BUSINESS

Here's A Video Of Travis Kalanick Chewing Out An Uber Driver

01/03/2017 5:12 AM IST | Updated 01/03/2017 10:33 PM IST
Bloomberg / YouTube

Ever wonder what your Uber driver really thinks of you?

For the sake of comparison, here’s a video of what it took for Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to earn a one-star rating.

Uber “black car” driver Fawzi Kamel captured this dashcam video of Kalanick accompanied by two female passengers on Super Bowl Sunday and shared it with Bloomberg, which published the video Tuesday.

In the video, Kalanick and his companions chat idly at first, discussing things like the weather and astrological signs (apparently Kalanick is a Leo, in case you were wondering).

At one point, one of the women makes a comment about Uber having a bad year, prompting Kalanick to respond, “I make sure every year is a hard year.” He adds: “That’s kind of how I roll. I make sure every year is a hard year. If it’s easy I’m not pushing hard enough.”

“I make sure every year is a hard year. That’s kind of how I roll. I make sure every year is a hard year. If it’s easy I’m not pushing hard enough.”

As the car arrives at its destination, however, Kamel can’t resist pressing Kalanick on the company’s compensation for drivers and decreasing fares.

To his credit, Kalanick appears to take the complaint ― a common one among Uber drivers ― seriously.

“So, we are reducing the number of black cars on the road over the next six months,” he tells Kamel, who responds encouragingly at first.

“But... you’re raising the standards and you’re dropping the prices,” Kamel responds. Kalanick replies, confused, “We’re not dropping the price on black.”

The two go back and forth several times, debating the company’s price structure, with Kalanick asserting that his actions were necessary to save Uber from competition, and Kamel telling him drivers are hurting.

Kalanick says the company is considering rolling out a new “luxe” service that could demand higher fares, if Kamel is interested.

“But people are not trusting you anymore,” Kamel responds. “I lost $97,000 because of you. I’m bankrupt because of you. You keep changing [fares] every day.”

That seems to fire Kalanick up. He presses Kamel on his specific gripes about Uber’s more expensive black car service.

“Hold on a second,” Kalanick says. “What have I changed about black? What? What?” 

“You changed the whole business,” says Kamel. “You dropped the prices [on black].”

“Bullshit!” replies Kalanick, who starts gathering his belongings as Kamel keeps pressing his case.

“You know what?” Kalanick says, clearly not interested in the rest of what Kamel has to say. “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit.” 

He adds, wagging his finger as slides out of the car, “They blame everything in their life on somebody else.”

“Good luck,” Kalanick says, sarcastically, then slams the door.

Uber didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

The video is just the latest in a series of high-profile public-relations blows to the company, including a lawsuit over claims that it stole technology from a competitorallegations of rampant sexism, the resignation of a top engineer and a #DeleteUber protest that forced Kalanick off President Donald Trump’s advisory council.

UPDATE: March 1 ― Kalanick sent the below letter to Uber employees Tuesday evening, in which he apologized to Kamel. “I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up,” he wrote. 

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the video where I treated an Uber driver disrespectfully. To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement. My job as your leader is to lead...and that starts with behaving in a way that makes us all proud. That is not what I did, and it cannot be explained away.

It’s clear this video is a reflection of me ― and the criticism we’ve received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.

I want to profoundly apologize to Fawzi, as well as the driver and rider community, and to the Uber team.

― Travis

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