The Ins and Outs of Uber Passenger Rating: Drivers, You’ll Want to Read this One

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Uber’s policy on their passenger rating system” ensures the quality of both the driver partners and riders in the community.” According to them, “our rating system is a two-way street. Driver partners have the option to rate every completed trip, while riders have the opportunity to submit a rating along with comments.” Uber passenger ratings, which are on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, should be honest and reflect your overall trip experience.


It is important to rate your passengers as fairly and honestly as possible, as the rating standards are arbitrary. It is up to you to develop your own guidelines for evaluating your passengers. If a passenger causes trouble or damages your car in any way, for instance, then they should not receive 5 stars.

New drivers usually start by giving their passengers an automatic 5 stars. It often takes a few months and a handful of lower ratings before a driver begins to put a little more thought into their uber passenger rating system.

How Uber Passenger Rating Works

 

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Typically, when a driver rates a passenger 3 stars or lower, the system will not match them for a ride again. A driver could rate lower for factors like not being ready when the driver arrives. They could also give a lower Uber passenger rating for not following rules such as wearing seatbelts, staying seated during the ride, or bringing an open container into the vehicle.

Risky or threatening behavior is also a reason for a low rating. Keep in mind, however, that giving many low ratings might affect your available ride pool. It could become an issue in a small market area.

At some point in your rideshare career, you will inevitably come across a troublesome passenger. It is vital to keep a cool head. Try to do everything you can to alleviate the situation and prevent it from getting out of control. But this doesn’t mean that you should let passengers abuse you in any way.

Uber encourages their Driver Partners to give honest passenger ratings. If you don’t leave a low rating for a rider who deserves one, it gives the impression to the rider that their behavior is acceptable. It also makes it difficult for other drivers who may pick up that rider in the future to know what to expect from them.


Why Rating Passengers is Important


Uber passenger ratings help you set your expectations when it comes to riders. When a driver gives a low rating, it is a heads up for future drivers, warning them that the rider could be trouble for them.

For riders, these ratings let them know how they should act during a trip. If there are no consequences to bad behavior, the passenger will most likely continue to misbehave.

Until recently riders had no idea they were being rated. Once Uber decided to let riders see their rating through the app, they became more aware of the effect their behavior has on their account. Passengers become more mindful of their behavior and actions, especially now that Uber will begin deactivating riders with low ratings. Like drivers, most riders want their rating to be as close to 5 stars as possible and will work hard to achieve it.

Before Uber updated their app to show riders their ratings, passengers had no idea there were consequences to their actions. Many drivers were frustrated by the rating system as it seemed one-sided.

Because many riders don’t know their Uber passenger rating, it doesn’t seem important in the overall scheme of things. However, now that everybody is aware of how the rating system works, many are taking it seriously.


Common Reasons for Low Uber Passenger Rating

It is imperative to be fair and honest when providing Uber passenger ratings. Carefully assess your trip before rating your passengers.

Here are some reasons drivers give low ratings to riders.

Rudeness

Uber’s community guidelines clearly state which acts or behaviors are accepted for Driver Partners and passengers. Before you say that someone is rude, it’s important to distinguish whether a rider is truly rude, introverted, or simply tired from a long day.

As drivers, we usually try to engage in conversation with our passengers. When a rider doesn’t reciprocate, it is all too easy to flag them as rude. Would this constitute a low rating? I don’t think so, but some drivers might give this particular type of passenger 4 stars.

However, if the passenger gets in your car screaming obscenities into his phone, hangs up his phone, and turns his wrath toward you, then that’s a different story. When they call you names and start hurling insults in your direction, it is obvious the passenger has issues that have nothing to do with you. Depending on how abusive the behavior is, a 2-star —or even a 1-start— Uber passenger rating could be acceptable.

Threatening Behavior

In rare instances, we do pick up passengers who simply do not know how to behave. They either threaten to assault you or use nonverbal cues to make you feel uncomfortable. If you are threatened, it is essential to not only rate the rider a 1-star. It might also be prudent to end the ride immediately whether you have arrived at the destination or not. It’s also advisable to let Uber or Lyft know of the threat.

Alcohol Intoxication

uber passenger rating - alcohol intoxication

I do not drive after dark to avoid drunk passengers. The worst drunk I’ve ever given a ride to was at 9:00 AM on a Sunday. Avoiding the usual party times does not ensure you will not have to deal with drunk passengers. Not all intoxicated passengers, however, deserve a low rating. Many are happy drunks, and some drunk riders tend to tip more. However, some passengers can’t hold their liquor and may get sick in your car. While you should get a cleaning fee from Uber or Lyft, it is still a huge inconvenience. It could keep you from working until you have had a chance to clean up your car. This could warrant a low rating.

Retaliatory Rating

Retaliatory ratings are a thing. There are times a driver may think a passenger is going to give them a low rating so, in retaliation, they rate the passenger low. On Lyft, this is an even bigger issue, as Lyft drivers have 24 hours to rate their passengers.

If a Lyft driver’s rating goes down, it is easy to figure out which passenger rated them low. It is possible to go into the app and change the passenger’s rating even if they did not deserve a low rating. Retaliatory ratings are wrong. Unfortunately, this works both ways. If a rider’s rating drops —even if they legitimately deserve a low rating— they could retaliate by giving the driver a low rating. This often leads to drivers simply giving 5-star ratings whether the riders deserve it or not.

Uber drivers, on the other hand, must rate the passenger immediately once they end the ride. If for one reason or another, a driver feels their passenger will give them a low rating after the trip, they could give their rider a low rating even if it’s not warranted. But, there are ways to get a good rating from your riders so you won’t have to worry about retaliatory rating.

Lateness

After a five-minute wait for a passenger, the driver can cancel the ride for a cancellation fee. However, there are times when riders take their time walking towards your car as the clock is ticking down to those last few seconds.

Rideshare apps give the passenger plenty of notice of arrival time. Besides, most drivers will call or text the passenger to let them know we have arrived. If a passenger still takes forever to come out to the car, wasting your time, and costing you money, it is entirely appropriate to give the passenger a low rating. Riders should be considerate of your time. There are instances when the customer is not always right, and not valuing your time is one of those times.

Not Giving a Cash Tip

Expecting a tip or having a tip jar is a controversial issue. However, not giving a tip is a common reason some drivers give low Uber passenger rating. It’s also a perfect example of a retaliatory rating. This one, in particular, bothers me both as a driver and rider. As a rider, I always tip 25%, but I rarely carry cash, so I tip in the app. Unfortunately, on the Uber app, the driver can’t see if I tipped before they rate me. Many drivers brag that they will give passengers 1 star unless they get a cash tip. This feels like extortion and is unfair to riders.


It is essential to have valid reasons when rating your passengers.  You should be thoughtful, consistent, and honest in your ratings. By doing so, you’re making sure bad riders are held accountable, thereby making the rideshare community a safer place. If a rider deserves a low Uber passenger rating, don’t hesitate to give that low rating. It could just end up saving a life.

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