A man from east London has been charged £298 for a 15-minute journey on a Boris Bike and now faces a 10-day wait to discover whether the money will be refunded. Nick Brett says the error has left him with £40 until his next payday on the 15th of next month.
Writing on Reddit, Brett explained what had happened:
“I recently hired a Boris bike for 15 minutes between Bow and Stepney, returned the bike, made sure the green light was on and the bike was locked, then walked away with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. However, when I checked my account today I have been charged £94 and £204 for this journey.”
Brett said that he had called Santander Cycles who had asked him whether he had made a 224 hour journey – “I confirm I did not because I am not an insane person.”
He was then told that there would be a 10-day decision process before he could be given a refund.
“I’m slightly concerned as today is rent day and it’s left me significantly out of pocket, leaving me about 40 quid until the 15th of next month when payday rolls around!”
Brett said he checked that the bike was docked correctly and that the display read ‘journey ended’. He told London24 how what should have been a £2 journey had become a serious financial issue.
“Through a faulty docking station, I am now significantly overdrawn and being charged by the day. I have been given a 10 day wait to find out if I’ll be refunded – yet they took the money from my account instantly without notification.”
Nick has since spoken to a member of the TfL customer service team, who he says was “very helpful and provided me with a lot of information,” but adds that this person “seemed to be hamstrung by the system in place.”
Earlier this month, an increase in bike hires during the Tube strike led to TfL putting on additional temporary hubs to cope with demand. It was reported that bikes were hired at more than double their normal rate as Londoners looked to alternative forms of transport to get around the city.
That would not surprise me in the least!
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