When Did Uber’s Rating System Become Worthless?

Filed in Blog, Customer Experience, Customer Service by on April 10, 2017
When Being Nice is Strategic Initiative

When I first starting using Uber in 2015, I wrote a blog about how surveys are a waste of time unless the ratings have validity. Now, two years later, it is confirmed, in my opinion as a loyal Uber patron, that Uber ratings are worthless.

Have you ever requested an Uber and noted that the driver had a rating less than 4.5? I have not.

I took an Uber in Fort Lauderdale from my apartment to the airport.  The driver had a rating of 4.82, the equivalent of 96.4 of a scale of 100. Definitely a good grade, one that I would have been happy to receive on any test I took.  That driver, with the 4.82 rating, got lost on the way to the pick up, didn’t automatically place my luggage in the trunk (I had to lift it myself), was on the phone, couldn’t follow the GPS, turned left when I told her to turn right, and drove too fast and erratically.  I couldn’t wait to get out of the car.

The next experience was also involving an airport run.  I flew into Fort Lauderdale and requested an Uber.  Two different drivers called me to ask my destination before picking me up.  Twice I told them, and both asked if I would cancel my request.  Finally, on the third try, I had success.  When I shared my experience with the driver, he told me I had been scammed.  All drivers know the pick up point and destination.  We live close to the airport and those drivers wanted a longer drive and bigger fare. Both of those Uber drivers had rating above 4.5.

Uber is getting bad press and obviously for good reason.  Loyal Uber subscribers like me don’t know what to do.  I prefer Uber service to a taxi or car-for-hire.  Certainly Uber prices are competitive.  Still, there are basics, like picking me up, saying hello or have a nice day.  Some drivers do, but many don’t.

Uber drivers rate passengers too. Perhaps that is fair because safety is involved.  However, I think the customer rating system should be eliminated.  Drivers should record a note on a customer’s profile if that customer is rude, abusive, inebriated, etc.  What is the purpose of driver’s rating customers?  According to Uber, “ratings are anonymous….candid, constructive  and respectful feedback is beneficial to everyone.  Rating fosters mutual respect and strengthens our community.”    I was curious about mine.  In the Uber app, under Help a rider can discover their rating in “Changing my account”.  There your rating is listed if you confirm your phone number.  I had to play around with various options before I got to what I was looking for.  My rating is 4.66 – not sure why.  I think I’m a nice person and very polite.  I always say hello.  Certainly if I’m a 4.66, the driver in Fort Lauderdale should be less than a 2.0.

What do you think of the Uber’s rating system? Is it worth your time?

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About the Author ()

Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies amassing the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, was released in February, 2016.

Comments (3)

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  1. Ben says:

    Uber drivers do not know the destination before they pick you up, which is why those drivers called to ask. I’m not saying that they are supposed to do that (because they aren’t), but it is completely false to claim that they knew the destination before picking you up.

  2. I’m an Uber user, too. But I think (and this is just a tip) you should also communicate with your driver when your booking has been accepted. I usually send out a message to give specific directions where to pick me up. The courtesy issue, though, is out of your hands. But back to the main concern of their rating system, I think they should pay more attention to it. Listen to what the customers have to say about a driver especially on major complaints. I can also see Uber users resorting to ranting on social media and tagging Uber to raise a concern. Maybe they also think that their rating system is not working as much as they expected it to.