Lime backdown over fee

A Lime e-scooter lies on the road beside a truck after a crash in the early hours of this morning...
A Lime e-scooter lies on the road beside a truck after the crash that left Renee Whitehouse hospitalised. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Lime has apologised - and promised a full refund - after charging a critically injured woman a $100 penalty fee after her collision with a truck in Dunedin.

Renee Whitehouse
Renee Whitehouse
Renee Whitehouse was riding a Lime scooter home from work early on January 18 when she collided with a truck in North Dunedin.

Now recovering in Dunedin Hospital, she told the Otago Daily Times she was stunned to receive a penalty notice from Lime for not leaving her scooter in a place where it could be recovered.

That was on top of the $39.10 bill the company had charged her for her ill-fated ride.

On Saturday, the company made contact with Ms Whitehouse again to apologise for its tough stance.

Lime head of global support Karen Barker, in an email to Ms Whitehouse, said the company had reviewed Ms Whitehouse's situation and decided to refund any charges for her ride, "including the inappropriate fee for equipment damage or storage".

"Lime cares deeply for our riders, and everyone at Lime works hard every day to meet the needs of our riders and ensure we offer the safest and the best experience on every Lime ride.

"We certainly missed the opportunity to serve you appropriately in this situation, and I hope you will accept my apology."

Ms Whitehouse, in an email to the ODT, said Lime's response seemed "carefully drafted".

"Don't get me wrong, this is definitely appreciated, just waiting for the funds to appear back in my account."

Ms Whitehouse had emailed Lime back after the earlier notification a penalty fee would be applied, arguing she had an obvious and reasonable explanation for not parking the scooter on the footpath.

"I was hit by a truck and have been in the ICU and surgical wards of the hospital since that night," she wrote to Lime.

"The scooter, I am told, was impounded until the police decide what to do with it.

"You can't possibly charge me any extra."

The University of Otago master's student has at least one more operation ahead of her, to reattach part of her shattered skull, but has otherwise recovered remarkably well.

Meanwhile, the university has announced it will make helmets available to students and staff using Lime scooters.

A United Kingdom-based company, Morpher Helmets, which produces flat-folding helmets designed for easier storage, also offered to give one to Ms Whitehouse on Saturday.

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