Uber has confirmed that it will begin blocking riders in South Africa if they exhibit bad behaviour.
This follows the implementation of a similar system in the United States and Canada, where Uber has started blocking riders who have incurred bad ratings while using its service.
Under this system, riders in the United States and Canada will be warned if their rating is too low and provided with tips on how to improve their rating.
If they continue exhibiting bad behaviour and are not able to improve their rating, they will then be blocked from accessing the Uber service.
Uber uses a similar system to ensure the good behaviour of its drivers, and will block drivers from operating on the Uber platform if their rating is too low.
Blocking riders in South Africa
Uber South Africa told MyBroadband that a similar policy will be implemented locally, with riders who behave badly consistently being blocked from the platform.
The company did not state whether the rider’s rating played a part in this process, saying that the system would focus on driver feedback regarding the passenger.
“Uber has recently been focusing their efforts on developing products that increase transparency, accountability, and safety for all our users and will be rolling out a new rider quality system,” Uber said.
“This system will ensure the adage saying, ‘Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself’ is taken seriously.”
“We have recently updated our community guidelines which extends the same behavioural standards to the riders that we have for driver-partners and we will be notifying a small number of riders that their behaviour needs to improve or their access to the app could be removed – which is already done with drivers,” said Uber general manager for Sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits.
“Fostering a community of mutual respect matters to us and this change is about shared accountability on our platform and asking everyone using Uber to be respectful of one another,” he said.
Under this new policy, when Uber sees a pattern of riders receiving consistently bad feedback, they will receive a warning and will be given advice on how to improve.
If the rider continues to receive bad feedback from drivers after warnings, they will be temporarily suspended from the platform for one week. If there is still no improvement in the rider’s behaviour after this, they could be permanently blocked from using Uber.
“It’s a two-way street, riders rate drivers and drivers rate riders,” Uber said.
Behaviour such as being rude to the driver or disrespectful of their vehicle, pushing the driver to break the speed limit, or being abusive, would be considered bad behaviour and grounds for a driver to report a problem with the rider.
“For Uber drivers this respect is of the utmost importance, their vehicle is their place of work, and though the vast majority of their interactions with riders are trouble free there is always a small minority who can spoil a driver’s day,” Uber said.
“Even though the vast majority of riders will not be affected by this update, it reminds a select few what behaviour is expected of them while using the Uber app.”