It hasn't been a good year for Uber so far.
After the car service undermined the NY taxi strike during the refugee ban by collecting fares, it resulted in the #DeleteUber initiative where over 200,000 people uninstalled their Uber apps.
This time, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick found himself in the hot seat when he got into a bitter altercation with his driver that was caught on tape.
It all started as an innocuous Uber Black ride early in the evening on Super Bowl Sunday. Travis Kalanick is seen wedged in between two female passengers bopping along to Maroon 5's "Don't Wanna Know," oblivious to the camera archiving the journey.
But the anti-Carpool Karaoke would soon have Kalanick singing a different tune.
Kalanick's driver for the evening, Fawzi Kamel, has been a driver for Uber since 2011. After the other passengers got out of the vehicle, Kamel wasn't about to let an opportunity to challenge his Chief Executive Officer about fare increases affecting Uber drivers slip away.
Kamel told Kalanick, "I don’t know if you remember me, but it’s fine." The two started talking shop. Kalanick mentioned how he was about to decrease the number of black cars in order to remain competitive in the industry, which should benefit Kamel.
And then the dam broke. "You’re raising the standards, and you’re dropping the prices,” Kamel exclaimed.
Here's how the back and forth went down:
Kalanick: “We’re not dropping the prices on black.”
Kamel: “But in general the whole price is—”
Kalanick: “We have to; we have competitors; otherwise, we’d go out of business.”
Kamel: “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.”
Kalanick: “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.”
Kamel: “What? Lyft? It’s a piece of cake right there.”
Kalanick: “It seems like a piece of cake because I’ve beaten them. But if I didn’t do the things I did, we would have been beaten, I promise.”
And then Kamel veered the argument towards his own predicament.
Keep reading to find out how the intensity of the conversation escalated even further.