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The big picture: Uber said it only expects a small number of riders to be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, adding that "it's the right thing to do." In other words, if you don't know how to behave like a civilized adult, Uber doesn't want your business.
Uber drivers have long been expected to maintain a minimum rating threshold or face expulsion from the platform. Now, riders are being held to similar standards.
As part of Uber's updated community guidelines, the company now reserves the right to ban riders from using the service if they develop a significantly below average rating.
Kate Parker, head of safety, brand and initiatives, said riders will be given several opportunities to improve their rating prior to losing access and even receive tips on how to improve their ratings. Examples mentioned include avoiding leaving trash in a vehicle, encouraging polite behavior and not requesting that your driver exceed the speed limit - you know, common sense stuff.
Uber didn't say what level a rider's rating must fall to in order to be deactivated. According to a leaked document from 2015, drivers face deactivation if their rating drops below 4.6.
Uber has long maintained customer ratings but this is the first time they're being put to use as part of a public-facing feature with actionable consequences.
Image credit: tax driver having argument with passenger by Snapic_PhotoProduction