INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. —In late October, Matt Kawiecki thought a trip to Mass Ave for brunch would only result in a few dollars spent and a full stomach. He was wrong.
Returning from his brunch, Kawiecki said he noticed a parked Bird scooter had tipped over and was leaning against his car. Further examination revealed that the handle of the scooter had created a small dent on his car’s hood. Kawiecki says the best he could figure; the wind knocked the scooter into his car.
“As we were standing there calling bird a couple feet away ten feet away we saw another one just tip over. It didn’t hit a car luckily, but it does look like there’s an issue,” he said.
Kawiecki says he immediately got on the phone with Bird to tell them what happened and file a claim to be reimbursed for the dent’s repair. Initially, he said a representative told him the company would cover the costs. That is until the repair estimate ended up being a lot higher than expected.
‘I was expecting between $30 and $100 bucks “in total it was $461 and some change. And I was shocked, especially for a one-inch dent,” Kawiecki said.
Kawiecki said that Bird’s offer of reimbursement was even more shocking.
In an email sent to Kawiecki, a Bird representative wrote in part
“Good afternoon, Matthew.
Thanks for taking the time to gather those details for our records. We're very sorry to hear of this accident and would like to see where we can help. Our team has reviewed the estimate, along with the description you sent over. Due to the nature of this incident, our team is able to assist with covering 25% of the damages to your vehicle, namely: $115.44.”
Kawiecki says he felt insulted by the offer.
“I was a little disappointed.$400 bucks to them is chump change, they’re a $2 billion company,” he said.
Kawiecki says he countered with “alternatives” including seeking out other estimates and allowing the company to pay the lesser amount. After weeks of silence, Kawiecki says he received another message reading in part:
“Thanks for taking the time to reach back out, and apologies for any frustration stemming from our radio silence. We took the opportunity to review this case once again with our supervisors. We're very sorry that this incident has affected you and we'd still like to see how we can help. We've been able to secure a total of $115.44 towards the total cost incurred for the damages to your vehicle. Unfortunately, this offer cannot be adjusted nor modified.”
CBS4 reached out to Bird and asked them to clarify their decision and provide an explanation to their claims process. A bird representative responded with this message:
"We strongly recommend reporting any damaged scooters or incidents that Bird scooters are involved in, as we have a support team dedicated to safety that is available around the clock to address questions and reports we receive. Bird provides a number of ways for people to reach us including by email (Hello@bird.co), through our in-app messaging feature, and by phone." - a Bird spokesperson
When asked to again clarify their decision process, CBS4 was again referred to the prior statement.
Kawiecki said in all likelihood he wont get the car repaired but would like Bird to step up and pay the full repair costs. Adding that it’s a matter of principle more than anything.
“You need to prioritize what your customers are saying about you. And if you’re getting feedback like this.. Albeit bird wasn’t responsible for it, it was mother nature. Ultimately it needs to fall back on that design,” he said.
Kawiecki says in the future he’d like to see bird make changes to their kickstands or requirements where riders can park to help avoid similar situations.
“I got lucky with just a small dent in the hood but it’s for sure going to happen again.”