Uber riders with a habit of being rude to drivers or otherwise acting like a jerk could soon find themselves barred from using the service. Starting Wednesday, riders with a rating from drivers that's "significantly below average" could lose their ability to ride, the ride-sharing company said.
"Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability," Kate Parker, head of safety brand and initiatives at Uber, said in a blog post explaining the new policy. "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.
Low-rated customers won't get the boot immediately. First, Uber will provide tips on how to improve their ratings, such as by being polite, not leaving trash in the vehicle and refraining from asking drivers to exceed speed limits. Uber says riders will get several chances to improve their rating before losing access to the app.
The policy stems from an effort by Uber to simplify its behavior guidelines, which came out in 2016 and which include treating people with respect and ensuring safety. To that end, starting with the U.S. and Canada, riders will see a summary of the guidelines and be asked to confirm that they understand them.
"These standards are only effective if everyone on our platform understands them," Porter wrote. "That's why we're launching a campaign to educate the entire Uber community about these guidelines. From in app messages and email to signs in Greenlight Hubs, we'll get the word out to customers and partners."