Uber gets tough on riders with new rules

UBER has announced it will soon start banning riders with a rating of four-out-of-five stars, or lower in Australia.

The move comes after the tech transportation giant updated its community guidelines to include specific requirements around rider star ratings — similar to star rating requirements for driver-partners.

From September 19, once a rider hits 4 stars, they will receive a notification reminding them how they are expected to behave.


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If the rider’s rating does not improve, they will be sent additional emails prompting them to clean up their act.

If they fail to emend their behaviour, however, riders could find themselves banned from Uber for six months.

Any behaviour involving violence, sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination, or illegal activity while using Uber can also result in the immediate loss of access to your account.

Uber said it was a vital step in maintaining an enjoyable experience for both its riders and driver-partners.

“This is important because when driver-partners use Uber they do more than simply drive: they’re sharing their own car, their space, their time and a slice of who they are with passengers,” the company said in a statement.

The new ground rules have been rolled out in an effort to help alleviate stress on Uber drivers and will take effect from September 19.

The changes, however, are only expected to affect a small minority of people, with nine-out-of-ten Australian riders said to have a current rating of 4.5 stars or higher.

WHAT CAN GET YOU BANNED?

Here are some reasons why riders could lose access to Uber:

  • 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. As our Community Guidelines make clear, you shouldn’t touch or flirt with other people in the car. As a reminder, Uber has a no sex rule. That’s no sexual conduct with drivers or fellow riders, no matter what. And you should never hit or otherwise hurt a driver or fellow passenger.
  • Use of inappropriate and abusive language or gestures. For example, asking overly personal questions, using verbal threats, and making comments or gestures that are aggressive, sexual, discriminatory, or disrespectful.
  • Unwanted contact with the driver or fellow passenger after the trip is over. For example, texting, calling, or visiting someone in person after a ride has been completed. Remember, in Australia and New Zealand you can call and text your driver directly from the Uber app without ever having to share your personal phone number. This means that your phone number stays anonymous and is never given to the driver.
  • Breaking the local law while using Uber. For example, bringing open containers of alcohol or drugs into the car; travelling in large groups that exceed the number of seat belts in the car; asking drivers to break local traffic laws such as speed limits; or using Uber to commit a crime, including drug and human trafficking or the sexual exploitation of children.
  • Rider behaviour. Riders may lose access to Uber if they don’t meet the Star Ratings requirements set out below in these Community Guidelines.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR RATING

Uber asked its highly-rated driver-partners for their top tips on how riders can get a five star rating. Here they are:

  • Follow the law: Driver-partners have told us they feel uncomfortable when they’re asked to ignore road regulations, such as speed limits and seatbelt laws. Five star riders don’t ask their driver to break the law.
  • Rider courtesy: Driver-partners like to treat their car like an office. Most riders maintain a courteous attitude and treat the driver-partner’s car with respect.
  • Manners: Take a minute to say hello to your Uber driver and ask them how their day has been.
  • Keep the car clean: During trips, most riders refrain from consuming strong-smelling foods and stainable drinks. This ensures a clean, mess-free trip.
  • Location: 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.

Jaydan is a Digital News Producer at myGC.com.au. He was appointed Managing Editor of the Junee Southern Cross newspaper at the age of 17 and has since held positions in a number of newsrooms in New South Wales and Queensland. Jaydan joined the Hot Tomato Broadcasting Company in 2013 and has been keeping the Gold Coast up to date with the latest local, national and international news online at myGC.com.au ever since. With almost ten years’ experience in both print and digital media Jaydan is committed to providing the best coverage during major news and weather events.

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