One college student got the surprise of a lifetime recently from the backseat of a Chi-town taxi cab.
Running late for a date to meet friends at a local bar last December, 20-year-old Becky Siegel left the Metra train station, rushed out onto the street and decided to hail a cab from the Ogilvie Transportation Center to the Sweetwater Tavern and Grille, less than two miles away.
The cab driver seemed nice, and chatted with her about things like pedestrians crossing the street where they shouldn’t. Since her destination wasn’t far, the cab got there quickly. When Siegel realized she had no cash for what she believes the driver quoted as “something like $10,” she asked if she could use her credit card; and told him to take a $2 tip.
But he said his swiper was on the brink, and requested her card so he could do the transaction on his Square.
Becky handed him the card, and signed off on it with her finger before exiting the cab. A short time later, her mom looked at the transition and discovered her ride wasn’t $12, it was $787.33!
And there was no way she could get a refund.
The Square device and app allow merchants to charge customers through a mobile device.
Ms. Siegel contacted Visa customer service to dispute the charge, but because Becky had signed off on the transaction, a refund was refused. The Chicago Police department told Siegel that there was nothing they could do about it either. Angry about what transpired, Siegel contacted the driver, Ali Ghazanfari, for a resolution. Instead the cab driver stood behind the nearly $800 charge.