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Man wrongly charged £900 for London bike hire

10 September 10 13:56
Cycles for hire in docking stations

A cyclist has been left £900 out of pocket for more than a month after being wrongly charged for using London's bike hire scheme.

Dave Ward, 38, was one of 14 people signed up to the scheme who were mistakenly charged multiple times for the late return of hire bikes.

Mr Ward, from Colliers Wood, south London, has received £200 compensation and is due to be refunded on Monday.

Transport for London (TfL) said all those affected would be refunded.

Non-return fee

Mr Ward signed up to the cycle hire scheme in August and uses it to make part of the journey between his home and work in Westminster, central London.

When he returned a bike in Horseferry Road on 8 August the green light, which signals a successful docking, failed to come on despite the bike being locked into the pod.

He called TfL to advise them of the problem but was subsequently charged the £150 non-return fee and his fob was cancelled.

This happened several times and each time he complained his bank account was credited and his cycle hire fob reactivated.

Then on 1 September, his billing date, he was charged £900 despite having only made journeys of less than 30 minutes, which are free.

Mr Ward, who received £220 in compensation on Wednesday, said he had been told the money would be credited to his account on Monday.

Despite still waiting for a refund, it has not put him off using the scheme, which recorded its highest usage during Tuesday's Tube strike.

He said: "I think it is a great scheme. It's healthier and cheaper than using the Tube but obviously there are teething problems."

Apologising for the error, TfL said: "We have been assured by Serco that these members have now had, or are about to have, their money paid back into their bank accounts, and that they have all been offered compensation for the inconvenience they have experienced.

"Serco have put in place measures to make sure this issue with their billing system doesn't happen again."

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