Decoding Uber’s Rating System for Drivers and Riders

Image Attribute: Uber ride Bogota (10277864666) / Source: Wikimedia Commons

By Rahul Guhathakurta

Being one of the most frequent users of Uber app, it has always boggled my mind how we as a passenger get rated by the drivers and what kind of impact it does have on the services and prices pertaining to us. Finally, the secret has been spilled out with the recent update of Uber app which has a noticeable change for Uber riders – an addition of a rating below the user’s name in the menu of the app. When a rider tap on the menu button, he or she can see his/her profile picture, his/her name and a score that represents the average rating the rider has received from drivers they have ridden with.

How does it work for drivers?

According to Uber’s official statement, an average rating of 4.8 or higher for a driver is considered to be “outstanding” and the company itself encourages the drivers to aim for the same. But, the ratings do have other demarcations which are as follows; If a driver’s average rating is above a 4.6, the profile is considered to have a “good standing”, but there may be a few ways a driver could provide an even better experience for their riders. Drivers are encouraged to maintain at least a 4.6 average over their most recent 100 trips. If the average rating is between a 4.3 and a 4.6 after first 25 trips, drivers will need to improve their average rating to a 4.6 over the next 25 trips. If the rating over the most recent 100 trips is below a 4.6, the driver’s profile may be at risk of deactivation.

If a driver’s average rating is above a 4.6, the profile is considered to have a “good standing”, but there may be a few ways a driver could provide an even better experience for their riders. Drivers are encouraged to maintain at least a 4.6 average over their most recent 100 trips. If the average rating is between a 4.3 and a 4.6 after first 25 trips, drivers will need to improve their average rating to a 4.6 over the next 25 trips. If the rating over the most recent 100 trips is below a 4.6, the driver’s profile may be at risk of deactivation.

In the case of UberSELECT, driver’s average lifetime rating must stay above 4.7. If the rating falls below 4.7, the driver will not be able to receive UberSELECT trips until his/her ratings improve. Also, ratings on high surge trips will also not be taken into consideration when determining whether driver’s profile is in good standing.

How does it work for riders?

According to an anonymous Uber employee on Quora – In the United States, there is a huge difference when “chillaxed” West Coast cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco see average ratings for riders and drivers that are higher than aggregated ratings given by East Coast riders, who are more likely to reserve their 5-star ratings for truly exceptional experiences. This applies to both rider ratings and driver ratings.

Without divulging company information, the same anonymous Uber employee said – “The best answer I can give is to compare your rating against the ratings of your local drivers. If good drivers in your area have an Uber rating of 4.7 out of 5, this likely translates to a good passenger rating as well.”

The employee signed off by giving an advice which needs to be kept in mind that small sample sizes will throw off rider’s rating, often skewing it lower than it would be otherwise. For example, some drivers default to rating each passenger 3 stars, the same way that some riders rate their drivers 3 stars by default. If a rider had one or two drivers that do this, it will drop the average rating until the rider had taken enough trips to smooth out his/her score. Unless a rider had taken 20+ trips, the passenger rating has probably not settled to its actual value.

“Parallel Handshake”

It’s the first time Uber has brought in transparency between Riders and the Drivers through “Parallel Handshake”. In fact, the rider rating is sort of the driver’s communication tool to get its prospective passengers ratings based on later’s behavioral aspect. Low ratings usually indicate someone who is rude, a backseat driver, doesn’t tip, requests a lot of things, makes multiple stops or just isn’t cooperative with the driver. So a low rating will either make rider’s pickup request longer or rider may not be able to get a ride at the time of utmost need. Besides that, Uber could deactivate rider’s account if the rating gets too low.

Conclusion:

Let’s be very clear, the Uber ratings are generally reported as averages, and neither riders nor drivers will see the individual rating left for a particular trip. It is recommended that as a rider one should maintain and display the utmost level of decency and friendliness to reap the benefits of Uber ecosystem. Do note, tipping isn’t required. However, if a rider is looking to boost his/her rating, tipping should certainly help at the certain level. Beyond it, it’s all about how rider behaves. Period!

About the Author:

Rahul Guhathakurta, Brand Principal at AutoKrew and Founder/Publisher, IndraStra Global. He is a seasoned retail and supply chain consultant with cross-industry experience spanning 3 continents. He regularly tweets at @rahulogy.

This article was originally published at CarKrew.com

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