DETROIT (WXYZ) - It was Charity Preview night at Cobo. Marina Cracchiolo, a social media producer at WXYZ, had just finished working and was heading home.
She got a cab and the driver told her it was $15 to go to the other side of Jefferson. She said no problem. However, when she got to her home, Marina says there was an issue.
"I went to go hand him my credit card he said it's cash only, no credit. I said, sir, you didn't tell me that. He tried to reach for my purse. He said I know you have cash in there. Get me some cash."
Marina says the Checker cab driver also got aggressive with his tone. She says he refused to let her out of the cab.
"I insisted that I didn't have any cash.. maybe up in my apartment I can go look. I just really wanted to get out of the car. I was really frightened at this point .. so i tried to open .. the door was locked," she says.
According to Marina, the driver said, "You're not going anywhere .. until you give me cash."
She says the driver told her he's taking her to a nearby ATM in a parking lot. Marina was terrified and texted her husband.
"I said no, no take me to 7-11 .. so I'm not in the middle of a parking lot alone with him."
She went in the 7-11 and told the clerk what happened. That clerk called 911.
Marina says she withdrew some cash and went to give it to the driver through the cab's window, but first asked the driver for his name and ID.
"I thought they had to have their license or chauffer's license displayed. In any other city I've lived in, it was required. He said my company knows who I am. He started getting aggressive," she says.
Still terrified, Marina tossed him the cash and told him to leave. After Detroit police arrived, they gave her a ride home.
Marina had snapped this picture of the cab with a number. She called Checker Cab.
"They were really upset. The representative said that should not have been your experience. That's not how we stress customer service to drivers."
So, was that driver required to have on display a chauffer's license or any picture ID like Marina had expected?
We asked the state .. and the answer is no. LARA, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs says some regulations changed last year.
A chauffer's license is not required for the driver of a cab with 8 or fewer passengers. The driver is also not required to have a photo ID or identification number displayed in the cab.
Todd Bettison is a deputy chief with Detroit police. He says, "it changed so that it put the cab drivers on same level as Uber and Lyft drivers."
As a consumer, he says it's more important now to ask questions even before you get in the car.
"Ask to see their ID and make sure the person who is driving this vehicle is who they say they are. They should have no problem displaying their ID to you .. and you should ask what forms of payment do they accept," says Deputy Chief Bettison.
In Marina's case, he says both she and the driver should have called 911 so police could have come to settle the dispute. Also, he says you always can take a picture of the license plate, the number on the cab and a picture of the driver.
A spokesman for Checker Cab says all their vehicles have GPS so they are tracked at all times. He says when Marina called, they took her complaint seriously and apologized. They also removed that driver from service and we're told he is scheduled to retake the customer service training.
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