I’m Tempted To Start Micro-Managing My Uber Rating…

Filed Under: Uber

I’m a huge fan of Uber, and have used them hundreds of times. For me they’ve transformed how I get around, especially in cities where public transportation is lacking. I love that Uber is cashless (even though I sometimes tip), and I also find the service to pretty consistently be excellent.

That’s the beauty of Uber’s instant feedback loop. After each ride, the passenger can rate the driver, and the driver can rate the passenger. It keeps the drivers on their feet, since they can get kicked out if their rating falls too low.

Passengers can see their ratings as well

A lot of Uber users don’t realize that they can pull up their Uber rating at any time through the app or Uber’s website. In March I explained how you can find out your Uber score — it’s quite easy, and can be updated at any time.

I’m surprised Uber lets you constantly see your rating, because it enrages some customers to see when their rating drops after a ride. On a recent post, reader lopore said the following about waiting to rate drivers until after he sees how they rated him:

So here’s what I do.

After I finish the ride and BEFORE I rate the driver through the app, I log into uber.com and see what my rating is. It appears to be updated real time and it’s fairly easy to see what they’ve rated you as long as you have your rating before you took the ride.

With the detailed rating this is even easier to do. Some scumbag driver rated me a 3 this week for no reason at all and was able to rate him appropriately. Otherwise I would have given him a 5.

At the time I thought that seemed silly, but now I’m almost considering it…

My perspective on Uber ratings

While I think a feedback loop is good, personally I think Uber’s rating system is flawed. Drivers have to maintain a 4.5+ score in order to stay in the system, so the default is to give drivers a 5.

But that’s a dumb rating scale, because shouldn’t a score of 3 be average, while a score of 5 is exceptional? But I understand how the system works, so I don’t rate drivers low, since I realize their livelihood depends on them getting scores of 5. I don’t recall ever rating a driver anything but 5.

As far as my score goes, I don’t care what the score as such is. I will say that I go out of my way to always be courteous, never leave anything in the car, always clearly enter my pick up and drop off locations, make a point of being outside before the driver arrives, and always say “please” and “thank you.”

At the same time I sometimes get non-perfect scores, because I do sometimes order cars for friends who might be a little drunk (not to the point of throwing up, but to the point where they shouldn’t be driving — isn’t that partly the point of Uber?), take fairly short rides when it takes the driver a while to get to me (which isn’t my fault, but…), etc.

But that leads me to the situation I faced yesterday.

I got a low rating (1-star?)… for no reason!

Now, I know usually when people say “for no good reason” there actually is a good reason… but hear me out!

I took my first Uber ride in a while yesterday, as I’ve spent the past week flying. For whatever reason, I was inspired to check my Uber rating before the ride. I don’t know why.

My score was 4.63.


I did everything I could as a passenger (it was an UberBLACK, for what it’s worth):

  • I entered the origin and destination into the app
  • I was waiting outside when the driver arrived
  • When I got in the car I said “hi, I’m Ben… I’m going to ____, and I think it should be in the app already?”
  • I didn’t say a word the rest of the ~10 minute drive, but just looked out the window (and to clarify, he didn’t try to talk to me either, or anything)
  • When I got out of the car I said “thanks so much, have a great evening”

The guy didn’t seem especially friendly or like he was in a great mood. When I said “thanks so much, have a great evening” he said “yeah.” I still gave him five stars, because I realize he gets kicked out if he gets too many negative scores.

I had a weird feeling about the guy, so after rating him I checked my score again, and saw it dropped to 4.62. I’ve taken hundreds and hundreds of Uber rides, probably around 1,000. Given that my score dropped by 0.01, I suspect he gave me a 1-star rating.


Regardless, it wasn’t a 5 star rating, which is the only rating a driver can consistently get if they want to stay in the system.

I don’t know if he didn’t like me or what, but last I checked this is Uber and not Tinder. The things I stated above are facts, about not having said anything during the ride, and everything else having been entered.

I’m sort of pissed. Not actually pissed, but just sort of puzzled as to how he dared give me a lower rating, when he’s really the one who relies on me giving him a good rating. I paid him, did everything I was supposed to, and somehow that wasn’t enough?

As much as it’s usually not my personality, I’m tempted to start using the strategy mentioned by lopore above, and checking my score through Uber’s site before rating a driver. Why should I reward a driver with a 5 star rating when they don’t think I’m worthy of one?

Do you care if you get a low rating from an Uber driver? Anyone else use lopore’s strategy above?

  1. You are always polite to Uber drivers, always courteous, for a reason (and it isn’t just self-interest). May I suggest?

    Extend your policy to forgiving this offence and others like it. It clearly isn’t an organized campaign against you, it’s a guy having a very bad day.

    Forgiveness is the fastest way to get it out of your head. You’ve got enough to do.

  2. Same comments I make every time you post about Uber.

    Their system is massively flawed.

    There is no rhyme or reason to the rating system. You’re right. A 3 should be fine, a 4 for going above and beyond, and 5 should be rare. In fact, I’m not sure what would warrant a 5. Having the AC on? SHouldn’t they do that already? Going some secret, fast way? Not really possible in NYC. Etc. Though we’re all so used to it that we almost feel bad for not giving out 5s every time. I rarely do now. Even asking the drivers about the ratings, you get a million different answers.

    Do I get a lower rating if I don’t talk to the driver? I’m paying Uber to take me somewhere. And I usually want that ride to be quiet. So I can decompress after a noisy airport experience. Or so I can prep for a meeting. But does the driver think I’m being rude? Does it lower my rating? Recall here that Uber isn’t doing me a favor by driving me somewhere – I am paying them for the service.

    Someone here replied that they tell the driver if they don’t want to talk. I’ve tried that. The drivers in NYC laugh. And then I probably get a 4.

    Ask Uber Support what the ratings mean? You get a bunch of different useless answers.

    Luckily I’ve found Lyft to be much better. And suddenly yellow cabs are easier to find.

    At some point, this will come back to bite Uber in the butt. For the moment, it’s just frustrating.

  3. As you point out, while not giving your Uber driver a 5 or 4 star rating, you might put their future with Uber at risk, but it’s fairly meaningless what your own star rating is (if your rating has gotten to 1 or 2, it might start to have noticable impact but otherwise…).

    Perhaps the best thing to do is not make a thing of dropping 0.01 of a point, which will have zero impact. It’s hardly worth being pissed and wasting time over. Life is busy enough without stressing about the irrelevant.

  4. this rating could have been anything 4 or below, it did not have to be a 1. Your rating might have been 4.6250000001 before (rounded to 4.63) and dropped to 4.6249999999 (rounded to 4.62) and it would have shown up the same.
    Don’t monitor your rating if it is going to upset you, really not worth the stress, especially if you can’t even tell what the changes mean, which you can’t if you have 1000 plus rides and it only rounds to 2 decimal places. At most, a single ride can effect your rating by only .00362 which may or may not show up in the rounded number.

  5. On a related note, if the driver has been around long, then they also have a lot of ratings and one bad rating is going to make nearly no difference to whether they are at 4.50 or above, so you can go ahead and rate the drivers honestly.

  6. I also think it was because you didn’t tip him. I know the whole point/policy of Uber is no tipping, but with the Uber Black option I think these guys are used to driving for limo companies and expect some sort of tip.

  7. Well based upon your writing, you are a little high maintenance, and that can translate into reality on your ratings with Uber. World may not see you like you think.

  8. Based on what you wrote, he might as well have given you a 4. If you were barely above 4.63, anything less than a 5 would get you to drop down 0.01, even if the change might be far less than 0.01.

  9. Uber’s rating system is idiotic and skewed for drivers, but completely irrelevant for riders. This is part of the reason it doesn’t sit prominently in the rider app the way it does for drivers. As long as you’re paying and aren’t getting reported for consistent major issues (such as insisting on drinking in the vehicle where it’s prohibited, etc), you’ll stay on the platform. Especially if you’re paying for Black. If you’re that concerned about your rating, start tipping (and if you’re taking uberX, definitely tip! Those fares are basically nothing as is)

  10. I got a 1 from a driver once when I directed him to take a faster, shorter routing than the GPS was giving him. (Local roads vs. highway that would take 2x the distance) I know that hurts his bottom line, but still…

  11. Lucky,
    I think 99.9% of the time it doesn’t matter as a passenger what your rating is! A driver is unlikely to cancel on you because say you have a rating between 3 and 4.9. Also, remember, the drivers get dinged on there acceptance rate and likely also random cancellations!

    I fully agree its fun to check your rating and I can see how one might enjoy trying to track the rating on a ride by ride basis to see if it changes; but again, I don’t think the rating impacts the service you receive at all unless your rating falls to say 1 or 2 in which case Uber may investigate why a pax constantly gets rated 1*.

    Unlike credit scores or other kinds of ratings, I really don’t think the Uber or Lyft passenger rating impacts the number of vehicles available to you or the service you receive. In other words, practically speaking, it doesn’t matter at all, if your rating is 4.0 or 5.0 or anywhere in between. If you enjoy tracking it and micro managing it, then go for it, but realize it won’t affect your passenger experience.

    Also if a driver rates you 1* for no reason, I don’t think there is much you can do about it, I’m not sure that Uber customer service would investigate or take any action?

  12. It seems like the drivers are expecting tips more frequently. If initially it is the Uber Black drivers that expect this and it becomes prevalent, it will spread to Uber X drivers within a year – and once that happens Uber loses a big part of it’s advantage to me. Uber should also be concerned that some of their best drivers are finding ways to use Uber to get first time customers, and then after a couple rides with those customers, moving them over to a one-on-one transaction system – which of course means that the driver gets to keep all of the income and not share it with Uber. Uber should be concerned that in most cities the quality of taxi service has dramatically increased since Uber arrived. Anyone used Uber X lately? Two of my last four trips in Uber X have involved drivers who had absolutely no ability to use or follow a map, when the passenger is 2,000 miles from home they should not need to explain to the local driver how to reach a hotel – that should concern Uber. Uber should also be concerned that some of their best drivers have used Uber to get customers and after a couple of rides converted those customer relationships over to a one-on-one relationship where they just use Square to bill the rider directly, and cut Uber out of the transaction entirely – still cashless, better reliability for the customer, less money going offshore for Uber to shelter from taxes, and the ratings are face to face, no stars.

  13. “A driver is unlikely to cancel on you because say you have a rating between 3 and 4.9”

    If you all don’t think passenger ratings don’t matter, you should search and read the comments on sites for Uber drivers. I’ve read a couple and there were several comments by drivers who said they wouldn’t pick up fares with low ratings. One guy even said sub 4.7 was too low for him.

  14. @J That just makes no sense – drivers are in this to make money, not only take 4.7+ riders as if they are playing favourites (they will be taking few rides then). Unless the user is known for destructive behaviour, drivers are going to take the fare – because they aren’t doing this for kicks.

  15. Ahh, grade inflation is rampant here too. I agree. A 3 should be fine and a 5 should be exceptional. A different system is just stupid. I forsee Uber getting sued big in the future over kicking drivers out for having a B- rating.

  16. Thanks @me for another clueless comment. You obviously have no idea about Uber. Have you even used it once?

    As for rating passengers, that feature will likely fall by the wayside as Uber matures. Much like neging buyers on ebay is now impossible, Uber management should realize there’s not much point to criticizing passengers when the bottom line is what really matters.

  17. My rating is 4.65, and I use the service primarily in New York. I have been told by drivers in other cities that New York passengers tend to be lower rated for whatever reason. In addition, many Uber drivers now expect tips and are giving 4 stars maximum to riders that do not tip. Finally, Uber drivers are increasingly unhappy due to cost cuts and such and seem crankier. Almost all drive for Lyft and Juno as well as Uber; I have a better rating on Lyft.

  18. @chancer

    Only using them for 3 years…4.8 rating. Any other questions? I’m glad drivers have a choice…people like you they may not want to pick up.

  19. My rating is 4.55. I don’t give a s… about what rating I get. I just ignore it. If a Uber driver decides to not pick me up because I have a bad rating I can always call a taxi. I do exactly what you do and I couldn’t be nicer to a Uber driver than I am. But, I still have a 4.55 rating. Among close to 100 rides I got from Uber I believe I only rated the driver low 2 times. One the guy was a maniac and drove like crazy. The second one his car smelled like a trash can. The system is totally flawed and is very subjective.

  20. I, as an Uber driver, always give my riders 5 Stars ratings. But please DO NOT SLAM THE CAR DOOR. It is bad manners and poor taste. That’s the important reason to give a poor review.

  21. It’s odd to think that in a situation like this you might have gotten a higher rating by tipping. In Uber I would say tipping is still the norm rather than the exception. In a situation where the driver isn’t particularly friendly and the experience isn’t particularly good, why should you be expected to tip? I hope the system flags drivers who consistently give pax 1-star ratings so Uber can follow up with them. It should do the same for pax who give low ratings. I know that when a passenger rates a driver, they can also leave written feedback..I wonder if the same is true for drivers (and perhaps for sub-5-star ratings it should be mandatory?).

  22. This goes both ways. Some riders give less than 5 stars for a driver for no reason, despite arriving on time, communicating via text/call, helping with luggage, offering bottled water, clean car, driving safely and dropping off on time etc.

    It helps the driver correct any perceived or real defects in the rider’s experience if they write what it is.

  23. I gather from here and elsewhere that the prevailing theory is that some drivers are making it a personal policy to low-rate passengers who do not tip. I think that Uber will eventually have to do in-app tipping, just to resolve the confusion that is going on right now.

    Just as a data point, I have also seen my rating drop after perfectly pleasant rides (even some where I conversed with the driver and we got along). My only explanation for the drop would be the lack of tip. My location is Miami.

  24. I had some recent dealing with Uber rep regarding my rating. Over the phone I was told which two drivers gave me low rating of 2. One driver had the AC broke and we were stuck in traffic sitting in 80F heat, I suggested him to take a longer but quicker route according to Google map. The other driver I had no clue why, we chatted a little about him just starting on Uber recently and he thanked my tip. I usually tip if the ride is ok. So long story short, the rep had agreed to remove these two seemingly unreasonable ratings. But my rating didn’t change afterwards. Contacted Uber a couple of times and was told they have “some technical issues” on this. I mostly used Lyft since then.

  25. I’m confused. I thought Uber’s policy was no tipping. I have never in my life tipped an Uber driver, and I have a 5.0 rating.

  26. If I understand you correctly, you’re going to calibrate your rating of your driver and your experience in the car according to *what* the driver rates you as a passenger? This seems really petty, especially if you already state that you don’t care what your rating is. I don’t think you’re personally harmed or hurt in this situation–except for maybe your feelings and ego.

  27. As others have pointed out, your math is flawed. In all likelihood, you did NOT get a 1 star rating, and any rating of 4 stars and below is plausible given the two data points that you have.

  28. Just to let you know Uber ratings are based on the last 500 rides. Lyft rating is based on your last 100 rides.

  29. “I’ve taken hundreds and hundreds of Uber rides, probably around 1,000. Given that my score dropped by 0.01, I suspect he gave me a 1-star rating.”

    You really don’t have enough information to conclude that. Given that Uber is rounding (i.e., you didn’t go from exactly 4.63 to exactly 4.62 – indeed, that *couldn’t* happen with 1000 rides), that jump could’ve been caused by any number of stars between 1 and 4.

  30. I have a 4.8. I don’t tip either but I’ve had 2 drivers tell me if people are rude and don’t tip they give them a one my reply is always something like I rarely carry cash that’s why I use uber. I think it’s a new thing that just has come up I haven’t heard it until recently.

  31. I have a high ueber rating: 4.91. Here’s my quick checklist:
    1). Be ready when the ueber arrives.
    2). Say the driver’s name
    3). Ask him or her “How is your morning / evening?” “When did you start today?”
    4). End of ride, thank you (enter name here.) Have a safe morning / evening.

    At the end of the day, these people are still driving us around in their personal cars for minimum wage. Have a heart and let them be worth your time.

  32. I’m not convinced that one’s rating is based on the average of scores from all previous trips, but on the average from your recent trips depending on how often you use Uber.

    This would be make sense if a driver or passenger starts performing/behaving poorly after a good history of thousands of trips (or vice versa), so as to make the score more relevant and accurate in the context of the next trip.

  33. “I’ve taken hundreds and hundreds of Uber rides, probably around 1,000. Given that my score dropped by 0.01, I suspect he gave me a 1-star rating.”

    Did you seriously just write an entire blog post about how you *suspect* that you were given a 1 star rating on a single cab ride? Please stop with this garbage. I enjoy your posts that share your knowledge and your insight. I do not care to hear stories of your fragile ego or your lousy math skills.

    I don’t care if he gave you a 1 any more than I care if he gave you a 5. It isn’t a story either way.

  34. Just checked mine, and it’s 4.41. I rated a driver yesterday as a 1 as he was following the SatNav slavishly and didn’t seem to realise it had got him lost – on two separate occasions we went around the block in a circle when clearly he was going the wrong way. I had to direct him in the end and I got out and walked eventually – 34 minutes into what should have been a 31 minute journey, when the app was still showing a further 10 minutes to go.
    I immediately got in touch with Uber and complained and they checked the route and confirmed about an hour later that they were only going to charge me what the correct journey should have cost and refund the difference.
    The driver was very pleasant and I felt slightly bad about complaining, but the bottom line is that the service wasn’t what it should have been. May be more of a London thing, as two subsequent Ubers I’ve taken since also got a bit lost (though nowhere near as bad) – they both got 4s (which is what I normally rate, though will probably uplift my standard rating to 5 as I don’t want to get anyone sacked).

  35. @Lucky. On the short rides. Tip your driver $3 and say I know it was a short fare. Then you won’t get 1 star for not going far especially to/from airport. We hope for long fares in order to make a living.
    BTW I seldomly pick up 4.6 rated riders

  36. I take UberX and UberPool mainly in the Bay Area, my rating is 4.78 and I have never tipped and often I prefer not talking to them except for tactical things like which corner they should drop me off at, etc. Don’t really know what the big deal is about having a high rider rating, I take Uber to get myself places and I will always give 5 stars to drivers unless there was a safety or route issue.

  37. I just love how Ben mentions in every post regarding the uber rating that he doesn’t care but this is what the 5th post now dealing with rider ratings…..dude are you really that into yourself that you care about that shit. I mean really get over yourself, the driver doesn’t give a shit about you, your just a fare. You might be the most pompous person I’ve ever seen.

  38. I had a perfect 5 rating until last week, which changed while I was in Las Vegas. It has now dropped to 4.88.

    I guess I didn’t tip enough (all of my Uber drivers whined about uber and told me to move to Lyft).

  39. I’m a driver for Uber for about two months now while I look for my next engineering job. I feel the same way when I go out of my way to be courteous and professional, keep a clean car, talk when the passenger wants to talk, listen to drunk people’s problems, keep the ride fun when people are grumpy, offer drinks and snacks, etc. Then I suddenly get a low rating and don’t know why. I don’t expect tips (although a recent lawsuit settlement dictates Uber can no longer give the false impression that they are included and they can no longer kick a driver out of the system for accepting them or discussing it if the passenger brings up the topic), and I give everyone a 5 unless: a) they make me wait 5 min while in this dense urban area there is no legal or safe place to ever pull over and it forces the hazards on and the blocking of a traffic lane which of course angers everyone in that lane and the horns begin to sound. b) are very rude or disrespectful like grabbing ALL of the chocolates and mints I provide for passengers at the point of leaving the car, and making off with them c) any barfing in the car I have to take downtime for (hours of lost revenue) and clean up myself, or passing out to the point I have to literally break out smelling salts (it happens!) d) throwing anything out the window, like half-full water bottles e) ordering me around like I’m their personal slave i.e. threatening to give me a low rating if I don’t do something they want like turning right on red when the sign says not to f) drug use in the car (you may be surprised how many times I’ve turned around while at a red light to see lines of cocaine being snorted) etc.

    I usually have a 4.90 rating, so when I see it suddenly drop immediately after an uneventful ride where everything seemed fine and the rides preceding were also fine or even fun, well, it sucks. I think of all the effort and money I put into making a ride great and running a happy car, how I go out of my way to be positive and professional no matter what is going on in my life on that day or not allowing frustrating traffic issues affect my mood, and how after gas and taxes and maintenance and everything I’m only making slightly over minimum wage, and that low rating can be a soul crusher.

    I had to reach a point where I had to say, get over it and shake it off. The rating system is flawed. Maybe a passenger left an empty water bottle and the next passenger reached for a water and got the empty bottle and felt like that deserved a 3 star rating. Maybe I had a safe place to pull over to pick someone up but it was a half block from where they were and they had to walk to the car, and that got me a four star instead of 5. Maybe I look like their ex-girlfriend and that got me a one-star. Maybe there was even something legitimate that I did not know I should have done better, but I’ll never know what that was, as no comment was left.
    I can’t live in constant fear I’m going to lose my freaking Uber job over these things.

    Unless a rider’s rating is super low and it’s going to take an unpaid 20 minutes or more to even pick them up and it’s 3am, I accept all requests regardless of rating.

    The rating system is highly flawed. My driver rating is 4.90 after 1500 trips with around 40 stellar comments left on 5 star rides, but my rider rating is 4.78 after 100 or so trips – why? I don’t know. As a driver, I try to be the dream rider. I give all drivers 5 stars. One thing I can think of that I don’t do as a rider… I don’t tip. Not because it’s a rule of mine or anything, but the trips I take are usually only several blocks and the drivers usually don’t say anything even if I open up a pleasant small talk opening. I haven’t gotten a ride that offered anything apart from one or two that had waters I didn’t take. I never have luggage I need help with. I never make anyone wait, I’m always at the curb right where the address I put in is. I don’t leave trash in the car they have to clean up or bring rowdy friends with me. And, here’s the big one, I usually do not carry any cash. I have thought many times I’d like to tip a buck or two but it’s not in the app to do so, like it is for Lyft.

    I wonder how many times I might have gotten a higher rating from a driver if Uber’s app allowed a one-tap add-a-dollar tip like Lyft does, and I had a choice to leave a buck or 5 or custom tip, even if I didn’t leave one. Currently, the driver knows whether you tipped or not because it has to be in cash, so they rate knowing this as you exit the vehicle. Maybe if it were allowed in the app and people used it regularly to reward for helping with luggage or negotiating heavy traffic well, or to compensate for their rowdy friends or leaving trash in the car, etc. then maybe that assessment piece that some drivers may be using to rate would vanish, and maybe the driver would rate more accurately, the rider?

    Just some thoughts.

  40. I am an UberLyft driver and go out of my way to provide good service. Uber passengers are already getting a phenomenally cheap ride, and the short trips were I get paid $2.28 actually result in a loss to the driver. But many passengers have been lulled into a false sense of entitlement as Uber is milking the system to make it their model look more successful than it will ultimately prove (and thereby draw in billions in investment money).

    Giving these entitled passengers the ability to rate someone who is basically providing charity work to them is like handing a baby a loaded gun.

    Since I always go out of my way to provide good service to passenger, I also retaliate on any low rating from a passenger. I also kick racist, abusive, threatening passengers out my car (“get the fuck out of my car, you touch me and I will fuck you up, run your ass over” etc etc).

    I do drive bye’s (pull up to pax, see they are assholes, drive off, turn off app. go to Starbucks). Etc etc.

    Still I let too many Uber assholes in my car.

    I have had 50% better luck with Lyft passengers. I have had biggest problems with foreigners (particularly Indian females). Coolest passengers tend to be Asian females, old ladies, moms with kids. I gladly help them all with their groceries etc etc.

  41. What goads me is when two or more passengers (riding for the price of one) act discourteous and don’t tip, sometimes don’t even say thank you. Yet, so as not to suffer bad ratings on future trips with them, we drivers, in are own interest, must give them 5 stars. Moreover, when we drivers rate our passengers right away, as we must, the passengers may wait on their rating before in turn rating us. Of course, they would reciprocate with an equally low or lower rating.

    To handle this problem, and help drivers get tips regularly, all Uber need do is wait a week or so to post the passengers’ ratings.

    Better yet would Uber’s initiating a built-in gratuity, one that would be higher for short runs. If that were to happen there would be much better relations between drivers and riders.

    As it is presently, no tipping is hurting Uber drivers. And on the other hand, when a high surge, goes into effect it is onerous on Uber riders. When this happens some riders who must watch their expenses closely, will opt to take a less expensive taxi.

    Uber could rectify this situation and create a much better environment for all involved. Drivers would not have the ever-present feeling that that are about to be taken advantage of. And riders, even cheapskates, would enjoy riding with a drivers who are likely in a good mood because they have not any job-related reason to bear a chip on their shoulder!

  42. Ubers rating system is so unfair.At least have passengers leave a comment why they are giving a partner a low rating and you cant rate them low because you will surely get rated poorly Its a waste of time writing this because uber is more interested in keeping their riders

  43. I drive for uber. I also frequent bars, restaurants and hotels. I always carry cash. How can you tell the bellman or vallet you don’t have any money on you. See how that goes over. If you don’t think it matters if your uber driver cares about tips, your dead wrong. That’s the whole reason he has water, gum, ments cell chargers. Some of the drivers start the day with no money. The only thing of value he has is his vehicle that will be worthless in 2 years. You pay 1970 cab rates and brag about not tipping. Amazing. That drivers primary job is to get you to your destination SAFELY. Not to entertain you,hydrate you, be your Sherpa and your counselor. He doesn’t work for stars he works for cash. You tip your bartender, stripper, nail person. But not the uber driver who just drove you in rush hour traffic, loaded your luggage, let you listen to whatever you wanted. And respected your space., got your children home safe after a night out. Brought your newborn home from the hospital. To not give a couple bucks to Someone who does what I just described is a sin. Your, comment how do you like driving for uber is code for no tip. I can tell your embarrassed you didn’t tip by the way you scurry out of vehicle like cockroaches when exposed to light. Your damn right we expect a tip and disappointed when none is forthcoming. If you think we live and die by your 5 stars your crazy. If you drive 500 fares your 1 star means nothing

  44. I just need to say as an Uber driver for only 4 months it’s very frustrating to get less than 5 stars. I’ve wondered why. When I offer a variety of snacks (candy, gum mints,beef sticks and ice water) and always ask about air conditioning/heat and music they would like to hear and make sure I get them to their desitination as safely and quickly as possible I wonder why I get a rating less than a 5. I also turn down tips saying it is not necessary. I make conversation when I feel they want to talk and let them have quiet when I feel they don’t. What is with people who give less than 5? Makes me wonder….what can I be doing wrong or are some people just plain clueless???

  45. Uber needs to add the tipping option to its app. Until then drivers are going to continue to rate passengers poorly. Why? Because it’s only worth our time/wear on our car to pick up the passengers that tip. Amazing that passengers will quickly tip a cab driver but not an uber driver when the service is clearly better…(at least in my car). I don’t mind waiting 5 minutes while you do whatever. I don’t mind doing your fast food run. When I do those things and you don’t tip. Expect to get the rating you deserve. As a rider you should be concerned about your rating. Good drivers learn that a passenger is rated low for a reason and they stop picking them up. Go ahead and take your overpriced taxi if you don’t like your uber service…because as a driver I would much rather pick up the passenger that throws me a couple bucks. It just feels good. Bad drivers get kicked out by Uber but bad passengers are the ones that just stop getting picked up because you aren’t worth the trouble.

  46. I am an Uber driver. Yesterday I pick up a guy who had a perfect passenger rating of 5.0

    he was late coming iut.when he got in my car, he coughed and sneezed and asked for tissues. he asked for power cord. He only travelled 2 miles. I was all set to rate him a 3. when I dropped him off, he reached over and gave me a $2 tip. The first tip I received in a week. I gave the dude 5 stars. I have had passengers give me a $1 tip. Thats an automatic 5 stars for the passenger too.

    However, if I give you a ride to airport at 4:30 am, put 3 heavy bags into and out if me car on a trip from the hollywood hills to LAX, (a trip you would pay $50 to a cab,) and Uber pays me only $11, and you run away at LAX, leaving me no tip, you are at risk if getting less than 5 stars. I have to take another 40 minutes driving back to Los Angeles, with no passenger (driving passengers to LAX from LA basin is a money loser, unless at 1.5 surge and tip). Most Uber oassengers are just “users”. not all, but most.

  47. Its simple, If your a waiter and your table doesn’t tip yould you give them a 5 star rating? If the ride went smooth and theres no tip with Uber its a 3 star max from me. Lyfts a little different because it’s possible to tip through the app later. You people know your ride is dirt cheap compared to other methods of transport. Now take away %30 of that dirt cheap ride and thats what were stuck with. Me and other drivers ignore low rated passengers. There low for a reason (rude, making you wait, doesnt tip, obnoxious) all people Id rather not deal with.

  48. You brush aside your habit of pinging someone from a long distance away, allowing them to invest their time and expensive (you said UberBLACK) vehicle in coming to you for the compensation of a short trip. Now since you struggled, let me connect the dots for you here. This guy spent more money out of pocket (for your trip) than he received in compensation from you (from your trip). This is no longer a service he’s providing for a modest pay, this is now a favor he is doing you – possibly an expensive one. You say this isn’t your fault. Well I guess no one in the universe is to blame and he can just fill his tank with Karma for free then?!

  49. “I love that Uber is cashless”

    There is your problem right there Ben…Uber and Lyft drivers truly make about $5-8 PER HOUR after all expenses are taken out, without tips. This is if they are only driving and not working some sort of side-hustle like promoting their freelancing work or side-business.

    Most Uber drivers are now giving 3-star ratings to passengers by default, if you don’t tip. And I don’t blame them. These ridesharing services are nearly 60-80% cheaper than a taxi, so your cheap ass can afford to chuck them a couple of bucks, or use one of the many peer-to-peer cashless payment systems to send them a little extra (Venmo, Square Cash etc).

    I think Uber and Lyft drivers should take it further personally, and 1-star anyone who doesn’t tip, that way that person will eventually have to wait longer and longer for a ride, if they get one at all. And lastly, this article reeks of the typical entitled, coddled, millennial hipster BS so many people are completely sick of. If you can’t afford to tip, stay home.

    …oh and not tipping an UberBlack/UberSuv/UberLux driver? I’d 1-star every single person that cheap.

  50. As a driver myself, I will not pick up a low rated pax. Their rating is low for a reason. I don’t want to deal with that. But I have accepted a trip and then realized how low his rating was, a 4.60. Ouch. But he was prompt, friendly. He must have had some real asshole friends one night or something. But, the app tells you how far away your driver is, so that means have your crap ready and set on go when they get there. If you’re not ready, don’t call for an Uber until you are. I am XL, and drunk people that don’t give me time to get out and open the third row and just climb over the top of my seats, that’s an automatic one star. Regardless of how friendly they are. Respect MY car. I pay for my car, my insurance, my rideshare insurance, my fuel, my detailing. Don’t slam my doors. I do not provide snacks, it doesn’t get me a higher rating, and I’m cash out on that for you, a stranger, for nothing. If a driver is ten fifteen minutes away and you have only three blocks to go, get off your lazy ass and walk it, you will get there before the driver gets to you. Quit asking us what our craziest stories are. There’s too many to count. You act a fool and you will find yourself on the side of road at the nearest safe place.

  51. My educated guess is that the driver is part of the “rate-non-tippers-down” movement. They see a passenger has a low rating when they accept the job, they know that other drivers have rated that passenger low for not giving a tip, they can reject the job.

    So if passengers start to employ the same tactic, they have no reason to gripe.

    As drivers are far more vulnerable to low ratings than passengers, they’ll crack first if enough passengers do it.

  52. I’d like to reference this article as a reply to the article and all the comments re: tipping: https://techcrunch.com/2016/04/22/tip-your-uber-driver/

    And correct/add a few things;
    1. Uber and Lyft take 25% as their cut, not 20%.
    2. With the rate cuts that have taken place, the average driver earns $10-14/hr GROSS, and then the expenses.
    3. While Uber originally started with not tipping, they have changed their policies since, after 4 rate cuts in 4 years, Uber/Lyft is almost 50% cheaper than when it started—this impacts the drivers earnings. So, tipping becomes a vital part of the drivers’ income.

    Having said that, tipping is not required, but *expected* by the drivers, like any service industry job (hair stylist, waiter, bellboy, bartender, et al). And remember the taxi? Everyone–who is not a cheapskate– knows to tip them. And everyone–who is not a cheapskate–does tip them still.

    As for me, I’m a financial planner, I always tip them–not for my ratings, but for their livelihood.

  53. Ok so I just used Uber for the first time in LA. We took 6 trips in total and ended up with a 4.33 rating. I figure we got two 5 stars and four 4 stars. I really don’t know what we could have done more. We were ready waiting, were polite and said please and thank you and didn’t leave a mess etc. We even tipped 20% of fare but still not good enough. If drivers are rating fours for slamming doors etc. that is just stupid. People are in unfamilar cars and most likely mean nothing by it. I was in a party of 6 with three kids but again we are paying almost double for the larger car and the kids were well behaved. Fares were all decent as well at over $60US. Anyway it has put me off the experience of using Uber a little. Touchy I know 🙂

  54. Paul, unless you tipped in cash you didn’t tip your driver. Uber has a taxi service in 5 North American cites and uber has you select a tipping % for uber taxi. This is to deceive you into thiking ing you are tipping. After being sued regarding tips uber has become vindictive towards drivers and tipping.

    Also, car dooes havent had to to be slammed in 20 plus years… It gets old and power windows are expensive. after having my doors slammed 1000 times( 20% of the time) both back window motors broke. 800 repair! slamming the door is a big deal!

  55. Hi Bob

    Yes we did most certaintly tip in cash. My point about the doors is that unless we feel our driver may be an axe murderer we are supposed to rate all drivers a five. Start reading driver forums and drivers will rate passengers 1 star for slamming a door, not tipping, that they feel that had to drive to far to get to the fare etc. Hardly seems a level playing field does it. The other thing is that with my kids I always feel like they slam the door when I’m in the car as it sounds worse inside, in fact they actually aren’t slamming it.

    Anyway I think the system needs to change. I think the smiley face system would be far better for all as discussed elsewhere.

    Thanks – Paul

  56. Paul, I thank you for tipping! the rating system is far from perfect but it isn’t as bad as some make it out to be. my biggest issue with it is the lack of consistency. Hell, if I’m being honest I am inconsistent with how i rate my riders… I have 4 kids myself, unless they were having a food fight in my car you’d get a pass from me (most of the time) for anything they did. someone who doesn’t have kids, especially a younger driver, probably not so tolerant.

    8 1s , 4 2s and 9 3s in my last 500 rated trips.I can account for 6 or 7 out of those 21 that i either earned or deserved…. I honestly have no idea why i got the rest…

    I generally give 5s, 4s, and 1s you jave to be a special kind of a-hole to get a 1 from me. Ive given maybe 15-20 in 5000 rides. wasting my time and rudeness are my big pet pevees. A server or bartender or any service employee who doesnt tip gets rated low usually a 2 or 3…. out of my ladt 110 rated trips i got 4-4s and 106 5s. i have given over 400 rides in that time. So just over 25% rated me. Perfect its not but its not really as bad as some think. As far as for riders, your rating is not nearly as important but i will say the later it gets, the higher my threshold gets. I’d pick up a 4.55 at 9pm, at midnight, no way!

  57. Hi Bob

    Thanks for you honest approach on things. I guess I feel let down when I see things like you wouldn’t pick me up based on my rating after 9pm. Just kind of funny when of course in my own rated system (others may differ) I try and be a really decent person and treat people well which is why we tipped 20% etc. I know making a living can be tough as a driver. We were visiting LA from outside the US, maybe we asked too many qustions on LA or something, who knows???

    All the best – Paul

  58. Paul, you sound like someone I’d love to have in my car. I enjoy people from other places and genuinely enjoy a good conversation , braging about my local knowledge and of course as a father of 4 i love kids. I am only guarded on who i pick when i do the bar runs. More often than not, a 1:00am request from a 4.49 rider is an obnoxious drunk. Fri, and Sat night specificallyis when ratings matter to me. You wont have an issue getting a ride, plent of drivers. Plus, in your city/country your rating may be average. New york riders are usually 4.4s -4.5 Philidelpha 4.5-4.6, DC 4.5-4.6. Im in South Fl, 4.6-4.7 in Miami,4.6 Palm Beach is a lite higher.

    You had an asshole driver, sorry… don’t worry though you won’t get stranded. Your driver may be guarded or not even notice…. most of the time we don’t pay attention. shhhhh dont tell anyone! lol

  59. Well, here is what happens when your rating is low. You are more likely to pay higher because nobody wants to pick you up, so you become a target. Your wait time for someone to accept your trip increases and if someone accepts your call, they will more likely have a prejudice against you. 3 easy fixes if u want ur rating to go up. Call uber and just sit in the car. ( your adress is already there…dont ask) greet the driver. Tip at the end with cash… and thats it. Promise you your rating will go up

  60. As an Uber X, If a rider doesn’t tip, they do not deserve 5 stars. The rating is for other drivers to know if you are worth their time. If you do not tip, you are not worth any drivers time… the rates are calculated to cover the car, the drivers time is always volunteered and that is why you tip. A customer who tips will most always get 5 stars. A customer who does not tip will get 3 stars. Slam a door or act pretentious or entitled and 1 star is a fair and correct rating. You are not hiring these drivers, these drivers are helping you. Drivers provide charity to the community, every time, unless the price is surging.

  61. Right so I did this. This morning I was got an Uber. I am ALWAYS pleasant and polite and considerate. I noticed after your advice to check ratings. I dropped .1 of a point. I now can see I’ve dropped when it’s been a short trip. Now I have to lug around a few things because I work in another city. I can’t help that. I do not like this rating system. It’s measuring is invalid. No skin off my nose. I’ll just catch a taxi rather than Uber. Unless I’ve been obnoxious or have been inconsiderate, messy or rude or late – which I never am then the rating is invalid. I’ll catch fewer Uber’s and Uber drivers and Uber will not have my custom. Seems stupid to penalise good customers based on this

  62. the ratings are not invalid, you’re just too sensitive. They are however meaningless. dont even look at them and just continue being a decent person. by the way. the original post is super old and so much has changed since this was posted.

  63. Rating a driver anything below a 5 makes a big difference for the driver. Yesterday I missed an exit because the google maps now tells you to make a turn as you are passing the turn so this woman got bent out of shape as she was on the verge of being late to her job at midnight.
    But I took the next turn and the trip was delayed by only 1 more minute but she made a big deal about it and gave me a 3 star rating. My rating went from 4.92 to 4.91 after her rating. Mind you I had two people give me a 1 star in one month and I don’t know why. I am friendly, have a clean, nice car, I drive carefully but not too slow not too fast. If I am talking I ask them if it is ok to talk to them as I understand some people are tired and want silence. I do all I can so they can have a good experience and it is always the same group, young college age women, but mostly African American. I am Hispanic but I guess look white. I love people of all backgrounds. I feel it is a privilege to have people from all over the world in this area near NYC. It makes the day interesting except when these young women come into the car. They don’t acknowledge you; hardly talk to you if you say hello. I say have a good evening at the end. So I leave it alone but then I may get a low rating of a 1 star. I feel it is reversed racism. And also the rating will be known to the other person once both parties have entered their rating, not right away. I also learned the pax can change the rating even months later but the driver is not allowed to change ratings. What kind of BS is that when as a driver if I am given a low rating I lose money right away by not being given good trips, too many short trips, or trips far away like 15 mins away. With a rating of 4.92 I have had to drive for one hour or half hour right after someone has given me a low rating of 1or 2 or 3. Passengers are never affected. Drivers lose their income. Please rethink before you give anything below 5 star rating as Uber only expects drivers to get 5 stars all the time. It makes no sense but that’s Uber for ya!
    PS. A pax told me yesterday he used to give 1 star ratings for no reason just because he was upset the way he was treated at his job but once his brother started driving for Uber and he learned how much the driver is affected by a low rating (more difficult to make money or being kicked out if the rating falls below 4.5), he stopped giving low ratings. Unbelievable!

  64. Here is a better question: before you took that one uber you described, why was your rating 4.63 on the first place? Statistics show that average uber rating is 4.8 and standard deviation is probably around 0.1, so if you are on 4.6 range it means your rating is extremely low.

    The point I am trying to make is that you are probably doing something wrong that you are unaware of. And if you figure out what is it you are doing wrong that put you into 4.63 on the first place, it might turn out that this very thing (whatever it might be) is what made that particular driver give you low rating.

  65. And from the other side:
    I started driving for Uber about 5 weeks ago. Until yesterday I had received 100% 5 star ratings. And then, I found my rating dropped to 4.97 stars. And when I clicked on the details, I saw that someone rated me with just 2 stars yesterday. WTF?????????????? I have provided the same exquisite level of service and friendliness to each and every one of my passengers. My car is a late model BMW 5 series in perfect condition and always kept clean. and I accept not just the premium rides (Select and Lux) but also economy Uber X and Lyft rides (still have my 5.00 with Lyft by the way) and no matter what level of ride the customer chooses and pays for, I treat all as if they are paying for a premium ride (offering cold bottled water and cell phone chargers to one and all). Why would some jerk want to leave a nasty rating for absolutely no reason? But there is a reason. Uber rewards bad ratings from passengers. If a passenger leaves a bad review and then contacts Uber with a spurious complaint about a driver, Uber gives them a voucher for free rides. AKA Uber sucks when it comes to driver support. So glad I’m doing this only temporarily (I graduate with a nursing degree in three months). I feel so sorry for the drivers who are relying on Uber and Lyft for long term income. They mean nothing to Uber or Lyft – and less than nothing to the one in a hundred passengers who are sociopaths that love to take advantage of the idiotic policy that Uber has concerning rewarding false negative reviews of drivers.

  66. I am a Lyft and Uber driver. I have been driving full tome since January 2019 so almost a year. I have a decent sized car always clean, smells good, plus keep my pandora hooked up to blutooth. I am patient,flexible and always give my passengers what they want. I have 5.0 on Lyft never get negative feed back with two exception. Once during a pick up my phone decided it was update time and turned off. Yeah sorry lady, never did make that pick up. And once when o kicked and absurdly verbaly abusive drunk out of my car, with good reasons. But my uber is i have a 4.92 as of today. I have two one stars and a two star. All 3 three were drunks and jerks wanting me to speed, run red lights or go home with them. I do not get it. Im a very mellow guy but how can one app have me at near perfect and the other be full of jerks and nit pickers.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *