Low Uber score could leave you without a ride

There’s an episode of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian futurist satire Black Mirror in which the creators imagine a world where our social status and access to resources are based on our social media ratings.

Now, with Uber’s recent announcement that the ride sharing service will ban users who have a “below average rating” from using them, it looks like we’re yet another step closer to living in an episode of Black Mirror.

The company says: “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 behaviour, 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 system will be rolled out in the US first, with other territories expected to follow shortly. Although Uber has not offered any ideas as to how you might work towards increasing your rating, and get back on the service after having been banned, they have announced an education campaign to let drivers and riders know how the new ratings will work.

So, for now, best be polite, pick up your litter and not complain about the speed of your ride before it’s too late and you get kicked to the curb.

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