Uber CEO argues with driver over falling fares in video

Uber CEO argues with driver over falling fares in video
© Greg Nash

The CEO of Uber is seen in a recent video getting into a heated argument with a driver over falling fares.

In the video, given to Bloomberg, CEO Travis Kalanick is seen riding in a car with two other passengers, reportedly on Super Bowl Sunday earlier this month.

During the ride, one of the women in the car says she's heard Uber has been having a hard year.

“I make sure every year is a hard year,” Kalanick says in response. 

“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.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Before getting out of the car, Kalanick starts talking with the driver, Fawzi Kamel. Kamel turned over a dashboard recording of the conversation to Bloomberg.

Kalanick says in the video that the company is going to cut down on the number of black cars participating in Uber Black, the company's high end service, which will reduce competition.

“You’re raising the standards, and you’re dropping the prices," Kamel says.

"We're not dropping the prices on Black," Kalanick responds.
 
Kalanick said the company has competitors and needs to drop prices or "we'd go out of business."
 
“Competitors? Man, you had the business model in your hands. You could have the prices you want, but you choose to buy everybody a ride," the driver responds.

“No, no, no. You misunderstand me. We started high-end. We didn’t go low-end because we wanted to. We went low-end because we had to because we’d be out of business," Kalanick responds.

Kamel said that people are no longer trusting Uber, saying he lost $97,000 "because of you."

"You keep changing every day," Kamel says.

“Hold on a second, what have I changed about Black? What have I changed?" Kalanick questions the driver.

“You changed the whole business. You dropped the prices," Kamel responds.

At the end of the conversation, Kalanick says: “Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!”

“Good luck to you, but I know [you're not] going to go far," Kamel responds.

According to Bloomberg News, Uber Black cost riders $4.90 per mile and $1.25 per minute in San Francisco in 2012. Now, Uber charges $3.75 and $0.65 per minute.

The recording comes after Uber tapped former Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderFBI director defends agency after Trump attacks: It's an 'honor to represent you' FBI agents fire back at Trump: Saying we're not dedicated is 'simply false' Holder hits back at Trump: The FBI’s reputation is not in 'tatters' MORE to help lead an investigation into claims of sexism in the company's workplace culture. A former engineer published a widely-read blog detailing her difficulties trying to report sexual harassment.

Earlier this year, Kalanick stepped down from President Trump's business advisory council after facing pressure following the administration's executive order on immigration and refugee restrictions.