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Monday, June 09, 2014

A Driver's ratings dropped the past month

Ridesharing driver concern over their driver ratings: 

At one time I took pride knowing my 4.9 drive rating would keep me focused driving, enjoying the time I spent with my passengers. In the past month, my overall driver rating has decreased .4 hundredths, This is bad, considering that another .4 drop would put me at risk of reaching 4.7.

The most important aspect of any ridesharing company is the star rating system. This rating determines whether you drive or get deactivated. A deactivation basically indicates you got terminated and/or fired from a particular ridesharing company.

It makes me feel unpleasant to know that drunken passengers and Uber GPS problems are jeopardizing my service. Passengers are put in a dominant position to deactivate drivers. There is no follow-up on low ratings and this makes the system an ongoing problem.

At SideCar, the support system will follow-up with both the driver and passenger. There is no action taken until low ratings and/or complaints receive further attention. SideCar's rating system doesn't bother me too much since it's based on percentages rather than an actual 5 star format.

On UberX, I received an extremely low rating from a person who should have expressed his concerns another way instead of hurting my score. My female passenger who lived in the same neighborhood took his Uber. I resolved the problem by instructing this male passenger on what to do about this female passenger taking his ride. I allowed him to sit in the car to handle this issue. However, this passenger went on to leave me a low rating, the very driver who stayed behind to help him.

The rating system is severely flawed and makes driving a nightmare. You worry every time a new passenger enters your vehicle. What if you don't click and the ride becomes awkward? What if their expectations are for you provide the most memorable service ever. Besides giving snacks, water, phone charger, engaging in conversation, being safe, and getting this passenger to their destination on time, how else can you go above and beyond to earn this 5? The client determines what meets their 5 star standards and decides whether to submit this score or avoid rating altogether.

One UberX passenger claimed he saves a 5 star rating for a driver who stands out. Another SideCar driver suggested that 3 and 4 star ratings are most common from him at Lyft. Therefore, this passenger won't dish out a 5 star unless the driver serves him dinner.

Ridesharing companies are failing miserably with educating their users on how to rate and use the ride app. Most of these passengers assume allowing the GPS to pinpoint their pickup location is enough for the driver to find them. It is not. The GPS is flawed. I've seen this GPS plot a passenger 2-5 miles away from the pickup location. Moreover, passengers have no idea they can send you a text message such as telling the driver to meet them in front of a particular club, restaurant, and other place. The last resort is for the driver and/or the passenger to make a phone call to confirm this location and status.

Passengers don't know how to rate. Ride app companies are setting the bar too high. If a passenger thinks that I won't rate a 5 unless this ride is the best service ever, many drivers will be a risk of deactivation. All passengers should be required to rate their drivers. If drivers must rate all passengers before taking another, then passengers should be able to submit a rating. Ridesharing companies should give some leeway during bar hours, where drunken passengers may accidentally leave a low rating.

As a ridesharing driver, the worst part of driving clients is the rating system. I've become obsessed with knowing my daily, weekly and overall rating. I log into the system to check my ratings often. Since passengers are allowed to wait and rate, a driver's rating can change multiple times. There is no accuracy in this rating system because passengers either want to make a point to complain or they provide generic ratings to follow the mass.

Ridesharing companies set high standards, which creates an unsettling feeling that deactivation is inevitable. I worry about my driver rating often. It is still good, but is on the verge of dipping further down. I believe the GPS is the cause of this drop. When a passenger sets the pickup location, the GPS places them at another location. We shouldn't be penalized for this app flaw.

There is not much I can do to get back to 4.9. It will take many months to climb out of this rating hole.