Uber Is Making Changes To Their Ratings System

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

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.

Fair enough!

UberPOOL

Bottom line

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)

Comments

  1. Rider ratings should not even exist. What’s the point? We all know people rated from very low to very high. Zero variance in how they experience Uber.

  2. @Jason

    Rider ratings exist so drivers can determine who they want to pick up. A low rating can impact a rider’s experience (beginning with wait time).

  3. Uber wants to be Amazon, they’re not. And while their service has been continually declining for two years, competing options keep improving. In the end they’ll own the market of low cost rides, served by the crappiest drivers and purchased by the crappiest customers – because everyone else has or will have better options (both drivers and riders).

  4. I drive for Uber to pass the time on the weekends and sometimes after work. There’s very little money in it in suburban and rural areas. They could at least help by allowing tipping through the app like Lyft does. Unfortunately, drivers have so little time to decide whether or not they want to accept a passenger that they cannot even see the rating beforehand. You CAN, however, tell them not to pair you with that rider in the future.

  5. Here’s a tip, don’t take Uber Pool from an airport (or to an airport). Driver had a Honda Civic and picked up 3 other riders. Surprise! People at the airport have luggage. Who knew? Had to cancel and wait for another car. Lesson learned.

  6. Pretty sure that drivers are also rating riders lower if they don’t tip. Why can’t Uber just add tipping to the app for a pure cashless experience? Would be nice to take a ride without all the signs from drivers begging for cash. If I wanted to pay cash for a ride and be hassled for a tip, i’d call a cab. Not saying that I don’t believe in tipping for good service, I just think it should be part of the app and not an awkward interaction between rider/driver.

  7. I’m totally okay with this ON ONE CONDITION: Riders get to see driver ratings instantaneously BEFORE either side commits. Why do drivers get to decide if they want to pick someone up, but riders can’t say, “Hmmm, this driver is at a 3.9…what’s (s)he doing wrong?” And riders can’t rely on Uber as the company clearly isn’t doing anything legitimate to force bad-but-not-criminal drivers out because all drivers are still money-makers. There are plenty of ways to anonymize everything except ratings and go from there so as to eliminate bias (racism, car type, etc.) in the process.

  8. @TravelinWilly — while reasonable in theory, my 3.0-starred friends don’t wait any longer for cars than 5.0-starred friends.

  9. Better behavior??? Those a@@holes drivers from NYC or other places, who can’t come
    to the place I very precisely described and then complain, or don’t get a tip etc
    give me one star. What behavior, what a joke Uber became… And it was so great in the beginning…

  10. Tipping point – No offence intended, but it’s people like you who are responsible for the “awkward interaction” between the passenger and driver! One of the founding principles of Uber was no tipping – no tipping allowed = no awkward interaction. That’s why you can’t do it in the app.

    Granted that’s recently changed to “there’s no need to tip but you can if you really want to”, but I can’t see it being added to the app any time soon. Its certainly something I wouldn’t want.

  11. My biggest gripe with Uber is the tipping bullshit. Either ban it outright or put it in the app. It can’t be a cashless system until this is decided. Doesn’t bother me either way, but make a damn decision Uber!

    Likewise, I don’t think drivers should down-vote passengers for not tipping. Uber says tipping isn’t necessary. Until that changes, the passenger’s doing exactly what Uber says to do.

  12. Uber topics tend to revolve around tipping. I was recently was in my uber profile on the computer to add my Amex platinum. Interestingly enough in the payment section on the desktop site there is a gratuity section. It was set at 20% and it stated “Your preferred gratuity will be applied to any future TAXI trips that you request through Uber. This will apply to TAXI fares only (not Black, SUV, or uberX) and be paid to your driver. Gratuity only applies in certain countries.” It’s not visible in the app. It was the first time I logged in on my computer so don’t know if it’s new or if it has always been there and uber just pockets the gratuity.

    My first real job was at a clam bake in Maine as a server for groups of tourists or events.
    Gratuity was usually paid to the owner of the restaurant. The owner pocketed the tips. None of us servers saw the tips.

  13. You should be able to rate your fellow uberpool passengers. I’ve had people who are extremely obnoxious.

  14. I drive part time for Uber. Giving passengers a tool to better deduce what rating a driver gave them will only encourage retaliatory ratings. And, that’s a bad thing. With this change, I’ll just give every passenger a 5 regardless of their behavior, just in order to protect my rating. Then, the passenger rating becomes useless. Drivers should be able to give honest ratings of passengers without fear of the passenger knowing how they were rated and then giving a retaliatory 1-star rating. With the current system, I generally give everyone a 5 unless they either a) make me wait 3+ minutes upon arrival, b) do something which causes my car to smell bad, or c) make a mess in my car. I don’t even ding them for not tipping since I know Uber discourages riders from tipping. I also generally won’t accept rides from people with below a 4.7. But, now I’ll just give everyone a 5 in order to protect my own rating.

  15. I am an Uber/Lyft driver (and rider), let me explain how I view ratings.

    The rating system is ok but it’s not perfectly fair. I have used Uber/Lyft many times for rides when I’m traveling. Because I’m a driver and I work in a tipping position, I always tip. Yet, my rating is lower than a 4.8, go figure. It was 5.0 for a long while but I guess someone didn’t like me.

    IF a rider has a very low rating, there’s probably a reason for it. So yes, some drivers will skip your ride. That’s how it goes from a 4 min wait (when you request) to a 10 min wait (after it has found you a driver). The closer driver skipped you. The only problem with this is that we don’t have enough info, like how many ratings have gone into your low rating. Have you taken 100+ rides or just 3?

    For the most part I will rate all my riders 5-Stars. But after almost 1,000 rides, I go lower for various reasons….. Like:

    I drive 15 mins to pick you up….and you’re only going down the road 5 blocks. Instant 1 star, money losing ride.

    You’re not ready within a few mins of when I arrive and I don’t receive a message or call from you.

    If for some reason you have a bad attitude towards me or my service. This is life, I’m sure many riders just simply didn’t like me and rated me low. Not too much that can be done.

    Bringing junk into my car.

    Spill something, leave crumbs or trash.

    I don’t rate you lower if you don’t tip me but some people understand time is money and they might tip me really well for waiting 5+ mins for them, which becomes a 5-star rating if for that reason I would have rated you lower.

    Some people use the service but don’t appreciate it. I can not believe how many people are complaining about tipping your Uber driver but automatically tip the yellow cab driver.

    If you don’t like to tip, then don’t tip, but don’t complain about your driver rating you lower based on not tipping. It’s very simple, use a different method of transportation.

    I drive in the Reno/Tahoe area (RNO). I would like to meet some of you, let me know if you’re ever in town.

  16. The whole business of passenger ratings is pointless. If it ever low a passenger could create another account. I have multiple and I guarantee I’m not the only one on this blog that does.

    My real account is rated lower the I thought it would be, but than again it doesn’t really make a difference for me. Never understood why people what the driver rates them. Your paying for a service, I’ve never waited longer than anyone else if seen.

    I tip only occasionally. Don’t talk to the drivers, and at times have told them I’d rather not have a conversation with them if that didn’t take the hit win my one word answers. So that could be a reason it’s low.

    Really wish the whole uber system was overhauled. Ratings should be was the ride “good” or “bad”. Too many bads and he driver is dropped.

  17. Long time driver and rider. Passenger ratings are a heads up to the driver about the person who wants a ride in their car. It basically comes down to this:

    4.9 to 5 – Tippers or sincerely friendly and respectful riders
    4.8 to 4.9 – friendly/respectful riders but generally don’t tip
    4.7 to 4.8 – riders with no personality, but at least not rude
    4.6 to 4.7 – riders who can at times be rude or disrespectful to the driver
    under 4.6 – riders who are often rude and disrespectful

    I have to seriously be wanting to make money to accept a request from a passenger under 4.7. And when I do take them I won’t wait more than 5 minutes for them to show up before cancelling as a no-show. They haven’t shown they are deserving of above and beyond service, like 4.8s and higher.

    Still, about 80% of riders are above 4.8.

  18. I figured out, the rating system is grossly biased against the driver. One rider who dishonestly rate you 1 star, would effetctively wipe out 6-7 five star equivalent on your average rating from other riders. And when you fall below the minimum, you are in the danger zone.

  19. And also riders don’t have to rate asap. Sometimes when they open their apps, which is not the true feelings that they have, at the moment that they got off from the car.

  20. It is simple for me.. I am always respectful to drivers and when I use UberPOOL I understand that I signed up for other passengers to be picked up.. thats why I use UberX in morning while going to work and UberPool while returning home. What I don’t like is the face that few UberPool drivers give 1 star rating just because I have a rating above 4.9 being jealous that I work for software industry and belong to a certain race. My counteraction is to get down the ride wait for few minutes and check the rating. If the rating does not change or go up..the driver gets a 5 star. If my rating drops by a 0.01 then the driver gets 1 star rating. Tit for tat. I believe all riders should start doing this and use UberX along with the pool to balance it out and not just save money all the time.

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