One of the reasons that the Uber experience is typically pretty civilized is because of the ratings system they use. Both riders and drivers rate one another after every ride, and hopefully it encourages a system where everyone is on their best behavior. However, I think both sides are sometimes annoyed when they realize how they’re sometimes rated.
Uber has just announced that they’re making two changes to their ratings system, in an effort to encourage better rider behavior, and also to encourage fairer UberPOOL ratings. Specifically:
Uber will more prominently display rider ratings
Per the press release:
Drivers do their best to make Uber enjoyable and safe for their riders, and we expect that riders do the same for drivers. But many riders forget that their driver is also rating them, too, and things like eating in the car, slamming the door, or trying to pile in more people than seatbelts can impact whether it’s a 5-star experience for drivers.
To give riders more visibility into how drivers are rating them, we’re making rider ratings much more accessible in the app. Now, a rider’s rating will be displayed right under their name in the app’s menu. We hope this update will remind riders that mutual respect is an important part of our Community Guidelines.
While riders could already look up their rating in the app, now they’re displaying it much more clearly. They want people with low Uber ratings to see what they’re getting, in hopes of it encouraging better behavior. This is a very interesting move, since I know a lot of people are extremely frustrated when they realize they don’t have a “perfect” rating.
Uber is changing how UberPOOL ratings are calculated
UberPOOL is Uber’s shared service, where you’ll be paired with other riders heading in the same direction, allowing you to split the cost. Uber will be doing what they can to not penalize drivers who provide these rides. Here’s how they describe the changes:
With POOL trips, there are things outside a driver’s control that impact how riders rate the experience. For instance, was a rider unhappy with the match our algorithm made or was their co-rider too chatty?
We believe that drivers’ ratings shouldn’t be affected by things outside their control, so we’re adjusting the POOL rating system to make it fairer for drivers. 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.
While this may seem like a small change, it will help us improve the driver experience as we continue to enhance the product.
The changes to Uber’s POOL ratings system makes sense, since it’s not a driver’s fault if they’re given a pickup that’s out of the way, etc. (that’s the fault of Uber/the app, and some passengers don’t seem to have realistic expectations). Meanwhile I find it interesting that they’re displaying the ratings of passengers in a more obvious ways, in hopes of making people self conscious about this.
I’ve had plenty of conversations with friends who didn’t realize they could see their rating, and when they looked, they were ticked off to find out they didn’t have a great score. What I’m not sure of is if that encourages better behavior or causes resentment.
What do you make of these changes to Uber’s ratings system?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)