Uber is making a couple of changes to its rating system, which should balance out the means to evaluate rides with a bit more fairness towards drivers. The new rating changes include greater specificity in uberPOOL evaluations, and a way for riders to more quickly, easily and consistently see their own cumulative 5-star rating, which Uber’s hoping will act as a reminder that bad behavior has consequences.
The Uber ratings system has previously made it possible for riders to check their own ratings, but it basically required a tutorial and some digging to find it. Now, the rating will be displayed right under their name in the menu that pops out from the left-hand side of the screen when you go into ‘Settings,’ meaning it’s just one step away from the main interface at all times. It’s also right there under your profile pic and name, which makes it pretty hard to ignore.
In a blog post explaining the change, Uber Product Managers Mike Truong and Ronak Trivedi note that this is designed to hopefully “remind riders that mutual respect is an important part of our Community Guidelines.” The rating display might indeed curb some of the more unfortunate tendencies of riders behaving badly, and it’s a significant step towards making the ratings system more equitable on both sides of Uber’s marketplace. Drivers are still much more beholden to ratings and chasing positive ones than are riders, because of the nature of the business, but this still seems like an overall positive step.
The other change to ratings is specific to uberPOOL, and will offer up a number of options to help riders explain their star rating after they assign one. These include options like “co-rider behavior,” and “too many pickups,” which will tell Uber that the problem here wasn’t the driver themselves, but something else about the POOL experience. When riders specify these issues, the rating won’t be reflected in the driver’s personal score (and the app will tell you as much right within the UI). It’s a simple change, but a big one in terms of helping Uber fairly assign responsibility for ride satisfaction.
Uber’s Rating system is one of those areas of the company that feels like it has been mostly static in important ways where it could use changes, and Uber’s definitely doing more to try to repair existing relationships with drivers and build new ones. This will also probably be the first time a significant portion of Uber’s rider base finds out their own rating, so expect a lot of those conversations.