Sunday, September 20, 2015

Where All the Drivers Are Above Average

I remember, back when I rented cars regularly, I would get enormous pressure from the rental agents to say that I was “completely satisfied.” I was pressured to give them fives on a one to five scale. They hinted, probably honestly, that their management penalized them if a customer gave them less than those ratings.

I hated it. I despise pressure to give complements. On top of which, what would I say when someone did an unexpectedly good job, or an extraordinary one? There was no space on the scale.

And then, it got worse. Firms like Uber fire drivers who get ratings less than 4.5 stars. Customers all know it, and drivers know what the customer ratings are, so if you want to do business with these firms, you are under enormous pressure to give five-star ratings.

Thanks to this, five stars is a C. There is no way to give A’s and B’s. Maybe the drivers were all born in Lake Wobegon, where “all the children are above average.”