Uber will now let you know when you’re being a total jerk to your driver Behavior modification therapy, via a company that has its share of bad habits The Verge 9/26/17 by Andrew J. Hawkins@andyjayhawk https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/26/16366104/uber-driver-rider-feedback-rating-pool Uber is announcing a few notable changes today, starting with a new feature that allows drivers to offer an additional layer of feedback to unruly riders. Working off the assumption that no one likes IRL confrontation, drivers can now choose from a preselected list of reasons to explain why they rated a passenger as less than five stars. So the next time you take too long getting in the car, or you have a loud phone conversation in the back seat, you’ll be hearing about it from your Uber driver. The update will ask drivers “what went wrong” if they select a four-star rating or less. They can then choose from a list of reasons: “wait time,” “patience,” “number of riders,” “attitude,” “wanted new route,” or “other.” If a rider gets the same “tag” twice within 30 days, a notification will appear when they open the Uber app to let them know that their behavior is affecting their rating. According to Uber, drivers often complain that poor rider behavior can be a major cause of stress, especially during UberPool trips. Drivers have always been able to rate riders after the trip, but now they will be able to leave specific feedback that Uber can then surface to riders so they can improve their rating. Whether riders take the criticism to heart or dismiss it as patronizing, though, remains to be seen. OH, THE IRONY The irony, of course, is that Uber is announcing this new feature at a time when its own reputation has suffered from series of damaging, self-inflicted controversies and scandals. A cascading series of reports of a toxic workplace, hostility toward its female employees, secret programs to evade the authorities, and more have served to blunt the startup’s momentum. The company’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, was forced to publicly apologize for Uber’s many transgressions after London officials declined to renew the company’s license to operate in that city. These changes are part of the company’s overall “180 days of change” apology tour that it hopes will help shore up its relations to its drivers and riders. (Previous announcements have included a tipping option for drivers and more freedom to decline trips.) Uber sent an email outlining the changes to drivers today, signed by Uber’s general manager for the US and Canada, Rachel Holt, and head of driver experience, Aaron Schildkrout.