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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Napa ridesharing gold fare mine is a ratings risk

UberX driver story on Napa: 

On Sunday night Napa was booming for ridesharing requests. Every time I dropped off a group of passengers, another ride request arrived at Napa's busy downtown district between 3rd and Main Street. There is no shortage of ride demand in Napa and its surrounding cities. As an UberX driver, you must very careful driving in Napa because the riders are misinformed about the rating system.

The night before Memorial Day I planned to drive in the East Bay. While driving along I-80, a ride request pulled through from Napa. I immediately accepted this ride and took Highway 12 West exit toward Napa. After driving for several minutes, this Uber rider canceled the ride.

This Uber rider took me off course from the East Bay plan, so I decided that I would redirect and drive through American Canyon to Vallejo. Nonetheless, another ride request arrived again for Napa. I accepted this ride and drove to Napa.

Driving in Napa was fun and financially beneficial. The best part of working in Napa was I didn't have to pay any bridge tolls. Even better, I could drive a shorter distance to return home after ridesharing. I never expected my riders to disrespect the great service I provided them on this night. I gave a total of 12 rides. Many riders thanked me for being available during the night to drive them in quiet Napa and Yountville.

I drove some rowdy drunk riders. These were not the type of passengers I thought would need rides. However, I respected my passengers and delivered them safely to their intended destination. After finishing up at 4am Monday morning, I discovered my 12 trips earned me a lousy 3.5 star rating. This is terrible and by far my worst night ridesharing in a year. I would sacrifice making money to protect my score. I know that if you riders carelessly give drivers low scores that deactivation is inevitable.

How in the world did my riders rate me an average of 3.5 out of 12 rides. My overall rating is 4.90 for 500+ trips. This night in Napa is my last providing ridesharing services there. Either some riders made mistakes improperly rating me or they have extremely high standards.

There was a recurring problem with the Uber GPS that placed riders a few miles off from their pickup location. I managed to call these riders and locate their pickup spot. I don't see how I should be penalized for a technical problem unrelated to my service. It really frustrates me to dedicate a holiday weekend evening and receive such low scores that dropped my overall rating 3 tenths. That is a huge drop, which could take me a few months to rebound.

I'm interested in becoming a 4.8 driver. I take pride in my 4.90 score, but this hard work went down the drain after driving in Napa on Sunday night. To resolve this matter, I won't be working in Napa giving rides. If Napa riders want rides, they can take a gamble with requesting drivers further away.

I know for a fact that a limited supply of drivers are available on any given night. I had to drive out three times to give rides between Napa, Yountville and Sonoma. Thank those 12 riders. Napa is a great area to work, but the riders living and/or visiting there are misinformed about the rating system. It can cost many drivers their jobs with such low ratings.