Sometimes you know immediately when your Uber driver is amazing. Or maybe they quickly reveal themselves as something creepy. For those moments, Uber will allow you to rate your driver and leave comments in the middle of a trip. Wait to not rate more.
Uber is framing the change as a burning desire to hear your comments. "You have places to go and things to do, and we never want to miss the opportunity to listen and improve," the company says in a blog post.
It seems likely that Uber is also trying to increase its rate of speed passengers. Or increase the number of runners who qualify their drivers and leave comments. More chances to qualify, more classification of pilots. And more drivers subject to anxiety related to the ratings.
Users are currently being asked to rate their drivers between one and five stars, as well as to choose from a pre-selected group of comments ("good conversation", "excellent service") at the end of their trip.
Drivers' ratings are calculated based on the average rating of their last 500 trips (or total trips if they are less than 500). The consistent low scores are marked in Uber HQ, and the drivers whose rating falls below 4.6 risk of deactivation. To reactivate, Uber encourages drivers to take expensive improvement courses.
Uber does not seem to offer the same half-trip privileges to its controllers. Last year, Uber updated its application to ask drivers to give feedback to rebel drivers. Drivers can choose from a pre-selected list of reasons to explain why they rated a passenger less than five stars. But the half-trip grade will not be available because it could distract them from the important task of driving, said a Uber spokesman. On the other hand, the passenger could take a look at a bad rating on the driver's phone, and discomfort would occur.
There is a dark side in the classification game. As The Verge Josh Dzieza wrote in his seminal article on rating systems:
The rating systems used by these companies have made customers unconscious and unwittingly ruthless, more efficient middle managers than any boss that a company can hope to hire They are always there, working for free, hypersensitive to the smallest mistake. All the algorithm has to do is calculate its judgments and deactivate them accordingly.
The qualifications help these companies reach a huge scale, managing large groups of workers hired without training without hiring supervisors. It is also a good arrangement for clients, who get a cheap service with a smile, even if it is an anxious activity. But for workers, who are already in a precarious position of contract work, making each client a boss is a frightening prospect. After all, they – we – can be titled idiots.