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Uber to jerky riders: Shape up or get out

Uber announced this week it will begin booting rude riders from it app

Uber is letting its customers know about higher fees being considered by the city of Chicago.
A new Uber policy will boot riders from the app for consistent bad behavior.
AP file photo

Act like a jerk and we won’t give you any more rides.

That’s the message Uber announced in a blog post that stated riders may lose access to the company’s app if they “develop a significantly below average rating.”

“Riders will receive tips on how to improve their ratings, such as encouraging polite behavior, avoiding leaving trash in the vehicle and avoiding requests for drivers to exceed the speed limit,” Kate Parker, Uber’s Head of Safety Brand and Initiatives, said in a blog post.

Riders will have several opportunities — the post didn’t specify how many — to improve their ratings before losing access to the app.

“Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability,” Parker said. ”While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it’s the right thing to do.”

Both passengers and drivers receive ratings (one through five stars) from one another on the Uber app. Drivers, too, can be removed from the app for poor ratings.

Uber did not immediately answer a request for comment.

The policy is already in effect. It’s unclear if any rude riders in the Chicago area have already been banished.

A female Uber driver who’s worked in Chicago for several years applauded the policy.

“I think it’s a good idea to have that accountability in place on both sides,” she said Thursday.

“If you have a passenger who’s harassing the driver or being rude, chances are that person will just keep behaving like that the next time,” she said.

Uber riders can expect to see a summary of the new guidelines pop up in their app, where they’ll be asked to confirm they understand.