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posted by martyb on Wednesday February 04 2015, @11:55AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the it's-nice-to-be-nice dept.

David Streitfeld reports at the New York Times that people routinely use the Internet to review services from plumbers to hairdressers but now the tables are turned as companies like Uber are rating their customers, and shunning those who do not make the grade.

"An Uber trip should be a good experience for drivers too," says an Uber blog post. "Drivers shouldn’t have to deal with aggressive, violent, or disrespectful riders. If a rider exhibits disrespectful, threatening, or unsafe behavior, they, too, may no longer be able to use the service." It does not seem to take much to annoy some Uber drivers. On one online forum, an anonymous driver said he gave poor reviews to “people who are generally negative and would tend to bring down my mood (or anyone around them).” Another was cavalier about the process: “1 star for passengers does not do them any harm. Sensible drivers won’t pick them up, but so what?”

In response, some consumers are becoming more polite and prompt. "The knowledge that they may be rated is also encouraging people to submit more upbeat reviews themselves, even if the experience was less than stellar," writes Streitfeld. "When services choose whom to serve, no one wants to be labeled difficult." The result may be a Barney world says Michael Fertik referring to the purple dinosaur who sings, “With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you/ Won’t you say you love me too.”

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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by c0lo on Wednesday February 04 2015, @11:58AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 04 2015, @11:58AM (#141094) Journal
    N/T
    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @12:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @12:16PM (#141098)

      0/5 stars

      When will Uber let you rate other drivers?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @12:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @12:34PM (#141102)
        I don't f**king care about Uber, that's the point I guess.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by naubol on Wednesday February 04 2015, @12:54PM

    by naubol (1918) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @12:54PM (#141109)

    The result may be a Barney world...

    I quite like the fact that the assumption on the part of the driver is that I will be polite. It makes it a lot easier to gently suggest they're taking an inefficient route or going the wrong way altogether without it becoming a personal criticism. Moreover, the experience is just more pleasant period.

    In a small town, everyone is rated constantly by everyone else and those ratings are remembered. It is a much more thorough and conscientious rating system, about as invasive at it can be. When people talk about how nice small towns are, I doubt they'd be flippant and call it a barney world. Technology isn't just flattening the world, but also shrinking the city.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by ilPapa on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:08PM

      by ilPapa (2366) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:08PM (#141146) Journal

      In a small town, everyone is rated constantly by everyone else and those ratings are remembered.

      That's the system that kept gays in the closet and unmarried girls having to go "stay with an aunt out of town" to take care of unwanted pregnancies.

      It's the reason generations of bright young men and women escaped to the big city to seek their fortune. Because an environment where you're always being "rated" can get a little oppressive.

      --
      You are still welcome on my lawn.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bob_super on Wednesday February 04 2015, @04:43PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @04:43PM (#141190)

        It also kept kids safe when they played outside alone, reminded teenagers that jumping in the bed too early could be trouble, kept overweight people from getting morbidly obese, discouraged many guys (not enough) from beating up their family, kept the boss a hair below full abuseness, and reminded couples that one bad argument isn't always grounds for divorce...

        It was such a great social stabilizer that your XXIst century government wants to make sure you know someone IS always looking and judging your actions.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @05:23PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @05:23PM (#141212)

          It also kept kids safe when they played outside alone, reminded teenagers that jumping in the bed too early could be trouble, kept overweight people from getting morbidly obese, discouraged many guys (not enough) from beating up their family, kept the boss a hair below full abuseness, and reminded couples that one bad argument isn't always grounds for divorce...

          The fact that 100% of your examples have no basis in reality is revealing.

          Just so no one thinks I'm just inveighing without cause, here's one example:

          In 2010, the birth rate for girls ages 15 to 19 in rural counties was 43 per 1,000, nearly one-third higher than the rate for metropolitan counties (33 per 1,000)
          -- Rural teens at high risk for pregnancy, analysis finds [usatoday.com]

          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:18PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:18PM (#141242)

            It seems that you might have missed the past tense used in both previous posts...

            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:59PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:59PM (#141263)

              Are you saying that small towns are no longer places where "everyone is constantly rated by everyone else?"

              Because if that is your thesis, you didn't make any effort at all to even mention it. Instead what you wrote sure looks like a straightforward defense of that very principle. If you would like to clarify your remarks, please do so.

              • (Score: 1) by In hydraulis on Wednesday February 04 2015, @11:34PM

                by In hydraulis (386) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @11:34PM (#141354)

                He could also be arguing that everyone is still being constantly watched and rated by everyone else, but it no longer has the exemplified positive effects.

                Not that this alternative is any better, though.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ilPapa on Wednesday February 04 2015, @10:41PM

          by ilPapa (2366) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 04 2015, @10:41PM (#141341) Journal

          It also kept kids safe when they played outside alone, reminded teenagers that jumping in the bed too early could be trouble, kept overweight people from getting morbidly obese, discouraged many guys (not enough) from beating up their family, kept the boss a hair below full abuseness, and reminded couples that one bad argument isn't always grounds for divorce...

          Is that your way of saying, "Think of the children"? Because honestly, I don't know where you were in small town America, but children weren't that safe, teenagers were getting pregnant left and right, overweight people died before they could become morbidly obese and guys beat up their families all the time. Bosses were plenty abusive in the days before labor unions (see, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and and couples just stayed miserable instead of getting divorced. And all that good stuff was assuming you weren't a person of color, gay, Jewish, "ethnic" or any other marginalized group, because then old Ozzie and Harriet's small town America really set out to make your life a living hell. Which might be one reason why most Americans now live in cities.

          Your idyllic vision of small town America circa Ozzie and Harriet is sadly untrue on every single count. It's as much a product of "big brother" (in the form of Madison Avenue) as anything coming from "your XXIst century government".

          (Note: if you want to see just how abusive bosses could be back in the good old small town days, have a look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-union_violence) [wikipedia.org]

          --
          You are still welcome on my lawn.
    • (Score: 2) by jdccdevel on Wednesday February 04 2015, @04:35PM

      by jdccdevel (1329) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @04:35PM (#141186) Journal

      In a small town, everyone is rated constantly by everyone else and those ratings are remembered. It is a much more thorough and conscientious rating system, about as invasive at it can be. When people talk about how nice small towns are, I doubt they'd be flippant and call it a barney world. Technology isn't just flattening the world, but also shrinking the city.

      One of the worst things about small towns is a single "bad rating" can also mess things up for someone for a very, very long time, and be really hard to overcome. This helps make small towns the playground of bullies and gossips much more so than big cities, where some level of anonymity can be had.

      One of the nicest things about small towns is that they're small. You can find another one if you really want to (or need to escape the bullying), or go to the "big city" and discover yourself.

      If cities become like small towns, that sort of escape and self discovery is going to become that much harder.

      This is especially true as rating apps like this become more common, since the rating will be available to anyone with a internet connection; regardless of where they're at. We're already starting to see the beginning of this with social media, where online rumors, bullying, and gossip are proving impossible to escape.

      • (Score: 2) by tathra on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:24PM

        by tathra (3367) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:24PM (#141248)

        One of the worst things about small towns is a single "bad rating" can also mess things up for someone for a very, very long time, and be really hard to overcome.

        it doesn't even need to be an actual 'rating', just a vindictive asshole with more charisma than you. if the lies they spread prevent people from getting close, you never get the chance to demonstrate the truth.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday February 04 2015, @08:52PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 04 2015, @08:52PM (#141306) Journal

        One of the nicest things about small towns is that they're small. You can find another one if you really want to (or need to escape the bullying), or go to the "big city" and discover yourself.
        If cities become like small towns, that sort of escape and self discovery is going to become that much harder.

        Look if you've exhausted all the small towns, and are close to eliminating all the available cities, and people STILL gossip and bully you, maybe it really IS just YOU.

        I suppose I still have to allow for the fact that you might be just an unfortunate Joe Btfsplk sort of person.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday February 04 2015, @12:58PM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 04 2015, @12:58PM (#141111) Journal
    Rating for customers, wow! Who would have thought?
    I just can't imagine how come, for instance, ebay haven't yet implemented a buyer rating/feedback!
    Oh, wait...
    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hubie on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:07PM

      by hubie (1068) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:07PM (#141145) Journal

      And it will probably turn out as useful as eBay ratings. A colleague of mine bought a piece of "new" electronics. When he got it he said it operated fine, but it had some cosmetic issues and the interior smelled like smoke from a fire, not electrical, but like the device was in a building that had burned. Since the device still met his operational expectations, he ended up leaving a neutral rating because he felt the product description did not represent the product well. The seller ends up emailing him back, basically yelling at him for not giving him a gold star and threatening to give him bad buyer ratings if he didn't change is rating (my friend basically told him why he left the neutral rating and told him where he could shove his threats).

      I rarely use eBay, so I don't know if this "kiss my ass or I will rate you bad" attitude is still around, and though I do take ratings into consideration, I do also take them with a grain of salt (like I do on Amazon or anywhere else).

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by M. Baranczak on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:25PM

        by M. Baranczak (1673) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:25PM (#141150)

        Happened to me too. I bought something, and it took them a month to ship it, so I left a negative rating. In response, the seller called me a liar and gave me a negative, too. According to this [ebay.com], Ebay dealt with the problem by disallowing negative ratings for buyers. Which kinda defeats the purpose of rating buyers; a better solution would be to hide the ratings until both parties are rated, or until it's too late to leave a rating.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:25PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:25PM (#141151) Journal

        And it will probably turn out as useful as eBay ratings.

        Not probably, it's certain. You see, Uber's business model rely on sheer number of drivers: the more drivers it has in its books, the better (too low a number and the rest of the drivers will evaporate quickly). Which brings the situation closer to oversupply. As such, the consumer has an advantage: s/he has the money - so fucking rude/stinky or not, someone will be willing to offer him a ride.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @01:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @01:21PM (#141114)

    s/t

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @01:47PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @01:47PM (#141119)

    rate your driver on:

    Rapiness, with 1 being "not that rapey" to 10 being "raped me"

    Murderousness, with 1 being "probably not a serial killer" to 10 being "Hannibal Lecter is afraid of this guy"

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @01:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @01:48PM (#141120)

      Odor, where 1 is "didn't notice" to 10 being "Aegean Stables during Happy Hour"

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:14PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:14PM (#141148)

        Cleanliness of the car 1 is "I have seen operating theaters that are dirtier" to 10 being "I think this car was featured on hoarders"

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday February 05 2015, @12:06AM

          by maxwell demon (1608) on Thursday February 05 2015, @12:06AM (#141362) Journal

          Perceived safety of the ride: 1 "My bed is more dangerous" to 10 "I'd feel safer riding on a wild horse being chased by a hungry tiger known for eating humans"

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 2) by goodie on Wednesday February 04 2015, @04:12PM

    by goodie (1877) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @04:12PM (#141168) Journal

    Quick questions from a guy who's typically weary of these things... These are slightly OT but not too much (I hope!).

    Do many people here actually have used Uber? If so, how frequently and as drivers or customers? Because I see the ads online these days and I'm wondering if it's only for people who drive around all day long and have nothing better to do. Mind you in many countries (especially ex-USSR) you can hail any car on the street, ask how much to go somewhere and agree with the person to get driven there. But in those countries, you're not always guaranteed you'll arrive safe, in one piece, with all your belongings etc.

    Anyway am I just too prude or is this a revolution it claims it wants to be? I'm interested to hear opinions about this!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by isostatic on Thursday February 05 2015, @01:00AM

      by isostatic (365) on Thursday February 05 2015, @01:00AM (#141371) Journal

      I use uber a lot, in 3 continents, last used it about 45 minutes ago.

      In the UK you get a minicab, so it's just like phoning up local minicab firms and finding someone who will come out, except you see exactly where they are and how long they will be, you know the toute they'll take, you don't need to deal with paying cash, or getting a receipt, or tipping, or remembering to claim the tip on expenses.

      As 90% of my trips are for work, Im not too bothered about the cost, I want the ease of use. I don't want to stand around in freezing weather at 0630 hopping my cab will turn up as I did this mopenong on a non-uber booking. I want to see my cab is on washeay road 2.3 miles away and will be here in 6 minutes.

      Forget the ride share function which doesn't exost in the UK, just give me an easy minicab booking system

      The times I've used it abroad are great too. No more flagging down half a dozen cabs waiting for one who will take a credit card (Brussels November ), or queueing for 20 minutes at the airport (Singapore December), or working out the directions at 2.30am at LAX last month. I wouldn't bother somewhere like cairo, and wouldn't risk it in Rio or gaza, but on the whole it's great.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday February 04 2015, @04:39PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @04:39PM (#141188)

    - Don't be rude to anybody who's going to handle your food or drinks or cutlery. That includes the cooks, waitstaff, bartenders, busboys, and anyone else who works at a restaurant.
    - Don't be rude to anybody who's driving you someplace. That includes bus drivers, subway/streetcar operators, cabbies, Uber drivers, and any random person kind enough to give you a lift somewhere.

    Or more generally, Wheaton's Law still applies in real life: Don't be a dick. It never helps.

    --
    The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @05:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @05:26PM (#141213)

      Asserting something without explaining the reasoning behind the assertion is pretty narcissistic because it does nothing to inform the reader.

      • (Score: 2) by tathra on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:31PM

        by tathra (3367) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:31PM (#141251)

        the reasoning behind those rules are pretty obvious. if you really need them spelled out for you...

        the people who make your food are in a position of power over you - they can spit in it, wipe their shit in it, watch you eat their pubes, and do all kinds of disgusting things, and everyone will agree that you deserve it because you're a dick
        similar with people driving you someplace, they're in a position of power over you - they can drive you out 50 miles into the middle of nowhere and kick you out, or just kick you out right on the spot; at any rate, if you're a dick there's a good chance you won't get where you're going

        as for "don't be a dick", that's fairly obvious too to anyone who's not a sociopath, or even if you are a sociopath, just see the explanations listed above - you often have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @07:06PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @07:06PM (#141267)

          similar with people driving you someplace, they're in a position of power over you - they can drive you out 50 miles into the middle of nowhere and kick you out, or just kick you out right on the spot; at any rate, if you're a dick there's a good chance you won't get where you're going

          I don't see that as even one thousandth as likely as waitstaff spitting in your food. The idea that anyone has a non-trivial chance of being kidnapped by a driver is ridiculous given that not only is it illegal it can't be done in secret.

          as for "don't be a dick", that's fairly obvious too to anyone who's not a sociopath,

          While mostly true, it isn't really the point. What qualifies as being a dick is in the eye of the beholder. Every person who has been a dick thought it was appropriate at the time.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @09:51PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @09:51PM (#141326)

          the reasoning behind those rules are pretty obvious.

          If they are obvious then why bother to post? The only reason I can see for someone to state the obvious is because they like the sound of their own voice.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @05:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @05:05PM (#141207)

    Perhaps it would be better (for both driver and passenger) if there was a less subjective rating system. Rather than an open-ended comment, ask 3-5 questions. These could include "did he passenger arrive on time?", "Did they make any unusual requests?", "Did they leave your car clean?" You could have a bank of 20 questions, but only ask a few random ones at the end of the trip. Not saying this is perfect, but questions that are less open to interpretation might actually help fellow drivers. A driver could decided to not accept passengers who are habitually late, however that may not care about cleanliness as long as they pay their fare.

    -JHG

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @05:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @05:50PM (#141220)

    You sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @02:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @02:19AM (#141388)

    Rate this, motherfucker! I got your "Uber" right here.