Buckle up and behave yourself: That’s the message coming from the South African branch of Uber on Tuesday, after they announced plans to crackdown on “rude riders”, mirroring the system used in North America.
At Uber, we maintain a 2-way feedback system to allow for a safer experience for everyone using the Uber app. To ensure that mutual respect is always maintained, we’re going to be holding riders more accountable for any unacceptable behaviour displayed on Uber trips. [1/2] pic.twitter.com/v4dYWwuYmI
— Uber South Africa (@Uber_RSA) June 4, 2019
Why Uber are looking to ban passengers in South Africa
Alon Lits is the General Manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa. He told us why Uber are now keen to foster a more “mutually respectful” environment between drivers and passengers. According to him, a “small number” of users in Mzansi will soon be informed about their unacceptable conduct:
“We have recently updated our community guidelines which extends the same behavioural standards to the riders that we have for driver-partners and we will be notifying a small number of riders that their behaviour needs to improve or their access to the app could be removed – which is already done with drivers.”
“Fostering a community of mutual respect matters to us and this change is about shared accountability on our platform and asking everyone using Uber to be respectful of one another.”
There’s nothing to worry about, for the most part – and this isn’t going to descend into a Black Mirror-style dystopia where dropping underneath a certain rating will get you banned from the service – that’s not what is happening. The new “rider quality system” is a three-strike policy, which aims to make life easier for drivers.
How do you get banned from Uber?
This is how it works: Passengers who receive repeatedly-bad feedback for the way they behave in an Uber will first receive a warning from the e-hailing app. It will come with tips advising customers on how to meet certain behaviour standards, including how to treat the vehicle and how to avoid being rude and abusive toward drivers.
It’s also been revealed that asking your Uber driver to “break speed limits” to get you somewhere faster could also put you on the naughty list. However, things like keeping the driver waiting and taking extremely short trips are not grounds for caution. We can hear the sighs of relief already.
After the warning…
So, after you get issued a warning, you’ll be expected to avoid any further bad behaviour. But if you continue to receive negative feedback, things go up a notch – you will eventually be suspended from Uber for a week, and that action must be considered as your final chance to put things right.
If, after all this, you are still winding up drivers, a third stream of bad reviews will result in the final escalation: Your account will be permanently suspended by the app.
This whole system is based on respect – the people behind the wheel of an Uber are there to give you an easy ride, so the least you can do is give them one back. If not, well… winter is a terrible time to start having to walk everywhere.