The stratospheric rise and monopoly of Uber is nothing short of terrifying, mostly because we are at its every whim. It's kind of like that South Park episode where everyone is addicted to shopping at Walmart because it's so cheap, but it ends up sending everyone insane.
Uber isn't perfect, but to be fair neither are we, and we can't seem to stop using it. You mostly want to get one when it's raining, you're bloated from a meal, or you're absolutely shitfaced, or maybe a combination of all three. They rate you, you rate them; it's like Yelp, but it actually affects people's lives and livelihoods.
Now you can check your own rating in the 'About' section of the app, so we got a load of people to do just that and see where they think they went wrong (or right).
JOSH, 26, 4.61 STARS
I think I'm a pretty decent Uber customer. I'm polite, quiet, and usually let the driver keep their own music on. I'm all they could ever ask for, surely? Well, normally I am. Nearly two years ago now, I got in an Uber in the middle of Brockley, heading for Haggerston. So far, so normal. But get this: I was on acid! Yes, that's right, I'd spent the entire day lying in a park tripping balls, utterly convinced that my girlfriend was a small, muddy-faced Viking child. It was one of the best afternoons I've ever had, but all good things come to an end, and after a few joints and a pizza and an episode of The Simpsons, it was time to face reality and hop into the back of a Prius. Everything was going fine until a song I've never heard before or since floated into earshot.
As we cruised down Shoreditch High Street, a voice sang "I'm losing grip on my sanity" over and over and my girlfriend and I became more and more upset and confused and anxious and to try and avoid those feelings taking complete control over me I started babbling about girls in miniskirts being disgraces to their parents, and how nice mochas are, and quietly saying, "oh my, oh my" to myself. The car pulled into the destination. My legs weren't really working. I forgot what the flat I was trying to get into looked like. I wormed out of the car, mumbled a thank you, and forgot to rate the driver.
HANNAH, 24, 4.54 STARS
I am a perfect passenger. I look nice, I smell nice, and I have money to give. Anyone who has me in their vehicle is, frankly, blessed. After the last couple of hours mulling over why I've lost 0.46 of a star, I can only conclude it's because I take a lot of short journeys. I live between seven and ten minutes away from my boyfriend and sometimes you just can't or don't want to walk, you know? Sometimes it's raining and you don't want to look like a little rat. Obviously, I just call the Uber and don't put in the destination until I'm inside the car. I'll sit there, play dumb while the little blue route gets drawn on their GPS and watch as their temples throb with irritation then respond to small talk while they seethe through clenched jaw. I love Uber.
DANIEL, 29, 4.60 STARS
No idea. The only incident I can think of is arguing with a driver about Qatar being a disgrace and not deserving to host anything, let alone the World Cup. He wasn't happy, think he was from there.
ROBERT, 33, 4.63 STARS
I looked just now and I was really expecting a perfect five, so I'm a little upset. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I'm always polite to drivers and if they want to chat I guess I'll chat, it's not a huge problem for me. Maybe it was this one time I was riding with a gay friend of mine and he was going into vivid detail about some pretty adventurous sex he had and I remember the elderly driver tutting quite loudly, so maybe that guy didn't like hearing about adventurous gay sex?
I also think maybe it doesn't help when people I'm with insist on commandeering the aux cord. I think the aux cord thing is awful and it was cruel of Uber to force their drivers to make that part of the service. Being an Uber driver at 2 AM must be infuriating enough without having to listen to terrible music chosen by idiot strangers. Just because you can use the aux cord doesn't mean you should. If your driver is a 64-year-old grandfather he probably doesn't want to be forced to listen to jungle by some coked up 27 year olds, try and be a bit more respectful. I think it's incredibly dehumanizing when people ignore the driver entirely.
ADAM, 33, 4.10 STARS
Pretty sure it's down to this one night I was hanging out at Dinerama (local idiot magnet) with Gus (my burly Spanish friend) and, since he offered, tried smoking some hash for the first time in about ten years. So there we were minding our own business at the local upmarket open-air food bazaar when one of the several artisanal barrel fires flared up and I got hit in the face with a load of smoke. Dazed and dealing with the aftereffects of my ten-year hash hiatus, I stumbled clumsily into someone's bespoke chicken wing dinner—then, two seconds later, I was on the floor, unconscious.
In what felt like an instant, Gus had gathered me up in his sweaty, heavy-set arms and tossed me unceremoniously into the back of an Uber XL.
About half way home I woke up properly and started making a fuss in the back of the car. Everything was spinning, and I was riding the edge of a vomit explosion that would surely coat everything in a fine layer of the hand-crafted duck bao I'd eaten not 15 minutes prior. The driver could tell I was about to blow and so he sped up thinking maybe he could get me home before the inevitable. I held it back against every bodily urge and managed to arrive at my destination—the driver slammed on the brakes, hurried to help me out, and just as he opened the door I vaulted my head out and puked everywhere, narrowly missing his van and his shoes.
He didn't seem too impressed and definitely just wanted the get the hell out of there, so I'm gonna guess he gave a lackluster rating.
JAMIE, 26, 5.0 STARS
After taking two journeys, I have a perfect score. But I don't really need to worry about points being knocked off in future because I am prompt, polite, and never a cunt.
EMMA, 23, 4.33
Listen yeah, I don't mean to undermine the lolz of this article but I actually have some serious beef with this, because I discovered this morning that my Uber rating is 4.33 and I haven't done so much as sneeze in a driver's hair.
Before this "check your worth as a passenger" tool was implemented the Happiest Uber Driver In The World™️ leaked my rating to me and it was 4.9. I remember this because we had a very #humblebrag conversation about how and why we were both 4.9ers. That was a week ago. I've only got one Uber since then and I distinctly remember getting into a conversation about homelessness that was pretty amicable until the driver said something about it being an imprisonable offense. Maybe I got angry and it wasn't well-received. Maybe it was a test and I agreed out of three-beers-deep sleepiness. Maybe it was neither of those things and he was just annoyed by the fact I made him leave Kisstory on for the whole 45-minute journey. Either way, whoever you are, you fucking suck and you can take the 5 stars I gave you and shove them up your ass.
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