10 months on and STILL problems with 24 hour access on auto renew and with mixed messages from telephone help line. I just sent this to TfL. . . . sorry, it’s a bit of a rant but I’m fed up with what could be such a great scheme failing me dismally.
GENERAL PROBLEMS USING 24HR ACCESS WITH AUTO-RENEW
I am an infrequent user of the bike hire scheme but need to rely on it from time to time to get around town quickly when I don’t have my own bike. For that reason I chose to join as a member and set up 24 hour access with auto-renew. That way, even if it was months between uses, I could just pop in my key, safe in the knowledge that payment would always be ready and renewed, and quickly take a bike.
This hardly ever happens! About 90% of the times I have tried to use the scheme, my first attempt to remove a bike is met with a red light (I think the only exception was on 18th July this year). I try neighbouring bikes and neighbouring docking stations (where I can) and – still red lights.
I always end up phoning your number from my mobile (I would be interested to know how much I am charged for these calls) and always get given different advice and mixed messages. Here are a sample:
“There must be a problem with your key” (there isn’t)
“It’s because you haven’t used your key for so long” (should that make a difference when I am an infrequent user using auto-renew?)
“We need to reset your key” (Why?! I set up auto-renew)
“Your account needs to be reset” (Why ?)
I also receive mixed messages about how the system copes with the situation where the first bike I attempt to take gives me a red light for whatever reason. I have been told by one of your call-centre agents that if I get a red light (for whatever reason) then I cannot attempt to take another bike for 5 minutes. However, when I put that to one of your staff who happened to be at a docking station, I was told that this was not correct.
Can you please confirm: If I get a red light on my first attempt to tale a bike, am I effectively locked out for 5 minutes from trying any other bikes? If that is the case, it is quite frankly ridiculous! I understand the 5 minute dock-in / dock-out rule as it stops people taking a new bike immediately after docking another, but why would this rule to apply to the situation I’ve described?
All I want to do is turn up, infrequently, at a docking station, use my key and take a bike dropping it off within 30 minutes somewhere else. What I don’t want to do is get red-lights from every bike I try, be forced to call your phone-line (costing me ???) and end up wasting about 15 minutes while someone “resets my account / key” so that I can eventually get a bike.
The scheme is failing me and I would love to hear what the plans are to resolve problems such as the one I’ve described.
Many thanks in advance for your clear answers.