TECH
08/03/2015 04:26 pm ET Updated Dec 29, 2016

7 Things You Do That Annoy Your Uber Driver

This is Uber etiquette 101.
Carl Court via Getty Images

After every Uber ride you take, your driver gives you a rating on a scale from one to five, based on your behavior. That rating is then averaged into your overall passenger score, which drivers consider before they decide whether or not to pick you up.

In other words: You don't want a bad rating.

So we compiled a list of seven things you might be doing to annoy your Uber driver and destroy your rating. Avoid these behaviors to ensure a smooth ride for both you and your driver. 

1. You don't give a five-star rating, even though your ride was perfectly fine.

If your ride goes smoothly, you should give your driver a full five-star rating. Uber expects its drivers to maintain an extremely high average, and drivers can lose their job if their score drops too far.

While a spokesperson for Uber told The Huffington Post that the company does not have "a single global threshold below which a driver ... is deactivated," Business Insider reported in February that drivers run the risk of having their account deactivated if they fall below a 4.7 rating.

"I don't think passengers would maliciously harm a driver's rating," Harry Campbell -- a former Uber driver and founder of driver-centric blog The Rideshare Guy -- told HuffPost. "But many of them just aren't aware that a 4-star rating is akin to a failing rating for the driver."

 2. You don't tip. 

While Uber's official policy says you're not required to tip your drivers, you can and probably should.

Just as you would tip a taxi driver, you should an Uber driver -- besides, their cars can be nicer and cleaner than the typical taxi. There is no way to tip drivers via the Uber app, so many Uber drivers carry around Square credit card readers if customers can't pay gratuity in cash, Campbell noted. 

"Uber actually makes all new passengers set a tip percentage for UberTaxi rides when they first sign up," Campbell said, referring to the option for passengers in some cities to use the app for hailing taxis rather than private cars. This, he added, "leads to lots and lots of passengers incorrectly assuming that tip is included in the fare price for UberX," which is the app's cheapest option. Tip is "most definitely not" included for UberX, he stated.

When The Rideshare Guy asked Uber drivers for the "number one thing" Uber could do to improve drivers' experiences in a Facebook Q&A in January, the majority of the top comments advocated for tipping options. 

Etsy

Etsy user SammKwoodworks designed a tip box that also works as a charging station for rideshare drivers. 

3. You keep them waiting after they arrive to pick you up.

Unlike Lyft, Uber doesn't start charging until the passenger enters the car, so it's unfair to have your driver wait while you dilly dally upstairs.

In a Facebook Q&A from December 2014, The Rideshare Guy asked Uber drivers about their pet peeves: The most popular complaint was that drivers had to wait too long for passengers. 

"Some drivers will even rate passengers who take a long time to come out 3 or 4 stars because of it," Campbell told HuffPost.

Uber suggests on its official company blog that you reach out to warn your driver if you're running behind schedule: "You can let your driver know you’ll be a few minutes late by calling or texting them using Uber’s in-app feature."

4. You cancel at the last minute.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

 It costs Uber drivers time, money and effort to respond to your request. They forego opportunities to pick up other customers, who may be taking longer, more expensive rides than you are. Don't cancel on them when they're already making their way over to you.

As a means of deterrence, Uber reserves the right to charge customers $10 if they cancel their rides more than five minutes after making the initial request.

5. You put your music on way too loud.

Your Uber driver has been picking up strangers all day. He's exhausted, and chances are he doesn't really want to listen to you blast your favorite Taylor Swift song in his ear.

After Uber announced that it would integrate Spotify in its cars last November, drivers took to an eight-page thread on UberPeople, a forum for Uber drivers, to air their concerns about everything from the impact this new policy would have on noise levels inside their cars, to the safety risks that loud music poses to drivers. At least one driver was worried about passengers giving out negative reviews if their music demands were not met. 

6. You play around with their gadgets without asking.

The biggest difference between Uber rides and cabs is that Uber drivers are transporting you in their own cars. Many Uber drivers have complained on UberPeople about riders fiddling with their stereo systems without asking. Would you want strangers messing with your radio controls? 

7. You spill sloppy food or beverages in their car. 

Again, you're riding in someone else's vehicle. If you wouldn't want someone destroying you car's interior, you probably you shouldn't do it to someone else's either. Try not to eat and drink in an Uber -- if you make a mess, the driver has to clean up after you.

"Please treat your driver (and their car) with care," Uber advises on its blog. "It’s their own personal property, and let's be honest: that greasy pizza can wait."

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