E-scooters: consumer protectors admonish five rental companies

E-Scooter: Verbraucherschützer mahnen fünf Verleihfirmen ab

Since early summer, the e-scooters also cross through German cities, the providers distribute the devices in the streets. However, five of the rental companies have now warned the Federal Association of Consumer Advocates (vzbv). The reason is “sometimes serious violations“In the Terms of Use.

Specifically, the vzbv criticizes the providers “in a legally critical way“Try to shift both liability risks and responsibility to customers. In the case of the liability rules, this means, for example, that customers use e-scooters “rent at your own risk“. If damage is caused by accidents or theft, then they are liable in an anti-client design – regardless of whether they are guilty or not.

The providers of e-scooters have formulated anti-consumer terms of use. So customers should sometimes pay for damages that they have not caused.

Kerstin Hoppe, Legal Officer at vzbv

In addition, some providers do not guarantee roadworthy condition or working batteries. Instead, some of the customers themselves are asked to check before each start whether brakes, lights or wheels are alright. A duty that users generally can not perform properly.

Other points of criticism are the sometimes missing guarantee for a functioning rental service as well as “completely overdone penalty fees“, If customers put the e-scooters wrong or not log off correctly. Likewise inadmissible are the reservations, to be able to change rental conditions at short notice as well as a questionable handling of user data. For example, personal data could be used without permission for advertising purposes, so the vzbv.

First e-scooter rental companies have already responded

Altogether there are 85 clauses that are inadmissible in the opinion of the consumer advocates. Affected vendors are: JUMP Bicycles GmbH, LMTS Germany GmbH (Circ), Neutron Holdings (Lime), TIER Mobility GmbH and VOI Technology Switzerland AG. The first have already responded, so Circ has submitted the required cease and desist, while animal should have changed the conditions.

Other providers have signaled a similar approach, so the vzbv. But if that does not happen, the consumer advocates want to go to court.

The vzbv emphasizes, however, that mobility innovations such as the e-scooter are advocated. These could make a contribution to the traffic change. However, it is crucial that this is not at the expense of the users. “However, providers should do their utmost to make the use of electric scooters as safe, environmentally and customer-friendly as possible“Says Marion Jungbluth, Team Leader Mobility and Travel in the vzbv.

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