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May 29, 2019

Uber will now deactivate riders with 'significantly below average' ratings

The ride-share company says 'only a small number" of customers will be impacted by the move

If you've noticed your Uber rating slipping because of a few too many rowdy rides home from the bars, you might want to get your act together before they're a thing of the past.

Uber announced Wednesday the company will begin deactivating riders whose passenger ratings fall significantly below average.

(Don't know your rating off the top of your head and suddenly a little worried? You can find your rating just beneath your name, in the app's main menu.)

Uber announced the news in a blog post titled "Safety and respect for all", attributed to Kate Parker, the company's head of brand and initiatives (and a University of Pennsylvania graduate):

"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.

"Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability. Drivers have long been expected to meet a minimum rating threshold which can vary city to city. While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it’s the right thing to do."

The post didn't provide a specific rating as the cutoff point for an Uber customer in peril of having his or her account deactivated, just as the company hasn't publicly outlined the threshold for driver deactivation.

Four years ago, Business Insider reported that Uber drivers are considered "at risk of deactivation" if their average rating drops below 4.6. At the time, company documents said that roughly 3% of Uber drivers had ratings below a 4.6 average.

Ride share companies writ large have spent more than a year attempting to clean up their safety guidelines on both sides of a fraught driver-rider relationship, including emphasizing double-checking license plate numbers and car models to avoid entering the wrong vehicle.

Last November, a Montgomery County Uber driver was charged with raping a passenger who was unconscious in his vehicle.

And earlier this year, a Philly woman went through a brief court battle after she was charged with assaulting a Lyft driver, despite her claim that the driver tried to kidnap her.

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