My Rating System For Uber and Lyft Passengers

The idea behind Uber’s rating system sounds great on the surface.  At the end of each ride, the driver gets to rate the passenger on a scale of 1 to 5 and then the passenger gets to rate the driver on a scale of 1 to 5.  This system is obviously a lot better than the rating-less transactions of old between taxis and their customers.

I mean there’s a reason why most taxi drivers treat their customers like shit and it’s because there’s no accountability.

But Uber’s rating system seems to have solved all that – at least on the passenger side of things.  Passengers are now able to freely rate their driver and if they had a driver who was rude, talking on the phone while driving or just an unsafe driver in general, they could rate them accordingly and let other passengers and even Uber know that this driver is not doing a good job.

My Rating System For Uber and Lyft Passengers

My Rating System For Uber and Lyft Passengers

But as you may have discovered, there are a couple major problems with the current ratings system as it relates to drivers.

Uneducated Passengers

Although any kool-aid drinking Uber employee will tell you that they do educate their passengers about the ratings system, that is a lie.  I’ve never once gotten a communication from Uber about this to my passenger account and I am a frequent Uber passenger.  If I did, then clearly it wasn’t marked in a way that was noteworthy and I suspect many other passengers also missed the memo.

The problem is that drivers are required to maintain a 4.6 rating but many passengers are not aware of this fact.  If I’m happy with my experience at a restaurant, I would leave them a 4 star rating.  But if you do that on Uber, you’re basically telling the driver that they failed.

No Feedback Loop

Even though I’ve been driving for Uber for over a year, I still don’t receive weekly summaries that list passenger feedback. When I was first getting started, I e-mailed Uber about this and they told me that it was a feature they were working on.

Fast forward one year and it still hasn’t been fixed.  I think it should be mandatory for passengers to leave feedback if they’re going to rate anything below 5 stars and then Uber should relay ALL of that information to drivers.

The biggest problem with the current system is that your rating could take a hit and you have no idea what you’re doing wrong.  I am very protective of my rating and I hold myself to a high standard but if my rating takes a dip, it’s hard for me to fix it if I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

Not A Two Way Street

If it isn’t clear to you by now, Uber values customers a lot more than its drivers.  There are countless examples of this and it’s also beyond apparent with the ratings system.

Drivers are held to a gold standard of 4.6 stars to stay active, yet passengers basically have free reign.  I have picked up riders with average ratings as low as 1 or 2 stars (I was curious to see why their ratings were so low!  They turned out to be fine) yet drivers are deactivated if they fall below 4.6.

Doesn’t seem fair does it?

Rated For Things Beyond Our Control

If you’ve ever driven the late night hours or during big events, no doubt you’ve run into problems with passengers dinging you for things beyond your control.  Driving drunks around and swerving in and out of traffic is already stressful enough, and I wish that Uber was more transparent with ratings during these times.

If passengers were forced to leave feedback for sub 5 star ratings, you would have some recourse with Uber if a passenger dinged you for surge pricing that is out of your control.  I know I experience this most often with passengers who seem to take their frustration about traffic out on me.  Dude, I don’t control the traffic, you should have left earlier and then you wouldn’t have been late 🙂

So Why Do Passenger Ratings Matter?

Now that you realize passengers aren’t held to the same standards as drivers you might be thinking who cares what rating we leave them, but here’s why it matters.  By rating passengers according to their behavior, you’re effectively giving other drivers a heads up on what to expect.  The more information you have as a driver, the better decisions you can make.

We all have our own system of rating passengers and after lots of rides, the passenger’s score is going to be an accurate reflection of their behavior.

Now there are slow times when you may not be able to be that picky with whom you accept, but during busy times when you’re getting requests every 1-2 minutes, it makes a lot of sense to only accept the highest rated passengers.

Now you might be wondering about Uber’s acceptance rate requirement (which is said to be around 80%),  But due to the current Uber employee lawsuit in SF going on right now, Uber is being forced to be more lenient with items like acceptance rate since that can be used by the prosecution (it’s actually already been pointed out) as a sign of employee-like control.  So even though Uber won’t admit it, you likely have a lot of freedom going forward to accept/reject rides.

So here’s how I’ve been rating my pax lately:

5 Star Passenger

This is someone who comes out within 1-2 minutes of my arrival, has the destination entered into the GPS and is courteous.  Although I like talking to passengers, if they don’t feel like talking to me, that’s just fine.  I’m here to provide them with a great and safe experience.

4 Star Passenger

Most Uber passengers do a pretty good job but I do end up giving out a lot of 4 star ratings.  Here are all the things that will cause passengers to get 4 stars in my car:

  • Making Me Wait: This one is frustrating to me because not only can passengers see where I am on the map, but they also get a notification when I arrive.  And I usually send a text when I arrive too (there is often a lag with the Uber notification) since time is money baby!
  • Not Entering A Destination: I actually got this idea from another driver in San Francisco but it makes a lot of sense.  Entering a destination saves you and your passenger a lot of time and hassle.  If you have a pre-set text you send out after you accept the ride, remind them to enter the destination.
  • Minimum Fare Rider: This might seem like a strange thing to dock a passenger for but I do this more as a heads up to other drivers.  Even though it’s technically not the passenger’s fault, if they have a tendency to do a lot of minimum fare rides, that is a passenger drivers should try and avoid.
  • Slamming The Doors: I must have soft doors because this one isn’t a huge bother to me but after the tenth time in any given night, I may start rating lower because of it.
  • Magellan in The Back: I don’t mind taking directions from passengers but when they start annoying me with turn by turn directions, I get a little irritated.  One or two constructive pointers is ok but let me do my job man!

3 Star Passenger

  • Bringing Alcohol/Stinky Food/Tobacco Into The Car: I’m ok with transporting/stopping for alcohol and food but I generally ask the pax to put the stuff in the back of the car so they don’t have the temptation to open a beer or so the food won’t stink up my car.  This is important to me because even though you may not notice it, smells tend to linger for a long time and future passengers may be sensitive about this.
  • Coming Out With 5-6 People: I don’t know why this one pisses me off so much but it does.  I think it likely has something to do with the fact that when I was first getting started, riders would offer me a nice tip if I let them all squeeze in and then they would end up tipping me $1 or $2 or just stiffing me completely.  People can be so cheap sometimes..
  • The Combo Pax: If you do two or more of any of my 4 star dings, then it only makes sense that you’re going to get a 3 star rating from me.  So if you make me wait for 3-4 minutes AND don’t have a destination entered, I’m just counting down the minutes until the ride ends so I can tank your rating and leave a snide comment 🙂

2 Star Passenger

I don’t think I’ve ever left a 2 star rating but maybe there’s a passenger who will one day earn this rating from me.  To be honest, it’s hard to be just crappy enough of a passenger to get a 2 star rating but not too crappy that you wouldn’t get a 1 star rating.  It’s a fine line that you have to walk to get a 2 star rating and no one’s done it yet for me.

1 Star Passenger

I don’t hand out too many one star ratings but there are definitely some passengers who deserve it.  Here are a few examples of when I’ve had to hand out a one star rating.

  • The Puker: Uh if you puke in my car, automatic 1 star haha 🙂
  • The Racist: Even though this incident happened during the party hours and this guy was clearly intoxicated, he definitely crossed the line.  And more than once, so I rated him accordingly.
  • The Troublemaker: This is someone who I wouldn’t ever want to transport again and is more of a heads up to other drivers so they know to just stay away…

With Lyft, if you rate a passenger 3 stars or below, you’ll never be matched up with that passenger again.  But with Uber, there is no such rule.


Sometimes I’ll make exceptions to my rules if I’m in an especially good mood or the person causing all the trouble isn’t the accountholder.  I feel bad rating someone lower if their dumbass friend is causing all the trouble.

I Don’t Care About Tipping

I know some drivers will rate lower if a passenger doesn’t leave a tip but that seems pretty dumb to me.  Most passengers aren’t even aware how Uber’s pricing works, what percentage of the fare drivers get and whether or not a tip is included.  They just know that they don’t need to worry about tip since that’s what Uber tells them.

Related Article: Uber Drivers Now Have A Tipping Option With Vugo

So as long as they meet all the other criteria, they get 5 stars from me.  Some drivers have taken the stance that if a passenger doesn’t leave a tip, they get a 1 star rating, but this is really only a teeny-tiny minority of drivers who think like this.  I think most drivers employ a strategy similar to mine so the passenger rating is generally a good reflection of what to expect.

Why It All Matters

If you employ a similar system to rate your passengers, that’s great, but you also want to take the information you’re given and use it to make a decision that will help your bottom line.  You’ll notice that most of the reasons I’ll ding a passenger directly affect how much money I’m earning and whether you realize it or not, you’re probably rating passengers for a lot of the same reasons.

Uber doesn’t give us drivers a whole lot of information about the jobs we take but this is one way to take advantage of what little information we get.  Now obviously you won’t always be able to be this selective but during surge periods or busy times, maybe that’s when you want to be even stricter with who you’ll accept.

I stray from my rules from time to time but generally, I think it’s advisable to only pick up 4.7 rated and up passengers.  That doesn’t mean I won’t get a terrible 4.9 star rated passenger once in a while or I’ll miss out on a really great 4.5 rated passenger who’s maybe new to the platform.  But at the end of the day, I have to look out for what’s best for myself and you guys should be doing the same.

Related Reading

Never Accept a Poorly Rated UberPool Passenger

Drivers, what do you think about the way Uber’s passenger rating system works?  Do you have your own system for rating passengers and more importantly how, if at all, do you use your passenger’s rating to make informed decisions about whether or not you should pick them up?

Make Every Mile Count

Did you know that every 1,000 business miles can save you $540 in taxes? Never miss another mile with the new QuickBooks Self-Employed automatic mileage tracker.

-Harry @ RSG

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I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.
  • Jdavis

    That is pretty shocking that you can get fired for what essentially is an A minus. I think that needs to change or at least have an appeals process. I read on a forum that a woman got rated one star for having too many X chromosomes. She was told “women shouldn’t drive”.

    • Agreed. That’s why I think all pax should have to leave feedback if they leave below a 1 star. Then drivers could see if they’re being rated lowly for things outside of their control and challenge them with Uber, making the system much more fair.

    • John Barbour

      Another good point. Sometimes riders just don’t like you period ( no pun intended).

      • Mo

        I would say some pax think they’re better than you so they give you a less the than perfect rating so they can feel good or because they can.

        • Terri

          This is especially true for women drivers. If their passenger is a single woman and a man and especially if she is drunk her goal is to look better than any other woman so she will never give 5 to a woman driver. My brother drives in Utah , he knew someone that had a woman get in and promptly state that she doesn’t tip and she doesn’t ever give 5 stars. I don’t know what the driver did but I would have said , you are free to do whatever you like however I’m canceling this ride so please get out of my car you are no longer my passenger. If given the chance I’d explain it wasn’t the tip , but the tip that she wasn’t going to give 5 no matter how good the service.

          • Mo

            Exactly. I find that. I find it annoying when they won’t type the destination. They tell you turn by turn directions and then expect a good service. bung ordered around 🙁 Turn by turn I can’t wait to give them a lower rating.

          • Mo

            I agree.

  • Jeffrey Steven

    Harry, here’s my biggest complaint. I’ve encountered too many newer users, pleasant people, who don’t know about, understand, care about rating drivers.

    Their rides are problem free, but we end unrated for that drive.

    I believe, if the system was more authentic, that drivers should be given an automatic five star and it calculated into rating for every ride.

    If a passenger has a bad experience, they can lower it to four or less.

    If I do 10 rides, and 1 passenger gives me a 1, usually because they are the issue, and another gives me a 5, and 8 others don’t respond, I’m left with a 3.

    Now you might say that that one day of two ratings would be a small sample in the overall ratings, but disgruntled people tend to review more than people who are satisfied with satisfactory service.

    This has happened to me on a couple of occasions. The math is easy to figure out when say 3 or 4 people rate you out of 10-12 rides.

    I could go on about this, but I’m curious about your thoughts.

    • Yea that’s a good point, many studies have shown that people tend to rate lower when they do leave ratings at all. I think there are lots of things like this they could do to make the system a little fairer.

      Either default 5 stars, or making the pax leave feedback so drivers can at least know what they’re doing wrong would be the two big things in my book.

      • Jeffrey Steven

        Exactly. Make them end the ride with a rating like we have to.

      • Mo

        As long as you know your giving 100%, I don’t think it matters they give constructive advice. Every pax is different anyway and they prefer different things. Some will critique you on friendliness, well other partners don’t want you to be friendly.

      • Honey

        I’d like to add my two bits here. Unfortunately, the people who tend to leave less than 5 stars are disgruntled in general. That’s what I feel. Unless a driver is rude, his car is dirty and smells, and he’s careless, he deserves a 5. Everytime. Perhaps, a rider should have to rate themselves in the process.

    • John Barbour

      Now, this is a superb idea! It’s so true. Your best riders don’t rate you and your worst ones do. This is Murphy’s Law for Rideshares.

      • Jeffrey Steven

        It’s critical. I was dropped down to a 4.74 after one of these episodes.

        I remember having a slow night one weekend, and I took a ride just before a surge, and these drunks wanted me to go through a Jack in Box drive thru at 1:35AM (and i saw on rider app, the area was now a 2.4x.) I apologized and said, I can’t sit in a drive thru, and part of the way this is economical, is if I catch rides during the surge.

        Despite being apologetic, this hammered mother and son gave me a one star. I only had three other 5s that night out of 15 rides. My Average was a 4, when I know I offered outstanding service to the other 11 riders that didn’t respond.

        It’s frustrating. While, I do enough rides, and do them professionally, not to fall into the 4.6 danger zone, I am nervous that a couple of bad apples could really zing me.

        I do this part time, and probably only average about 25 rides a week. So a couple of negative ratings, mixed with a couple of positive, and an overwhelming majority of non-ratings, is danger for me.

        • John Barbour

          I even go through the drive through with them and go out of my way even missing surges and the thanks I get is I lose my job. Just happened. Question: How do you know you were given 1 star? I have no idea. what the rating is or why

          • Jeffrey Steven

            I run the uber website on my iphone and check my trips as I’m driving.

          • John Barbour

            So you mean to say that you can tell what the person rated you? If so, please tell us.

        • Gerry Zurek

          If I was in your shoes I would’ve taken them through the jack n box. When u pick up a passenger your sole responsibility is to that passenger and not what u could be doing.

          Besides u could’ve tipped the scale with respect to surge if you would have came online as a driver. The drunks might have also had a long way to go. That might have taken u out of the surge area. Even if it didn’t take u out of the surge area the ride might have taken U so long that the surge might have vanished. Btw, I am a driver NOT a passenger.

    • The Fox

      “If it hadn’t been for #myuberdriver I’d have been arrested with my friends when the cops showed up for the barfight. My driver got me out right before 5-0 got me, no questions asked!…Well, he was wondering why all the cops were showing up. Buuut, he told me I couldn’t bring my open beer into his car with all the cops showing up. #onestar #alphamale”

      • brandon


  • SYW

    I have been driving on and off for the last 3 months and here is how i see the rating and tipping situation. Simply stated:
    1) People have been behaving as they were taught, heard or experienced in their Ubering time.
    2) People equate a 5 star to a tip and thus feel happy they are able to help.
    3) People do not understand the rating system and how a 4 differs from a 5.

    My solution:
    1) When i explain the rating, i tell them a 5 is good, 4 is bad and 3 is fail. 1& 2 do not exist. Why? As others have explained, a 4.6 and below for a drive is death and so why worry about anything less than a 3? If you perform at a 3, you should probably find a new way to earn some money.
    2) Only when asked, i tell them that tipping is fine and is not part of the rate or rating.
    My belief:

    I cannot fix Uber, nor is it my objective when i am driving. I want to give a safe, happy and quick ride between two points. If they ask, i will professionally explain, but i will not ASK them for a tip. So according to my own rating methodology, if they tip i give a 5, if no tip i give a 4. I rarely give a 3 unless they do something unprofessional as a rider.

    I hope this helps.

    • Jeffrey Steven

      I remember my passengers, and they seem to recall their drivers. If you frequent the same places, because you’ve calculated a profitable operating pattern, you run into the risk of repeat riders. I have taken one rider to school three different times. I have taken another rider home from work three different times. If I zing them with a 1, their 1 can debilitate me a lot more than mine will them.

      That’s a careful game to go all-in on 5s and 1s. I completely agree with you that even a 4.0 a death. If you keep getting those, you are toast.

      Uber probably needs to reevaluate its ratings system, or driver threshold.

      • Riders don’t know what drivers rate you though…

        • Jeffrey Steven

          They can’t figure it out, like we can?

    • Steve Hoffmann

      You lower their rating if they don’t tip you? Wow, so you are downgrading them for something that is not required and they are told by Uber they don’t have to?

      I 100% think a good driver should get a tip on every ride. If you are a mediocre driver than you get what you get. But I would never downgrade their rating for not tipping, that’s just silly.

      • It has nothing to do with requirements, but the level of service given. If they have not been taught to reward the people that serve them, I would also 4* their parents.

        • Steve Hoffmann

          Well, if you are going into this with that attitude then you have no place in complaining when they give you a 4 because they feel you did a good job. A 5 to people who rate like you do would be for those that do an exceptional job, far and above normal. We both know the rating system is FUBAR but I also don’t believe in downgrading riders unless they are asshats. If UBER didn’t specifically state on the website and app that you don’t need to tip, I would feel the same way you do. I ensure they have an exceptional experience, far above what other drivers give them and even so I don’t downgrade them if they don’t tip.

        • Chris Davis

          I have never tipped an Uber driver because I’m told by the company not to. I’m surprised to read all of this here. I don’t carry cash and don’t want to fumble doing math (the fare hasn’t yet popped up yet on my phone anyway). If Uber is going to be like taxis I may as well just grab a taxi. They’re everywhere in Chicago.

          • UBER does not tell you not to. Their site tells you that “tipping is not necessary”. Which is true. The same goes for any other service worker. You don’t have to tip your waiter or waitress, doorman, cabbie or valet. But it’s appreciated.

          • Pavel Petrenko

            Its not UBER’s place to tell people to tip or not. Its between driver and a rider and has nothing to do with UBER. UBER says no tip necessary because UBER is all about generating profit for themselves and they never see a penny of that tip. If UBER got at least 1% of that tip they would of created a function to tip by now. UBER sucks. Its way out of place for UBER to even bring up tipping. Its none of their business. If I want to tip I tip. If I don’t want to I won’t. UBER should not get into my business and tell me to tip or not. UBER is way out of place even for bringing tip up in their advertisements anywhere. None of your business UBER.

          • Wrong. You are not told by the company “not to”. You are told that it is not necessary. There is a difference. See my response in the other thread:
            If you don’t carry cash, that is ok. Many drivers can accept cards using Square or other card readers. That way you can reward the driver without cash. Remember that you will arrive at your destination whether you tip or not. But don’t be surprised if your rating drops because you didn’t take care of your driver or your car takes a bit longer to arrive if you don’t take care of the valet at the restaurant.

          • Chris Davis

            The wording is “You don’t need cash when you ride with Uber. Once you arrive at your destination, your fare is automatically charged to your credit card on file — there’s no need to tip.” This convenience is a big plus to me. If I have to run a credit card like a taxi I may as well just hail a taxi, they’re everywhere in Chicago. I was told by a couple Uber drivers I have a 5 star rating but I since learned that is incorrect. I read that you can find out your rating on the Uber web site so I did. It is 4.9.

          • You are exactly right in what UBER says on it’s web site. And you can certainly hail a taxi if you wish to pay the higher costs. And as I have said many times here and other places, a gratuity is not added to your fare nor given to the driver automatically. This is a misconception that so many people make. If you want to tip your driver you can. It is not mandatory, nor do drivers expect it. However when you are paying half of what a cab would cost and you have a good experience, is it a good idea to let your driver know that it was appreciated? I think so. And if you don’t? Well I guess you’re not a 5 star rider.

          • Eugene Lipsky

            I despise taxis. Most of them in most cities just suck.

            Uber is not cheaper than taxis in all cities, certainly not some of the ones where I use it. The reason I use uber, pay more for it, wait longer for it is because it’s a solution to the taxi problem (as someone mentioned earlier taxi drivers have no rating and there is no consequences so more often than not bad service and experience). All this talk about tipping is insane. Do you not realize that the reason uber promotes it as one of the perks/conveniences is one of the reasons for its success and there for your job. I tip 20% at restaurants by default unless there is an issue with the service and that’s just because it’s part of the norm. If uber ever changes and allows for an option to tip which then becomes part of the norm I guess I’ll get used to it. Meanwhile I couldn’t care less what I’m rated due to not tipping. If you think I’m going to inconvenience my self to go through the hassle of carrying cash (small bills) and still wait for you and pay more for your service instead of using a taxi you are crazy. I do often have spare change in my pocket and since in obviously not driving that day if you tape a plastic cup to the back of your seat and write tips on it I’ll probably leave you that change.

          • Andy

            You don’t tip because you are a cheap ass.

        • StephanieJCW

          The reward is in the payment for the service.

    • Rating non-tippers a 4 is better than rating them a 1 haha but I do tend to agree with Steve. I don’t think every ride I give deserves a tip but I do want the option.

    • I agree with Harry to a degree.
      5* = Good ride & a tip or I screwed up somehow but got them there in one piece. If they didn’t tip but I got compliments, they still rate.
      4* = Good ride & No tip. I wasn’t appreciated for my services. If I was and they didn’t say so, their loss.
      3* = Good Ride & No tip and slamming doors or something that bothered me. I don’t want to see this person again.
      2* = Same as a 3 except they REALLY bothered me. If I see this person again, I will drive over their toes.
      1* = Total jerk. Complained about everything. I probably should have not picked them up because they had a bad ranking to begin with.
      While drunks do figure in, because they probably don’t tip, their rating is not based on whether I have to clean up the car and my night or not.

  • spudjr60

    I have only driven for four weeks, and I have thought about implementing a similar system.
    Not entering the destination, unless it is the Airport, or the MegaBus stop, a Hotel, or other well known destination is cause for a downgrade.
    This may not be a problem in large cities, but in my college town, I will now downgrade for asking to be picked up in the busiest intersections in town and not walking half a block to a safe and pseudo legal area to stop.
    The best thing Uber could do for drivers, (but never will) is to give drivers a second rating that is the average score that the rider gives for drivers. Such a system would teach riders real quick that their four star rating say fire this guy, not I only give five stars for exceptional service.

    • I like that idea as I know there are lots of savvy pax who take into account things like that. For example, I had a pax the other day who said he always drops the pin on the opposite side of the busy street since he’s headed in that direction. He wants to save the driver the hassle of doing a u turn AND it also means the ride will be cheaper for him.

  • mike82346

    I only give 2 different rider ratings…either 5 stars or 1 star. They get 5 stars if they show up for the ride (i am gone if they keep me waiting more than 5 minutes). If they turn out to be an ahole or some other miscreant, they get 1 star.

    • Jeffrey Steven

      Curious what’s your ratio of 5s to 1s operating on this system, and see my comment below about my nervousness on operating this way.

      • mike82346

        99% are 5 stars. I have found that most riders are decent people and, IMHO, deserve the 5 stars.

    • I think most people are 5 stars too but the thing is lower ratings really don’t mean anything for passengers since they won’t get deactivated for a 4.6. So by docking them for things that may seem somewhat trivial, you’re actually helping the savviest of drivers who know when/where to be picky with who they accept.

  • Richard Johnson

    This is a very contradictory article, as it complains about riders that give 4 star ratings to drivers and then has a long list of trivial reasons for giving passengers a 4 instead of 5 star rating. Give us a break !!! I give every passenger a 5 star rating unless they are someone nobody would want in their car and then the get a 1 or 2 star rating from me, depending on how bad they truly are. The rest of the stars are meaningless. Uber and Lyft would be far better off if they simply had a satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating system–either a driver and rider is okay, which is 95% of them or is totally undesirable. Every driver knows the current rating system is unfair and totally sucks while, no driver should complain about getting less than a 5 star rating if they themselves are handing out a bunch of 4 and 3 star ratings for any reason. Either a driver or a rider is really bad or they are an okay driver or client–there is no in-between worth noting.

    • John Barbour

      I usually give out 5s too. But I find it not reciprocated.

      • Richard Johnson

        I’m well aware it’s not reciprocated. I strive to treat every rider the same with respect, courtesy and friendlness, yet my ratings vary widely from week, even though I essentially treat them the same. One day I received a complaint that I was driving too fast and unsafe and on the same day I received a complaint I was driving too slow, even though I drove about the same for each client. On a day it was raining, someone complained my car was dirty, even though I clean my car every day before starting. Obviously it is impossible to keep a car clean on a rainy day. These are examples of why the rating system used by Uber and Lyft totally sucks and is completely bogus and unreliable. My guess is that drivers will eventually unionize, which will server their ass right for not treating us fairly in the first place. Good unions like the Teamsters don’t allow companies to give their drivers bullshit stars, nor do they allow companies like Uber to not use a tip function. Companies never learn and that is why workers eventually unionize–it’s their own damn fault for not treating their workers decently in the first place.

    • Steve Hoffmann

      Spot on Richard. I love the intent of the article but to say the passenger’s ratings are unfair and many times the driver gets a lower rating for things out of our control or are trivial and to then list sooo many trivial reasons to lower a rider’s rating is just contradictory.

      A passenger puking in your car is half YOUR fault for driving during hours that has a high percentage of drunk passengers. Logging into the area of the bars, working past 11PM, accepting a passenger who is obviously intoxicated, all contribute to your participation in the act of puke being spewn all over the inside of your sweet ride. So lets not rate them so low when it’s half your fault.

      I think Richard is spot on with this post on how I treat rating riders, basically how I want to be rated, and then he offers an excellent solution.

      • Do you want them driving home by themselves? Driving them home is an important part of what a do. Along with all the other things that go along with driving, I would rather take a drunk home than meet him on the road.

        • Steve Hoffmann

          Of course I don’t want them driving themselves home. But I also don’t want them puking in my vehicle. My point is, that if you choose to be that person who drives them home, then you shouldn’t lower their rating because they puke in your car.

          I choose not to be that person because I don’t feel as if I have a duty to be there for them. I will go pick up any family member or friend in need, but not a chance I will do the same for a stranger. But that’s just me, I value my vehicle and making a couple bucks is not worth the cleanup time/costs just to get a warm fuzzy from thinking I just did someone a favor.

          I stop driving at 11PM. I take people to the party and I let someone else take them home. I don’t meet these drunks on the streets because I don’t drive during the times these clowns are out there. I’m happily home, safe, and with a clean vehicle ready to work the next day.

        • BG60093

          There are still plenty of drunk drivers after 11 PM in spite of Uber and Lyft. The best way not to meet a drunk on the road is to stay off the road during the bar closing hours.

      • StephanieJCW

        Nah I think it’s entirely fair to rate somebody a one for vomiting in a car. Try not drinking so much. Some of us manage to go out to the early hours and not throw up in people’s cars. Why should we be penalised for the actions of others?

      • Logics

        It is not my fault they got drunk. It is not my fault that they did not hydrate, knowing they would be drinking. It was not my choice for them to drink. It is not my choice for them to not say, “Can you please pull over/drive slower/turn the radio off/brake or accelerate slower”. It is not my choice for them to get into a car while they are still feeling nauseous. It was not my choice to offer a drunk person a ride.

        Most of the people I pick up between 11pm and 2:30am are not drunk and if they are, that is not at all my fault! I will not rate someone low just for being drunk but being drunk and unruly/insensitive/racist/combative/belligerent et al, will get you a low rating and puking in the car gets you one star (since I cannot give zero)!

        Even when I stay out until 4:30am and get a few drunks, it is never my fault that they are drunk and you are blaming the victim. Even then, most of my drunk pax are quite well behaved. The fact that even one of my drunk pax can behave means that they all can behave. And often, the Uber Rider is the one sober person of the two or three, who is apologising profusely on behalf of their friend(s), probably in the hope that their friends do not cause them to get a low rating.

        My one puker, was a friend of a sober Rider and he had the presence of mind to wind down the window and puke outside so a drive-through car wash was all it took to be back on the road. The actual UberRider was quite pleasant and tipped so he did get 5 stars despite him bringing his drunk, puking friend along.

        If I drove UberLux/Black/SUV, I would also call it a night after 11:50pm since one puke in my nice luxury car/SUV would be one too many but my UberX experience seems to suggest that I do not have that much to fear.

        The big takeaway here is that it is NEVER EVER the driver’s fault that the passenger is drunk or pukes.

    • Well I’m obviously going to disagree but appreciate your thoughtfulness. I think the biggest difference though is that a low pax rating won’t get the pax deactivated while a low driver rating obviously will.

      • Richard Johnson

        I don’t mean to duplicate my responses, but this is what I also posted. I agree with the article that the rating system sucks, but the article fails to point out why it sucks. These are actual examples based on my own experience of why the rating system is totally ridiculous…

        I strive to treat every rider the same with respect, courtesy and friendliness, yet my ratings vary widely from week, even though I essentially treat them the same. One day I received a complaint that I was driving too fast and unsafe and on the same day I received a complaint I was driving too slow, even though I drove about the same for each client. On a day it was raining, someone complained my car was dirty, even though I clean my car every day before starting. Obviously it is impossible to keep a car clean on a rainy day. These are examples of why the rating system used by Uber and Lyft totally sucks and is completely bogus and unreliable. My guess is that drivers will eventually unionize, which will serve their ass right for not treating us fairly in the first place. Good unions like the Teamsters don’t allow companies to give their drivers bullshit rating systems, nor do they allow companies like Uber to not use a tip function. Companies never learn and that is why workers eventually unionize–it’s their own damn fault for not treating their workers decently in the first place.

      • Laura James

        No the Pax doesn’t get deactivated but with Lyft if the driver gives 3 or below then that driver won’t be paired with that pax again. At least that’s what they told us over 2 years ago when I started. So if community policing works as the bad pax keep alienating drivers eventually it will be hard for them to get a ride if they have really poor ratings and so few drivers available to pair with them. I don’t know if that really works but that’s what they told us.

        It is a dual edged sword though because you really don’t want to judge so harshly you cut your potential customer base. A pax would really have to be egregious in order to get 3 or less from me.

      • Firewoman

        You are ignoring the fact that your low ratings may make it harder for the person to get picked up. Your actions may result in someone getting stranded who doesn’t deserve to be stranded.

        • That’s the whole point of my rating system. I want it to be harder for them to get picked up if they’re a shitty passenger.

          If they are a great pax, their rating will reflect that and they’ll get picked up without a problem.

          • Firewoman

            Yes, and you count someone as a shitty pax for some shitty reasons.

          • UBET

            Exactly. Low rated passengers are the kind of people who don’t care if you make money or not. Let them find some other way to get around.

          • Firewoman

            You can’t make that assumption. Apparently per this system, you give people like me poor ratings because I am a person with a medical disability who has used uber for 5 dollar rides to a doctors office and ask to go on a slight detour to avoid a route that doesn’t set off my vertigo. I’ve never heard of a company that refused to serve people on the basis of whether the customers cared about how much money those working made anyway. What am I supposed to do, go on a deliberately longer, convoluted ride to help justify the costs? Maybe you are the one who needs to find another job, instead of working for a company that claims to be “your own personal driver”.

          • Don

            I’m sure you’re a nice enough person and most uber drivers would be happy to help you out..even give you a higher level of service than most passengers because of your disability. There are no problems with taking an alt. route to help with your vertigo. But it’s painful for me to see that as quickly as you picked up on drivers possibly giving you a low rating because of your short trips…you for some reason didn’t pick up on the fact that tipping is appreciated and that may solve your problem. When I decide a passenger is going to get a low rating I always think to myself..”if they don’t leave a tip…” So there is always a moment to completely redeem yourself as a passenger with cash Even a couple dollars on a short trip is appreciated more than you might think as is a genuine apology for the short trip if you’re short on cash. Short trips are not profitable and if a rider isn’t ready we could end up spending 15-30 minutes for a fare that lands us around $3.

          • Firewoman

            Actually, I do now tip. The reason I didn’t before is that uber specifically tells us not to worry about a tip, it’s included. Many of your passengers may be just be responding to uber telling them not to tip, you should find fault with uber instead.

          • StephanieJCW

            Why would I tip on a short or any journey? I don’t tip taxi drivers (I live in Australia, not a tipping culture.) If I take a short trip it’s generally for a reason. I just don’t understand why not paying over and above the cost of a service makes someone a “shitty” customer.

          • wcpreston

            Taxi drivers are making way more per mile. The IRS approved deduction for mileage is $.54/mile. If I go 3 miles out of my way to pick you up, and you go 3 miles or less, I get paid $3, but drove 6 miles. The IRS says I can deduct over $3 for that trip, but I only got $3.

            That taxi, on the other hand, would get much more money.

          • BG60093

            I cannot imagine that a driver would have a problem with you wanting a longer route unless that route requires much slower stop and go travel. They are paid for the miles and time of the actual trip. In South Florida as of February 2016 the Uber driver is receiving 64 cents a mile and 10 cents a minute ($6/hour) after Uber’s cut. IRS studies show that it costs 54 cents a mile to operate an average vehicle (depreciation, maintenance, insurance, fuel). The driver does a little better financially on the highway and a little worse in city traffic because the income from extra travel time does not offset the extra fuel and maintenance caused by stop and go driving.

          • Yep

            Yep I wish we could all be on the same level as drivers

        • szh

          Exactly the point! I have had to suffer the drivers who just didn’t care. I have a suggestion for Los Angeles passengers. This blogger is in LA. Until he changes his ridiculous suggestions, rate all drivers in LA no higher than 3 unless, of course, you know they have rated you fairly. You can always go back and adjust rating given to the driver.

        • Yep

          Hah call a cab your phone works

          • Firewoman

            wow, I don’t even know what to say. Other than you sound like Donald Trump (and his mocking of people with disabilities). Shame on you.

      • Murad

        Uber is a terrible company. Barely a month as a driver they
        deactivated my account twice, first time because I didn’t have a TNC license
        and second time because I had a low rating(had 4.3, they required 4.7). First of all they gave me access to uber partner app without a TNC license, but when I started to drive a lot they deactivated my account. I heard a lot of negative things about uber but I didn’t believe it until now. I know that uber has all sorts of legal trouble including employee/contractor dispute, but I don’t think people realize that uber is running a scheme that cheats drivers.

        Uber false advertises that drivers could earn an income driving and recruits them to use their car to transport uber’s customers. But Uber fixes the fare estimate so that drivers earn an amount that only covers vehicle maintenance and related expenses. Essentially Uber charges riders only for the cost to borrow the driver’s vehicle but not the labor for driving the customers. Uber maintains that it’s not a taxi company and drivers are not employees, but sets strict requirements for drivers to work like employees. Uber states that drivers have the option to work whenever they want, but drivers are paid low and Uber indirectly forces drivers to work very long hours and drive hundreds of miles a week in order to make the income they were promised. Uber terminates drivers who drive too much, in order to avoid classifying those drivers as employees. When I first started driving, Uber allowed me to operate without a TNC license, but when I started to work more than 40 hours a week Uber deactivated my account because I didn’t have a TNC. I applied for the TNC and started working for more than 8 hours on the first day. The next day Uber deactivated my account again saying that I had low ratings. Then Uber aggressively recruits new drivers by promising them that they could earn an income so that there is an abundance of cars to transport riders. Uber is misleading drivers by making
        them think that they are earning an income, but in reality Uber is actually
        paying drivers an amount that covers vehicle maintenance while the owner drivers for free. I believe Uber is abusing drivers like this because their stalling until they develop self-driving cars, in a few years they will discontinue the uberpartner app and slowly fire all the drivers.

  • Mickeyman

    Harry, my biggest irritation is not receiving an accurate pickup location for a residence pickup or name of a store or restaurant when located in a large mall / strip-mall. Many times passengers ‘pin’ their location from deep within their residence or inside a store that is closer to another street or not close to where they actually are waiting. They don’t attempt to make the effort to put an actual address in and/or business name to make for an easy and quick pickup.

    If I have to struggle to find the passenger, I provide a 3-4 rating depending on how far off they are from their indicated location in the app. If they send me a text giving me the name of the business/store/restaurant, they may earn a 5 from me if everything else goes well.

    • John Barbour

      This happens all the time to me. thanks for bringing it up.

    • That’s a great point, I know that I would want the driver to be able to find me quickly so I would text them detailed directions but you’re definitely right, most pax don’t do this. This might be a good 3 star situation 🙂

    • Tim Reinhart

      There’s an easy solution.
      Save your Uber and Lyft phone numbers in your contacts folder. As I prepare for pickup, I send a text: “Hi, this is Tim, I’m on my way” (I write it once, then paste it in for each ping)

      This opens a dialogue with the passenger and allows them to feel free to respond. Usually I get “OK” or “See you soon”.. but sometimes for those difficult to find pax, they know they placed the pin upstairs on the other side of the building. Those are the ones that respond: “I’m at the main entrance on Maple St.”

      Two things just happened. You are friendly, they are friendly. You’re already closer to 5 stars for the time it took you to paste a welcome message. The other thing is they are more likely to have toes on the curb when you arrive.

    • Christopher Thomas Nicodemus

      I’ve ridden once as a passenger. If I remember correctly I could see a 5-10 second delay of where the Uber car is in the passenger app. It would be really nice to see where the passenger on the partner app. A pin of where they were when they requested, a pin that shows the pickup location the passenger specified, and a pin that shows where they are right now.

  • John Barbour

    Excellent article. One thing is missing; at least in my market. It is one thing to rate a driver bad because he is rude but it is quite another to rate him bad because he is following the rules; even my own car rules like I don’t want them to blow out my car speakers. This is something I believe happens a lot in my market which is made up primarily of young college students out partying and are thumbing their noses at all authority. Presently I am endangered of losing my job because my rating is below 4.6 so this is a very important issue for me considering it is my only source of income for my family. Again, thanks for addressing this important issue and I agree wholeheartedly that some feedback mechanism has to be put in place because it looks like the rating system is here to stay. My slogan is: I am not a hotel or a restaurant!

    • Jeffrey Steven

      Yeah. You are going to have to pay your friends who have uber, to manipulate the system, by taking short $4, 5-star rides, at least to up your rating.

      • John Barbour

        Nice idea if you have friends who use Uber. I do not. All my friends are retired or near retirement and have there own cars and do not drink.

      • Uber does catch people doing this occasionally, they have a pretty smart fraud team.

    • Driving the late night hours is tough but stuff like this is gonna happen. Maybe ear plugs will help solve both sides of the prob? Also stay tuned for Wednesday’s article, we’ll expand on this as it really is a challenging aspect of the job.

    • John Matsukes

      4.6!!!!! Please sir do not quit your other job!. My rating is 8.3 with over 1,500 trips!

  • John Barbour

    The biggest problem of all is you can’t get or speak to anyone in authority at Uber. I feel like I am being bossed by a computer, a robot, or an algorithm. They are like the Wizard of OZ so all we say is to no avail because no one is listening or at least that’s what it seems to me. I surely have never seen an Uber boss.

    • James Skidsen

      Show up at your local Uber office and ask for the 7X7 training it’s actually pretty good

      • Do they offer proactive training or is it only if you’ve been deactivated? I know 7×7 is available in most west coast markets while R3Z is primary training company on the east coast.

        • James Skidsen

          it’s proactive

  • Sushi_dog

    I like the ratings breakdown. If I continue driving I will employ your system in the future. I have only ever given one star and that was when I had to drive over a dark forest road, meander through a labyrinthine housing complex, pick up three youths who reeked of pot, only to have them cancel the ride after two minutes because one of them received a call from a chick who wanted to come over to visit. I dropped them back at the pick-up spot and only made $6 for the ride. It took 15 minutes to get back to an area where I could get another ride request because I was so far out.

  • Ricola Bobby

    great write up and wonderful rule of thumbs to follow.

    • John Barbour

      Too bad no one at Uber listens.

  • John Barbour

    I just lost my job over this.

    • did you take the training offered to get re-activated?

      • Jeffrey Steven

        Thanks. Didn’t even know they had this as a safety net.

      • John Barbour

        Yes, Now, I have to take it again. I lose out of a week’s worth of work and pay $100 for common sense stuff that I do not think applies and they don’t even give you a fresh start. You start back at the rate you went into the class with. It’s unfair because the first bad ratings were simply because I didn’t understand how the whole thing worked. No training.

        • John Barbour

          My rating is down to 4.59. I think the highest it ever got was 4.71. It always hovered around 4.62

      • rumo

        Do you know how to take the training to get re-activated? A buddy of mine got deactivated and was pretty bummed about it so it would probably be good to mention it to him.

        • You have to do it through Uber. When you get deactivated, Uber will send you a link to their training partners (usually r3z and 7×7) and then u register with them.

          • BG60093

            How much is Uber’s cut from those partners?

  • Jennifer Bedard Quillin

    Everyone gets a 5 star, Unless…
    You’re a 3 star if you slam my car door, make me wait the full 5 minutes, or stink to high heaven like cigarettes.
    You’re a 1 star if you make me wait more than 5 minutes after you text me that you’ll be right out, cram more than the approved 4 passengers in my car, want to make pit stops, or leave a mess in my/on my car.
    (Note: I don’t usually wait more than the 5 minutes, but I hate to leave passengers stranded. So if I’m feeling good I’ll wait. And yes, I’ll let college girls cram I one more once in a while, too.)

    • Jeffrey Steven

      The cigarette thing is crazy. I swear they smoke the worst, most unfiltered cigarettes (not that there are good ones) as if they are smoking the last one. It’s like pure nicotine in my car!

  • Richard Johnson

    I strive to treat every rider the same with respect, courtesy and friendiness, yet my ratings vary widely from week, even though I essentially treat them the same. One day I received a complaint that I was driving too fast and unsafe and on the same day I received a complaint I was driving too slow, even though I drove about the same for each client. On a day it was raining, someone complained my car was dirty, even though I clean my car every day before starting. Obviously it is impossible to keep a car clean on a rainy day. These are examples of why the rating system used by Uber and Lyft totally sucks and is completely bogus and unreliable. My guess is that drivers will eventually unionize, which will serve their ass right for not treating us fairly in the first place. Good unions like the Teamsters don’t allow companies to give their drivers bullshit rating systems, nor do they allow companies like Uber to not use a tip function. Companies never learn and that is why workers eventually unionize–it’s their own damn fault for not treating their workers decently in the first place.

    • The biggest problem with unions is that they generally put the company and their workers at odds but I do agree, Uber is almost asking for something like this to happen with frankly, their lack of care and respect for drivers. It is a shame.

    • Mo

      Exactly one day my lyft score stays the same, another day it will drop .3 points . Next day it will go up again.

  • Sergeque

    Another thing I think Uber should change is when the passenger rates you. Sometimes I dont drive for a week and all of the sudden my rating takes a hit, usually around 5am sunday. And I know basically someone turned on their app and saw “rate your driver” screen. And if theyre passing out they dont care about rating the care about getting rid of the screen and ordering the car. I brought this up to an uber manager to which she said “i dont want to take out my phone after I get out of the car. I was stupified. I even told her I had customers tell me that they want this because if the have a bad ride they want to rate right away and comment on it but I guess when youre 19 and just graduated with honors and work as a Manager, you know everything! Also brought up the point re if they rate 1 star they have to explain why. She said theyre working on it. That was 6 months ago. Today again same girl told me “were looking in to it, but if a customer had a horrible experience they shouldnt have to explain themselves.” :O I told her that I had a customer rate me one star because he thought “i ran up the meter” but this retard ordered select and spent 24 minutes in McDonalds. And even after he wrote an email to them that I ran up the tab, they told me “we understand your frustration and understand its not your fault but the rating will not be removed as per company policy. Basically Uber Employees=College educated but oblivious to what people actually need

    • Yea I agree, now if there was a tip option, I wouldn’t want that screen to disappear 🙂 (similar to how postmates works)

      • Sergeque

        Well Lyft has that option. Cant see why Uber is so adamant about screwing its drivers. And the weird thing is that the employees are brainwashed to believe that the ratings systems are a perfect representation of how a driver should be rated. But when I showed them a printout of my 4.98 rating on Lyft vs 4.82 on Uber the just shut up.

  • Michael Zehnder

    You didn’t mention how tipping has an effect on how high you rate a problematic rider. Just as you insinuated, the amount you’re making impacts the rating you give your riders. I don’t mind difficult riders just so long as I am compensated for the extra work involved and a tip is a sure way to move a passenger rating in the right direction.

    • I guess it depends on how problematic 🙂 But yes I’d say if they tip but are a 4 star pax for ex, I would give them a 5. My love can be bought haha..

      • Mo

        If they had to give me turn by turn directions then o wont give them a five star despite the $ 2 – 5 tip

  • jennifer roche

    Although I’m not currently an UberX driver, I drove it for my first month and then switched to UberBlack, driving for almost a year in San Francisco. Harry, that’s alot of work about docking points off with a long laundry list but X is a bit more cut throat. Fortunately I have enough rides where it’s unlikely I’d be in danger of losing access to the app. From my experience, X people were much higher maintenance than Black, but that’s a whole different thread.

    As an X driver, in the beginning, I would put water and things in the back but I stopped because people would take every single thing, even on short rides, and later, I would offer water to those I liked or who may need it. But as UberBlack, I do have water and some small snacks available.

    My big thing about my rating customers is whether or not you’re a jerk. If I’m waiting for you and/or do something extra, and you’re not pleasant on top of that, that’s definitely a low rating.

    When the arrival button starts, I hit the 5-minute timer, when it expires, I text or call the client. I don’t wait much more unless it’s extremely slow, and if they ask me to wait longer, I ask if it’s okay to start the ride. For me, that’s the time customers’ ratings come into play: I’m unlikely to wait for a low-rated customer at peak times.

    All I can say about treating all clients: I’m far from perfect but I do my best to be courteous to everyone and kill them with kindness. I’m out here to take rides and I accept everyone as much as possible. I try to say things with a smile.

    I do my best to not expect tips. That so much better for my mental health and relieves resentment. When clients ask about tipping, I tell them diplomatically we don’t receive tips, despite the impression Uber gives that there is a tip we receive included in the fare. I tell them they don’t have to tip but it’s nice to do so when a driver goes above and beyond. I say that in order to tip, it has to be cash. Of course Black is a premium cost but I do get tips once in a while – and I always tell them I tip the X drivers at least a couple dollars since it’s so inexpensive.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, there is a lot of value in there. I think whether the customer is an ahole or not definitely plays a big part and even though I devised this rating system, I definitely make exceptions here and there..

    • Andy

      Fuck that shit. I don’t offer my passengers any snacks or water. I’m not their goddam mommy.

  • John Barbour

    I wish you would get rid of that picture. It presents Uber Drivers as the problem when in reality it is the rating system. Please get rid of it. It is as creepy as the Burger king guy.

  • Poppy

    As a passenger, I had no idea that a 4 star rating was bad! With a scale of 1-5 my assumption was 3 being the average and 4 being good. I feel awful for the drivers that I have rated 4 in the past, thinking that I was giving them an above average score. Uber should have been more transparent about how their ratings work.

    • Jimmy Morris

      I think your assumption is more common than we think. If I did not drive for Uber, I would probably think a 4 star rating was very good. Funny to find out 4 star ratings will get a driver fired. I always give five stars. I can’t wait to meet the asshole I would give 4 stars to.

  • Tim Reinhart

    Here’s a good example of people (Lyft) finding my service to be exemplary, but two people last week gave me less than 5 stars. It really is the smallest amount of power ever to go to someone’s head.

    Here’s my weekly Lyft summary:

    Passenger feedback

    ★★★★★ 34 ratings
    “Tim made my ride very enjoyable!”
    “Great driver!”
    “He’s the best driver I’ve experienced.”
    “Give this guy a raise. I would travel with Tim any time. Great guy.”
    “Very quick to arrive! Awesome driver!”
    “Tim was super nice and easy to talk to!”
    “He was very nice. The car was super clean.”
    “Great car & driver”
    “Made great time and extra friendly.”
    “Tim’s a nice guy who’s easy to talk to. Thanks for taking me home: )”
    ★★★★ and below 2 ratings

  • Firewoman

    From a passenger, parts of the 4 star ratings for px are stupid. Particularly, docking the person for minimum fare rides. I recently have been unable to drive for medical reasons but I use uber mostly for my rides to a doctors appointment, not my fault that’s a 2 mile ride and not 20 miles. I guess uber is only for drunks on a weekend, not people with mobility issues. I don’t even get why that’s a problem for you- don’t you make more money on some of these rides since the person is being charged more for a shorter amount in the car? Also the your issue with a passenger directing you- maybe the passenger knows more than you do about the route in terms of bad traffic etc (an issue for the route typically take)

    Honestly, I think this rating px is bs. Really should only be for true problems, like a verbally abusive person, one who is very drunk and pukes in your car, etc. apparently I am a “bad passenger ” with a 4.4 rating who you would rather leave at the curb rather than get to a doctors appointment even though I have always been courteous, on time, don’t smell. Finally, I think it’s very hypocritical of you to complain about people not being aware of the ramifications of you getting a low rating, while ignoring what your 4 star ratings for inane reasons may do to a passenger who may actually need a ride for very legit reasons (ie, isn’t just out partying)

    • It sounds like you’re not a driver which is fine but I think you need to read my article again. Drivers are paid $2.40 on a minimum fare (pax pays $4) and most pax don’t know how to give directions 🙂

      At the end of the day, most drivers will pick up any pax regardless of rating but the more savvy ones will use pax’s rating to increase their bottom line – simple as that.

      • Firewoman

        Sorry, maybe I was a little offended by the criteria you use for 4 star passengers to miss that detail. Either way, that’s a valid ride and you shouldn’t punish a passenger for that. I recently had a driver tell me my rating and that I was considered a bad passenger for it (and that he couldn’t figure out why I was given a low rating, because there was nothing wrong to him). I still think you are a judgmental hypocrite for expecting your passengers to give you 5 stars unless something is seriously wrong, but not doing the same for your pax. And the comments show some of your fellow drivers agree. honestly, after reading this I am tempted to give drivers more 4 star ratings for dumb things to even the score. Other pax may do the same (not only drivers will arrive at your site…)

        • Firewoman

          Also, not surprised uber is being sued by the ada, with your attitude. Do you dock points for someone who may need physical assistance getting into the car too?

      • Firewoman

        Sorry, maybe I was a little offended by the criteria you use for 4 star passengers to miss that detail. Either way, that’s a valid ride and you shouldn’t punish a passenger for that. I recently had a driver tell me my rating and that I was considered a bad passenger for it (and that he couldn’t figure out why I was given a low rating, because there was nothing wrong to him). I still think you are a hypocrite for expecting your passengers to give your 5 stars unless something is seriously wrong, but not doing the same for your pax. And the comments show some of your fellow drivers agree.

        You do know your blog is available for anyone to read (not just drivers)? and honestly this post makes me want to give drivers 4 stars for equally inane things. also, with your attitude, I’m not surprised uber has been sued by the ada. Do you also dock points for a passenger who may need assistance getting into your car?

  • Gerry Zurek

    If the only reason why customer ratings matter is because, drivers can look at them then they must not mean a thing in Chicago. We can’t look at a customer rating before we pick them up. Not even sure I can look at them after I picked them up. I’m usually too busy driving to search for it. Not sure where I would find it.

    • You sure? You should be able to see the customer’s rating on the accept screen before you tap to accept and after you accept the ride. But maybe you’re right, maybe Chi is different..

    • Chris Davis

      I’m in Chicago and I’ve had three Uber drivers tell me I have a perfect 5 star rating. So they must see it somehow.

      • Gerry Zurek

        Of course we can see your rating. But it’s meaningless because it’s after u get into the car . Not before like other cities. As a driver I don’t care what your rating is after I picked u up. I’m stuck with u. If I cancel the ride prematurely because of a rider’s low rating I am sure to get probably a one star rating from the rider. Which means when I can see the passenger’s rating I no longer have the option to not pick him up.

  • Gerry Zurek

    I’ve heard from other drivers from Chicago that Chicago is different.

  • UberMar

    The rating system is crazy. Lyft I’m at a 4.7 but Uber 4.98 I live in Philadelphia and the mindset is different out here and they treat us like we’re their slaves/butler.

    I had 2 girls hitting on me asking if I want to see them topless and kiss so how do I keep them satisfied and stay professional. I got people that work at McDonald’s running late and telling me to hurry and you know they are miserable because they hate their job. I got cursed out because I was 15 minutes away and she asked me to send them a closer driver and told me hurry up. I got people that barley speak english. All types of non sense.

    I greet them, say bye, ask if they want heat, air or the windows down, and they still aren’t 5 star satisfied.

    One week I got four 4 stars and below, and seven 5 stars one week but did nothing different each ride. They left no comments so how do I know they just didn’t like me, or were upset because I didn’t have a Benz or a Maybach, or wasnt the man of their dreams. Or even worse they might have wanted a driver their race.

    If they got to their location, and they didn’t die, then anything less then a 5 is ludicrous because I’m trusting you in my car, using my gas, and adding miles to it. They need us more then we need them so they shouldn’t have the right to vote.

    The world is full of never satisfied haters and we know it.

    • Agreed man, it can definitely be frustrating. The cheaper the customer, the more they want too, so as rates have gone down, we’ve definitely seen an increase in pax who want this/that and can’t be satisfied.

      Best advice I can give is to just know you’re not alone – we’re all getting those types of pax and it’s a part of the job. As long as the good outweighs the bad, just do what you do..

  • Harry I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this to you before but there is an issue on your site with DISQUS. Almost every time I try to leave a comment if I move the focus away from the comment box or go to another tab to copy and paste a reference, spellcheck a word etc I cannot continue typing where I left off. Sometimes it happens for less obvious reasons but I’m not exaggerating in that it happens to me every time I visit your site and many times I gave up in attempting to post a comment. It just did it while I was typing this. On a side note, keep up the awesome work!

    • Hey Steve, wow you’re right. I always thought that was how Disqus worked but I just checked another site and it didn’t do that. I’ll have my web guy take a look at this 🙂 Thx for the heads up!

    • Thanks Steve, found out it’s a conflict with the SumoMe SmartBar so I removed it and should be working now.

      • Glad you found out what the cause was Harry. I can confirm on my end it’s no longer creating the issue. It will be interesting so see if there’s a jump in comments overall and whether this was causing an issue for others but just not reported. Have a good one.

  • 334

    Hello, I’m a new driver and my rating has not reached 5 stars yet. I have done 15 rides so far and I’m at a 4.5. I am doing the best I can, does Uber give you some time to get your rating up if you are a driver?

    • Yea you usually get some leeway for your first 30 or 50 rides but I have lots of tips for new drivers here:


    I’ve been working 5 month now for uber…. At any time when a rider disrespect me I give the rider who request me 2 stars…. Days: 365 trips 1279

    When a rider bothers me on something i rate him 4 stars.

    Yesterday i had 4 riders when the trip ends one of theme did not close the door, not really care I rated the rider that request me 1 star….. And I never ever accept 4.6 rider ratings, 4.6 or below is always shit people…. And when one of the riders shut the door hard the rider gets 2 stars from me always.

    When a rider does a problem i rate him 1 star and then immediately report to uber.
    At any time if a rider damage my car of any kind immediately report for $250 charge if that is a scratch, vomiting, throwing opened bottle of water on my car seats = $250 charge!

    Trust me most drivers in san diego they don’t accept 4.6 rider ratings, remember if a rider has 3 or 4.5 ratings this rider have done something bad in past, so you don’t want to accept him because of that but you know that if you fall below 4.6 you will be deactivate.

    Keep in mind that 4.6 or below rider rating = will not respect you or your car..
    They may rate you bad because they have bad ratings..
    They are dirty…
    They are really bad people.
    They have no life..
    They will not respect you at all.

    Have you notice sometimes you get request ratings 2 – 3 – 4.5 – 4.6 its because the other driver rejected this request and it was your turn now to decide whether to accept 4.6 or not.
    I accept 4.7 only when its not busy!
    Do you know uber tells people that drivers gets 80% but that is not true, example when the trip ends it says $6 but you only get $3.40 so you get between 50% to 70% and how much you pay for the gas here in CA everyday ? if you work everyday you spend $30 on gas or not, how much you make now with uber or lyft very little money right.

    Other than that i give 5 stars to every respectful rider, 90% of the time i give 5 stars.

  • Chris Davis

    I have rated every Uber driver I’ve ever had 5 stars with the exception of one, a guy who had a baseball game blaring on the radio and wouldn’t turn the volume down when I asked. I gave him 3 stars. I even gave 5 stars to one guy who preached his religion to me the entire trip, which I thought was inappropriate.

  • John Matsukes

    I have over 1.500 trips on the UBER system. I always get 5 stars from my pax…..well almost as the college sorority girls always give me a 1 star review.

  • John Matsukes

    5min and one second and if the pax isn’t in the car cancel as a no show and move on with the fee off a no show (in hand).

  • Erika Hernandez

    I’m a rider with a 4.8. These comments are a little menacing to me since I depend on Uber to get around (SO much safer than public transport). I am guilty of making my driver wait (up to 10 mins) and a couple of times I have placed the pin incorrectly (one time I had to cancel a trip on UberPool and reorder it because I had put the wrong address). I also have given directions, especially when I’m doing multiple stops (something my driver and I agree upon pickup). By your standards I would easily have a 4 rating right now, getting canceled on and skipped constantly when I now average a $15 UberPool ride, $20 uberX. My default rating for my drivers is 5 stars, even before I became aware that drivers get cut for an unreasonable rating. My concern is not necessarily your standards RSG, but the animosity amongst drivers towards riders. Gosh, if you dislike us all so much, why are you trying to be our “personal driver”?!?

    One thing I’d like to note is that drivers are getting rated at an exponentially higher rate that riders – a driver may have 10+ rides in a day, I would think an average rider would max at 3 a day.

    • I write lots of articles that focus on the positives of driving but I also talk about the parts that suck, this is one of the parts that sucks for drivers. Your comment is very very telling in that you refer to us as your ‘personal driver’ which is not how I feel at all haha. And I’m pretty sure most other drivers don’t feel like that either, but it doesn’t surprise me that you’d keep your personal driver waiting for 10 mins, I would do that too…

      But most drivers prefer to be treated more like equals since they aren’t professionals, they do this to make extra money or to pay the bills. The animosity is mainly towards Uber but since Uber doesn’t listen to drivers demands, it gets pushed on to passengers. Not saying it’s right but have to blame someone right.

      Kinda like when there’s a bunch of traffic and your pax is mad at you because they left too late and they can’t get mad at traffic so they take it out on you and your rating 🙂

    • I write a lot of positive stuff about driving for Uber but there are also a lot of parts that suck, this is one of them for drivers. I don’t feel like anyone’s ‘personal driver’ and I think that is one of the biggest problems with Uber. Pax treat drivers like their personal driver, keeping them waiting for 10 mins while they’re not paid and then not tipped, but most drivers aren’t pros. They’re just trying to make some extra money or pay the bills.

      Like with any job, drivers have to vent too and usually Uber just ignores drivers, so they shift anger onto pax.

  • Rachel

    I’m a passenger and wow… i leave 5 stars every time unless I have a rude or really unsafe driver, then I leave a 4. I’ve only left one 3 and that was when a driver made me feel really scared and kept asking me very personal questions. However, I have specifically asked drivers about tipping (I usually tip very well) and they will absolutely not take it. One guy said he would get in trouble. So from then on I just assumed I shouldn’t leave a tip. But now I’m hearing that I’m probably getting 1 star ratings? That sucks. Some passengers really don’t know any better… and I’ve bee riding with uber for years.

    I’d rather be able to leave comments, tip appropriately, and know my rating.

    • I don’t think you’re probably getting 1 star ratings for not leaving a tip. It really is just more an issue that drivers have with Uber, I don’t blame passengers for thinking tip is included. But it is frustrating for drivers, that’s for sure 🙂

  • Twentydragon

    I find it more than a little baffling that Uber can require drivers to maintain a 4.6 or higher when Uber itself is unable to do so:

  • Fedup US Expatriate

    Not sure where you live, and not to bust your bubble, your system is mostly fair and of coruse all have their own opinions, but as a US citizen residing abroad I’d like to let you open your eyes into another world for just a second in case you encounter such a passenger in order not to make a quick judgement on rating…
    1. Where I live although the app is in English, the addressing is not, and I believe this will hold true for the US as well, so if the person happens to be from let’s say France and doesn’t speak much English, and tries to enter the address in French, but of coruse it doesn’t work, thus this person CANNOT accurately enter the details of their address. Give them a break. I can never enter addresses because everytime I do it ends up getting messed up somewhere in translation, and copying and pasting addresses is not always easy to do. So I can simple speak the langauge I need to, non-English, to the driver where I am, and they enter it themelves, time is money, but without the passengers you don’t have a job. Right? right, ok…
    2. If you happen to be just 3 minutes away from the destination and the person does not come out within 1-2 minutes of your arrival, I don’t think it’s fair that the passenger should be automatically given a 4. Where I live, some times it takes cars 10 minutes to get here, and the GPS system and time is always wrong. I call from my home before I leave, although I am almost ready to walk out the door, that is not always the case. If the driver gets to my home too quickly, unforutnately they are going to have to wait, canceling and requesting another driver generally results in the same driver answering the call, at least where I am.
    3. Minimum fares still get you more ratings and more money, and as you said you can usaully get another passenger quickly, so what’s the big deal?
    4. Magellan, ok I have a bone to pick with this one. Especially where I live. Luckily you don’t drive here. I always NEED to tell the driver where to go as they are not familar with the city most of the time, they are not cab drivers, some have worked Uberx for years some only months or days. I know the best way to get to where I am going usually and the fastest and cheapest route, where as many drivers would not. So before you automaticlly go and rate a pax a 4 because of this, consider their situation. Maybe they have been to their destination more times then you have, most likely actually, especially if they do it everyday.
    Maybe I should post my list of how I rate my drivers… Which by the way is generally a 5 unless they are total jerks, not paying attention to the road and checking their phone all the time or don’t listen to me when I tell them to take A route instead of B route. So not much to say about that. In the 30 plus times I have used Uber all but two were 5s. One because their car was really not clean and they had no idea where they were going, he got a 4, and the one at the beginning of this paragraph got a 3. He made me 15 minutes late and cost me more money because the route he took stuck me in traffic which is a big failure to me when they dont listen to my route. If I choose it and I am late then that’s my issue.
    Anyway, consider the above. I am not ragging on you, but there are some situations you should probably consider, maybe you do, but you didn’t mention about those. Cheers.

    • These are good points. I will say that I am in a bit of a unique position running a blog for drivers so I know a lot about what it takes to be a good driver haha. And I also use it as a pax a lot so I know what it takes to be a good pax, all of your counters are definitely true but the thing is if what you describe is only happening once in a while, and you get a 4 or a 3 here and there your rating still will be very high. So as long as they’re outliers, not a big deal.

      Definitely good to hear from the other side, might make for a good guest post if you’re up for it?

      E-mail me and let’s chat 🙂

    • Quarter to Bull

      I find that the issue with “Mininum Fares” is something that only a driver would understand and not a passenger. Minimum Fare rides annoy the fuck out of taxi & rideshare drivers because it’s essentially a waste of their time not worth the effort, especially if the rider doesn’t tip for compensation. It’s particular aggravating if all the driver gets is Minimum Fare riders.

      • StephanieJCW

        So do I just add a randomly llong route to my trip to keep a driver happy?

        • Quarter to Bull

          Yes, or take a taxi or walk.

          • StephanieJCW

            Grow up.

          • Quarter to Bull

            Lol, This is Uber bitch. Drivers are “Independent Contractors”. This isn’t a “Customer is always right” gig. If you make the drivers “unhappy”, they’ll strand your ass on the curb. See how much Uber will “Care”.

          • StephanieJCW

            Nice bit of misogyny there. This conversation is over.

  • SeanJ76

    All riders get 1 star from me if they don’t tip!

  • CabinetGuy

    Since Uber doesn’t seem interested in educating its riders, it looks like it’s up to us. I posted this on Facebook. Feel free to link or cut and paste as your own:

    Uber Riders: When you rate your Uber Driver, 4 out of 5 stars is an F grade.

    So I’ve been driving around for Uber this last week to make a few extra bucks to fill in the gaps while I try to get a new woodworking business going. Here is something important I’ve learned in the ratings system: It’s not like at a restaurant where four out of five stars is pretty good, nor is it like an A through F scale. It is pass or fail. Four stars is not a B grade with Uber’s system. If on every ride an Uber driver receives a 4 star (B grade as most would think) rating, the driver gets deactivated by Uber for having a rating of less than 4.6. That’s right, an Uber driver must have a B+ average or better. If you are an Uber passenger, you might be pretty satisfied with a ride, so you reward your driver with four stars, but what you actually did was give him a failing grade.

    It’s not the passenger’s fault since Uber doesn’t educate passengers on how their grading system works. The B grading passenger thinks he did a favor to the driver for doing a pretty good job.

    My advice to people who try to do right by others: if your Uber driver gets you to where you’re going safely in a clean and well maintained car, and doesn’t act unkindly, then give him five stars. If he is too chatty, maybe misses your turn, and has to loop back, has the interior too hot, or is otherwise imperfect yet gets you to your destination safely and still on time, and you feel like he deserves at least a B or B-, then at the very least, don’t rate him at all because four stars is a failing grade on Uber’s system. Above all, don’t punish the driver if you aren’t happy with Uber Corporation. If you feel overcharged or you don’t like being charged extra for surge times, it’s not about your poor driver. It’s a cashless system that the driver has no control over, and Uber’s rating system is solely about the driver, not about the overall company.

    If you are an Uber driver or are close to an Uber driver please feel free to share this post so more people understand the system.

  • James St John

    I use the 2⭐️ For riders I don’t want to see again. And I use 1⭐️ for riders no one should have to ride around again.

  • Zubrowka Bison

    As a fairly new rider with 7 trips (UK) I asked on first trip whether I should tip cash and told I shouldn’t do that. My rating is 4.6 though I have never puked/slammed/been mean or rude. What’s happen there? Have I broken some rule here? I’ve always rated 5. Why can’t the riders see why they were rated harshly if it affects their pick up?

  • Anna

    Your criteria for docking stars are positively absurd.

    “Not entering a destination”? You are aware that some people use their browsers rather than the app, right? The browser interface does not support entering a destination. Alternatively, the address could be a location that the rider remembers how to get to but cannot remember the exact street or number (a friend’s place, for instance). Or it could be they are headed to a venue for which the map search just doesn’t work for some reason.

    “Minimal fare rider”? The whole point of a minimal fare is for the driver to have a guaranteed income following the ride. Chances are if the meter was on you’d be making a lot less. The equivalent of a minimal fare is one hour’s walking distance, if not more. When is the last time *you* walked for an hour to run an errand? With grocery bags. And a small child in tow. Passengers could be hurrying to overly-demanding, low-paid jobs. They could be trying to make medical appointments. There’s probably a reason they don’t have a car of their own.
    In these cases, anything other than Uber/Lyft is simply not practical, because we live in the great US of A where public transportation is practically unheard of.
    Moreover, the value of the minimal fare is Uber’s responsibility, not the passenger’s. Take it up with them.

    “Giving you too many directions”? Maybe there’s good reason people are giving directions. They might be more familiar with traffic, especially if it’s their daily commute. Perhaps they feel giving you specific directions makes your job easier. Next time, you might try to politely ask why they chose that route. To your surprise, you might learn something.

    In my experience, people rarely put in the effort of giving directions when unnecessary. It’s a chore for both parties involved. Surely you realize that it’s easier for them to put in the destination address and also spare you the micromanaging? If they could, they would.

    My point is simple: Give people the benefit of the doubt!

    Imagine if your passengers held you to the same ridiculous standards. Maybe dock stars when you don’t offer water, when you park a bit further down the block or when you pick a slightly suboptimal route.How about when uber charges extra or the wait times are too long (even though “it’s not technically” your fault)?

    You don’t seem to be very considerate of their potential circumstances when rating, why should they?

    Finally, please stop using the word “pax” for passenger. Pax is the latin word for peace, which makes parsing your sentences incredibly tedious.

    • You can’t call a ride with your browser.

      Min. fare riders – I think I did caveat that one with it’s not really the rider’s fault so I sort of agree with you. But now that you know a driver only gets paid $2.40 on that ride, don’t you think Uber should increase it? Send an e-mail to Uber if you’re outraged at that.

      Directions: Of course there are exceptions but most pax suck at giving directions for the reasons I outlined.

      Haha pax do hold us to those standards – I really think you would empathize with drivers if you went out and drove for a couple nights. I suggest giving it a try, it may be humbling:

      • Anna

        Actually, calling a ride from the browser is possible by requesting browser access (through an e-mail) and visiting
        I have done this a number of times before installing the app. However, it does not allow riders to set the destination which is why I got the app. As a rider, I do not

        And yes, I do think Uber is seriously underpaying the drivers. Because of the fixed costs associated with a ride, this is most apparent for short rides. I’m outraged that out of the $5.5 I am paying for a 10-minute ride, less than half goes to the driver and I have complained to customer service.

        Also, tipping to compensate for this is a pain because, like most people, I don’t have a supply of 1$ bills readily available.

        For the record, my default rating is 5 stars (which I gave every driver so far). I would only give less than 5 for intentional disrespect or severe unprofessionalism.

      • Anna

        You can call a ride with your browser by going to
        However, the browser version doesn’t let you add a destination. As a passenger, I hate giving directions (and it’s easier for the drivers to have it on their GPS), so I started using the app.

        Uber should definitely be paying the drivers a larger cut. Or allow tipping to compensate. Like many people, I don’t carry around a steady supply of $1 bills, which makes matters very frustrating. Even more of an issue for short rides is that Uber still takes away their fixed fees, which means that, our of $5.50 that the rider pays, only $2.40 goes to the driver. But, again, this is pure greed on the part of Uber and not the fault of passengers.

        So far, I’ve given all my drivers 5 stars. They are nice people and I wouldn’t withhold stars unless the person was really rude or unprofessional. I do expect the same rating scheme, however, on the part of the drivers

        I do agree with your penalizing late passengers and door-slammers, since those are things everyone can help.

  • Honey

    I just started a week ago. Someone asked me how the job is going. I said, it’s like driving on a long road trip everyday. Add to that the pressure of interpersonal skills, for a large variety of personalities, while you’re driving, focusing on safety, a pleasant riding experience, traffic conditions, other drivers, and where the hell you’re going, which may be totally new, and in the boonies, and you have to pay attention to Ms. Google Maps loud mouth giving directions, as the passenger is talking to you simultaneously, while you may be driving 70MPH on Interstate-Spaghettiville. Uber, Lyft, are you listening?? I would love to see an Uber or Lyft CEO on ” Undercover Boss” for a week!!! They’d have some new found respect, and probably be very motivated to make some much needed changes to help their drivers.

    Also, I’ve been giving every single passenger a 5 star rating, because, I’m a generous positive person. I don’t consider any inconvenience they may cause me, even though I have waited for many for more than a few minutes. Sometimes, I’ve driven for 13 minutes, to get to the pick up location, to take someone to their destination a 10 minute drive, and I waited 5 minutes for them. I still gave them 5 stars. Lyft does not compensate for the 13 minute drive to pick a passenger up, but they’ll punish you for the unacceptance rate.

    Someone gave me 3 stars in my first couple of nights as a driver. I couldn’t find the damn whiskey bar she was headed to because it was smack between buildings in the block. So we went around the block, and I realized Ms Google Maps was going to direct me to go around the entire block, again. So I decided to try a small street drilling into the block. Still, we couldn’t find the bar. I wanted to drop her onto the well lit Main Street, for her safety, so didn’t let her off on the small dark street right away, when she had suggested she could just get off here–where there was a drunk homeless man hanging in the sidewalk, with no one else around. It was a matter of a couple of more minutes. Her fare was probably slightly higher than she usually paid to come downtown, so I think that’s why she gave me a 3. That really hurt my overall score, which with a short list of rides, brought it down close to being deactivated. But I was assured by my “Mentor” who begrudgingly texts me any answers to my questions, that Lyft ultimately evaluates your score after 100 rides, to make any serious determination of deactivation. But more importantly, it made me realize how unkind, and unappreciated people “riders” can be. Now that I’ve got a week under my belt, I am observing how most people are nice, and appreciative, while there’s always those few who wield the power of their rating quite uncaring of its impact on the driver’s livelihood. They have too much power in their scoring. And I’m noticing, since my score is at 4.7 out of 5, there are some not as kind and generous as I. So I’m going to start scoring riders that I feel are not going to be as kind, with a little more scrutiny.

    Also, after Lyft takes its 25%, weigh in time, gas, car maintenance, and it is hard to make minimum wage. Oh, and my passengers are riding in a BMW, but Lyft has no compensation for a classier ride than a Pinto.

    I challenge an Uber or Lyft CEO to try driving a week on “Undercover Boss”. Any takers out there??

  • guest

    Wow, you are really wrong for rating people lower for taking short trips. I’m a single mom who works so my daughter takes an Uber to school every morning and back home every afternoon because I’m not there to take her. She even walks to a nearby shop so it’s easy for the driver to find her after school ( not have to look for her in a sea of kids). We rate every driver a 5. Even when they make mistakes. But you would rate her a 4 every time??
    What a jerk.

    • Yea it probably is a bit of a jerk move but drivers are in a tough spot bc they likely lose money on min. fare rides yet can’t not accept them and Uber controls the pricing.

  • StephanieJCW

    I think dinging passengers for short rides is pathetic to be honest. It’s also the main issue I have with taxi drivers who argue over taking you to a destination they don’t think is far enough.

    If I am going a short distance and using an uber there is probably a reason (tiredness, not feeling well, running late, have items I cannot carry etc.) To drop a rating for this is just, well….

    I do think passengers should be educated as to what Uber ratings means for drivers. I did not know until after I had been using Uber for a few months. I had been giving 4s as standard! I had to up it to 5 unless something happened to annoy me. I have never given below a 3 however.

    • I guess now I understand why taxi drivers do it but I still think drivers should be paid a little bit more for short rides. Not saying it’s the passenger’s fault but on any ride less than 1-2 miles, drivers make around $2-3. That’s too low IMO.

      • StephanieJCW

        That is low. I don’t think it’s that low here, I know I have plenty of short rides and the minimum base rate appears to be $8. But it still makes no sense punishing passengers for Uber’s pricing structure. It’s like a passenger giving you a low rating because there was traffic. Particularly as Uber drivers know the pricing structure ahead of becoming a driver.

        • On minimum fares, Uber also takes a much higher cut since they take a $2 safety fee and then 20-25%. So on an $4.65 min. fare for ex, Uber takes $1.65 fee and then 20% leaving the driver with a net payout of $2.40.

          Passengers actually do often give low ratings bc of traffic or they’re late 🙂 Read some of the comments on our ratings articles..

          • StephanieJCW

            Oh I know some passengers leave bad ratings because of traffic. I think it’s wrong. But I don’t see how anybody can complain about that while also giving passengers low ratings because of Uber’s pricing structure (that drivers have agreed to.)

    • girlintransit

      I drive UberBlack and a minimum net fare on a short ride is $11.25, but after doing my taxes yesterday reflecting a full year’s worth of uber income, even driving the premium car with better rates, it doesn’t pay off. I’m not sure how in good conscious anyone can recommend being an uber driver, unless you already have a reliable job or income and doing it for extra pocket change. If you’re doing this full time, there’s more risk than reward. I’ll now be diligently looking for work now and hopefully get something fairly soon in the better economic environment. It’s been a unique experience but I’m looking forward to when I no longer have to do it. As an aside, there are a couple interesting online articles on re start-ups and Juno.

      • Interesting, I’d be curious to see some of your numbers if willing to share. E-mail me 🙂

        • girlintransit

          That may be possible. It’s the self employment tax that killed me and it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of drivers are struggling to pay their taxes or simply not paying or worse. I simply can’t afford do it again this year.

  • StephanieJCW

    Oh and I think dinging passengers for not tipping sucks too. One of the plus points of Uber is not having to worry about tipping. I rarely have cash on my and just want it sorted on my card. If the fare amounts are too low…find another job?

  • Denys Gluzov

    Hi Harry, I have been reading a lot on your blog. I was wondering 2 questions which every Uber/lyft driver may be wondering.

    1. On lyft I am 4.3 (driver). I am very friendly with passangers, do everything they ask… and I am a 4.3… also how am I still active??

    2. For Uber and lyft I have each around 40+ rides. I was wondering if there is a breakdown of the rating system. When do the stars start to decrease your rating by .02 instead of .03 and so on.

  • Denys Gluzov

    Hi Harry, I am unfortunately worried to being deactivated seeing my rating had dipped to 4.65. I was wondering if I were to get deactivated and take the Uber course. Would I be able to drive again once passing the course? And how many times are you allowed to retake the course (for low ratings)? Or is it a one more chance kind of deal? I know the course costs money…. I am from MA so I believe its $50.

    Also, Some of the passengers I feel are uneducated about this entire rating system as I see them rating (4 stars out of 5). How is it possible to educate them? Should I just ask for a 5 star rating? Because I do everything they ask…. (especially on short rides).

  • Christopher Thomas Nicodemus

    I always give 5-star passenger ratings. There has been one exception where I gave a 4-star rating. I keep water bottles in the door pockets. Had four passengers, they each took a bottle of water, which is fine. They each drank less than half and then put them back in the door pockets as they were getting out.

    • Ah not cool, personally I stopped giving out water on Uber for similar reasons 🙂 Unless they ask nicely of course haha.


    Can somebody please tell me what to do if a lyft driver asked me for a specific rating.

    • If you felt he deserved the rating give it to him but if not, don’t. Just be aware that anything below 5 stars is like a failing grade for drivers since they have to maintain a 4.6 to stay active.

  • JB

    FYI, I had to take the drivers class back in January due to low ratings. Their instructions on rating passengers was to either give a five star or a one star, nothing in-between. This way the system will see that you don’t give low ratings all the time, and it can cancel out bad ratings you get from customers. Also, you can now revise your star rating by trip in the Uber Partner app.

    • Huh? I have never heard that before and it doesn’t sound right haha…

      But yes you can revise your star rating now 🙂

      • JB

        I’m only passing along what we were told in class by our instructor. It may not “sound right” but that’s what he said.

  • Lucas Moro

    Harry – might I suggest one more – Smelly riders.

    I’ve given a rider five stars, but when I opened the car the next morning and could still smell their odour in my car, I went into the app and revised my rating to a three.

    I’m cautious that “smelly riders” can get into a whole level of class warfare, but the riders that have left a “lasting effect” on my car are usually well presented/educated who had a cigarette RIGHT before getting in the vehicle or had a big night the night before and still haven’t freshened up.

    I picked a passenger up at 10am yesterday and they must have had a big night because I’m still trying to get the smell of vodka/spirits out of the car.

    • That’s a good one – the smell that really bothers me is cigarette smoke..

  • Ansky01

    Even if the passenger has poor rating, you still have to accept him/her because if you don’t, you get deactivated.

    • You are allowed to not accept a few requests here and there but yes the majority you need to accept.

  • Andy

    For me it’s all about the passengers attitude. I down rate for nothing else.

  • joshua justin

    I have a question that is not addressed….. Do Lyft passengers see your rating for them prior to being prompted to rate you and add a tip?

    I had a guy that wanted 3 stops before his final destination. In total, he was in my car for FORTY EIGHT minutes and didn’t tip. Definitely not a passenger I would want in my car again, and based on conversation this seems to be behavior he does regularly. In total, we drove 9.1 miles in 45:30. His total fare was $18.67, minus $4.67 in Lyft fees, for a total payment to me of $14. I presumed he was going to tip so I ignored the frustrations of the ride and gave him a 5-star.

    I’ll recognize his name if he requests again and I’ll be declining that ride. Or accepting it and giving him a 1-rating? But – honestly, does the rider see your rating ever?

    PS: are there any forums to vent about interesting/entertaining/exciting/horrific experiences?


    • No they don’t. And yea that’s frustrating when you go out of your way and they don’t tip. Maybe make it known up front next time that you don’t get paid much to wait but you’re happy to do it for them as long as they take care of you at the end.

      And no pax will never see/know what you rated them. And if you rate below a 3, you won’t get them again. As for forums, yes here is a good place or uberpeople/reddit:

  • Majicka Charmcaster

    You can actually cheat the Lyft rating system if it gets too low. Of course it might hinder your ability to make some money… Any 1 star rating will significantly drop your rating by at least 2-3 points. With that being said you can take 1-2 rides a day for a week hoping those rides be 5 stars and they’ll eventually push your ratings back up significantly.

    • How is that cheating the ratings system?

      • Majicka Charmcaster

        According to lyft it’s manipulation of the rating system… Blah blah blah. Regardless I’ve tested it and it works perfect.

  • brad roberts

    Its’ best that a rider just not rate the driver than leave a less than 5 star rating. If they feel the need to do so, they should be required to explain the situation then allow the driver to respond before applying the lower rating.

    I haven’t been paying attention to the rating of the riders, just happy that I got a rider. I had been giving everyone a 5 star rating hoping they would do the same for me. No longer.

    We drivers take the biggest risk with our own, usually financed vehicles, drivers licences, auto insurance, maintenance etc…, picking up strangers. Often times they are drunk, dirty, foul mouthed, rude etc…

    We open their doors for them, introduce ourselves, try to be friendly. We offer them their music of choice, adjust the A/C for them, all of the things taxis never did for them and in nice, late model vehicles.

    • Yea I agree, it’s tough to get a 1-4 star rating and no feedback since you don’t know what to do to improve..