How much would you pay to rent a bicycle for 24 hours from Bixi, the bike sharing service? According to the Bixi customer service manager “Francesco”, $101.50 is an appropriate charge to rent 1 bike for 1 day. That’s right, Bixi charges over $100 to rent a heavy, clunky, 3-speed bike for one day.
That’s what I learned after after inspecting my credit card bill online:
I then called Bixi to have this clearly outrageous situation corrected. The listed price on every Bixi terminal is $7 for a 24 hour period, or so I thought:
But since I failed to understand their strange rules and pricing scheme, I was charged over $100! This is completely misleading since in big, bold and red letters it says, “24h $7“. According to Bixi, customers are required to return the bike every half an hour, or else face this type of larcenous billing.
To rent a car for 1 day costs about $50, including all taxes and fees. So, why would anyone rent a bike for $100 for one day? It is stupid (or intentionally deceptive) and defeats the purpose of Bixi which I thought was to make the air cleaner and Montreal a more sustainable city.
It’s sad to see these marketing tactics from a company that positions itself as green and sustainable. You expect deceptive pricing from the cable TV company or from a mobile phone company, but Bixi?
So, please learn from my mistake and Bixi’s misleading signs. If you want to rent a bike for any length of time longer than 30 minutes, completely avoid Bixi. For two 1-day rentals you would be better off financially buying a new bike at a department store.