- Uber will soon ban passengers with low ratings, the company announced late Tuesday.
- The company did not say what minimum riders would need to meet or what infractions might ding them the most.
- Drivers have long been expected to comply with minimum star ratings to keep working.
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Have a low Uber passenger rating? The company could soon ban you from the app, it announced late Tuesday.
Drivers have long been expected to meet minimum ratings to continue working on the platform, Kate Parker, Uber’s head of safety brand and initiatives, said in a blog post. Now, passengers will be expected to uphold their side as well.
“Riders may lose access to Uber if they develop a significantly below-average rating,” Parker said in the post. “Riders will receive tips on how to improve their ratings, such as encouraging polite behaviour, 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.”
Parker said Uber would launch an education campaign before the new standards took effect so that riders and drivers alike had a chance to understand what’s acceptable – and what’s not – on an Uber ride.
“From in-app messages and email to signs in Greenlight Hubs, we’ll get the word out to customers and partners,” Parker said. “By educating customers and partners about the Community Guidelines, asking them to confirm they understand, and holding everyone accountable, we can help Uber be welcoming and safe for all.”
Uber didn’t offer much detail on the specific behaviour it’s trying to mitigate with the new policies and educational programs, but in conversations with Business Insider, more than 30 Uber drivers previously explained what their biggest pet peeves were and things they wished riders would avoid doing during rides.
The Independent Drivers Guild, which represents app-based drivers in New York, praised the move by Uber as a way to protect drivers, especially in the wake of a violent attack caught on video this week.
“Holding riders accountable for their behaviour on the Uber platform is an important safety measure to protect drivers as well as fellow riders who may book shared rides,” the group said in a statement. “While most riders are respectful, banning riders who threaten driver safety, spew racist rants, and disrespect or damage our vehicles is the right thing to do. For too long there has been one-sided accountability and this is a positive step toward correcting that.”
The new announcement comes on the heels of a new offering for Uber’s premium service, Uber Black, in which passengers can request a quiet ride if they’re willing to pay for the convenience.
Uber is expected to disclose its first quarterly earnings as a public company on Thursday after markets close.