Drivers the reckoning has begun! For years now we have been battling the rating system that has largely been stilted in favor of the rider. Now it seems that favor is beginning to turn back in our favor. In a recent press release from Uber, Kate Parker their head of safety brand and initiatives it was stated that riders will now face potential deactivation.
Riders may lose access to Uber if they develop a significantly below average rating. Riders will receive tips on how to improve their ratings, such as encouraging polite behavior, avoiding leaving trash in the vehicle and avoiding requests for drivers to exceed the speed limit. Riders will have several opportunities to improve their rating prior to losing access to the Uber apps.
Uber Rider Ratings Now Matter
Even with the recent changes to rider ratings which included all of the extra reasons for a rating below four stars, drivers have been at the mercy of riders. Justice does taste oh so sweet, does it not? Or does it? But before we celebrate too much, we need to take a moment. I have had my fair share of riders who deserved nothing less than a swift kick to the proverbial rear. Lord knows I wish that this system had been in place many times before, but how will this really affect the rider?
Currently, we have no information on what that threshold will be that deactivates problematic riders. Until we do, do we really have any cause to celebrate? Sure if the riders’ rating is lurking at like a 3, I imagine Uber might deactivate them. But I am not jumping for joy just yet. Uber has proven time and time again that the rider’s interest trumps the drivers. So how then can we use this shift in policy to our advantage?
Contacting Driver Support and Filing a Ticket will still be the go-to option.
When this news rolled out a couple of days ago, I was all sorts of enamored by the possibilities. To be fair I don’t often get poorly behaved riders. But the ones I have had have been doozies. Long have I wanted to have the ability to nix certain rule breakers with the quick click of a button. Riders by and large have much fewer ratings compiled and can receive a serious ding from a one-star rating. Without the surefire details of this new policy, it is hard to determine just how much effect a one-star rating from the driver will affect their rating.
So, despite this new found power, my recommendation remains fixed on filing a complaint the formal way. That is after you rack them with a nice ding to their rating. Now I will mention that I reserve a rating below five stars for only the most ridiculous riders. Riders who make me uncomfortable, and that’s hard to do by the way, or insult another rider will make the list. Riders who damage my vehicle or try to pull out alcohol in my car, etc. You know the most egregious of offenses will now finally be at my mercy.
Ratings can take a long time to develop and deactivation might not be instant, which means you not filing a ticket leaves other drivers at risk. We have got to look out for one another out there. You see a dirty rider, nail ’em with the proper complaint, through the ticket system.
Will this really change rider behavior though?
In my estimation, this minor shift in the power structure that underlies the rating system will take time to take effect. Not only will Uber most likely give the riders multiple chances to rectify their behavior which mean that filing a formal complaint will remain to be our primary course of action. I would think that the rider’s rating will only drop below Uber’s threshold after three offenses that break the Uber community guidelines. If we are being real with ourselves we all know that riders won’t be deactivated after one poor rating. It won’t just be below a 4.0.
COMMENT BELOW: Drivers, what are some things passengers do that will get them one-starred?
We’d like to know! Hit us in the comments below. Some of my personal favorites to rate a rider below 5 stars are telling me how to drive or being a New England Patriots fan, just kidding Bostonians! Let me know what yours are.