Ride-share apps have made going out and having a good time easier in so many ways. Gone are the days where one friend has to abstain from partying in order to be the designated driver. Apps like Uber and Lyft make it cheap, easy, and convenient to get a little buzzed without consequences (or at least fewer consequences — they’ve yet to find a way to keep you from texting “You up?” to everyone in your contact list).
But sometimes people take that freedom from worry a little too far. Puking, backseat sex, and discarded trash are all elements drivers have to deal with while, at the same time, living in fear that their ratings could drop if they call passengers out. It’s a scary prospect.
Now Uber is making it clear that using a rideshare app is a privilege, not a right. The company announced this week that passengers whose ratings dip too low will soon be banned from using the service.
“Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability,” Head of Safety Brand and Initiatives Kate Parker said in a statement. “Drivers have long been expected to meet a minimum rating threshold which can vary city to city. While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it’s the right thing to do.”
The news comes only a few weeks after Uber and Lyft employees went on strike for better working conditions. Hopefully, the consequences of banning passengers who are disrespectful or abusive will go toward improving quality of life for drivers, who could get fired for dipping even below a 4.6 rating.
It’s unclear how low will be too low to keep your account. Uber told NPR that each city would determine its own threshold. However, they promised that riders whose rating drops below standards will have multiple chances to improve their score, as well as being given tips to do so. Point being — it’s unlikely that the one time you got a bad rating because you declined to invest in your driver’s “healing crystal” startup business is enough to get you banished.
To check out your current score, log onto the app and look at the number under your username. Then get ready to have an existential crisis as you try to figure out which drivers rated you poorly. Was it you Amanda? I talked to you for 30 minutes about your burgeoning music career even though I just wanted to scroll through Twitter. HOW COULD YOU???? I thought we were FRIENDS.