Nextbike Polska with a fine from the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. These are abusive clauses

Luc Williams

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) imposed over PLN 791,000 on Nextbike Polska. PLN fine. The city bike rental operator used abusive clauses, changed the regulations in an unauthorized manner and unfairly charged consumers an additional fee, the Office reported.

“Consumers use the Nextbike rental service via an application on their phone. It is required to create and top up an individual user account, on which the company settles accounts for the time of using the bicycle. While each concluded bicycle rental agreement is of a temporary nature (until the vehicle is returned), then account agreements are a continuous obligation concluded for an indefinite period of time. The consumer stores funds on them, which, if unused, are transferred to subsequent loans. Changes to such agreements depend on the appropriate modification clause,” we read in the announcement.

Consumers were unable to predict that they would be charged a new fee

The provisions questioned by the President of the Office authorized the entrepreneur to unilaterally change the provisions contained in the regulations, without specifying any grounds for such actions. Nextbike Polska used this right in 2020 when it introduced a one-off fee of PLN 10 for using user accounts in several towns across the country. As a result, consumers’ current accounts were debited with this amount, and those who had smaller funds deposited on them received debt collection notices to pay the missing amounts of several zlotys.

“Nextbike Polska did not specify in any way under what circumstances it could introduce changes to the regulations or what they might concern. Consumers could not predict that they would be charged a new fee. A change in the price of the service in the case of a contract concluded for an indefinite period is conditioned by the appropriate provisions , provided for before concluding the contract. They must clearly define important premises authorizing the modification of the obligation. In the case of this entrepreneur, the clauses in the contracts were abusive and should not be used,” said Tomasz Chróstny, president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, quoted in the material.

Nextbike Polska in restructuring, after the decision becomes final, will have to pay over PLN 791,000. PLN fine and inform consumers about the decision of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, who will be able to pursue their rights in court on this basis. The entrepreneur will also publish appropriate statements on the company’s website and on its Facebook profile.


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