Uber Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: In the last few days, Twitter was buzzing about the ride-hailing app Uber after a driver refused to pick up a female passenger with a star-rating of 4.34.

The incident happened on August 5.

When the issue was raised, Uber responded on Twitter and attributed some of the reasons that may have caused the rider’s request to be denied.

“Thanks for reaching out. Things that seem small to you can matter to your driver - it’s easy to accidentally slam a door if you’re not thinking about it. Knowing a little more about the things that affect a driver’s happiness can help you be a 5-star rider,” tweeted Uber UAE.

Riders are rated on a 1-5 scale, and works to make sure that only the most respectful riders and drivers are using Uber. The two-way system means that both riders and drivers are held accountable for their behavior on a ride. It also lets both sides have a better idea of what the person they are riding with is like.

Uber's logo is displayed on a mobile phone Image Credit: Reuters

Ratings are anonymous, so rating a driver or rider does not affect your account, but having a high rating means you are more likely to be prioritized by drivers if you are a rider, and more likely to appeal to riders if you are a driver.

On its official Twitter account, Uber UAE said: “Drivers frequently consider these areas when rating a rider: Short wait times: Drivers love when riders are ready to go when they arrive at the pickup location. That includes making sure the location you entered is actually where you’ll be.”

“Courtesy: Simple but true. A positive attitude and considerate use of the car go a long way. Safety: Drivers want to make sure everyone in their car is safe. Drivers shouldn’t be encouraged to break any laws.”

In a statement to Gulf News, an Uber spokesperson explained: "At Uber, riders rate their experience at the end of every trip, and drivers do the same. Uber regularly reviews that feedback and, through this process, we’re able to create and maintain a safe and respectful environment for riders and drivers."

How to see your rating

After each trip, riders and drivers are given the opportunity to rate one another based on their trip experience. Ratings are always reported as averages, and neither riders nor drivers will see the individual rating left for a particular trip.

If you’re curious to know how drivers have rated you, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Open the app and touch the menu.
  2. Your rating is the number displayed under your name.
  3. Tap your rating to open a page that explains how the rating is calculated.
Uber screenshot for riders' rating
Riders are rated on a 1-5 scale, and works to make sure that only respectful riders and drivers use Uber. Image Credit: Screenshot

You need to take 5 trips before you'll have a rider rating. If you don't see a rating, it is probably because you haven't taken enough trips.

According to Uber’s website, drivers frequently consider these three areas when rating a rider:

  1. Short wait times. Be ready to go when they arrive at the pickup location. Be sure the location you entered is actually where you'll be.
  2. Courtesy. Treat drivers and their cars the way they'd expect to be treated themselves.
  3. Safety. Drivers want to make sure everyone in their car is safe, and shouldn't feel pressured to break any laws.

Last May, Uber announced that riders can also get kicked out of the app and lose access to Uber completely.

Why riders can lose access to Uber

The way you behave while using Uber can have a big impact on the safety and comfort of drivers, as well as your fellow passengers.

Some of the reasons you could lose access to Uber as a rider include:

  • Damaging drivers' or other passengers' property. For example, damaging the car, breaking or vandalising a phone, intentionally spilling food or drink, smoking, or vomiting due to excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Physical contact with the driver or fellow riders. The Community Guidelines also states that you shouldn't touch or flirt with other people in the car. And you should never hit or otherwise hurt a driver or a fellow passenger.
  • Use of inappropriate and abusive language or gestures.
  • Unwanted contact with the driver or fellow passenger after the trip is over.
  • Breaking the law while using Uber.