Comptroller Stringer issues audit report validating our warnings on Citi Bike fraud

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Update December 12, 2014- Comptroller Stringer issued an audit report validating our warning, below. He concluded that the City Bike operators neglected the docking station, allowed the stations to become dirty with trash, allowed credit cards to be overcharged, and many other violations.

Update August 11, 2014- They did it again. I have a $50 charge this time from Citi Bike. They claim I kept a bike out for three hours. What really happened was that the West Thames rack was malfunctioning, so I went to the Little West rack. Apparently, that was malfunctioning too. It accepted my bike but did not record it as being docked.

When I called the Citi Bike number, they belligerently refused to refund the card, claiming, “We have educated you on how to check your account….to wait for a green light…etc”. The representative’s name was Tina, which is the same bogus name they gave last time (see video).

Read below for the full story.

July 14, 2014- By Steven E. Greer

For the third time since using Citi Bike, I have discovered numerous charges on my credit card made without my knowledge by the Citi Bike company. This company is in financial distress, and their docking stations malfunction at a high rate, causing the bogus fees.

When a person takes out a Citi Bike and returns it on time, the docking station lights will often erroneously go to yellow instead of green, due to software glitches. The software for the Citi Bike racks has been reported in the press to be malfunctioning and in need of repairs, but the company in charge of Citi Bike, Alta Bicycle Share Inc. of Portland, Oregon, is claiming to be in financial distress.

I discovered $13 of bogus fees made to my card last week, so I called (855) BIKE-311 and spoke with a woman unable to authorize a refund. I then spoke to a supervisor who would only identify herself by a first name, Tina.

In the audio of the call, you will hear Tina refuse to refund my account and deny any responsibility. She pretended to be unaware of software glitches in the system, which raises the possibility that these fees are intentional scams, and credit card fraud. It seems unlikely that any employees of the Citi Bike company can be truly unaware of the docking station problems.

Some of the more interesting quotes from manager “Tina” were, “Sir, the system does work. You have to wait for the green light….I cannot speak on what the media publishes (about our software problems).”. She then said, “I have reviewed your account and you have been given refunds and educated on how to properly (use the bikes).”.

The NYC Inspector General is aware if this problem and investigating.

If you have similar problems, you can contact the Citi Bike company at:

Michael Jones,                                                                                                                          CEO, Alta Bicycle Share                                                                                                                 711 SE Grand Avenue                                                                                                          Portland, OR                                                                                                                               97214 USA                                                                                                                                   (503) 575-2781                                                                                                                                           


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2 Responses to Comptroller Stringer issues audit report validating our warnings on Citi Bike fraud

  1. Ryan says:

    I had a similar issue where I was charged almost $80 for having the bike out past the annual subscriber time limit. When I looked at my ride log on the Citibike site it was clear that my bike did not dock properly at West Thames, so the trip was not closed out until the next person parked it at a different dock.

    I sent the details to and they responded right away that they would remove the charges from my card.

    Try email next time!

  2. Citibike User says:

    I’m pretty sure that the system works perfectly fine for the most part. I have been using citibike for almost a year now since last August. On occasion I have found that some citibikes are not locked properly and you are able to take them out without a key. If you haven’t checked if your bike has been locked in by vigorously tugging at it, you may have locked it improperly and someone may have locked it in for you at a later time which may be the cause for the charges.

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