Uber could soon start letting you rate your driver with emoji
One user who tweeted his rating screen from Texas was shown a smiling face, an indifferent face, and a frowning face. Another Singapore-based rider was simply shown a thumbs up and a thumbs down emoji.
An Uber spokesperson told Quartz the company is testing out a feature in some markets that replaces the existing five-star rating system with emoji.
For context: after you take an Uber ride, both you - the passenger - and your driver rate each other out of five stars at the end of the ride.
Passenger ratings don't matter too much (though if your rating is pretty bad, drivers might not want to pick you up), but for drivers, each rating matters. Drivers that get below a certain rating threshold risk deactivation, which means they can't drive for Uber anymore.
Some drivers depend on Uber to supplement their incomes, and others treat gigs like Uber as a full time job, so getting deactivated for a couple less-than-stellar ratings could potentially screw up a driver's livelihood.
Some drivers are terrified of Uber's five-star rating system, and say that even one bad rating could be enough to knock them out of Uber's driving system and prevent them from driving for the service in the future. Drivers on forums like UberPeople give each other advice about their ratings.
Changing the Uber rating system to emoji stands to benefit Uber drivers who might get a thoughtless two-star rating from a passenger unaware of the repercussions of their rating. Customers often think a four-star rating is actually quite good, but don't realize that a driver with a rating of 4.6 risks getting booted off of Uber's system.
But at the same time, Uber still needs a way to maintain quality control on its drivers. The company has surely thought about this, and perhaps that's part of the reason why Uber won't be rolling this feature out to all of its users in every one of its 300+ markets any time soon.
In addition, as Quartz points out, part of the argument in the ongoing class-action lawsuit in California against Uber that stands to reclassify some drivers - who are independent contractors - to employees is that Uber treats its drivers like employees, controlling their work environment.
Undue firings are arguably part of controlling a work environment. Changing the rating system from a quantitative, numerical system with a defined threshold for drivers to a pass/fail, good/bad system stands to reduce undue firings on Uber's part, and could make the company seem, in the eyes of a judge, less like an employer.
NOW WATCH: Here's how to find out your Uber rating
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