Your rating could get you kicked off Uber
IF you get on the wrong side of your Uber driver in the near future, you could find yourself being slapped with a six-month ban.
That's because the tech transportation giant is introducing a new system which will kick in when riders hit a rating for four-out-of-five stars or lower.
Once you hit this rating, presumably after you've done something intensely annoying and you've been rated accordingly by your driver, you will be sent an "friendly" email to remind you how you are expected to behave.
Susan Anderson, Uber General Manager ANZ, told news.com.au that, if you're rating does not improve, you will be sent two or three further emails to give you a chance to clean up your act.
However, if you fail to do this. You could find yourself banned from Uber for six months.
"We don't people to lose access we just want an environment of mutual respect," Ms Anderson said.
"By trialling these warnings to try and change people's behaviour, we have found that people do try and they improve their rating."
A four-star rating may not make you sound like a terrible passenger, however Ms Anderson says the vast majority of Australians on Uber have a far better rating.
She said nine-out-of-ten Aussie Uber users have a rating of 4.5 or higher, meaning the new changes will only affect a very small minority of people.
"The vast majority of riders will not be affected by this," added Ms Anderson, who incidentally has a rating of 4.82.
She said the new system has been introduced because stressed out drivers have revealed a raft of things which annoy them in multiple surveys.
"Drivers have reported a number of common incidents to us, for example when riders asked to be picked up in an unsafe location (such as a no-stopping zone in a CBD), it makes their jobs very stressful," she said.
"Conversation is another big one. We are all busy and sometimes we just want to sit there and check our phones. But, you don't have to talk to the driver all the way through the trip, just saying hello and goodbye makes a big difference.
"It's about treating people with common courtesy."
A number of Uber drivers told news.com.au they are scared to pick customers up from certain locations because they are requesting pick-ups in no-stopping zones.
One experienced Uber driver told news.com.au he has had a fiery argument with customers over the issue and he has even had to change his hours in a desperate attempt to avoid being caught by traffic wardens.
"I'm so sick of it (customers requesting pick-ups in no-stopping zones). It happens every day and often several times a day too," said Sydney driver Chris Berrett.
"It makes you worried when you get a job in the CBD especially, because you're always thinking about where you can stop and if a warden is watching."
Another issue, which Uber found enrages its drivers is unplanned stops at different locations on the way to you destination - also known by some as the late-night Maccas stop.
Ms Anderson said the changes are just about instilling respect between the driver and rider.
"Just remember, the drivers are providing their own time and their own car," she said. "So it's important to think about them when you're booking your ride."
Uber users will be notified of the changes tomorrow and they will be phased in throughout the next two weeks.
UBER'S TIPS TO AVOID BEING BANNED
It may sound simple, but taking a minute to say hello to your Uber driver and ask them how their day has been can make a massive difference to their experience, and to your rating. There's no need to get stuck in a deep and meaningful conversation, but it doesn't hurt to acknowledge the driver.
DON'T BE A SLAMMER
When you're in a hurry racing between meetings or running late to a social event, it can be easy to forget the little things, like shutting the car door firmly behind you, without blowing it off its hinges. Some Uber drivers complete thousands of trips a year, and the last thing they need is to hear the back door slam every time someone gets in or out of the car. Say thanks, shut the door firmly behind you, and be on your merry way.
KEEP YOUR RUBBISH TO YOURSELF
Nothing gets an Uber driver down like their car being littered with your morning coffee cup, or worse, your 3am kebab. You technically shouldn't be eating or drinking during your Uber ride anyway, but if you must, be sure to take your stinky rubbish with you, or your rating may well take a sad dive south.
LOCATION IS EVERYTHING
Some would call this common sense, but you'd be shocked to know the number of riders who drop their pin in the wrong location, leaving their driver waiting on a busy road in peak hour traffic. Take a second to make sure you drop your pin correctly, or enter your pick-up address, to save everyone a headache.
If you're running a bit late, let your driver know through the in-app messaging feature. When you do get into the vehicle, try to avoid changing your destination multiple times.
DON'T BE A BACK SEAT DRIVER
Once you've ordered an UberX, you can edit your final destination any time before the trip ends. Thanks to Uber's multiple destinations feature, you can also add up to two extra stops along the way. But remember, no one likes a back seat driver - telling your Uber driver to speed up, change lanes last minute or stop in illegal stopping zones is asking for trouble.