Uber is set to utilize its driver and passenger rating system to institute a ban on riders in New Zealand and Australia who have a score at or below 4-stars, according to a recent report from the BBC. The move follows the implementation of a similar policy in Brazil which was put in place earlier in 2018 but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to become widespread. Uber says that each of the ban policies is based on driver policies and that the two new locales will benefit the most from restrictions to rude or abusive riders. It also clarified that bans on an account will remain in place for a total of six months from being enacted. Meanwhile, the policy itself is set to go into effect on September 19 and a spokesperson also said that several thousand users are likely to be impacted.
Although banning passengers may seem to be a somewhat drastic measure, Uber users typically need to be given several one-star ratings from drivers before their score will drop that low. In general, the company says that most such instances where that occurs involve situations where riders create unsafe circumstances for drivers when organizing pick-ups or are impolite to drivers. It also tends to happen when riders leave garbage behind for the Uber driver to clean up after the trip is over. Putting a policy in place to ban riders is seen as a way to promote respectful behavior towards drivers, which would have the knock-on effect of making the service safer and the drivers happier.
With that said, riders who are using the service and behaving in ways that will result in low ratings will receive several warnings before their account is banned. Presumably, riders who show improvement upon receiving a warning will not be banned. However, the company hasn't clarified how many warnings will be received or under what circumstances a ban might be contested. There also isn't any information currently available with regard to whether those riders who already have lower ratings will be banned immediately. So Uber may or may not give riders who already have a low rating the opportunity to bring that up before removing their access to the service.