“Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability.” These aglobal ride hailing company Uber has issued an update to their community guidelines.
In this update, Kate Parker, head of safety brand and initiatives has said that starting from the US and Canada, Uber riders may lose access to Uber if they develop a significantly below average rating.
“Riders will receive tips on how to improve their ratings, such as encouraging polite behavior, avoiding leaving trash in the vehicle and avoiding requests for drivers to exceed the speed limit. Riders will have several opportunities to improve their rating prior to losing access to the Uber apps,” the company said
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However, NASDAQ-listed company says that they expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations. To ensure riders are aware of these guidelines, the company is launching a campaign to educate the entire Uber community about these guidelines.
This is interesting on two fronts— Uber has been continuously receiving flak for underpaying its drivers and also for harassment incidents linked to them. Next, if these rules come down to India, Indian travellers will be held accountable for their behaviour during the cab ride.
At present, a rider’s rating affects the driver they will get for the rides. However, this attempt at holding riders and drivers equally accountable is a good start for community building Uber needs.
In April, the company went public at a market capitalisation of $82 Bn but had a tumultuous start. In its S1 filings, the company made certain revelations of its aims as well as concerns. It has told its investors that the company may never earn profit as “The personal mobility, meal delivery, and logistics industries are highly competitive, with well-established and low-cost alternatives that have been available for decades, low barriers to entry, low switching costs, and well-capitalized competitors in nearly every major geographic region.”
In terms of India, the company has counted on competition from Ola, Swiggy and Zomato as well as its legal issues owing to multiple court cases and the problem of dissatisfied drivers complaining of cash crunch. Would riders join the club of dissatisfaction with Uber or stay humble with the rating impacting their travel?