Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has apologized for his interaction with a driver that was video recorded. At the end of the trip, the driver, Fawzi Kamel, complained about Uber's lower prices. Kalanick explains that they have more competition, but the conversation got heated.
Kamel said, "People are not trusting you any more. . . . I lost $97,000 because of you. I'm bankrupt because of you. Yes, yes, yes, you keep changing every day."
Kalanick said, "Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own sh**," he said. "They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!" He also rated the driver with one star in the Uber app.
A Guardian article explains the problem and quotes the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance:
Drivers for Uber Black, such as Kamel, face particular struggles because they are required to drive recent models of select premium vehicles. Drivers earn a higher rate, but they are increasingly competing with Uber's cheaper UberX rides.
Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, called Kalanick's interaction with Kamel "heartless" and "appalling."
"Fawzi Kamel's plight is far from unique," she said. "We've talked to so many drivers who have been left in insurmountable debt after purchasing or leasing vehicles based on promised income from Uber then unable to make the payments as Uber has slashed fares, increased its commission, and flooded the streets with too many vehicles."
In uncharacteristic fashion for Uber, Kalanick apologized.
- What is Kamel's role in this situation? Did he behave 100% honorably?
- How could Kalanick have avoided the situation?
- What do you make of Kalanick's apology?