Uber is Changing How Ratings Work — and Will Display Yours Prominently in the App

Uber has announced updates to its rating system. My app doesn’t appear to reflect changes, so I imagine this will come with the next app update my phone downloads.

  1. They’re going to ask you the reason for ratings below 5 stars for UberPOOL, and reasons that have nothing to do with the driver won’t count against the driver.

  2. They’re going to display your rating as a rider more prominently to remind you you’re being rated, so hopefully you behave better.

Here’s what they say they’re doing with UberPOOL ratings:

Now, when riders rate a POOL trip less than 5 stars, they can select additional reasons why. And when the reason is something like the route or co-rider behavior, we won’t count the rating toward the driver’s average.

The idea is to be fairer to drivers, not dinging them for things outside their control. Fairness aside, I imagine they want ratings of drivers to reflect how a driver performs for customers. And they don’t want drivers frustrated or giving up thinking that no matter what they do for customers their ratings still suffer picking up UberPOOL rides. That doesn’t work in Uber’s favor.

Uber also doesn’t want riders to “forget that their driver is also rating them, too” and they think showing ratings more prominently will discourage “things like eating in the car, slamming the door, or trying to pile in more people than seatbelts..”

Of course a driver may get kicked off the platform for low scores — with low defined differently by market and changing over time based on Uber’s supply of drivers. A rating under 4.6 could be dangerous for a driver who wants to stay on the platform.

Extreme behavior can get a customer kicked off, but riders aren’t on the same knife’s edge. (Here are the new rules that can get you kicked off of Uber as a rider.)

Still people do care about their ratings. By not making customers go through back flips to see their rating it could subtly affect behavior. And since many drivers rate based on whether they receive a cash tip, it could influence tipping as well (which I hate).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. How is the route the driver takes not his or her fault? I’ve had some drivers go some wacky ways that add to my trip time.

  2. If Uber is serious about ratings they would eliminate retaliation ratings by drivers against passengers who gave low ratings (similar to what ebay has done). Also might be good to add a comment field or drop down box to provide a reason for the rating. And finally Uber might start taking allegations of dangerous driving seriously instead of blowing them off with form responses.

  3. Gary, why do you hate the idea of tipping an Uber driver? Would you not tip a taxi driver? Why is this different?

    If your issue is with Uber not allowing tips within the app, then that is also not the drivers fault. I personally despite Uber’s business tactics and how they treat drivers, so I use Lyft whenever possible.

    There is a reason driver retention at Uber is so low, and it simply comes down to how they threat their (non)-employee drivers. The ridiculously low rate they pay the drivers (most lose money driving with Uber) and the refusal to add a tipping option into the app are the 2 most glaring.

    Trust me, take Lyft!

  4. I hate the idea of tipping an Uber driver because the initial concept of the whole service was that it was supposed to be clear of transactions. There was supposed to be no need to have cash to tip with, and the price you paid was supposed to include a reasonable amount to the driver.

    I’ve noticed that Uber has been increasing its costs. If we are now expected to tip on top of that, we’re at the same cost as a taxi, with no added convenience – how is that business model any different from taxis?

  5. “If Uber is serious about ratings they would eliminate retaliation ratings by drivers against passengers who gave low ratings”

    Amen. After I left a corrupt Brazilian driver a bad rating that he absolutely deserved for being unsafe and twice deliberately driving the wrong way to earn more money he retailiated by leaving me a crap rating.

    So I quit Uber. Have fun folks, enjoy that crap service all you want and their crazy CEO’s irrational nonsense.

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