In a video published by Bloomberg, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick can been seen arguing with an Uber driver over falling fares on the service and the general business model of the company.
Fawzi Kamel, a 37-year-old who has been driving for Uber since 2011, turned over to Bloomberg a dashcam video he recorded while giving a ride to the company’s founder and CEO on Feb. 5.
The video starts by showing what seems to be a rather typical ride, with Kalanick sharing the back seat with two women. During the ride—booked through Uber Black, the company’s high-end service—one of Kalanick’s companions makes mention of Uber having a hard year.
“I make sure every year is a hard year,” Kalanick responds. “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 ride appears to come to an end, Kamel tells the riders to “have a good one.” Kalanick responds as if he is familiar with the driver, stating, “Good to see you man.” At that point Kamel begins a conversation with Uber’s CEO about the plight of driving for the company.
“I don’t know if you remember me, but it’s fine,” Kamel says, before the two start talking about Uber’s black car service.
Kalanick tells the driver the company is reducing the number of black cars on the road, suggesting that it will reduce competition and be beneficial for drivers like Kamel, who will have more riders to pick up.
Kamel responds, “You’re raising the standards, and you’re dropping the prices.”
Kamel, like many other drivers on the platform, has noticed Uber’s continual cuts to the cost of fares. While the company has experimented with pocketing higher commissions out of the cost of each ride, it has also dropped the fares in many markets—including by as much as 15 percent in New York City.
Kalanick counters that Uber isn’t dropping the prices on Uber Black rides, to which Kamel notes prices in general are coming down. The company CEO contends the move is necessary. “We have competitors. otherwise, we’d go out of business,” he says.
The two discuss Uber’s decision to start offering low-end rides, a move the CEO holds was done to beat competition like Lyft. As the two discuss the pricing, Kamel tells the head of Uber that he is “bankrupt” because of his decisions.
“I lost $97,000 because of you. I'm bankrupt because of you. Yes, yes, yes. You keep changing every day. You keep changing every day,” the driver says.
Kalanick pushes back, asking Kamel, “Hold on a second, what have I changed about Black? What have I changed?” Kamel responds, “You changed the whole business. You dropped the prices.”
When Kamel insists the model for Uber Black drivers has changed since he started with the company, Kalanick says, “Bullshit.” He repeats his claim of “bullshit” again when Kamel claims that the fares have decreased for Uber Black drivers.
“You know what,” Kalanick responds, “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 before Kalanick exits the car and slams the door. Kamel then reportedly gave Kalanick a one-star rating when he was prompted by the Uber app.
The video is just the latest in an increasing list of troubles that have plagued Uber in recent months. The company reportedly lost more than 200,000 users who protested the app due to Kalanick’s participation on President Donald Trump’s economic board—a position the CEO has since stepped down from.
Earlier this month, a former software engineer for Uber alleged she was subjected to sexual harassment while working at the company, including being propositioned for sex by her manager. According to the former employee, when she took the issue to human resources where she was told her harasser wouldn’t be punished.
Waymo, the autonomous car company owned by Google, filed lawsuit against Uber on Feb. 23, alleging the ride hailing app stole trade secrets when a former Waymo employee downloaded thousands of files from Waymo’s servers and used it to launch his own autonomous car program that was bought by Uber.