Uber passengers who regularly get low ratings from drivers will be expelled from the platform under a new system that will be rolled out in Canada beginning this month, the ride-sharing company said Friday.
Under the new system, Uber will give riders with multiple bad ratings a number of warnings to allow them to modify their behaviour, but riders who fail to take those warnings to heart will see their accounts deactivated for up to six months.
The changes are designed to improve the safety of passengers and drivers, the company said.
In the past, Uber passengers could be banned for committing severe offenses, such as smoking in the car, unwanted touching, violent behaviour, vomiting after a few too many drinks or having sex with another passenger.
The new changes mean passengers could be banned for failing to meet a minimum threshold. It’s unclear what that threshold will be or how many warnings passengers will get before they are booted from the platform.
“Respect is a two-way street,” Uber Canada said in a statement. “Being a member of the community means treating others the way you want to be treated. This change is about shared accountability on our platform and asking everyone using Uber to be respectful of one another.”
Reaction to the changes has been mixed.
“People have bad days, and if you’re having a bad day and you get a bad rating, I don’t think it’s fair people can rate your behaviour all the time,” said Sarah Kimseagrim, who regularly uses Uber.
Leah Monson, another Uber rider, described the policy as “smart.”
“It gets people to be more aware of their situation before they enter an Uber,” she said.
Drivers are already subjected to the same type of system. Riders rate them using a five-star rating system and those who get consistently low ratings on the app are banished from the platform.
Uber, which has upended transportation around the world, will launch a highly anticipated initial public offering on May 10.