Abhimanyu GhoshalManaging Editor
Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].
Uber is updating its cab service app with a feature to let riders thank their drivers – with stickers.
The new Compliments feature allows passengers to send stickers to their drivers after a ride, to thank them for excellent service, a clean cabin, ‘awesome music’ and for being entertaining, among other things. Drivers can find these stickers in a new section in their apps’ home screens.
That’s nice enough, and it certainly adds a dash of color to the existing feedback system for passengers, but it seems like Uber could do more to help people show gratitude for a pleasant ride.
For instance, why not allow riders to tip their drivers an extra fee through the app? Or at least, make those Compliments translate to tangible rewards like bonus vehicle maintenance or upgrades, courtesy of Uber.
Of course, the company has long been battling to avoid recognizing its drivers as employees and treating them as such. In May, Uber agreed to pay $84 million to settle class action lawsuits in California and Massachusetts brought against it in 2013, over whether its drivers should be classified as employees or freelancers.
Although it lost a sizeable chunk of money in those settlements, Uber saved itself a lot more in employee benefits, expense reimbursements and fleet maintenance costs.
Hopefully, Compliments will not simply remain a standalone feature, but instead pave the way for more benefits for drivers in the future.
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