Uber Quiet Mode Is Now An Option For Customers Who Hate Small Talk

The Logo of taxi company Uber is seen on the roof of a private hire taxi in Liverpool
Uber has confirmed that it will start to deactive passenger accounts with a low rating. This will initially roll out in the United States and Canada but will later be evaluated to be implemented globally. Uber also cited things that can lower your rating such as being rude, whipping the door, leaving trash, drinking beer and vomiting. (Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble)

Uber is offering customers who use its premium Uber Black service the option to inform their drivers that they're not in the mood to talk with the push of a button. Announced Wednesday alongside other new app settings available only to premium users is the new Quiet Mode.

Quiet Mode is only for the customers who are already paying twice as much as the cost of Uber X and about four times the price of Uber Pool. Uber Black is a premium service that uses a line of fancier vehicles. Some places even require drivers to have a more challenging higher minimum rating than other Uber drivers in order to maintain its higher-end, more expensive service.

It's a surprising move, considering the social norms would expect the service provider to maintain a conversation to put the customer at ease. However, Uber's decision is based off of careful considerations, as the question of whether Uber drivers want you to talk to them and whether they might give you a lower passenger score if you don't has long been a subject of debate.

According to Uber product manager Aydin Ghajar, Quiet Mode "is something that people have been asking for for a long time." Ghajar also revealed that the reaction of Uber Black drivers was positive because the will to please their riders is always present but they don't exactly know what the rider prefers.

Quiet Mode is only one of the new set of Rider Preferences features that riders can adjust before they avail the services of Uber Black or SUV. These preferences cannot be set up while in the car of while already waiting for their ride.

There's also a Bags option that informs the driver they have luggage with them to allow the driver to pull over somewhere they can easily load them into the trunk. A Temperature control is also added for riders to set their preferred coolness or warmness.

Additionally, Uber Black drivers are required to wait at least 15 minutes before deciding to cancel on you, though you'll start to be charged and they'll be compensated after 5 minutes. Premium customers will also get phone support similar to members of Uber Rewards' highest Diamond tier.

In the near future, Uber is keen on requiring their drivers to use nicer and newer cars should they sign up for Uber Black, with centralized rules provided by Uber HQ itself and not its local branches.

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