Uber has long been penalizing its drivers for low ratings stemming from poor behavior or misconduct.
The practice is fairly common, which is why drivers particularly remind riders to rate them well after completing a ride.
But now, in a major move, the ride-hailing giant has turned the tables, making ratings equally important for riders too.
Just like riders, drivers rate too
In case you don't know, Uber has a two-way rating system which allows your driver to rate you just as you rate them - based on their experience.
Your rating appears as a common average under your name in the menu bar. However, until now, this was just a number reflecting what kind of rider you have been.
Meanwhile, drivers are penalized for poor ratings
While rider ratings were just a number, driver ratings drove punishment.
Basically, if a driver's Uber rating drops below a certain threshold (4.6 according to documents leaked in 2016), they risk having their accounts deactivated.
Uber has long been using this trick to ensure that its drivers stayed on their best behavior and treated riders with respect throughout the journey.
But now, rider accounts will also be deactivated
Although a bit late, Uber has finally realized that respect is a two-way road and riders' behavior should also be kept in check, just like drivers'.
The company recently announced a policy change replicating the deactivation model for riders too.
So, if you have been misbehaving with drivers and have got a poor rating, Uber could block you out from using its services.
Rider rating threshold remains unknown
Having said that, it's worth noting that Uber has not revealed the rating threshold that would be considered for banning riders from the app.
In a statement to TechCrunch, a spokesperson for the company claimed that ratings would vary from city to city and "any rider at risk of losing access will receive several notifications and opportunities to improve his or her rating."
Rating-based deactivation limited to US and Canada
As of now, the rating-based deactivation system is only applicable to Uber riders in the US and Canada. However, the policy could expand to other regions, including India, in the future.