It’s typically only used as a bragging tool between friends, but it may now be worth paying more attention to your Uber rating if you want to continue using the service. A few months ago, it was the potential for Uber to detect whether app-users were drunk or high which was perturbing users, now it’s the pressure to maintain a high score or lose access to the popular ride-hailing app.
The new policy will take effect from the 19th of September this year. For now, it will only target the 2.8 million Uber users in Australia and New Zealand. Users who receive consistently bad reviews from their drivers and accrue a rating of four stars or lower will be given a six month ban. The policy is to encourage better behaviour from passengers, and has successfully been implemented in Brazil and the US earlier this year.
Uber riders who were proud of their 4-point-something score may be disappointed to find out that an estimated 90% of users have a score of at least 4.5. However, there are still a huge number of users in Australia and New Zealand who will face the ban if their ratings don’t improve over the coming weeks. A spokeswoman from Uber estimated that a few thousand across the two countries would find their access to the app denied from September 19th.
Warnings will be issued to passengers who are in the 4 star-danger-zone before the ban comes into effect to give them a chance to improve their ratings. But how exactly does a passenger guarantee a good score from their driver?
Uber’s New Zealand country manager, Amanda Gilmore, had some advice for those striving for the 5-star rating. Top tips include making sure the pickup pin is in the correct location, avoiding bringing any kind of food or drink into the car, being on time, and always wearing a seatbelt.
Uber also place emphasis on the importance of politeness from riders. Guidelines will create a more comprehensive idea of what makes a good passenger, and aim at cultivating a better rider-driver relationship.
Uber was granted a short-term operating license for London in June this year, after TFL threatened to remove the company’s license over safety concerns. Uber have not yet commented on whether the new four-star ban will be coming to the UK any time soon. However, those wary of their low score may be making very polite, food-and-drink-free Uber journeys just in case.