In light of the recent revelation of Uber’s hack cover-up, its riders and drivers might want to give the company a big fat zero rating right now.
But when it comes to riders rating drivers, Uber announced on Tuesday it’s making some changes to its five-star system in a bid to ensure they give fairer assessments of their driver at the end of a journey. That’s hugely important when you consider that a driver can lose their chance to work for the ridesharing giant if their rating slips too low.
Uber’s Aaron Schildkrout said the changes will “make ratings clear and balanced on every trip, and that give drivers more protections and feedback when they need it.”
One notable change is that if a rider wants to give a driver four stars or less, they’ll have to add an explanation via the app first. The idea is that it’ll make the rider consider why they’re giving that particular rating, and allow drivers to find out how they can improve.
Also, if the reason for a sub-five-star rating relates to something like the route taken or heavy traffic, Uber won’t count it toward the driver’s average.
The changes are coming into effect soon, according to Mashable. Uber already applies some of these rules to POOL trips where people can share rides with strangers taking the same route.
Other efforts to discount bad ratings focus on riders’ rating behavior. So if an Uber passenger has a habit of giving drivers a bad rating, the company is more likely to prevent them from affecting the driver’s overall rating.
To help riders better understand how the platform makes sense of ratings and therefore how they might impact a driver’s overall rating, Uber is also introducing an in-app scale that explains precisely what each star means.
This latest change is the second effort this year by Uber to improve its rating system. In April, the company made rider ratings more visible within the app so that it might make them consider their behavior more during subsequent rides. That’s something that might help Larry …
Other efforts by Uber HQ to keep drivers onside include the introduction of an in-app tipping feature, and the ability for passengers to send a compliment about a ride direct to the driver. Earlier this year, research suggested Uber was having trouble holding onto its drivers, which could be for any number of reasons, though anger among some drivers over Uber’s changing compensation policies could be a significant factor.