You’ve downloaded Uber, Lyft or some other tap-a-ride app, and you’re loving this sudden, easy availability of cabs to get you from point A to point B. No more talking to crabby phone-call fielders at Orange Cab and Yellow Cab, and no more waiting with mounting tension for a booked taxi that never arrives.
But you’re reading this article. Which means, no matter how highly you think of your tap-a-ride app, your tap-a-ride app does not think very highly of you.
So what did you do? Laugh at the woolly, pink mustache attached to the front of your Lyft driver’s car? Give him/her backseat instructions? You must have done something – and done it regularly – for a fleet of online transportation network drivers to have given you less than 5 stars.
Well, it’s not too late to save your reputation on any ride app, if you follow the basic riding etiquettes listed below.
But before you do that, you have to realize that rideshare is also a social media platform. Just as in Facebook, your goal should be to get as many `likes’ here as possible. And you know why? Because when you’re stranded in the middle of BFE at 2 am in the morning, your Facebook `likers’ are not going to come to rescue you. It will be one of those guys who drive cars with ridiculous pink mustaches in the front, so you better play nice.
Like in all social media, rideshare is a 2-way opinion street, and when a driver gives you less than 5 stars, he is basically `unfriending’ you. He doesn’t want you in his car again.
His low score (and anything less than a full suite of 5 stars is a low score) affects how other drivers perceive you as well, especially the real nice ones who maintain clean, tidy, good-smelling cars with complimentary bottles of water and candy in the back. So you’re bottom of the barrel and lowest on the rideshare’s priority list. Other 5-star customers in the neighborhood will get picked up before you will. And it is very probable that the guy who does finally accept your ride request runs a really gross vehicle with greasy fingerprints all over the windows and spots of baby puke still drying on the backseat.
To avoid such embarrassing social ignominy, here’s what you can do to change your poor star rating around:
# 1: Don’t keep the Uber/Lyft driver waiting. Some companies don’t allow drivers to start the meter until their fare is in the car, so every minute you spend dilly-dallying, you’re costing the poor man money. And setting yourself up for bad star rating.
# 2: Choose a visible pick-up point. Save time and hassle for everybody.
# 3: Ride shotgun if you want to chat with the driver. If you’d rather keep to yourself, sit at the back. The driver will not mind, either way.
# 4: Some drivers don’t like to ferry animals. Respect that choice by letting him/her know you have a dog before he comes to get you. If he does allow your pet to ride, thank him with a generous tip. After all, he is doing you a favor, because he’ll have to clean all the dog hair off the seat and floor mats afterwards.
# 5: Don’t do anything messy, like eating and spilling coffee, in the car.
# 6: Don’t get too comfortable. It’s a short ride, so don’t take your shoes off, lift your legs up on the seat, lean against the window glass and leave cheek imprints.
# 7:Don’t touch or fiddle with anything either. If you want the air conditioning to be cranked up or down, ask the driver first before doing it yourself.
# 8: Be polite. Don’t act entitled, don’t smoke inside the car and don’t slam doors! Drivers, I promise you, detest thoughtless passengers who slam doors. It’s an industry pet peeve.
# 9:Tip as you please, but remember at the same time that you’d be ashamed to walk out of a restaurant without adding a tip to the bill. More so, because the restaurant waiters will not remember you, but the Uber/Lyft driver has social power and precious stars to reward or punish you with.
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