Bloomberg published a video of Fawzi Kamel, an UberBlack driver, arguing with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. The argument took place during an Uber trip.
The argument was over Uber lowering its fares. Uber has lowered fares riders pay for the UberX service. UberX is a normal four-door sedan and is the most common Uber product. When I driver for Uber, I drive as an UberX driver. UberBlack is Uber’s luxury car product. Uber has never lowered fares for UberBlack.
Not only did Kamel argue with Kalanick, he recorded the argument on video.
The video is a little over six minutes long and is strange, to say the least. It starts out showing Kalanick and his two guests riding and listening to music. Kalanick is not wearing a seatbelt. He is seen grooving to the music. The argument doesn’t begin until four minutes in.
Kamel told Kalanick that nobody trusts Kalanick. Kamel told Kalanick that he lost $97,000 dollars because of Kalanick. Kamel told Kalanick that he’s bankrupt because of Kalanick.
Kalanick ended the argument by telling Kamel, “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.”
I don’t understand how Fawzi Kamel lost $97,000 or went bankrupt because of Travis Kalanick. Will Bloomberg publish a follow-up article explaining how Kalanick is responsible for Kamel losing $97,000 and going bankrupt? Whatever happened to the five W’s of journalism? Bloomberg’s article seems pretty light on the facts.
Kamel came off in the video looking obnoxious and rude. He has poor customer service skills. If the rider were anyone other than Uber’s disliked CEO, Kamel would lose his gig with Uber.
What state did this ride take place? If it was California, where Uber is based, recording Kalanick and his guests was an illegal act. California is a two-party consent state. That means Kalanick, his guests, and Kamel would all need to consent to the recording. There’s nothing in the video that indicates Kalanick or his guests knew they were being recorded. No matter what the law is, recording someone in a non-public location without their consent is a scumbag thing to do.
The thing that bothers me the most in the video is Travis Kalanick is not wearing a seatbelt. Fawzi Kamel should never have started the trip until he verified everyone was buckled up. Safety first.
If that’s the way he treats the CEO of Uber, I have to wonder how he treats regular passengers. I imagine it’s not very good. When I watched this video, I finally understood why Uber wants to use driverless cars.
Also published on Medium.