We are asked for feedback for almost every product and service we buy, and it is a vital part of being a modern taxi or private-hire driver.
Reviews of products and services help to improve standards and keep people safe. The use of taxi booking apps makes feedback important to passengers because it lets them know the experiences other fares have had with a driver. It is especially reassuring for those who are vulnerable, such as women on their own after a night out.
The media recently carried a story shared on TikTok by a woman who had discovered that as well as leaving feedback and rating her Uber drivers, they had also rated her as a passenger.
And, having discovered that five drivers had left one-star reviews, she said the experience had ‘ruined her day’.
Under the TikTok handle @emmatainment, she shows people how to access their ratings under privacy in the settings section of the ride-hailing app.
She said: “Did you know, there’s a way of finding out how many one-star reviews you have received by Uber drivers? Well, I’m going to show you and I’m going to ruin your day.”
She was initially uncertain whether she wanted to see her own reviews. Looking at an average of her previous 500 trips, she was shocked to discover that five taxi drivers had given her just one star – the lowest of a possible five stars.
She said: “I have never seen one person who does not have at least three one stars.”
Her video went viral, with more than two million views and was picked up by mainstream media.
Responding in the Daily Mirror after discovering their own ratings, others were equally shocked.
One said: “Whoever gave me a two-star rating when all I do is sit in silence. What do you want, a performance?”
Someone else agreed: “I have two one-star reviews, all I do is sit there?”
Another added: “I only have one, but it is eating me alive. What did I do?”
While many passengers believe they might have been marked down for the size of the tip they leave, there are a number of reasons taxi drivers will give them a poor review at the end of their ride.
These include leaving rubbish or a mess in the taxi, not wearing seatbelts, and keeping the driver waiting when they pick up the fare.
Drivers also mark down riders who are rude and disrespectful.
Uber Community Guidelines states that “riders and drivers should feel safe, respectful, and positive. Always treat your driver and their vehicle as you would want to be treated”.
And slamming the car door is another reason riders will lose stars from drivers.
Uber warns that riders with consistently poor feedback can be removed from the app and unable to book future trips.
For those who have received low scores from taxi drivers, Uber says that by being ready to go when the driver arrives, being polite and taking all their belongings with them will help improve their rating so that they can continue to use the service in future.
The reaction from riders shows how important reviews are and it is useful to other drivers to record good interactions and penalise those who create a less-than-positive experience.
All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.