Uber passengers who receive low ratings from their drivers will be subject to banishment from the service, according to a Tuesday announcement by the ride-hailing company.
Under the new community guidelines, riders with “significantly below average” ratings may lose access to the app.
Riders may lose access to Uber if they develop a significantly below average rating. Riders will receive tips on how to improve their ratings, such as encouraging polite behavior, avoiding leaving trash in the vehicle and avoiding requests for drivers to exceed the speed limit. Riders will have several opportunities to improve their rating prior to losing access to the Uber apps.
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. –Uber
There is no word on whether riders will be able to earn their way back into Uber’s good graces, or if the bans will be permanent. The company did not disclose what ratings threshold would be used to begin taking action against passengers – who can see their rating underneath their name by opening the main menu while in the app.
Just as riders can rate drivers, drivers can rate passengers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. A passenger’s rating is the average of the ratings they have received from drivers. According to Uber, very few people have a perfect rating of 5.
The app provides riders with tips on how to earn a high rating from drivers, including: arriving on time, extending courtesy and a positive attitude to drivers, and buckling their seat belt. –Washington Post
Uber drivers, meanwhile, have long been required to maintain a minimum rating to continue driving for the service. Those with a rating below 4.6 may lose their privileges according to Business Insider.
Uber also said that it will launch a campaign to educate both riders and drivers about their updated community standards. Those in the US and Canada will be the first to be greeted by an in-app prompt with a summary of the new guidelines, and will be asked to confirm them.
“By educating customers and partners about the Community Guidelines, asking them to confirm they understand, and holding everyone accountable, we can help Uber be welcoming and safe for all,” wrote Uber’s head of safety brand and initiatives, Kate Parker.
According to Gizmodo, the following behaviors could get you banned from Uber before the new guidelines “ranked from least sexy to most sexy”:
5. Damaging the property of your driver or another passenger.
Sure, smashing a car window has a certain raw, terrifying sexiness to it, but “intentionally spilling food or drink, smoking, or vomiting due to excessive alcohol consumption” doesn’t quite get me where I need to be.
4. Using inappropriate and abusive language or making inappropriate gestures
You’re not allowed to “ask overly personal questions” or make verbal threats or “comments or gestures that are aggressive, sexual, discriminatory, or disrespectful.” Harassment—both sexual and otherwise—is not sexy.
3. Making unwanted contact with the driver or a fellow passenger once the trip is over.
Uber prohibits “texting, calling, or visiting someone in person after a ride has been completed.” Stalking isn’t sexy—yet I couldn’t help but feel a tingle of *something* while watching great psychosexual thrillers like Single White Female and Basic Instinct.
2. Breaking the law while using Uber
There’s an inherent sexiness to breaking the law—why does doing something wrong feel so right? Who doesn’t lust after a bad boy or girl every once in a while? Uber warns specifically against having open containers of alcohol, “traveling in large groups that exceed the number of seat belts in the car,” using the car for human and/or drug trafficking, and “asking drivers to break local traffic laws such as speed limits.” Driving 100 MPH is sexy, albeit dangerous. Human trafficking is not sexy. Drug trafficking could be sexy, depending on the circumstances. Being smushed in the back of an Uber with six friends is either incredibly erotic or an absolute nightmare.