Uber/Lyft Drivers: How Do You Rate Your Riders?

We’ve given a lot of thought to how riders rate us, and whether the rating system is fair or not. But we don’t often discuss our own system for rating our riders. How do you rate your passengers?

Mark at Uber Hints made a solid Youtube video that covers his own ratings system, as well as an analysis of how other drivers rate passengers. Take a look at this video, then scroll to the video transcript if you prefer to read.

How do you rate your rider? Let’s talk about it.  Before we start, if you are not subscribed to this channel, please go ahead and subscribe, and ring that bell icon so you know when I post new videos.

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Ratings. There’s always a discussion about how we rate, what’s the purpose of rating, why is rating so arbitrary? So I wanted to look at how we rate our riders. I’m going to start by telling you how I rate, and then I’d like to open that up and see what influences your decisions on how you rate your passengers.

What’s the purpose of rating riders?

The first thing I guess I want to look at is why do we rate? What’s the purpose of rating a rider? And there are a lot of reasons to rate a rider.

Number one might just be retribution. “They were jerks. They acted so poorly, I just want to get back at them.” I think it’s a poor reason for rating, but it might be a reason.

Another reason might be, “Well, you know what? I’ve got to give these people some feedback. They have to know that if they are going to continue to ride with Uber or Lyft in the future that they have to change their conduct, and the only way I can really do this is through the rating system.” We might also be sending a message or giving a heads-up to future drivers.

Another reason we may rate is to avoid getting paired with that rider again.

There are a lot of reasons why we might rate a rider in the first place. What’s your reason?

I try to provide real feedback to riders

I think my reason more than anything is to provide that feedback to the individual. I don’t really think in terms of down the road when they’re getting other rides. The feedback is for that individual, not for anybody else. It’s not for my sense of payback or anything like that, but I would sure be interested in hearing why you use the rating system.

How I rate my passengers

In my mind, everybody starts out as a five. I very, very rarely rate anybody less than a five. I’m pretty flexible. My approach to driving for Uber is that this is a customer service job, and I feel that I’m the one that should be going the extra mile, not them.

That’s not saying that I’m going to open myself up for abuse, or that I’m going to be the punching bag. I’m just saying that I do understand I’m the one that’s being paid, and so I’m the one that has to take the initial step and provide this service.

In-person feedback can do more good than a low rating

Now, yesterday I was talking about someone that requested a ride, I got there, they didn’t give me good directions, there was an arm blocking the road, they didn’t really tell me how to get through that arm. A lot of you might have said, “Now, I am rating this person a four rather than a five.” Well, I told them face-to-face, “Hey, here’s what you should do. Here is your mistake, here’s what was awkward and clumsy, and made me drive around a little bit, waste a little bit of my time.”

Since I told the person face-to-face, and since the purpose of my rating is to give feedback directly to that individual, I didn’t think it was necessary, so I didn’t rate that person low. He still got a five. He was a nice person, he was friendly, he didn’t act like a jerk in the car, you know? So there was one mild thing that maybe as a rider he wasn’t even that aware of, or wasn’t in the forefront of his mind, so he had a five.

When should you give a passenger one star?

Now let’s look at the exact opposite end of the spectrum, why would I give someone a one star? I think someone gets a one star if they do something that is really egregious. If they do something that I’m on the phone with Uber Support for a long time, they do something that makes me end the ride, kick them out of the car, completely inappropriate, they’re yelling, screaming, they’re using vulgarities.

Swear words are part of some people’s vocabulary, and even though someone might be offended by it, I wouldn’t rate them one star just for that. But if it was something that was abuse, physical, verbal abuse, they’re probably getting the one. You know, if I had to call police of course, anything like that.

What makes for a 2, 3, or 4 star passenger?

What we’re looking at now, what about the area in-between? What’s two, three, and four? That’s a tough one. Now, I have heard a lot of people say, “Well, if you don’t want to get paired with that individual, rate them a three.”

I don’t know where this comes from, because I have scoured through Uber’s documents and terms of service, I don’t see anywhere where it’s spelled out, “If you rate somebody a three or a two, you won’t get paired with them.” Now I have, not personally, but I have known of people that call Uber Support, and Uber Support will tell them, “Well, in the future you won’t get paired with that individual.”

Now, it makes sense to me that a lower-level rider might not get paired, but I’ve never seen it spelled out, so if anyone knows exactly where it states that specifically, I would like you to leave that down below, because it would sure help me, and I’m sure it would help a lot of you too. I don’t know if this is an urban legend, if it is an old wives’ tale, but I’d sure like to find out. So if that is your reason for rating someone a three, it’s a reason, but I don’t know if that’s the way the system works.

All right, so a four. Why would I rate someone a four? I think I would rate someone a four if they were doing things that were annoying, irritating, unnecessary. You talk about people with bad body odor and that sort of thing. I don’t know. You know, is it up to me to determine someone else’s personal hygiene?

I sure don’t want them in my car, so if I knew rating a three would get them booted I would, but do I rate them a four for poor hygiene. I don’t really know what a four would be. You know, someone that is just being annoying and irritating, they’re touching things, they keep bringing up subjects, politics, religion, racism, that I think are unnecessary and I ask them to stop and they continue. Those might be some things that I would rate someone a four with.

Three and two stars are kind of a gray area for me. As I already said, if it was about a pairing thing, okay, three makes sense, other than that, I’m not sure. There is so much room to allow all of that sliding scale, one through five. That’s the way I look at it, but I would like to hear what you have to say, because the rating system is really screwball. With Uber Eats, it’s simple, thumbs up and down. “Was this good, was it bad? What were the issues?”

As always, I encourage you to leave your comments down below because this is going to be a really interesting topic. Please like and share the videos, if you’re not subscribed, please subscribe. Thanks for watching, everybody. I’m Mark with Uber Hints.

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