How does Uber keep everyone civil on their platform without significant oversight? Simple: by using a community rating system. Uber driver ratings ensure that drivers provide a quality service, while Uber’s passenger ratings ensure that drivers don’t suffer much harassment or abuse.
Just like for Uber drivers, a rider’s rating depends on how they behave and treat drivers during a ride. While they will differ from one rider to another they will guide how riders conduct themselves during trips.
Why the Uber Passenger Rating Matters
You might initially think that your rider rating doesn’t matter, nor does it affect your Uber rides. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
One of the first things an Uber driver sees is your passenger rating. The higher your rating, the more likely they are to accept the fare. The lower your rating, the more likely they are to ignore it.
This might not affect you if you live in an area with a high driver supply and low rider demand. But if you’re in the suburbs and drivers need to drive out to pick you up, or if a driver has a lot of rider requests, you may find it hard to find a ride.
Low ratings can lead to longer wait times. If your rating is low enough, you can get kicked off the platform.
Riders with a rating between 4.5 and 4.8 have nothing to worry about. However, if you go below 4.5, you start running the risk of having drivers decline your ride request.
How Ratings are Calculated
When a rider first joins Uber, they start off with a 5-star rating. This score is then reduced as the rider uses Uber. It is virtually impossible to maintain your 5-star rating for long. Every Uber driver will be different (and have a different way of assessing riders), and there will simply be things out of your control. Don’t obsess over not having 5 stars.
While both drivers and riders rate each other after every trip, Uber’s exact formula on how it computes ratings isn’t known. But what is known is it’s an average rating. Improve your ratings, and your average will go up.
(For the geeks amongst you, this Redditor has a theoretical formula on how he thinks Uber calculates rider ratings).
How to Check Uber Passenger Rating
It used to be a pain to find your rider rating. You had to go the help section, scroll all the way to the bottom and find a small “check rating” option. However, as of 2017, there have been a few UX tweaks to the Uber app, making it easier for riders to check their ratings.
From the home screen of the app, just swipe right, and your rating will be shown in your profile photo.
How to Increase Your Uber Passenger Rating
Now that you know the importance of having a high rating, you may want to know what you can do to maintain or improve your score.
We did some research and asked some drivers for a few common reasons they downvote or upvote passengers. We’ve then compiled 6 simple tips you can follow in order to improve your rating.
Tip #1: Be Friendly
Fun fact: Uber drivers are humans too. While you may be getting into a stranger’s car, treat them as you would a friend. This will make the ride a lot more pleasant for both rider and driver.
Greet them warmly. Ask them how they’re day is going. Don’t channel your negative feelings towards them. Had a bad experience with a previous Uber driver? Don’t project that onto your current driver.
If an Uber driver feels like you treated them with courtesy and respect, they’re more likely to give you a high rating.
Tip #2: Don’t Act Drunk
We’re not asking you to be a teetotaler in your Uber on a Saturday night, after all, why else do you order an Uber on a Saturday night when you can drive a car yourself?
However, what we suggest is to not act drunk.
Don’t pack the Uber with more people than the car can handle – order an Uber XL or another Uber X. Don’t act obnoxious to the driver, or to your environment. The driver is just trying to make a little bit of cash and they don’t deserve a hard time.
While the driver may tolerate your drunk behavior with stoic calm, they’ll likely retaliate by giving you a lower rating.
Tip #3: Be Ready for Pickup
Make sure you’re ready and waiting when the driver arrives at the pickup location. Every minute your driver has to wait is another minute they’re not making money. And while you get up to 10 minutes for them to wait for free, your rider rating might take a hit if you use a significant amount of this time.
If you are going to run a little late to pick up, text or call the driver to let them know they can start the ride once they arrive. It won’t cost you much. In New York, with the most expensive Uber driver rates you can find in the country, it’ll only cost you $0.40 a minute.
It’ll also incentivize you to hurry up.
Tip #4: Treat Their Car Like You Would Yours
How would you treat your friend or family member’s car? You would treat it like it’s your own car. In fact, you’ll probably treat it better than you would yours.
Just because you’re handing over a few bucks to someone, why would it suddenly become acceptable to act any differently?
- Don’t slam the doors
- Be mindful of any mud or dirt your shoes have
- Don’t eat or drink, in their car, unless you have permission
- Don’t make a mess
- Generally, treat the car with respect
If you’re going to be sick, let your driver know. The driver will either stop and let you out of the car so you can be sick, or they’ll point you to a sick bag they have ready for emergencies. Keep in mind that Uber can penalize you for getting sick over someone’s car – up to a $200 cleaning fee. What’s more, having someone throw up all over their car, is a serious inconvenience to the driver. Not only do they have to go to the trouble of getting it cleaned up, they won’t be able to pick up any fares while the car is dirty, leading to lost money.
It’s only natural that they’d react by giving you a low rating and issuing a complaint on your account.
Tip #5: Don’t Be A Backseat Driver
No-one likes to be micromanaged: don’t be a backseat driver.
Unless all drivers make the same routing mistake in your local area, maybe due to some quirk of GPS and your neighborhood, don’t give your driver turn-by-turn directions.
Don’t tell them how to drive. You wouldn’t criticize every driving decision your friend makes because you know you’ll come across as a jerk. No-one grew up wanting to be an Uber driver. They’re just a human like you, trying to make a living. And like all humans they make mistakes.
You have two options: you can be a backseat driver and get lower ratings. Or you can trust your driver, treat them like a professional, and maintain your rating.
Tip #6: Give a Tip
Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale
By far the fastest and easiest way to get your individual rating up is to tip your driver. We’re not asking you to tip your driver unconditionally, but if your suffering from a low rating and you received excellent service, leaving a tip might go a long way to improving your rating.
It Isn’t Hard
If you want to get the best service you can on Uber, you need a high passenger rating, 4.5 and up. All the tips we included boil down to one thing: be a good passenger. Treat your Uber driver, their time, and their car with respect and courtesy, and you’ll have a high rating. It’s that simple.
How have you improved your Uber passenger ratings? Tell us in the comments!