Auto rickshaws and tipping

By May 13, 2013 Autos No Comments

[Updated (May 17): In my friend’s story below, I had incorrectly attributed lack of change as one of the reasons for tipping. Added emphasis to the updated verbiage below.]

Pic courtesy

Pic courtesy

The inflow of stories relating to auto rickshaws has increased ever since my friends learned what we are trying to do at mGaadi. One of my friends shared the following story recently.

With my 6 year old daughter in tow, I hailed an auto one evening. As per my customary routine, after agreeing to our destination I asked the driver if he would go ‘by meter’. Seemingly indignant at the suggestion, he sullenly replied yes. The meter showed Rs. 67 after we reached the destination.

The ride being largely uneventful and in line with my policy of tipping drivers who don’t ask for above meter fare, I intended to give him a 100 Rupee note and ask for 20 back (i.e. 13 Rupees tip). Since the traffic was heavy on the street and we needed to cross, I requested him to cross the road (a distance not exceeding 40 meters). He rudely refused.

I was livid. In an instant, the tip vaporized. I systematically searched the contents of my purse and came up with the exact change.

So here are my questions to you (readers and urban commuters):

  1. Do you tip auto rickshaw drivers? 
  2. If  yes, is it ALL the time? or only when service is excellent?
  3. How do you define “excellent service” by an auto driver?

Please leave your answers in the comments. Thanks.


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