Uber to temporarily ban users with less than a four star rating

Uber has a new means of incentivising users to behave themselves: the threat of a six-month ban.

From September 19, the ride-sharing app will introduce a new system that penalises those whose rating dips below four stars.

Users will receive a "friendly" email from Uber when their rating (which is a combined average of what every driver has rated them) first drops to 3.9 stars or lower.

That email will remind them to be polite to their drivers and to only ask to be picked up in safe locations where the driver can easily stop.

If someone's rating does not improve, they'll be sent two or three follow-up emails before a temporary ban of six months is put in place.

Susan Anderson, general manager for Uber in Australia and New Zealand, says the company doesn't want to drive anyone away with the introduction of bans.

"We don't people to lose access, we just want an environment of mutual respect," she told news.com.au.

She says that trial runs showed the warnings of a ban did encourage users to be more mindful of their behaviour in an effort to bring their rating up.

The vast majority of Uber users aren't in any danger of being banned, as Ms Anderson says nine out of 10 Australian users have a rating of 4.5 or higher.

The new system is the result of employee surveys which revealed what kind of user behaviour annoys drivers the most.

One of their biggest complaints was people asking to be picked up in locations in which drivers aren't able to safely stop, such as no-stopping zones in city centres.

Drivers also said they rated users poorly if they did not greet the driver when getting into the vehicle.  Slamming doors and leaving rubbish behind were also cited as reasons for low ratings.