Ever since Uber introduced its five-star passenger rating system, it’s become something of a social ranker.
“What’s your Uber rating? 4.1? Unlucky mate, I’m in the 4.7 club.”
Sure, it’s there to ensure a sense of mutual respect between driver and passenger, a tool to lift yourself above those other Friday night pilgrims trying to get home at 3am, to show drivers that you’re a good passenger – but it’s more than that. It’s a badge of honour. It’s for your social CV. A metric to prove you’re objectively better than your mate at something.
Given its importance, we asked some Uber drivers for their advice on how you can improve your chances of getting a five star rating. Turns out there’s more to it than not throwing up on their seats...
“Sudden route requests are quite stressing”
“It’s amazing how destructive a set of keys can be. I have hundreds of pounds worth of damage to my car door panels made by the careless handling of keys. When I hear keys jangling in the back, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. So please, don’t get your keys out while you’re in the car!
“Providing complimentary bottled water is one of the extras that marks Uber partner drivers out from the rest. But half drunk bottles of water left in the car aren’t appreciated. If you drink it, please take it away with you.
“While I’m happy to alter my route for riders, I find sudden route requests quite stressing, e.g. a sudden call to take a turn which causes me to brake sharply. It’s annoying, but also dangerous.
“There are some passengers who are fascinated with electric windows. They put them down. They put them up. Up-down-Up. Playing with the windows, whilst not a hazard, is powerfully irritating.”
“Don’t insist on putting your own luggage in the boot just because I’m a woman”
“Those people that insist on putting their own luggage in the boot of the car - I think it’s because I’m a woman they feel as though they have to. But they tend to throw it in and scratch the paintwork every time. I am happy to do it myself!
“If you plan on doing two or more stops on the same trip then it is always best to let me know when you get in the car. Don't wait until the first person has got out to update the journey. Also, avoid ordering an Uber from silly pick up points. Countless times someone will order an Uber to a double red line and then don't understand why I can't get them from the exact spot. There have been times when people have ordered from a road that is closed to all cars and still don't understand when I call them to explain.”
“Try not to jump on the stereo the moment you get in the car.”
“Don’t roll cigarettes inside the car – it gets mess everywhere and is a pain to clean up. Also, don’t wear a fur coat – again, it gets all over the seats.
“It sounds obvious, but don’t touch your driver. During Halloween weekend some riders tried to put a wig on me whilst driving. Try not to jump on the stereo and turn up the volume the moment you get in the car.
“I’d advise calling drivers by their name. It’s not much, but it goes a long way.”
“Warn us if you think you might be sick.”
“Don’t leave me hanging. Really, try not to leave me waiting too long to collect you. And if you feel seriously ill, don’t get in the car – or at the very least warn your driver if you think you might be sick.
“Easiest tip for a five star review? Say hello when you get in the car. It doesn’t take much.”
“Be polite. If you want to stay quiet in the car, that’s fine – just say hello and goodbye. It’s also nice to get compliments – if you like the service then feel free to say.”