or basic.”
Another joked: “Thanks for info, gonna use this trick to get my food faster.”
NurPhoto via Getty Images)
But others were more sympathetic, with one commenting: “I hate that people would do that. I’ve only ever increased my tip.”
There has been much debate about tipping on the app, especially in the US, after one driver was left in tears by a customer’s tiny offering.
In a powerful video shared to TikTok, Smithson Michael who posts under the name @deliveryguy100, cried as he explained his experience of working for food delivery companies in the US such as Uber Eats and DoorDash.
Sitting in his car, he wipes a tear away as he talks to the camera, saying: “I wish people knew what it was like to deliver Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash, all these companies.
“I just spent an hour driving around for $1.19 tip. I mean would it hurt y’all to tip us, throw us five dollars?
“I got a $1.19 tip and $2 from the app. What’s that? That’s not even enough to cover gas.
“How am I supposed to live like that?
“Homeless? I’m there. This and I’m sitting here and it’s gone, four months behind. There’s no way I could pay for that.”
He continues: “Everything fell apart on me and I haven’t been able to sustain myself, provide for myself and these are essential services.
“I just wish people knew what it was like. I wish they understood what it was like to drive for these services.”