When they are not battling unimplemented MoUs, they are, in some cases, accused of going to the extremes when handling rider issues. But, have e-taxi apps ever been on the side of their driver-partners? Some may say No, because, as it has been the case in the last few incidents, drivers were faulted when riders turned rogue, even refusing to pay for their trips, among other complaints that have since been linked to outright rider delinquency.
So, what if riders are actually on the fault? Well, Uber is saying that these people should take their fair share of the blame, and has, therefore, updated its rider quality system that will allow drivers rate Kenyan customers. Those who will be subject to a series of poor ratings from their drivers will have restricted access to the service or look for solutions elsewhere.
The development couldn’t have come at the right time. Over the last couple of months or weeks, it has become a norm for riders to pin the blame on drivers if a trip turns awry. While drivers have been on fault in earlier cases, customers have also been reported to be unruly, and take advantage of ‘the driver is always at fault’ assumption to win the sympathy of rider apps.
This is often followed by a driver losing his or her permit to work with e-taxi apps, where the companies are involved in lengthy investigations that go against the affected driver’s source of livelihood.
Uber is enforcing new measures to counter unacceptable behaviour. Some of the cited cases include soiling a ride with food or litter, pushing the driver to accelerate while ignoring speed limits, damage to vehicles through actions prompted by excessive drinking, among other issues.
We hope other ride apps that are operating in the Kenyan market will adjust their customer policy to protect their driver-partners.
A few weeks ago, Uber introduced a feature where riders can request for a non-chatty driver, although the feature is only available in the U.S. The move has since been questioned by some industry experts who do not see why two adults cannot converse in a harmonious manner while enjoying a trip.