Reporting Bad Uber Drivers in California

A positive rideshare experience can almost turn an entire day around. A friendly Uber driver picks you up in a clean car, drops you where you need to go, and you’re even on time. It’s a good experience all around.

A negative experience, of course, can have the opposite effect. A grumpy driver picks you up in a dirty car, late, and then drives a bit aggressively. The ride can ruin the rest of your day.

There’s always the Uber driver rating system where you can show your appreciation or displeasure for your driver. But what does that rating mean? Does it affect the driver?

Uber’s Driver Rating System

Rideshare companies like Uber report that they do thorough background checks on all of their drivers, but at times you may wonder if that’s true. You might have a bad experience that involves a rude driver or the driving itself may stress you out. It may be a stain on the upholstery that makes you reach for your app.

If you rely on the Uber rating system to express your disappointment you will be glad to know those stars can be a powerful tool.

You’ll be able to rate your driver from one to five stars on the app or most easily at the bottom of your receipt after a trip. If you award someone less than 5-stars Uber will provide a list of issues you might have had and you will have to select at least one of them. If your issue is not described then there’s an “other” choice.

And you shouldn’t worry about retaliation from the driver. They can’t see your review or tell who gave a bad review, even if you tap one star right as you exit the vehicle. According to Uber, drivers only see an average of his or her last 500 completed trips. They’ll never see the specific rating you give.

Top Uber Driver Complaints

Uber sends drivers emails each week notifying them of new policies, new fair rates, and their hours and fairs collected over the week.

There’s also a large part of the email dedicated to reminding drivers of their rating. Business Insider obtained one of these driver reports to find it also lists the top reasons drivers get bad reviews. Here they are in order from top to bottom:

  • Bad Route Taken/Knowledge of City
  • Poor Attitude/Disrespectful
  • Car Quality
  • Poor Driving
  • On Phone During Trip

Selecting a slow or congested route through the city was the biggest complaint by far. Attitude, car quality, and poor driving were well behind and were nearly equal in the number of complaints.

Uber Bad Rating Punishments

Drivers fear falling below a 4.6 rating and apparently they have a good reason. In Uber’s communications sent to drivers, the company includes a graphic that clearly denotes how being below 4.6 stars puts drivers in the red. Anything below is considered below average. The driver can be fired for staying below this mark for too long.

Besides the obvious threat of losing your employment with Uber, drivers below the 4.6 mark can also be barred from bonus opportunities that allow them to make more money on fares. Surge pricing during heavy traffic times can be denied to drivers with bad ratings.

Uber maintains that only 2% to 3% of drivers are under the 4.6 mark.  Uber also advises employees to never ask for a 5-star review, but some worried drivers still try to inform customers of the system.

They fear riders will think a 4-star review means it was a good ride or a “B” in letter grade terms. Some drivers dispute this belief and post notes in their cars stating something to the effect of “A 5-star rating means there were no problems with the ride, a 4-star rating could get me fired.”

Uber Ratings and Passenger Ratings

It’s always important to keep in mind that you are being rated too. When drivers rate passengers less than 5-stars they are also asked to list why. Those options can include a driver having to wait too long for the passenger or the passenger asking to change the destination. Uber actually sends notes to riders also when they get too many of the same complaints.

So it’s a two-way street. Uber drivers need passengers and riders need to get across town. It may be best to rate 5-stars either way or not rate at all unless there’s a big problem. Why not keep both sides happy and available for Uber rides.

Of course, there can be instances where a passenger can feel genuinely unsafe or threatened. In these cases, a call to 911 may be necessary. Uber provides a 911 call button on their app and it can provide dispatchers with your location and trip details. Uber also provides an “Uber Safety Line” button on the app to reach its operators.

If there’s ever a car accident caused by an Uber driver and you are seriously hurt, you can always talk to one of our Car Accident Attorneys for legal guidance. This free consultation can be especially important to determine if the Uber driver’s personal insurance policy will be providing compensation to help you with your recovery, or if the Uber Company can also be held liable for your injuries.

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