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.”