Unfair Uber Rating? Here’s What To Do

Unfair Uber Rating? Here's What To Do

The Uber rating system may yield some unfair ratings. Ratings can make or break your success as both a driver and a rider. Here we have provided a guide on what to do if you feel you have been given an unfair score.

What should you do if you have an unfair Uber rating? You will not be able to directly appeal unfair ratings, but you will be able to eventually bury unfair ratings by accumulating a bunch of good ratings.  Only the average score of the 500 most recent trips is factored into the score underneath your name in the app.

A more detailed look at how unfair Uber ratings affect users is included below. Also included are tips on how to bury unfair scores by accumulating plenty of good ratings. If you follow these steps, you will find yourself nearing that coveted 5-star rating.

Can You Appeal An Uber Rating?

There are times when you may feel that you have been given an unfair rating on Uber. You may seek out a way to have Uber ratings changed. Unfortunately, Uber reports that ratings cannot be changed once they are entered into the app.

Some users report attempts on forums to contact the company about having unfair ratings removed. Requests to directly appeal Uber ratings are typically denied. This is to help keep the rating system fair and consistent.

Although there is not a system in place for Uber drivers or riders to appeal their ratings, there are ways to rectify ratings that you feel are unfair.

Customers themselves are given a chance to change or update the rating they have entered once they receive a receipt from their trip in their email inbox, as is mentioned here. Once customers receive their receipt, they will be able to:

  • See the details of where they traveled
  • See how much they paid for the ride
  • Select the number of stars they want to give the driver; they are able to update their rating based on the rating they give their rider on the receipt

How Can I See What Someone Rated Me on Uber?

It depends whether you are the driver or passenger, whether you will see details of your rating, or just an overall average.

Uber ratings run on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. According to Uber, most riders will give their drivers good ratings unless they have a specific reason to not give their driver a good rating. Drivers also have the opportunity to rate their experiences with their rider(s).

If riders give their drive a score under 5-stars, they will immediately be provided with a request to provide more specific feedback. Customers are able to choose from a variety of common issues riders have with their drivers.

In 2017 Uber introduced a specific feedback system for drivers to rate their customers. Reasons for lower rider ratings include:

  • Wait time
  • Patience
  • Number of Riders
  • Attitude
  • A sudden change of route

Around the same timeframe, riders could begin seeing their average rating directly beneath their name in the app. Previously, only drivers’ average ratings were readily displayed. Riders would have to inquire with Uber about their own ratings.

How Do Poor Ratings Affect The Average Uber Score?

Unfair poor ratings should be of little consequence since individual ratings are just one of many ratings that contribute to the average score. However, each score goes into the average, so you should always try to keep that score up.

Since it is so common for drivers and their riders alike to give 5-stars unless there is a specific complaint, bad ratings have little effect on the average rating for a driver. This is particularly the case for those who are frequent users of the ridesharing app.

For riders, it depends on how frequently Uber is used. If you are a regular rider who gets great scores, a 1-star rating isn’t going to affect you much. However, if you don’t ride often, each bad mark you get will hit your average pretty hard.

What if you are either new to the app or not a frequent user of the Uber app? How does your unfair rating affect your ability to find willing riders or drivers? This topic will be addressed in further detail below.

How Do Unfair Ratings Affect My Success With Uber?

The overall rating below your name on the Uber app represents an average of individual ratings from your 500 (or fewer) most recent trips.  Rides, where you were not rated, do not factor into this calculation.

In this way, the Uber rating system is designed to limit the advantage that long-time participants of the ride-sharing program have over those who have just recently become users of the ride-sharing app.

An Uber user, whether they are a driver or a rider who has completed thousands of trips, does not necessarily hold an unfair advantage over a rider who has completed hundreds of trips. Over time, unfair scores should become diluted and eventually will not be part of the 500-trip average.

Still, this requires users to complete a large number of rides before unfair calculations are phased out of the overall rating. This is particularly the case for customers who do not complete as many trips on a daily basis as other riders do.

Even Uber admits that your Uber ratings may be subject to frequent fluctuations your first 50-100 trips

How Do I Know My Uber Rating Is Going Down?

As previously mentioned, you can see your scores within your profile. However, Uber will also step in and try to help if you are heading downhill.

If your rating happens to approach the minimum for your area, you will begin to receive notifications from Uber with tips on how to improve your score. If it continues to dip, you risk deactivation. There is no need to worry though, as this only occurs if negative ratings continue to pile up.

Aren’t Uber Ratings Pretty Subjective?

It’s been speculated that riders do not fully anticipate the consequences of the Uber ratings, as is described in research looking into the matter of consumer ratings and their effects.  A rider may think that 4 out of 5 stars is a normal rating to give a driver who has been “good, but not necessarily great.”

In most other applications, a 4 out of 5 would be a pretty good rating. If you told a friend that you would give a movie a rating of 4 out of 5, then your friend will probably take it that you recommend the movie. A movie with such a rating would be perceived as a “very good movie with a couple of flaws that prevent it from being the best movie I have ever seen.”

As a result of potential misunderstandings about how high the rating system works, some drivers report trying to work the ins and outs of the Uber rating system into their conversation with the customer.

You may consider trying this method if you are a driver. It can be difficult, though, as bringing up the subject may make it seem like you are begging for a good score. 

Personally, I have never been on an Uber ride where drivers have brought up the rating system. In addition, none of the rideshare drivers I know personally say they try “educating” their customers on the consequences of the rating system.

It is estimated that 2-3% of Uber drivers are below a threshold where they face deactivation due to low ratings, according to this site.

Exceptions Made During High Surge Pricing

Uber drivers report receiving low scores on the app after customers express grievances beyond the control of the driver.

Sometimes Uber riders complain about things such as:

  • GPS System Malfunctions
  • Passenger’s misplacement of their own location pin on the map
  • Surge Pricing

At least in the case of surge pricing within an area, Uber recognizes the impact it has on driver ratings. In select instances where surge pricing has led to lower ratings within an area, Uber has stepped in and has informed drivers that ratings during high surge trips will not be factored into the overall average rating.

How to Improve Unfair Ratings on Uber

There is no single solution to bring your Uber rating up overnight. However, there are some good habits that you can adopt that should reduce the chances of you receiving an unfairly poor rating.

Taking stock of common complaints riders have of their drivers, here are some tips for Uber drivers on how to maintain a good rating:

  • Be courteous: If you are picking up a rider with luggage, assist them with putting luggage in your car as well as taking it out when you drop them off.
  • Be friendly: One of the best Uber experiences I had was with a driver who shared a bunch of tips regarding local restaurants that he liked as well as cool places to visit.
  • Drive safely and efficiently:  This one may seem obvious, but as a rider, it really stands out if your driver has bad driving habits. Ease into stops to ensure a smooth ride rather than jolting the vehicle by quickly engaging the brake or gas pedal.
  • Maintain a clean vehicle: Having a clean vehicle makes you look more tidy and professional. If your vehicle is not clean, customers may think that you do not care about getting them to where they need to be safely and efficiently.
  • Keep water and refreshments available: Offer your customers water and gum or mints.
  • Learn Your Route: If you must use GPS, make it so that it is muted with the step-by-step directions shown instead. Customers don’t like listening to GPS App voices. Ideally, you will have become familiar with the area you are driving in.

If you are a rider, you can avoid low ratings by:

  • Showing up on time: Not being at your pinned location when your driver shows up will not make you popular with the drivers.
  • Be polite:  Don’t let a bad day make you confrontational with your driver.
  • Don’t make a mess in your driver’s car:  Avoid eating snacks that leave a big mess for your driver to clean up after they have dropped you off.
  • Avoid slamming doors:  There are few quicker ways to get on a driver’s bad side then to slam the doors of their personal vehicle.

Does Giving a Good Tip Help My Uber Rating?

Uber added an in-app tipping system in 2017. Due to this change, tipping has become more and more of a norm for rideshare service.

The CEO of Uber encourages tipping for users looking to improve their rating:

You should tip more…I pick the highest tip every time. Somehow my rating is getting better.” – Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber

The logic behind ensuring that you tip appropriately is that drivers will have a tendency to give their riders a higher rating if that rider tips well.

The theory is that by maintaining your Uber rating in the 4.8 or above range, you will more readily be able to get drivers with ratings of 4.8 or above. In theory, these are the drivers who have been extensively vetted by the system.

Unfortunately, the logic of this statement seems to fall flat since drivers rate their riders before they see the tip.

Leaving Cash Tips

There is a way you can tip your driver and have a positive effect on your rating. Some riders have found that leaving cash tips improves their ratings.

One rider even claims that cash tipping pushed them from a 4.2-star rating to a 4.7-star rating on Uber. Riders talk online about how leaving cash tips gets them 5-star ratings from their drivers.

Some riders express concern that they should not be tipping at all since Uber used to say that tipping wasn’t necessary.  They may feel that changes to the Uber rating system over the past several years have given the drivers too much leverage in the driver-rider relationship.

However, you should take note that in the early days of the ride-sharing app’s existence, Uber prices were 3 to 4 times higher than they are today, according to this site.

What to Do If You Have an Unfair Uber Rating

The Uber 5-star rating system can be frustrating since low ratings can have a major impact on your overall score, particularly if you are new to the ride-sharing app. That score underneath your name represents the last 500 or fewer trips you have completed.

If you are able to accumulate a bunch of decent ratings, you will be able to bury unfair ratings. At the moment, it may seem a tall task to bury those bad ratings when it has such a big impact on whether you are able to get a driver if you are a rider or a rider if you are a driver.

However, most participants in the ride-sharing program recognize the gravity of their ratings. As a result, they will often give a 5-star rating unless there has been a specific complaint.

There are recommendations for you to accrue good ratings, eventually burying bad ratings. More effort may be required from riders to improve their ratings since they will probably complete fewer trips than their drivers will.

The difference between the rider and the driver is that riders are rated by their drivers every time, while the riders themselves can choose to complete their trip without ever rating their driver.

Some ways for both drivers and riders to ensure they get good ratings include:

  • Being on time: If you are a rider make sure everyone in your group is ready to go before you call your driver
  • Being courteous: Assist riders with moving their luggage both in and out of the car
  • Keeping the car clean: Make sure that the car is kept clean for the next riders. If you are a rider, avoid munching on food while you are riding

If nothing else, the fastest way to accumulate a bunch of good ratings if you are a rider is to provide cash tips.  When you provide tips via the app, your driver will rate the trip before they see the tip you gave them.

There is no need to fret as unfair scores every once in a while goes with the territory. Fortunately, they rarely have a long-term impact as they will soon be phased out by all the good ratings you will be getting by being mindful of your behavior during trips.

Dan Ferrantelli

I'm Dan Ferrantelli. I discovered rideshare through my wife and daughter who used the service a full year before I decided to try it. Now I am a part-time Uber & Lyft driver and love sharing my experiences with others. I'm also an entrepreneur who has developed several businesses and I have a passion to write! I hope you enjoy the articles I post. Kind feedback is always welcome.

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