Cycle Hire: Can anybody hear me?
I've tried again to change my cycle hire membership from a weekly to an annual as no-one has called me back following my efforts yesterday.
The contractor Serco's call centre is really struggling with the weight of calls. Having waited for five minutes this morning on the phone the first time I was cut off.
The second time I tried I was put through to the main reception. The receptionist there took my details the same as happened yesterday.
I've been told someone will call me back. It's midday now. Watch this space.
Update: 1330 - just received a call from the Barclays Hire Scheme. My weekly membership is being unsubscribed and they will call me back in another two hours to make me an annual member. Things are moving but it's not yet done. However I remain optimistic ....
Update 2: 1537 hold the front page. I just got this email at 1532 confirming I'm now an annual member.
Dear Mr Tom Edwards
We are pleased to confirm that you have successfully purchased an access period of annual. As a Member, your access period will start when you first use a cycle hire key to hire a cycle from a docking point.
Barclays Cycle Hire
So, 27 hours after my first call it's finally sorted. Room for improvement Serco I think ....and reading the comments I'm obviously not alone.
Update 3: Wednesday, 1030
The bike hire saga continues.
Last night I failed in my latest attempt to hire a bike. With the first three bikes I got the red light at the station on Portland Place.
The docking terminal itself was showing error messages so I walked upto Great Portland Street. Again, no joy so I got the Tube. Hrmmmph.
However, a new day brings fresh optimism and this morning I tried again. And yes! It worked.
So I cycled into work and, personally, as I've said before the bikes handle pretty well. It reminded me of riding my Grifter back in the day.
The only slight hitch was when it came to finding a docking point.
All the slots around the office were full. So myself and a few others had to back track to find a space.
That's not ideal and I have noticed some racks seem to be full and unused while others are heavily used, particularly around rail stations.
In Paris where they had the same issue they give extra credits to people who leave the bikes in more inaccessible places, i.e on the top of a hill.
Also unlike The Times who reported this morning a certain animosity and snobbery between hardened cyclists and those on the hire bikes I found no such thing. In fact, most cyclists were very friendly and inquisitive.
In another development today, TfL have admitted that thousands of people have been overcharged by the hire scheme. Are you one of them?
Please post a comment if you've had problems or indeed a good experience...