One of the most prominent features of ride hailing app Uber - besides its ongoing struggle with cities around the world regarding working conditions - is the ability for passengers to rate their drivers. Now though, an update to the app is allowing drivers to rate passengers back – and for the first time, they can offer a reason why.
Uber says possible reasons for a less-than-stellar passenger rating include waiting time, patience, number of riders, attitude, and changing the route halfway through a ride.
A one-time poor rating for a passenger will have no ill effects – but should they get reported for the same offence repeatedly, Uber will notify them of their transgression, with the hope that they'll think twice before your next ride.
Get a poor rating one too many times and you can even be blacklisted. Uber drivers are able to use their discretion when picking up passengers, and can push low-rated passengers down the queue for a ride if they so desire.
Though drivers have been able to rate their passengers since Uber first launched, this is the first time the feedback has been available for customers to actually view.
The move isn't really for passengers', though – it's a part of Uber's push to improve working quality for drivers. Other moves include changes to UberPool routes, containing fewer turns and adding a new flat rate for each passenger. Riders will also be prompted to walk to a convenient pick-up point rather than their own doorstep.
Although these changes could be seen as a step in the right direction, Uber still faces bigger criticisms – namely, safety and security issues, and a lack of true 'employee' status for drivers. Uber drivers are instead classed as self-employed and as such don't receive benefits such as sick pay.