I was to be an early adopter. My electronic bike key arrived last Tuesday, I was away for 24 hours and then activated the key on-line.
Yesterday was Day 1 though, for various reasons I didn't use a bike. The plan was (and still is) that I am going to go into London today and will have a practice ride or two around central London. I am particularly encouraged by the email that I have received from the Scheme this morning that (a) describes me as a "Barclays Cycle Hire Pioneer" and (b) includes the sentence "As a way of saying thank you for your support we have agreed that no usage charges will be incurred by users today."
Now my real question is 'Can I trust them when they say I won't be charged usage fees today?'. The reason why I say this is that I have just come off the telephone from the Help Line having noticed that I have already been charged twice for my annual access charge to the scheme. If they can mess up with a once a year fee, what chance do they have of getting a Do Not Charge day to work?
So to sum up: I haven't yet used a bike, but if I use one today I can have it for longer than half an hour without paying a usage fee. I've paid forty eight quid twice and am now trying to persuade the Cycle Hire people that I am not fibbing, so that they will give me the money back.
******************************As a public service, I also detail below the top tips for use of the scheme as emailed to me today:
- When you undock your bike,don’t forget to remove your key from the key slot before you set off.
- When you return your bike, wait until the light turns green to ensure you have successfully docked your cycle and completed your journey – remember – make sure you get a ‘green light and click at the end of every trip!’
- If you have yet to activate your key, do remember to go online and click on “sign in” to activate it – otherwise you won’t be able to hire a cycle.
- Look after the scheme – it belongs to London and Londoners. If you see someone vandalising the bikes or docking stations please report it.