You’ve probably heard about the wonderful driving service that is spreading all over the world called Uber. It’s an amazingly simple solution for those of us who hate the inconvenience of riding in cabs. You simply open up the app and ask for a pickup, and a slick black car comes to pick you up.
What’s really fascinating about the service is how you can rate the drivers based on how nice they are, how tidy the car is, and how your ride went. It’s a basic five star rating system, and drivers can even rate you as a passenger. If you were to say, vomit in one of the cars, you might get 1 star and drivers might opt not to pick you up the next time you use the service.
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Similarly, as a passenger you can choose to not accept a ride from a driver who has a subpar rating. When your ride is all said and done, you simply choose how many stars to give and write out some feedback if you wish.
What we didn’t know was that drivers see the rating you gave them when the ride is over. They don’t see the written review, but do get to see how you rated the ride. This concerns me for a few reasons, which I’ll get to in a few. Here’s the confirmation of the practice here:
@Zee Drivers do see the number you give, but never the text feedback you leave.
— Uber San Francisco (@Uber_SF) April 13, 2012
We’re not the only ones that aren’t a fan of this “feature” as you can tell:
— James Proud (@jamesproud) April 13, 2012
The way the service was always explained to me was that neither the driver nor the passenger received any personally identifiable information when it comes to ratings. This keeps everyone happy and limits the possibility of an uncomfortable situation like the one mentioned above.
Not only that, but if I had a bad experience and rated the driver with one star, I’d be worried that there might be some type of recourse, be it a shouting match or worse. The service says that their drivers are professional and we need not worry about that, but this is something that hasn’t been discussed openly until now.
I’ve reached out to the company for comment and to see if the rating is viewable immediately after you submit it and will let you know what I hear back.
UPDATE: The Uber SF team sent me the following, and I’ve asked for further clarification on whether this is shown in real-time:
Per my tweet before: drivers see star ratings for each trip, but not the text feedback you leave.
UPDATE 2: Uber’s SF team tells me that there is no pop-up to alert the driver of a rating, but they can check their dashboard to see star ratings on a per-trip basis, just not written reviews:
Drivers can login to their dashboard whenever they have time and see star ratings they’ve received but not the text feedback you leave.
There’s no prompt or popup or otherwise that says “so-and-so just rated you 5-stars”. Just a dashboard drivers can check in on.
As I mentioned before, that’s never been clear to me, so you can draw your own conclusions about this. Needless to say, I’ll be waiting for quite a while to submit my ratings, if I submit them at all now. San Francisco is a small town.