I have, I’m proud to say, a perfect five-star Uber customer rating. Not all my colleagues are so lucky. One has a very respectable 4.8. Another, I’m sorry to say, languishes at just 3.8.
After every ride, customers are rated by their Uber drivers, just like how customers rate their drivers. When a customer’s Uber rating drops too low, they may struggle to get lifts, or even be booted off the service entirely.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s easy to find out your Uber customer rating. You just email Uber support and ask, and they will get back to you with it, usually within hours.
So how can customers try to ensure they’re pulling in perfect scores every time? I polled a selection of Uber drivers online for tips on what makes them rate highly.
This is what they said:
Be ready. It frustrates drivers to no end to have to wait for five or 10 minutes while everyone gets ready — especially if there’s nowhere to legally park the vehicle. Drivers are going to start marking you down for the inconvenience almost immediately, so don’t let the vehicle arrive until you’re definitely ready to depart.
Make sure your pickup is correct. Dropping the pin on the map can be inaccurate, especially on urban areas. Enter your exact location and double-check it looks right, and they won’t be forced to text you asking where you are.
Enter your destination in the app. It’s not obligatory to enter your destination in the app, but it helps. It lets drivers smoothly navigate via the in-app GPS system, rather than having to rely on your uncertain backseat directions.
Be polite. “Ask. Do not demand. If you would like the temperature changed, ask. If you don’t like music, or what is playing and what it changed, ask,” one driver says.
Give a tip. Unless you’re using the TAXI service, there’s no in-app option for tipping Uber drivers, much to their chagrin. As such, a cash tip is always going to be appreciated, and a surefire way to ensure a maxed-out rating. (It was the most-suggested way to get five stars by a considerable margin.)
Of course, there’s also numerous ways to ensure you don’t get those coveted five stars. These include:
Making drivers go out of their way for short journeys. There’s nothing wrong with catching an Uber for short trips. But if you make the driver travel 15 minutes just to ferry you down the street, they won’t be too happy.
Eating. One driver makes an exception for “asking politely,” but generally speaking, it’s best not to. It’s easy to make a mess, and no one wants to have to clean up a stranger’s spilt kebab on their upholstery.
Leaving rubbish. Like eating, it’s an easy route to one-star hell.
Talking down to the driver. They’re a driver, not a servant. “Talk down to me or give me attitude? 3 stars or less,” one says. “Not only will you get a 1 star,” another comments, “you’ll be lucky if I don’t stop the ride and kick you out of the car.”
Picking illegal pickup spots. Even if you’re ready to go, it’s still frustrating, especially during rush hour.
Being drunk and disorderly. Drivers won’t generally begrudge drunkenness on an evening — they know what the late shift entails. But if you’re belligerently drunk and annoying, they will mark you down.
Not controlling kids. Not doing seat belts, kicking chairs… it’s a 1-star rating, if not being kicked out altogether.
Demanding things. Many Uber drivers provide gum or bottled water for their customers. It can help ensure a high rating. But not all do, and if you act entitled to these optional perks, you won’t enamour yourself to your driver.
Farting. “Ripping a** will get you a 2,” says one driver, “unless it’s me then I usually blame you for it anyway.”
Overloading the vehicle. Trying to pile more passengers into the car than the seatbelts (or insurance) allow isn’t just annoying, it’s illegal. Your $US30 fare isn’t worth the driver getting their licence confiscated over, so don’t even try.
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