In our culture, we are used to the idea that the “customer is always right.” We write reviews for movies we’ve seen, rate restaurants we’ve been to, and leave comments on the quality of products we buy on Amazon. Because of that, it seems only natural that we leave ratings on our Uber drivers. But Uber turns the world on its head by allowing Uber drivers to rate their passengers as well. For inquiring minds, we break down this surprising feature and tell you how to raise your Uber passenger rating.
What Is an Uber Passenger Rating?
When you get out of your Uber at the end of the ride, the app will prompt you to give the driver a rating from one to five stars, one being a particularly bad driver and five being an exceptionally good driver. Drivers receive the same prompt when you leave the car. In fact, they cannot accept another ride until they have rated you as a passenger. Your personal Uber passenger rating is the average of the ratings you’ve received from all the drivers you’ve ridden with before.
Specific criteria does not inform individual passenger ratings. Like with driver ratings, this depends completely on the opinion of the person giving the rating. But some things that may go into a rating are how prompt you were as a rider, your behavior in the car, and the kind of tip you gave. In other words, the more enjoyable you are to have in the car, the higher your score will be. But more on that a little later.
Why Does Uber Have a Passenger Rating System?
Anyone who has worked in customer service, retail, or food service knows that customers aren’t always perfectly considerate to those who serve them. That’s one thing when you’re in a public place like a store or restaurant, but another when you are inside the confines of a car. The rating system was created to check driver behavior for customers’ sake, but also to protect drivers from bad customers.
How Does My Uber Passenger Rating Impact Me?
Before a driver accepts a ride, they can view the passenger’s name and their rating the same way passengers can see the rating of drivers before they get in the car. Uber drivers are often quicker to pick up a passenger with a good rating, but they may be less inclined to pick up passengers with lower ratings. This isn’t to say you will not get picked up if you have less than a five-star rating, but it may take you a little longer. Dip too low, though, and you might get booted off the app entirely.
Improving Your Rating
With this in mind, improving your rating seems pretty valuable for those who use Uber frequently, but daunting given the lack of concrete criteria. Don’t despair. If an Uber driver can raise their score through conscientious effort, you can as a passenger.
The fact that Uber drivers are human beings with thoughts and feelings should not come as a surprise to anyone, but sadly a great many passengers need to be reminded of this fact. Because of this, offering simple respect is one of the easiest ways to get on a driver’s good side. Respect their time by arriving at the curbside promptly when a driver arrives. Or better yet, be waiting there already so that you can get in the car immediately. Also, try not to bring along unexpected guests or add stops along the way that weren’t part of your initial plan.
Courtesy also extends to your manners and attitude when you get into the car. Whether you chat during your ride or not, you should at least greet the driver when you get in the car and thank them when you leave. And if you do decide to chat on the way, try not to ask overly personal or uncomfortable questions.
Respect the Car
Uber drivers use their own cars or rent TLC vehicles to pick you up. Treating the car disrespectfully is the quickest way to get a lower rating. If you have food with you—snacks, carry-out, leftovers, etc.—don’t eat it in the car. Leaving crumbs and wrappers all over the seat will not endear you to your driver. Even if you are a relatively neat eater, you should at least ask before you take out your food. Also, as simple as it may seem, try not to slam the door when you get out of the car. Your driver will appreciate showing that extra courtesy to their source of income.
Keep Your Driving Comments to Yourself
Practice makes perfect, as they say, and few people get more practice driving than ride-share drivers. Still, no driver is perfect, and even good ones make mistakes. As a passenger, you may have some things to say about your driver’s choices behind the wheel. But even though you may have better ideas about the route or pointers on how to take turns better, your driver may find such comments insulting, to say the least. If your driver’s driving isn’t putting you in immediate peril, try to keep your comments to yourself, at least until you get out of the car. You can always put it into their rating later without it affecting yours.
For most drivers, Uber is just a side hustle. For others, it’s a primary source of income. You will want to be mindful of this fact when you are leaving a tip. It’s easy to offer a tip in the app, but drivers especially appreciate it when you tip in cash. Unlike other kinds of tips, cash tips aren’t taxed, so every cent you pay goes directly into your driver’s pocket.
Respect is a two-way street, and in ride-share services like Uber, the system is set up to encourage this idea. When you remember to respect your driver and their property, your rating will naturally reflect your behavior. And ultimately, when you are a good passenger, you don’t only raise your uber passenger rating; you ensure that both you and your drivers always have a five-star experience.