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I travelled to Fujian last week and rented a bike for 10 times. The bike company was offering a promotion to everyone at local resident rate, which meant free rental for initial 4 hours.

The fee table is follows: http://kbike.yachik.com/kbike_web/cost.php

The bike rental procedure was follows:

  1. Press "rent bike" on the kiosk.
  2. Choose "UnionPay" as the payment method.
  3. Enter my mobile phone number.
  4. Choose the bike.
  5. Enter my credit card detail for verification (the charge shown was TWD 1)
  6. The bike unlocked, happy riding.

When I returned the bike, the procedure was follows:

  1. Lock the bike at the station
  2. Press "return bike" on the kiosk
  3. Enter my mobile phone number
  4. It showed the information of the bike I rent, and showed TWD 0 as the fee
  5. I confirmed the return

I expected the TWD 1 amount was solely for authorisation which should not be settled, like when adding a card into Apple Pay / Android Pay, because the payment system does not allow 0 amount transaction.

However, when I checked the credit card bill later, 10 transactions of TWD 1 with "Wei Hua Technology" as the merchant was recorded. Wei Hua is the supplier of the payment system used by the public bike system.

I phoned the customer hotline of the public bike operator and asked about the charge, but the bike operator told me that, in their record, all my rentals were free. The bike company seemed to have no knowledge about any payment technology, and erroneously thought that TWD 1 dollar was some bank charge (which I am sure that my UnionPay card does not have any bank charge even for overseas or foreign currency transaction). I told them to contact Wei Hua and ask for a refund from Wei Hua, as I believe that it was a programming bug in Wei Hua's system (I am a software developer myself and have worked on some payment gateway integration for online shops).

I asked if I can get a bike rental record from the bike operator (which may be used for filing a credit card dispute), but due to privacy concern it might not be possible (there was only very lax identity verification when borrowing the bike - namely only a phone number, and I believe that the bike operator does not have my card details), and there is no direct contact method to Wei Hua - no phone number, no email address, etc.

Is there any chance that I can get my TWD 10 total back? I am already out of the country now and not willing to make any international phone calls again as charges accumulate fast even using VoIP service like Viber.

  • 1
    Do these charges show as pending or posted? Holds can stay on the account for an annoying long time, when the company placing the hold assumes it goes away automatically, but the bank is waiting for a "release hold" transaction. – Ben Voigt Oct 17 '18 at 13:57
  • They are posted transactions as confirmed by the bank. – Michael Tsang Oct 19 '18 at 3:21
5

Contact your credit card company and dispute the charges.

  • but I have difficulty in obtaining the proof that the charge should be 0 instead of 1 TWD – Michael Tsang Oct 17 '18 at 10:18
  • 6
    You do not. The merchant needs to prove the charges are valid. – TomTom Oct 17 '18 at 10:54

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