City watchdog besieged by angry shared bike riders

Shared bikes, tourism, training and apartment rental were the main sources of customer complaints last year, the city's consumer council said Wednesday.

Shared bikes, tourism, training and apartment rental were the main sources of customer complaints last year, the city’s consumer council said Wednesday.

The council received more than 200,000 complaints last year, up 32.8 percent from a year earlier.

There was an epidemic of shared bike complaints last year, close to 45,000. In 2017, the council received less than 10,000. E-bike firm Xiangqi, ofo and U-bicycle were the most complained about.

“Over 80 percent of complaints were about return of deposits,” said Tang Jiansheng, deputy secretary-general of the council. Abnormal charges and slow response to complaints also drew the ire of shared-bike riders.

The council also received 17,000 tourism-related complaints, an increase of 9.8 percent. Complaints regarded changes to tours, scheduling, guides, hotel rooms being canceled or overcharged, and air tickets.

“As customized tours gain popularity, misleading advertising and difficulties in cancellation were growth areas,” said Tang.

Around 7,000 complaints were about education, a surge of 41.2 percent. Foreign language training, extracurricular training and early childhood education topped the list.

Exaggerated promotions, contract tricks, low quality, refunds, and risks resulting from loans were some problems.

More than 3,000 complaints related to apartment rental, more than double the amount in 2017.

Tenants complained that some real estate agencies use poor quality decoration materials and rent out the apartments immediately.

Others encouraged tenants to take out loans from third-party financial institutions which they have an interests in, leading to credit risks.

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