It's now no secret that Uber drivers rate passengers. That's done on a 1 to 5 scale. Here I describe the system in an article published on Payment Week.
With the exception of a brief hacking by Aaron Landy on Medium, those scores are kept secret. Yet, they have consequences.
For example, during a peak travel period, Uber drivers might decide not to risk picking up the customer with a mid-range score. The poor soul gets stranded. It might be also impossible to flag down a traditional taxi. Or even in non-peak times, no Uber driver will bother with a subpar customer. Why deal with the possible aggravation?
That low ranking might be due to cheap tipping. If the consumer were aware what the perceived deficit was, then it could be fixed. On the customer's "performance review," as we call that report card in corporate life, he or she could add, "Increasing tip to 20 percent of fare." All's well that ends well.
Given the cool factor of Uber (AmEx partnered with it), it's possible that consumers will approach one or more regulatory agencies for transparency in the Uber ratings. In addition, those who sense they received a low grade (no Uber driver picks them up) can file a lawsuit for alleged discrimination. They can contend they were not provided service because of their age, color, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
An alternative, of course, is to drop the passenger rating system.