The topic of top baiting has gone viral again on TikTok after a driver who works for both Uber Eats and DoorDash recently learned firsthand what the term means.
The driver, a TikToker named Sarah (@thelifeof_sarah_), posted a 3-minute video sharing what happened during her first experience with tip baiting.
Tip baiting occurs when customers leave a large tip before receiving their order in hopes of receiving it faster. Then they remove or reduce the tip after the order is delivered. The Daily Dot previously reported a video of TikTok user @owenlindstrom1 saying that baiting a tip is one of the worst things a delivery driver can come across.
In her clip, Sarah says she is “disgusted” by the practice. She says she took an order for $15 that was within a 3-4 mile radius. She immediately jumped on the order and picked it up at the dealer. Looking at the order notes, she saw that the customer requested “a whole heaping handful of ketchup, two cases of water, some sauces, and some napkins and straws.”
Sarah explains that anyone who works for Uber Eats, DoorDash, or any other meal delivery service probably knows that vendors can be “assholes.” Many restaurants don’t appreciate or allow people, even delivery drivers, to collect extra condiments without paying for them. But Sarah says she tried her luck anyway and asked the cashier if she could get some or all of the extra items.
The cashier said no to Sarah, but the store manager had a different answer. She says the manager flirted with her and ended up giving her the extra items.
When Sarah got to the client’s house, she was waiting outside.
“I gave her her food piping hot, everything in the bag she asked for, two whole bottles of water, and she said ‘thank you,'” says the TikToker. “I said, ‘You’re welcome. Everything is in the bag. It’s all hot, all’s good to go, and thank you for the tip.’ She smiled and said, ‘Have a nice day.’”
After she left, Sarah waited about an hour to see what her earnings from the order were. She says delivery service apps give customers an hour to top up their tips. Little did she know they can also reduce or remove their tips during this time. Instead of $15, Sarah says she only made $2 from the order, the base compensation she earns for even taking the order.
Convinced something was wrong, Sarah took to social media to investigate and discovered that tip baiting is rampant. After texting other delivery drivers, she found she was baited with a tip.
“So you want to tell me I went the damn extra mile for this client like I do for any other client and they do it to me like that?” says Sarah in the video. “I had to deal with a guy staring at my eyes and staring at my lips and if I wasn’t married how would he take his shot for that? Are you kidding me?”
Sarah adds that she’s always “kind” and “respectful” to customers, making sure they get their food hot. She always has a smile on her face and wishes every customer the best day, she says.
“But the fact that these people are literally tipping to get their way and then taking it right back — oh, that’s bold,” says the TikToker. “You know we know your address, right? Can’t think of that? One day it goes to the wrong person. Just say.”
The video sparked a debate about tipping culture. Some commenters said that Uber Eats and DoorDash customers shouldn’t be allowed to remove their tips.
“Once they tip, it should be irreversible,” commented one user.
“I blame Uber for allowing customers to make these changes. You should have to prove you gave bad service,” said another viewer.
Others said companies should pay their workers a living wage so customers aren’t expected to tip.
“Unfortunately, America has to [stop] This tip earns something and should increase salaries or payments,” said one user.
Another user wrote, “I wish tips were abolished entirely and companies would actually pay their workers a fair wage from the start.”
Some viewers speculated on customers’ reasons for tip baiting.
“It’s because people here say they won’t take an order if there’s little or no tip, so people found a way around it. Not right, but it has to be,” said one user.
The Daily Dot previously reported on a TikToker called The Gig Doctor, who posted a viral video about why it’s not worth it for DoorDash drivers to take orders that are small or don’t have a tip.
The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and via email to Uber Eats and DoorDash.
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*Initial publication: November 15, 2022 at 5:42 pm CST
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/uber-eats-tip-baiting/ Uber eats driver calls customer who baited them with tips