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Uber drivers share the secrets that'll get you a five-star rating.

I always had a feeling I was a shitty passenger.

It’s not that I’m rude, or nasty, or deliberate about spilling an entire bag of fries that time (no one won in that situation). I just was beginning to get the feeling I could try a little bit harder.

But I have a theory why people my age are not the best passengers.

It’s from growing up with taxis, not Ubers, see. That was like the wild west of ridesharing, young folk – you had to practically BEG a taxi to pick you up in the shift-changeover hour of 3am, and forget about making two stops en route: you were pushing your luck.

Taxis were a stripped-back ride of torn seat covers, random globs of rock-hard chewing gum, and drivers who smelt vaguely of cigarettes and shirt starch.

Imagine, then, the joy when Uber cars came into being. Free water? Free mints? A young, chatty driver? A guaranteed pick up time with tracking on the car? Heaven was in the backseat of a 2009 Camry.

Listen: Would you let a stranger drive your children? Introducing Uber for kids. (Post continues after audio.)

Perhaps this is why so many people my age are crappy passengers. We still feel – and therefore act – like Blair Waldorf every time our driver is waiting out the front. Newsflash: no one liked Blair Waldorf, and behaving like a brat will score you a very average Uber ranking.

All of this came crashing down upon me when last week, I was ranking shamed.

“4.7?!” exclaimed my friend, busting out of the seatbelt in the (very comfortable) Range Rover sport we were collected in moments earlier. “That’s terrible. What have you DONE?”

“What? Really?” I was shocked. I thought a 4.7 out of 5 ranking was actually pretty good. What had I done? Was it the chips?

My friend leant into the front seat, where a stately man with grey hair and a Ralph Lauren polo shirt was driving our car.

"I was ranking shamed." Image: Supplied.
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“Joseph, what do you think? Is 4.7 good?”

Judging by the look on Joseph’s face, it wasn’t.

Never one to let sleeping dogs lie, I took advantage of the peak hour traffic to quiz my friend Joseph about what will give you a shiny, five-star Uber passenger rating.

Combined with some tips from other Uber drivers and friends in the know, I have compiled the top five commandments to maintaining a good Uber passenger ranking.

#1: Thou shalt not make them travel for a five minute journey.

Short journeys are fine for an Uber driver - in fact, for many, it’s their bread and butter of mid-week trips. But the clincher is this: if your driver is more than say, five minutes away, don’t ask them to travel to the other side of town just to drive you up the street (yes, even if it’s uphill). It’s a waste of their time, and they’ll mark you badly for it.

Commit these commandments to memory. (iStock)

#2: Thou shalt not make out with vigour in the back seat.

Hhhoooooo boy. This one was unanimous among all Uber drivers - please, please, please save your heated make-out sessions (or worse!) until you make it out of the car. From horror stories about finding used condoms in the back seat to being asked to drive around the block over and over to buy more pashing time, Uber drivers are not down with you getting down. Their car is not your personal Love Hotel on wheels.

#3: Thou shalt not treat the driver like Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy.

As mentioned, driving in an Uber still feels like a luxury to those of the stinky-Yellow-Cabs generation. But this doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to treat them like your personal chauffeur. Don’t bark orders at your driver, and don’t expect them to run errands with you. One driver said that she received a pick up from IKEA once, and was asked by the passenger to lug in the heavy flatlay boxes. Honey, we wouldn’t even do that for our partner, let alone a random passenger...

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how to get perfect uber passenger rating
Image: Warner Bros.

#4: Thou shalt make pick ups and drop offs easy.

After several months of struggling with Uber drivers to find my address (I’m on the corner of a busy main road), I figured it was easier to give them an alternative address, the one of my neighbour down the side street. Problem solved. Think about how you can make your Uber driver’s life simple: this means avoiding illegal drop off/pick up points, heavy traffic, difficult locations, or multiple drop offs.

#5: Thou shalt not behave like a drunken teen at Schoolies.

Drinking booze. Spilling chips (guilty). Shouting at the window, at each other, or at the driver. Requesting an AUX cord so you can crank Ed Sheeran. Burping. Farting. Vomiting. Flashing any part of your body, to anyone. Get the picture? Your Uber driver has the power to One Star you, and if you attempt any of the above, they will.

Life without Uber is a scary place to be. Trust me, I’ve been there multiple times when I’ve lost my bank card and had to cancel it from my Uber account. But if you keep up the naughty passenger behaviour, your dodgy rating is going to see you fall so far down the Snakes And Ladders of Uber cars, you’ll be begging for redemption from the pits of CBD taxi hell. You’ve been warned.

Thank you Joseph, and sorry about the chips.

What's your Uber score? Feel free to brag in comments below.

Tags: auto , facebook-rogue , ride-sharing , uber
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