Though Uber drivers are able to give riders ratings, they never seemed to actually matter. Many obnoxious, rude, or otherwise problematic riders have remained live on the system, but that’s about to change. The company recently revealed a change of plans that will result in some riders being deactivated due to very low ratings given by drivers.
Uber enables both riders and drivers to rate each other. A low rating may result in drivers being deactivated, a fear many address by going out of their way to accommodate riders who have historically wielded most of the power on the service.
The tables are turning, however, and Uber says that riders who have below average ratings risk being deactivated in the Uber app, which would prevent them from ordering cars. The rating has to be ‘significantly’ lower than the average rider rating, the company states, and these riders will first be given opportunities to improve their ratings.
Uber will give the riders with poor ratings tips within its app, including reminders to be polite to drivers and to avoid leaving trash behind in the driver’s car. As well, riders will be told to avoid annoying drivers by asking them to speed.
Deactivations may be the great equalizer for Uber drivers who feel unfairly burdened by disruptive riders, but a big uncertainty remains: what is the average rider rating and at what threshold does Uber consider a rider ‘significantly’ below it? Uber doesn’t specify, but does provide community guidelines through its site here.