Uber is not having a great year in 2017 and things have just become infinitely worse.

A video has emerged which shows how a conversation between Uber chief executive officer Travis Kalanick and Uber driver Fawzi Kamel. The video was given to Bloomberg and reveals how Kalanick behaves when backed into a corner.

In the video Kalanick reaches his destination and before he is able to leave the vehicle Kamel corners him and raises a number of concerns with Uber. “People are not trusting you anymore. … I lost $97,000 because of you. I’m bankrupt because of you,” argues Kamel.

The driver’s argument rests on the fact Uber wants standards to get higher but the prices are dropping and drivers – particularly those that form part of Uber Black – are struggling to keep up with the changes to the system.

The CEO questions Kamel about what exactly has changed before the driver explains that the mile rate has dropped from $20 when he started working for Uber Black in 2011 to a rate of $2.75 today. Kalanick retorts by saying that prices for Uber Black are not dropping but says that pricing has to be competitive for Uber to stay in business.

The driver continues to argue the point that prices for Uber Black have dropped before the CEO responds with “Bullshit”.

Things then take a nasty turn as Kalanick exclaims, “You know what? Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck” before slamming the car door.

When prompted the give the CEO a rider rating, Kamel gave Kalanick one star, the worst rating possible.

Too late to apologise?

Since the publication of this video by Bloomberg Kalanick has issued an apology.

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 apologise to Fawzi, as well as the driver and rider community, and to the Uber team.

Uber is currently under a whole load of scrutiny. In January the firm was criticised for removing surge pricing during a taxi driver strike at JFK International Airport, which was prompted by President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from traveling to the US. The hashtag #DeleteUber began trending as a result.

Then in February Uber was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee and later that month a lawsuit was brought against the firm for allegedly stealing self-driving technology.

How exactly Uber plans to come back from a year that has been tumultuous to say the least is something we can’t even speculate on, but it’s clear the firm needs help.

[Source – Bloomberg]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.