Here's something to ponder. What if drivers of food delivery services had the opportunity to rate the customers they deliver to?

Online reviews exist for everything else, but rarely about the customer. Not saying to have the customer's personal information out there, but rather some sort of notice for when they act unruly.

Of course, this doesn't mean we don't hold the food delivery drivers accountable for horrible service. Just like if you had a bad server in a restaurant, you'd have the right not to leave a tip and complain to management.

So we'll start off with that by saying that we, the customer, shouldn't lose our ability to rate the drivers who deliver our food. Yes, in most instances everything goes smoothly, but there are those rare occasions where the driver makes an error.

Uber Eats

And even in those situations, it's not always the driver's fault. Perhaps the food order was prepared incorrectly before it was handed to the driver? Or maybe the address given to the driver was incorrect.

That's usually the case, and most customers understand that. Still, that very small fraction of those who ruin it for everyone is still out there, which is why it's important we, the customer, should be able to leave a rating or review.

With that said, we can't always blame companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, Slice, or Uber Eats when something goes wrong. Sometimes the problem is the customer themselves.

Signpost with right and wrong direction signs vector illustration
Zoran Milic

The customer isn't always right

Horrible customers were around long before companies such as DoorDash and Uber Eats came into existence. Just think of those dining out at restaurants that cause a ruckus over everything.

You know the type. The ones who complain about every little detail in their food, then refuse to pay or leave a tip at the end.

These customers are part of an elite group that doesn't limit their nonsense to just a dine-in. Nope. This rudeness sometimes carries over to their doorstep as well, which is one reason why ratings should work both ways.

Rejected Grunge Stamp
Photo: Aquir

Rejecting food, canceling orders, no tips

You hear of this happening all over when it comes to these drivers' interactions with customers. Again, to be clear, it's a small percentage of people who truly act irrationally.

But it's also that small percentage that can ruin it for everyone. Sometimes no tip would be left for the driver over something stupid like the food not being as hot as the customer would like.

Stiffing the driver isn't the right thing to do at all. It's almost like saying let's shoot the messenger, the most likely person that had nothing to do with whatever gripe you have.

Canceling an order after it's been picked up by the driver or rejecting the delivery is another problem with some customers. Again, think of that person dining in the restaurant causing a problem over nothing.

Close up of hands woman using cell phone.

How to rate customers

There are a few ways this could work. Probably the most important is maybe rate the address as opposed to any individual person. After all, the person at the door might not be the same person who placed the order.

One popular suggestion is to rate a customer's actions with a simple thumbs up or down. That would be the most black-and-white method of how an interaction went with a previous delivery.

Another possibility is to flag a customer with a note. This would require the driver to write up a statement as a heads-up of what happened to them. Did the customer refuse to tip? Did they reject or cancel the order after it was picked up? Were they just plain rude?

All are possibilities when it comes to unruly customers. There's just no reason for it.


Patterns could develop

Much like on drivers, a pattern could also develop with the customer. That's important to note since it would establish continued negative behavior and distinguish the difference between a person who's truly nasty, versus someone who had an off-day.

If a customer regularly gets a positive mark and one bad rating suddenly comes in, it might not mean any delivery to that address will be unpleasant. As noted above, the person might've been having a bad day. If the location was a continuous problem, then there'd be a pattern indicating that.

But the same thing can be said for the driver. Let's say the driver has mostly negative reviews of the places they delivered to. That pattern could indicate that perhaps the problem is the driver and not the location.

Joe Votruba photo

A heads up for drivers

In its simplest form, this would serve as a heads-up to delivery drivers and establishments about any potential issues that often come up with a drop-off location.

It doesn't mean rejecting the customer's order but instead preparing the driver for when they arrive. If the establishment itself wants to reject an order over repeated problematic ratings, then they have the right to do so.

The individual companies could also decide how they want to record this information. Probably the best way is internal to the company, where drivers and businesses automatically get an alert if someone from that address places an order.

Street food. Meat cutlet burgers are in paper boxes. Food delivery.
Zufar Kamilov

Most have nothing to worry about

Look, you would only need to be worried about something like this if you are one of those unruly customers. As mentioned earlier, the vast majority of people are level-headed and will not screw over those who make the delivery.

Even if something does go wrong, they know not to shoot the messenger. Yes, errors happen, but it doesn't give you the right to be a flat-out jerk.

Doordash food delivery app to NJ schools
(Doordash/Shannon Duncan)

Inspiration for rating customers comes from drivers themselves

A driver for DoorDash actually had an incident happen to them with a customer canceling an order just as she pulled up to the address. She suggested in her posts that her fellow drivers should be able to rate customers like that.

She's not alone in this either. Her post also mentions numerous fellow DoorDash drivers that have also had a negative experience with certain addresses.

You can check out her story by clicking here, and feel free to share your story of dealing with unruly customers in the comments.

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