In a recent development, Uber the cab-service giant has recently updated their community guidelines, which states that riders who fall short of a minimum average rating might have their account deactivated.
This sudden development came in the wake of various incidents where Uber drivers have been harassed by their riders. Actions such as cussing, drinking alcohol, damaging the driver’s car, and not being in proper decorum now could ban you from hailing a cab.
Previously, the fate of a driver was in the hands of their respective riders, where riders rate their drivers on their service. Drivers who fail to maintain a certain rating average had the risk of their driver-Uber partnership being canceled. Now that risk extends to riders as well.
This new update was rolled out to passengers and drivers alike in Australia and New Zealand and the new changes will be initiated from September 19. This step was taken to encourage an environment of mutual respect and understanding for both the driver and the rider.
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In a recent interview, Susan Anderson, Uber General Manager ANZ, stated that over a period of time, if the ratings of a particular rider don’t show improvements, emails and notifications would be sent to the concerned rider to remind them of their low ratings and further reminders to boost up their Uber ratings. Failing to do that would result in a 6 months ban from the Uber platform.
Ideally, we don’t want people to lose access, we just want an environment of mutual respect. By trialing these warnings to try and change people’s behavior, we have found that people do improve their rating when prompted. – Susan Anderson, Uber General Manager ANZ
She reveals that the new system has been initiated to help the drivers in partnership with Uber to have a safe and healthy working environment. Reports have been pouring in prior to this update about stressed-out drivers being annoyed and harassed by the riders while on the trip.
Drivers have reported a number of common incidents to us, for example when riders asked to be picked up in an unsafe location (such as a no-stopping zone in a CBD), it makes their jobs very stressful. – Susan Anderson, Uber General Manager ANZ
“Conversation is another big one. We are all busy and sometimes we just want to sit there and check our phones. But, you don’t have to talk to the driver all the way through the trip, just saying hello and goodbye makes a big difference.
It’s about treating people with common courtesy.
Driver partners have welcomed this new policy update. The average Uber ratings vary from city to city; for drivers in the states, the minimum requirement is 4.6, while for Australia it’s 4.0.
Failing to cross the base 4.0 average, the riders would be reminded and alerted on their low Uber ratings. Upon account deactivation, Riders can reactivate their account after taking short educational exercise where common courtesy and civic etiquettes are focused on.
With drivers sharing their cars, personal space and time with unknown riders, it is only right that the drivers get a proper and healthy working environment.
Just remember, the drivers are providing their own time and their own car. So it’s important to think about them when you’re booking your ride. – Ms. Anderson
Uber customers and users will be notified about the policy change soon and the updates will be phased into effect throughout the next two weeks.