(Pocket-lint) - Next time you're riding in an Uber cab, make sure you're nice and courteous and tip accordingly. Or else an Uber driver may never pick you up again.
That's right. Uber, the mobile app and site that connects passengers with screened drivers of vehicles for hire, considers feedback a two-way street. While the app allows you to view driver ratings, compare fares for different verified vehicles, set pick-up locations, check the progress of your car, and then rate your Uber driver based on the quality of your overall ride experience, it also lets your Uber driver assign a trip score to you (the passenger).
How do Uber passenger ratings work?
Drivers can see everything, while you can only see some things.
Uber has said that rides should also be a good experience for drivers - and that drivers "shouldn’t have to deal with aggressive, violent, or disrespectful riders". That's the reason why Uber drivers can rate passengers for individual trips. Most Uber passengers don't know this however; they can only see driver ratings through their version of the Uber app and site. There's no spot to see passenger ratings, because Uber only shows that information to drivers.
An Uber user is only able to see a driver’s rating after the driver has accepted a ride request. Ratings are scored on a one- to five-star scale and appear next to a driver's photo, car type, and license plate number at the bottom of the app. Similarly, on a driver's version of Uber, he or she can view your first name, one- to five-star rating, and individual trip scores.
Dom Anthony Narducci, an engineer at Uber, admitted in a Quora response online that Uber doesn't expose passenger ratings to passengers - especially scores for individual trips - due to security reasons: "I know our users are all amazing and would never do such a thing but its not infeasible to see a customer harass a driver they’ve had previously for giving them a bad rating," he wrote.
(Note: Some Uber drivers have said they can only see passenger ratings from the previous day, week, or month and for all time, but passengers are still scored for each individual trip.)
If you're wondering why a passenger would ever harass an Uber driver for receiving a bad score, it's because scores affect the total passenger rating and whether the passenger will ever be able to use Uber again. Passengers have been given a" temporary cooling off period or barred" for inappropriate or unsafe behavior, according to Uber.
A reporter for New York Magazine even claimed recently that a driver once said he wouldn't pick up passengers if they have a rating total of 4 or less. That means, if you're having a bad day and aren't especially polite to your Uber driver, you could potentially have trouble booking an Uber car in the future. After all, Uber drivers have to accept your ride request. And they have the right to take a pass - just like you do.
But don't have an anxiety attack just yet over how bad or good your rating might be, because there are ways to find out your rating today. Read on to learn more.
How do I find my Uber passenger rating?
Currently, there are only two ways to find your passenger rating. And, potentially, a third.
Uber doesn't make it easy though. You can't just open the Uber app or client site and look at your profile. You have to do some leg work.
1. Ask a driver.
No, really. Uber actually recommended that you first and foremost ask a driver. It works too. That New York Magazine reporter we mentioned earlier recently found out he had a 4.8 rating for all his ride scores. So, if you're curious about your rating, request a ride on Uber and then ask away.
2. Contact customer support.
Uber said it would provide ratings to passengers if they simply contact customer support. You can do that by filling out Uber's Submit a Request form online. Simples.
3. Wait for a newer version of the Uber app.
Uber admitted it is "exploring ways" to show passenger ratings in the next generation of the app. Narducci also said Uber is looking into exposing individual trip scores to passengers on the client site so they can have the same real-time feedback as drivers do. But who knows when or if that feature will arrive.
Why can drivers see their ratings but passengers can't see their ratings?
Uber doesn't want passengers harassing drivers for good scores, as we mentioned earlier. On the other hand, Narducci said drivers also aren't allowed to confront passengers about previous scores. Drivers will be promptly removed from the Uber system if they ever do.
Uber allows drivers to see passenger ratings only as a means of improving or correcting the service and experience they offer for the next passenger - and passengers can view overall driver ratings in order to decide whether they want to request a ride from that specific driver.
That said, unliked Uber drivers, passengers essentially have no real need or justification to see their own rating/individual trip scores...or at least that's what Uber claims.
What affects my passenger rating?
It's not clear.
A driver can potentially give you whatever score they desire after dropping you off at your location, and you'll never know how that score affected your passenger rating unless you ask a driver or call Uber. But don't ask that driver right then and there. Uber doesn't want you to pester drivers for a good score.
Also, don't cancel rides. You're allowed to cancel an Uber ride at least one time, but it appears excessive ride cancellations will allow drivers to give you unsatisfactory scores. Your best bet is to get into every Uber car you requested and be extra polite for the entire ride.
It's annoying but not too hard to do, right?