Ride hailing company Uber first started allowing users themselves to check their ratings back in 2017, there is a growing anxiety among riders about how they should behave while they hire a ride and use Uber’s services so that they are able to increase their rating stars.
Those concerns are not set to be enhanced because of another new policy by Uber – its new decision of starting to ban those passengers who have consistent low ratings.
While announcing this new policy, Uber did not disclose the minimum rating that would be required for passengers to not get banned and be refused a ride on Uber. For example, the Uber’s platform requires that the drivers mandatorily have to possess a ratings of at least 4.6 stars in the last 100 trips for them to be able to stay and use the app.
While making the announcement of the new policy in a blogpost, the ride hailing company said that those passengers who have a “significantly below average rating” would initially be warned to get their ratings improved before the company decides to ban them from access to Uber apps. Further, the company also prompted the riders not to engage in “impolite” behavior such as leaving behind trash in the vehicle or directing a driver to speed beyond the permissible speed limit.
According to some users, some of the reasons they have been docked were very obvious including booking and using Uber when they were drunk, or they were accompanied by a group of rowdy friends or arriving late for a booked trip or directing a driver to drop them at an inconvenient location.
On the other hand, other users have complained that the reasons for them being docked were seemingly discriminatory ones. For example, complain of a reduction of their rating was noticed soon after taking a car home with a same-sex partner after a date, was made by Hilary Weaver, a journalist based in New York City, according to reports. The ratings system was weaponized against her, one rider was quoted in the media as saying. For example, after rebuffing sexual advances from her driver, Hannah Simkins, a musician in London, found that her rating had dropped.
And still there are many other riders who have low ratings but have no idea about the reasons behind it.
For example, the media mentioned the name of Nick De Tullio, a tech worker in New York, who first noticed his rating to remain around the four stars mark a few years ago despite him claiming to have always tipped the drivers and always being polite. Reports quoted him saying that his ratings could be low because he avoided small talk with drivers. “I’ve made it a policy to continue a conversation when the driver initiates it and my score since then has gone up considerably,” he said. “Still, I wish my preference for a silent ride didn’t have such an initial impact on my score.”
This new policy has by and large made Uber drivers happy according to reports. Recklessness, drunkenness and rudeness on the part of the riders are among the obvious reasons that the drivers would give a single star rating, some drivers said. However there are also reports that some drivers are more arbitrary in their according of ratings to passengers.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)