US UberEats driver close to homelessness begs people for tips in a viral video on TikTok

"I can barely afford to feed myself".
"I can barely afford to feed myself". Photo credit: Tik Tok / @livefreestudios

An UberEats driver's emotional video exposing the reality of working as a delivery driver is causing an outcry on social media.

Riley Elliot, a Seattle delivery driver, posted a video on TikTok on Thursday (local time), explaining how he's barely earning enough to make ends meet.

The delivery driver explained how only got paid US$2.50 from Uber and tipped US$1.50 after spending 45 minutes on a job.

On top of that, Elliot had to pay US$3 for parking because the customer refused to come out and meet him.

"Y'all, I wish people who order UberEats or DoorDash understood what it's like to be a driver," he said, on the brink of tears.

"I just spent 45 minutes on delivery and had to pay $3 to bring this person their food because there was no free parking anywhere near their building and they refused to come out and meet me.

"They tipped me $1.50 and Uber paid me $2.50 like - I got to prove 3 x the rent for income in two weeks and I can't.

"It doesn't matter that I'm working multiple jobs, it doesn't matter I barely sleep and can barely afford to feed myself.

"I'm about to be homeless for the third time since May, and all because people don't tip their delivery drivers. Like - how hard is it to throw us $5?"

The video hit over 2.1 million views in three days, causing an outcry on social media.

"Why is he getting paid only $2.50 from UberEats? What sort of crazy wage is that??" one person commented on Twitter.

"Companies need to pay their people what they deserve. Tips need to be extra," another wrote. "I'm such of rich ass companies being cheap ass. I'm so angry.

In another video posted later that day, Elliot apologised for earlier blaming customers for his situation.

"It's not entirely the fault of people who don't tip. It is absolutely the fault of these companies like DoorDash and Uber who don't pay their drivers very much, who charge extreme delivery fees and pay their drivers US$2.

"We do however live in a society in America where it's expected that most of a service worker's income is based on the tip. 

"We usually make minimum wage or less because companies expect customers to tip and this is one thing that has to change."