Penny isn’t a 5 star rider, who knew?

WestSydGuy

Well-Known Member
Some of the finest SMH journalism regarding Uber, to date. Discuss... Who is John Galt?


Dear Uber driver, please don't rate me down for not feeling chatty
DAILY LIFE
The dinner party is no longer serving its purpose
And yet, somehow my Uber rating has been slowly slipping. At last glance I was on 4.57. Which means increasingly, drivers are giving me less than five stars. For what?


The only thing I can think of is this: I don’t like to chat.

When they say: “How’s your night been?” I say. “Good thanks.” And then I shut the small talk down. Hence, therefore, ergo, four stars out of five for me.

This annoys me for a number of reasons.

First, there is a very legitimate reason a woman might not be overly friendly in an Uber.

Safety.


Forgive me if, when I get into that stranger’s car, I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy and ready to dazzle with my conversational excellence

In my experience, the more personal information you share with a male stranger, the more you can potentially put yourself in danger. And when you get into an Uber, you are literally getting into a stranger’s car. Most often that stranger is a man.

For women, getting into a male stranger’s car is wildly counter-intuitive. It goes against everything we’ve been taught: right back to when Constable Friendly came to primary school and taught us about stranger danger.

It’s of no consequence that Uber can track your ride. If you get raped or assaulted along the way, the damage is done. It’s happened. And there follows the whole issue of proving it wasn’t "consensual" with your word against his. Sure, you might be able to prove it, but you’ll have to go to court and be called ‘a liar’ first.

So forgive me if, when I get into that stranger’s car, I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy and ready to dazzle with my conversational excellence. Truth is, I’m feeling a little circumspect.

Secondly, there is the issue of presenting as a soft target. Often when I get in an Uber, I’ve had a few drinks so I’m probably a little bit slur-y when I speak. Do I want a male stranger to know that I’ve had a few drinks? No I don’t. For my own safety, I need to keep my mouth shut. It’s not because I think I’m ‘too good to talk to an Uber driver’, it’s self-preservation, pure and simple.


Finally and most importantly, as a person with a violent aversion to small talk, I resent the fact that part of the contract of getting an Uber is to provide great conversation. Among the many preordained compliments you can give a driver (via a badge) "great conversation" is one of them.

So I assume that expectation extends to the rider in return. But why can’t I just get in, not throw up, get out and pay? When I get a taxi, I can be as aloof as I please and the driver doesn’t get to judge me with a passive-aggressive four star rating.

Just because I am not in a talky mood doesn't mean I am being rude.

Photo: Adam Berry
To confirm my suspicion I spoke to a friend who is an Uber driver. I told her about my slipping rating. She went through the myriad "sins" I may have committed to have lost my star.

Do you stand in a difficult pick up spot? No.

Do you make them wait out the front? I’m always ready to go.

Do you leave the car door open when you get out? Didn’t even know that was a thing.

Why can’t I just get in, not throw up, get out and pay?

Do you sit in the back? Yes. It’s safer.

On that last one, she paused, with judgement.

And you don’t chat? Nope.

Ah … well.

Ah well, nothing. I’m fighting back with the tip of my "cancel this ride" finger.

Most recently I called an Uber and when the ride got picked up by a particular driver I noticed this on his profile:

Known for: great conversation

No thanks. I thought. And I cancelled the ride. Give me a silent, anonymous five star ride any day. The less shared, the better.



 

[email protected]

Well-Known Member
I can see the point here. Some drivers treat this as an opportunity to chat up females and if the female pax is for whatever reason not keen to chat, they don’t like it and automatically rate down.
After a bad day at work the last thing you want to do is make small talk. You just want to say hello and say nothing for the rest of the ride.

As a driver I prefer it if they don’t want to chat. It’s less work for me. It’s nothing personal.

Instead of wasting time with gimmicks like uberx+ they should introduce a new service for female pax and female drivers. This would give security to both pax and driver and it would bring in a lot of female drivers. It has to be at a premium price to uberx but I would bet that pax will be more than willing to pay for it and of course the driver gets paid more. Higher fares would incentivise new female drivers to join uber and they would be making some serious money and probably wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand, especially late at night.
The other thing this would do is drive out some of the sickos because it will reduce their chance of getting a female pax.
Of course this will never happen because political correctness would not allow it.
 

Pen

Well-Known Member
Some of the finest SMH journalism regarding Uber, to date. Discuss... Who is John Galt?


Dear Uber driver, please don't rate me down for not feeling chatty
DAILY LIFE
The dinner party is no longer serving its purpose
And yet, somehow my Uber rating has been slowly slipping. At last glance I was on 4.57. Which means increasingly, drivers are giving me less than five stars. For what?


The only thing I can think of is this: I don’t like to chat.

When they say: “How’s your night been?” I say. “Good thanks.” And then I shut the small talk down. Hence, therefore, ergo, four stars out of five for me.

This annoys me for a number of reasons.

First, there is a very legitimate reason a woman might not be overly friendly in an Uber.

Safety.


Forgive me if, when I get into that stranger’s car, I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy and ready to dazzle with my conversational excellence

In my experience, the more personal information you share with a male stranger, the more you can potentially put yourself in danger. And when you get into an Uber, you are literally getting into a stranger’s car. Most often that stranger is a man.

For women, getting into a male stranger’s car is wildly counter-intuitive. It goes against everything we’ve been taught: right back to when Constable Friendly came to primary school and taught us about stranger danger.

It’s of no consequence that Uber can track your ride. If you get raped or assaulted along the way, the damage is done. It’s happened. And there follows the whole issue of proving it wasn’t "consensual" with your word against his. Sure, you might be able to prove it, but you’ll have to go to court and be called ‘a liar’ first.

So forgive me if, when I get into that stranger’s car, I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy and ready to dazzle with my conversational excellence. Truth is, I’m feeling a little circumspect.

Secondly, there is the issue of presenting as a soft target. Often when I get in an Uber, I’ve had a few drinks so I’m probably a little bit slur-y when I speak. Do I want a male stranger to know that I’ve had a few drinks? No I don’t. For my own safety, I need to keep my mouth shut. It’s not because I think I’m ‘too good to talk to an Uber driver’, it’s self-preservation, pure and simple.


Finally and most importantly, as a person with a violent aversion to small talk, I resent the fact that part of the contract of getting an Uber is to provide great conversation. Among the many preordained compliments you can give a driver (via a badge) "great conversation" is one of them.

So I assume that expectation extends to the rider in return. But why can’t I just get in, not throw up, get out and pay? When I get a taxi, I can be as aloof as I please and the driver doesn’t get to judge me with a passive-aggressive four star rating.

Just because I am not in a talky mood doesn't mean I am being rude.

Photo: Adam Berry
To confirm my suspicion I spoke to a friend who is an Uber driver. I told her about my slipping rating. She went through the myriad "sins" I may have committed to have lost my star.

Do you stand in a difficult pick up spot? No.

Do you make them wait out the front? I’m always ready to go.

Do you leave the car door open when you get out? Didn’t even know that was a thing.

Why can’t I just get in, not throw up, get out and pay?

Do you sit in the back? Yes. It’s safer.

On that last one, she paused, with judgement.

And you don’t chat? Nope.

Ah … well.

Ah well, nothing. I’m fighting back with the tip of my "cancel this ride" finger.

Most recently I called an Uber and when the ride got picked up by a particular driver I noticed this on his profile:

Known for: great conversation

No thanks. I thought. And I cancelled the ride. Give me a silent, anonymous five star ride any day. The less shared, the better.


I can see her point of view. It's also one of the many reasons ratings can be flawed because of interpretations and sheer pettiness of one party.
 

WestSydGuy

Well-Known Member
I’ve picked up a 3.5 rated PAX, Asian/Koran name, from The Star, was to Rhodes, both PAX quiet, I was wondering what’s going to happen enroute, but nothing, rated them 5 stars.

I have about half of my solo female PAX sit in back, that does not get a down rating from me, I find Friday night rides from city to home to be quiet generally, but that’s understandable, it’s Friday!

Some of the more ethnic named PAX with low ratings, likely don’t gel with other ethnic drivers, and get rated down.

The driver rating should have a category for the vehicle, and one for the driver. The rider rating should have one for wait time, entitled level, drinks/food in car, intoxication level, and overall rating.

I’m assuming Penny is using UberX here, perhaps pool would be more to her liking, sharing the ride with fellow travellers.

If she is using UberX, this could almost be an advertisement for UberX+, UberSELECT, UberBlack and so on. It’s like she’d prefer a more professional driver...
 

DA08

Well-Known Member
I can see the point here. Some drivers treat this as an opportunity to chat up females and if the female pax is for whatever reason not keen to chat, they don’t like it and automatically rate down.
After a bad day at work the last thing you want to do is make small talk. You just want to say hello and say nothing for the rest of the ride.

As a driver I prefer it if they don’t want to chat. It’s less work for me. It’s nothing personal.

Instead of wasting time with gimmicks like uberx+ they should introduce a new service for female pax and female drivers. This would give security to both pax and driver and it would bring in a lot of female drivers. It has to be at a premium price to uberx but I would bet that pax will be more than willing to pay for it and of course the driver gets paid more. Higher fares would incentivise new female drivers to join uber and they would be making some serious money and probably wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand, especially late at night.
The other thing this would do is drive out some of the sickos because it will reduce their chance of getting a female pax.
Of course this will never happen because political correctness would not allow it.
There is a service for female only - shebah.. Lol no need for uber to discriminate on the males... :p lol
 

Iuber

Well-Known Member
As I said before and I say this again, while there are many drivers whinging on this forum in reference to how sick, nasty, sad... Are the riders, but I say the percentage of stupid, sick, sad, pathetic, nasty, filthy, scum-shit drivers is much much higher than the riders. The proof is the driver's average rating is in the 4.7x to 4.8x while the rider's average is now like 4.4x to 4.5x. Shame to all the scumbags who don't even fecking feel the shame.
 

Who is John Galt?

Well-Known Member
Penny isn’t a 5 star rider, who knew?
Some of the finest SMH journalism regarding Uber, to date. Discuss... Who is John Galt?

Dear Uber driver, please don't rate me down for not feeling chatty
===/===
No thanks. I thought. And I cancelled the ride. Give me a silent, anonymous five star ride any day. The less shared, the better.


I am a little intrigued by this article. I thought this might just be a repetition of Cara Water's sloppy journalistic denunciation of Über drivers, and I was prepared to place another diatribe into the bin. However, I was linked to another Penny Flanagan article and then another and another, and I began to see that she has some talent for not only writing of her experiences, but also of being in the experiences, but not so deeply that she may be overcome by the emotion(s) of the circumstances.


I started to do a little research. Penny is 47 - 48 years of age. The perfect age. :smiles: She has been married, I couldn't determine whether she still is, and I am unaware whether or not she has children. She is also an accomplished musician, and her writing indicates that she has no shortage of social skills.


What does this all matter, you might ask? Well, I think she has experienced life; she is certainly a very keen observer of life, and believes, probably quite justifiably that she has earned her place, and is within her rights to point out deficiencies in 'the system'. On this occasion it happens to be not the Über driver, but the Über rating system itself. Perhaps she might have some legitimate complaints.


There is a little of the (newspaper) article which has been omitted at the beginning of this thread. The actual article begins as follows:


"I reckon I’m a model Uber rider. I’ve never vomited in an Uber, I don’t stink up the car with food, I say "please" and "thank you" and I’m always ready to go when they arrive. Sometimes I even stand outside my house and wave them in like an air traffic controller because I know the location pin on the app can be a bit screwy."



Penny reckons she is a model Über rider. At face value, I find it hard to disagree. She certainly sits within my ideal 'demographic' and if I were to list her likely positive attributes as an ideal rider, I would be ticking off many of the following:
  • Female 47 - 48 - obvious attraction and old enough to remember that males and females are supposed to be attracted to each other;
  • Intelligent - understands the realities of life and is probably grounded with quite some experience;
  • Educated - has an ability to engage in a conversation which may actually rise above the floor mat;
  • Life Experience - at 47 - 48 and as a journalist, an author, musician, mother (I don't know), this lady could be expected to have some wisdom on her shoulders;
  • Connected - Penny would have many and varied contacts within and without her fields of endeavour, which, to and for an Über driver may be invaluable.
To combine the above with her stated ability to offer a please and thank you and to be ready when the driver arrives, makes me think that in the correct environment, in the correct circumstances she might be quite a catch. I would like to have her as rider.


I don't believe the issue is with her. Well, not totally. She does sound a little overwrought in regard to 'stranger danger' issue of getting into a car with a strange man. Heaven forbid, a strange man. A man who (within my jurisdiction) is required to have a 'Working With Children's Clearance' and a Police Clearance. Not unlike a taxi driver, not unlike a limousine driver, not unlike a bus driver.


The article's stated paragraph of:
In my experience, the more personal information you share with a male stranger, the more you can potentially put yourself in danger. And when you get into an Uber, you are literally getting into a stranger’s car. Most often that stranger is a man.


Does the first sentence refer to marriage? LOL. The passage suggests either there may have been issues in the past with a stranger, or the passage was inserted in the article purely as an inflammatory device to get some response. Who knows?


I think in all likelihood, Penny has travelled in an Über at the 'wrong end of the day', either after a long day at the office or perhaps after quite a few drinks (her admission) with friends and or colleagues, and all she wants to do is to get home without some bloke trying to engage with her, in any way. I can understand that. I hope I wouldn't be guilty of misreading the situation.


In my mind, the ultimate culprit in Penny's situation is Über's rating system. It allows both parties to pass judgement on the other anonymously, and for a rider pretty much without retribution. As we all know, for drivers it is a very different story. Nonetheless, as it currently stands, it is what it is. Use an Über and you will get rated, as will the driver.


Just as an example and from the driver's perspective, on the weekend, I had a chunder situation in my car which earned me a 1☆ and a bad service report for pulling over and cancelling the trip after the happy chucker wanted me to continue to his home while he carried on chundering all the way. LOL


Penny, in the article you state:

"When I get a taxi, I can be as aloof as I please and the driver doesn’t get to judge me with a passive-aggressive four star rating."

It appears a taxi is less of a drama both in the ratings arena and the 'stranger danger' arena. You obviously know the deal regarding the ratings when you travel in an Über, and yet you continue to use Über over a taxi. Why is that?

I don't know for a fact, but I suspect that you are Sydney based. If you ever get to Adelaide, I would be delighted to have you in my car, I would much prefer to have a chat, but if you weren't in the mood, I would also get that. I would get you from A to B without judgement.

P.S. I you would like a desk buddy, perhaps an intern, my diary is not quite full yet. :smiles:

Happy trails.

.
 

Ray2004

Well-Known Member
I have about half of my solo female PAX sit in back, that does not get a down rating from me, I find Friday night rides from city to home to be quiet generally, but that’s understandable, it’s Friday!

I wonder why many solo female riders ask me if they can sit in the front. Maybe they read article somewhere that some silly drivers would down rate them just because they want to sit in the back.
 

Dhaw

Well-Known Member
As a driver I prefer it if they don’t want to chat. It’s less work for me. It’s nothing personal.

Instead of wasting time with gimmicks like uberx+ they should introduce a new service for female pax and female drivers.
Uber Mute LOL.... I think thats going to be a winner! I respect a pax who does not want to chat. after 3000 trips its obvious who is who.

I started to do a little research. Penny is 47 - 48 years of age. The perfect age. :smiles: She has been married, I couldn't determine whether she still is, and I am unaware whether or not she has children. She is also an accomplished musician, and her writing indicates that she has no shortage of social skills.


.
Someone should tell Penny that pax ratings mean nothing and she should find something else to obsess about. Or catch a Taxi!
 

Heisenberg 99.1%

Well-Known Member
I'm sure she is totally barking up the wrong tree. I find that pax with with 4.5 ish ratings seem to consistently wait in no stopping or bus stops or any other difficult spots. In her case, ordering an uber right in front of a restaurant or bar, would always be a difficult pick up spot.
I know she addressed this, however a clear place with no cars parked but is still a No Stopping or bus zone does not rate as a difficult pick up spot in almost all pax's eyes, but it is still illegal. I apologise if i am wrong here Penny.
"Hey Penny, try and waddle a few meters to where it is a safe and legal pick up spot. Your ratings will weirdly begin to climb."
Nuff said
 
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WestSydGuy

Well-Known Member
I'm sure she is totally barking up the wrong tree. I find that pax with with 4.5 ish ratings seem to consistently wait in no stopping or bus stops or any other difficult spots. In her case, ordering an uber right in front of a restaurant or bar, would always be a difficult pick up spot.
I know she addressed this, however a clear place with no cars parked but is still a No Stopping or bus zone does not rate as a difficult pick up spot in almost all pax's eyes, but it is still illegal. I apologise if i am wrong here Penny.
"Hey Penny, try and waddle a few meters to where it is a safe and legal pick up spot. Your ratings will weirdly begin to climb."
Nuff said
I’m noticing a few experienced riders have their ‘share exact location’ turned on, so as a driver, we can see the Uber pickup spot, and the actual location of the rider. This is most helpful when the pickup spot in the centre of a roundabout, or the middle of a large building that has entrances on multiple streets.

Maybe Penny, share exact location, flash your new app with the spotlight colour to identify yourself, and perhaps send a text message to your driver before they make their way towards you.

“Thanks for choosing such a low rated rider, it’s not my fault, I just don’t like to talk when I’ve been on the beers, you know, anyway. I’m 100 meters away from the pickup spot, where there is a parking spot, near the roundabout. I have shared my exact location to make it easier to find me. Also, please don’t speak to me, or try to get in my pants, thank you, Penny. See you soon”.
 

UberRambo

Well-Known Member
These are the worst kind of drivers, it’s actually rather pathetic.

All drivers should assume female passengers don’t want to chat, unless they actively engage in conversation first.
 

yoyoma

Active Member
Here are factors that can influence rating:
1. Waiting time
2. Waiting point.
3. response to good morning/evening.
4. General behavior.
Any rider will be rated by me 5 stars . If I suspect that he/she rated me less then 5 I change the rating to 1. 2,3,4 is not an option.
The suspicion will be based on the 4 factors I mentioned plus change in my rating.
 

HotUberMess

Well-Known Member
I wonder why many solo female riders ask me if they can sit in the front. Maybe they read article somewhere that some silly drivers would down rate them just because they want to sit in the back.

Because the front seat is adjustible, dude. That’s it.
 

PioneerXi

Well-Known Member
So a passenger thinks they have been unfairly rated?

What a shock to every driver on the planet.

Of course, they could always reach out to support to clarify what instances down rated them. Maybe even date and time of trip?

Awww. Sorry Penny, technology company. All ratings are anonymous.

But you might find if you leave your driver a larger tip it would help. We hear that goes a long way to improving your ratings.
 
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WestSydGuy

Well-Known Member
I’m now thinking that Penny’s Uber driver mate, didn’t ask the most obvious question:
Do you live close to a train station, so pay minimum fare for each trip?

Followed up by:
Do you ever tip the driver if they’ve driven a long way to come and pick you up? You know, with cash?
 
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