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Uber will now ban riders if they have a low rating
We’ve long known that Uber is able to ban drivers if their ratings drop too much, but it hasn’t applied this rule to passengers. Now, Uber announced in a blog post that it’ll ban riders 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,” reads an excerpt of the post. “Riders will have several opportunities to improve their rating prior to losing access to the Uber apps.”
The company didn’t disclose a rating threshold for barring riders, but a spokesperson told Forbes that it’s based on the average rating for riders in each city. The change is rolling out to cities in the U.S. and Canada for now.
Previous Uber updates
Request favorite drivers
May 29, 2019: The smart cab service is working on the ability to add drivers to your favorite list, according to serial leaker Jane Wong. This way, you can easily request specific/favorite drivers.
This isn’t confirmed as coming yet, but Wong has a great track record with upcoming app features. But hopefully it lands sooner rather than later, as it’s a great way to give drivers and riders peace of mind.
April 9, 2019: Uber has launched a new proposition called Uber Vouchers, allowing businesses to offer discounted or free trips via the app. Companies will be able to buy rides in bulk from Uber and send them to users as vouchers within the app (or via email) which can then be redeemed.
Examples given by Uber include restaurants offering safe rides home to patrons and complementary rides to venues from theaters and cinemas. Uber Vouchers are available in most cities where Uber operates globally.
October 30, 2018: Uber has added a new feature and product called Ride Pass. The pass, which starts at $14.99 per month, lets Uber users who have a regular route — like a commute to work — pay a set fee for unlimited rides within specific cities.
Ride Pass is rolling out to the app now and is available in Los Angeles, Miami, Denver, Austin, and Orlando, with more cities expected in the near future.
Pick up messages and Spotlight
July 16, 2018: Uber is adding a couple of new features to the Uber app to help drivers and riders find each other. Pick up messages can now be sent to drivers to give extra detail and are then read aloud to the driver. The Spotlight feature turns your phone display into a certain color so drivers can pick the user out of a crowd. The specific color is relayed directly to the driver so they know which color to look for when the phone is held up.
July 12, 2018: Uber has added Venmo as a payment method in the Uber app (and Uber Eats). As well as adding Venmo as an in-app payment method, Uber and Venmo have also designed exclusive emojis for the service. Venmo support is expected to roll out in the U.S. in the “coming weeks.”
June 12, 2018: Uber has released a new app on the Play Store called Uber Lite. The slimmed down app is intended for emergent markets like India where phones with lower specs are far more common. Uber Lite weighs in at just 5MB and has been designed to use less mobile data. The regular Uber app is still available as well as Uber Lite.
911 “panic button”
May 29, 2018: Uber is rolling out a new “panic button” feature within the Uber app. The button (which simply calls 911) is located in a new section of the app called the Safety Center.
If you were to be riding in an Uber and needed to call 911, you would simply open the app and swipe up on the Safety Center icon. There, you’ll see an option called “911 Assistance.” If you tap that, a notification will pop up asking if you are sure you want to dial 911; if you push through that notification, your phone will dial for help.