Have you made a driver pull over one too many times so you could boot? Or worse, actually puked in the backseat of an Uber? Do you make drivers wait a lot and then get really rude about the finer points of their driving technique? You may just find yourself removed from the privilege of using Uber in the near future.
Uber announced today that much as it does with poorly rated drivers, it will soon start punishing ne'er-do-well riders by blocking them from using the app. In a blog post, safety brand head Kate Parker writes, "Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability. Drivers have long been expected to meet a minimum rating threshold which can vary city to city. While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it’s the right thing to do."
So what will get a user deactivated, Black Mirror-style, on the Uber app? Parker says that deactivation will come following warnings, and will only happen when a user has "a significantly below average rating." There's no further explanation about what the rating threshold will be, so let's just say if you're already toe-ing the line, you probably know.
A company spokesperson suggests to CNN that the reason they're not getting specific is because, like for drivers, the minimum ratings threshold will vary by city.
Also, Uber just put out this video talking about how we all need to follow guidelines to make Uber safe "for everyone."
The timing of the announcement is curious in that Uber is expected to release a new safety transparency report sometime soon, which will make public internal data the company has on the number of sexual assault claims that have been made against drivers. The company seems to be getting ahead of the story to say that riders are frequently at fault in safety incidents as well.
And this new policy change comes after an early April tragedy in South Carolina that made national headlines in which a young woman was killed when she mistook a strange man's car for her Uber.
Uber says that it will be launching "a campaign to educate the entire Uber community about [Uber's community] guidelines." And when a rider's rating is slipping, they will be given tips for improving it — essentially words of advice for not being a dick, like how to sound more polite and not leave trash behind when you exit an Uber car.
Want to know what your rating is? It isn't hidden deep in the app the way it used to be — it shows up right beneath your profile pic in the app's main menu, upper left corner.
In related news, as Engadget reports, Uber appears to be testing a new feature that will let you "favorite" a driver, so that you might be able to ride with them again in the future.
It remains to be seen if competitor Lyft is planning any similar initiative. But rest assured the Bay Area probably has a startup in its future solely devoted to improving peoples' ratings on apps. And/or maybe we need a new rideshare competitor with lower standards where all deactivated drivers and riders can go and make each other miserable.