Car services are great, but how accurate are drivers ratings?

First, I am huge fans and regular users of both the Lyft and Uber car services. Usually cheaper than a taxi (except for surge pricing) and easy to order, among other car sharing companies, are great alternatives for transportation. And recently, both companies have been throwing promotions for as much as 50% off rides during the week. Tough to beat that, so I encourage you to try these car services out. They have not only saved consumers money, but probably from a DUI or two, or worse.

But lately, it seems that I have been having some rather poor drivers, despite their high ratings (4.7 out of 5 star average) when their name pops up on my app. We had one driver who ran a red light, another make an illegal u-turn, and another drive as if it were his first time behind the wheel. My neck thanks you. The overall worst example was when the driver handed me the GPS and basically requested my assistance in navigating. Isn’t that why I paid you? I gave these drivers 1 star and don’t feel they should be driving until additional training occurs. This got me wondering. Are some car service customers, because they feel sorry for the driver, don’t want to offend the driver, or are concerned about being given a low passenger rating unfairly overstating driver performance? I am beginning to think so.

Having looked into this a little bit more by talking to Uber drivers, they not only get rated themselves and must maintain a high rating, but get to rate customers, too. Click that link and you can have your rating emailed to you. Presumably, one could be banned from the system and blacklisted. For the few times that I have reached out to customer service to complain about a bad driver, they have been responsive to my concerns. Lyft offered a credit, but Uber didn’t. I am more concerned about an unsafe driver being taken off the road than a free ride, but I am happy to accept ride credit and give them another chance.

The other on-going question I have is how much training the drivers get before becoming Uber or Lyft employees? What’s great about traditional taxi services is that drivers know the area (generally) in which they operate. The seemingly complete reliance upon GPS whenever I am in a car service is not only a distraction to the driver, but a bit of annoyance, too, to the passenger. For example, if one knew the area well, when the GPS misdirected the driver (as they sometimes do), an experienced driver would ignore Siri or whomever talks to me and drive on. Second guessing intuition or experience over the GPS is dangerous.

car services

They don’t deserve a 5 star rating

Rating car services and other things you buy

Because of sites like Yelp, it is very easy to provide (and as a business receive) a great deal of feedback simply and cheaply about customer service and performance. As consumers, we owe it to each other to be honest about performance. Great drivers deserve high ratings and bad ones deserve low ones. We are not going to do ourselves any favors by inaccurately assessing performance on either end, with car services or any other professional service received.

I’d like to hear your experience with using Lyft and Uber, and your thoughts if you feel drivers are being inaccurately rated.


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