Woman charged $105.30 over 27 weeks for SG Bike Pass she says she didn't buy or use

Submitted by Stomper Tin

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A woman discovered that a total of $105.30 had been deducted from her account by bike-sharing app SG Bike over 27 weeks for a weekly Bike Pass she apparently never bought and never used.

All she wanted was to use a bicycle for a couple of hours in November last year.

So Stomper Tin’s girlfriend turned to SG Bike.

The pay-per-use rate is $1 for the first 30 minutes, followed by $0.03 per subsequent minute of each trip. But first, you must top up the digital wallet in the app a minimum of $10 after linking your credit card.

Which was what Tin’s girlfriend did on Nov 20.

She used the app to ride a bike on two days, Nov 20 and 21, after which $1.27 and $4.09 were deducted from her wallet on the respective days.

She did not use the SG Bike app after that.

Six months later, she checked the app to discover that $3.90 had been deducted from her account for a seven-day Bike Pass every week since Nov 28.

A Bike Pass gives you unlimited trips, but if your trip exceeds 30 minutes, you will be charged $0.03 per subsequent minute. The app also offers a monthly Bike Pass for $11.90.

The money will be deducted from the wallet and if the balance is insufficient, the money will be deducted directly from the linked credit card.

In Tin’s girlfriend’s case, a total of $105.30 was deducted over 27 weeks.

"But the thing is," said Tin, "she never bought the Bike Pass in November while using the bike on Nov 20 and 21.

"The Bike Pass automatically started activating only after seven days from when the app was last used. Something is fishy here."

When Tin’s girlfriend e-mailed SG Bike Support about the charges, the company replied: "We found a purchase of our seven-day Ride Pass subscription. This enables auto-renew by default, resulting in the $3.90 deductions seen."

The auto-renew function has since been turned off.

SG Bike Support added that the deductions were non-refundable.

Tin’s girlfriend wrote back that she topped up $10 without purchasing the weekly pass. Then "out of nowhere", she started getting charged "without my action".

She added: "I’m looking forward to your refund for the above."

SG Bike Support replied: "We hear your circumstances and would like to clarify that users are informed of the auto-renewal on several occasions such as on the advertisement tag attached on the handlebars and upon redemption through the confirmation prompt attached in our prior correspondence. However, we are happy to extend the following goodwill options:

"1. Provide a pass extension equalling the total amount paid.

"2. Credit the amount totalling the Ride Pass into the SG Bike account wallet which does not have any expiration period and can be used any time for future rides."

Tin’s girlfriend responded: "Hello, I want my 27 weeks’ refund back to my card as I mentioned in my previous e-mail."

That was also when Tin wrote to Stomp about the matter.

In response to a Stomp query, SG Bike co-founder and chief marketing officer Benjamin Oh said that the subscription should not have happened since she did not activate any Ride Pass.

He added: "I can confirm that topping up an account does not turn on any subscriptions.

"One possibility I can think of right now could include her having redeemed a trial or purchasing a ride pass (but was unaware or may have forgotten since it has been over six months ago)."

When contacted by Stomp, Tin said his girlfriend did not redeem any trial in November, but she did use a free pass promo earlier last year in January. That was the first time she used the app and she did not know that the free pass triggered a subscription that was set to auto-renew by default. When she discovered this six months later, she stopped the payments.

Everything was fine until she used the app again in November.

On Thursday (July 7), Tin's girlfriend received an e-mail that her $105.30 would be refunded.

The e-mail also explained what happened: "Our checks show that your original subscription (purchased Jan 8, 2021) was not originally terminated.

"During the period between July to November 2021, our system had attempted to charge your account, however, these charges were blocked by your bank (this may have been due to a request from your end to the bank). As a result, you may have been under the impression that the subscription was turned off.

"When you modified your payment method to top up your account on Nov 20, our system detected that your payment method was now valid and therefore resumed charging you for the subscription which was still active since January."