After a difficult stretch for the shared micromobility sector following the outbreak of COVID-19, June was the first month some of the operators saw demand return to January 2020 levels.

The total number of app store reviews continued to grow in June, up by 107% compared to May numbers. Beam saw the biggest growth in activity (217%), followed by Lime (200%).

Lime had the highest user-satisfaction rating of any micromobility app in June (4.85/5), narrowly edging out its California-based rival, Bird (4.83/5). Overall user satisfaction remained very stable compared to May, with only minor fluctuations in most companies’ user-satisfaction ratings. Tier saw an 1.8% increase in satisfaction, followed by Wind (0.5%). Latin American operator Grin saw a decline of -0.6%, followed by Dott (-0.5%).

Overall five operators, Lime, Bird, Spin, Grin, and Voi, accounted for more than 90% of all international app store reviews last month. Lime received an outright majority of the reviews that were written (57.5%).

Lime was also the most-reviewed app in several key markets, including the US, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Voi saw the highest review activity in its home country, Sweden (48.3% compared to Lime’s 24.1%). In Belgium, Dott took the top spot with a massive lead (60% compared to Lime’s 20%), perhaps because Lime recently reduced service in the country, while Dott expanded it. 

In June, the number of app store reviews returned to January levels for a number of operators for the first time since the pandemic hit. Last months the total number of reviews for Dott, Voi, and Bird were up 40%, 26% and 7% respectively, from their January baselines. Lime’s total reviews have been steadily recovering over the last two months, closing June at -26% below its January benchmark. At this rate, Lime’s activity should return to pre-COVID levels in July. Grin’s app store reviews are still down by 98%, ending last in the list. This could be because of the extended lockdowns related to COVID-19 in South America. Tier, as in previous months, is way ahead of other operators, closing June at with 550% more reviews than it had in January. 

Note: The chart above was capped at 200% in order to fit more data points. Tier, an outlier, achieved 550% growth.

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a scoring system for quantifying customer loyalty. Companies generally calculate NPS by asking customers to rate their level of satisfaction on a scale of 0 to 10. 

In a similar manner, App Stores ask their users to rate their level of satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 5.

Typically, on a 0 to 10, those who respond 9 or 10 are considered “promoters,” or enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others; those who respond 7-8 are considered “passives,” customers who are satisfied but not overly enthusiastic; and those who respond 6 or less are considered “detractors,” or unhappy customers who could hurt the brand through negative reviews. 

To calculate NPS for the scooter apps, I applied the following method, trying to replicate the classic scoring system. 

  • Promoters (5)
  • Passives (4)
  • Detractors (1-3)

According to this system, Lime (91.71) had the highest global NPS in June, followed by Bird (90).

Although Lime ranked the best globally, in some key European markets, local players scored higher in customer experience. In Germany and France Voi had a higher NPS than Lime, similar to May. On the contrary, in Sweden, both Bird and Lime scored higher than their European rivals. Lime led in the U.S, Italy Spain as well as Australia. 

Though NPS scores don’t change much month to month, Tier’s rating notably did go up 3.04 points since May.

Micromobility, especially scooter sharing is a premium offering, that requires premium service and high levels of customer loyalty. Focussing on Customer experience is extremely important to have high value customers, who would promote your services, use them often and spend more!

User Reported Issues

Going through all user-reported issues from 150+ app stores, most comments from May fall into the following categories:

  • App Issue
  • Scooter Issue
  • Overcharging
  • Cost
  • Unable to Start Ride
  • Unable to End Ride
  • Customer Support

App Issue – 34%: Similar to the previous months, issues with the apps themselves were the most commonly reported problems. Users reported trouble with signup, time to load, and payment setup, among other things. Here are some of illustrative or interesting user comments:

The app actually ruins the pleasure of the ride, due to the fact that it takes an extremely long time to lock and unlock it. Un top of that it freezes and charges you for the time that you are taking to lock it.

A few users reported a bug in Tier App that wrongly notifies riders that they do not have an active internet connection.

keeps saying I have not internet connection but is not true. Can't even open it [edit] I did what support said but when I put my Spanish phone number at the beginning the internet message starts popping again

Wind users reported inconsistencies between the availability of scooters in the app versus reality.

only half of the yellow scooters that I see in reality are there in the app, and none, absolutely none of the scooters that I saw for the past few days is ridable. Every scooter that I see is "sorry, it has no credits." So i end up walking few miles longer than if I'd know that the scooters actually unavailable for the ride. Plus, how come I can take one from work to home and it ok but from home to work in the middle of the way telling me it's out of the operating area and I'll be fined?

Scooter Issue – 19%: The number of hardware problems reported by users declined a bit from May, but they were still the second biggest source of reviews last month. Similar to previous months, there were reports of Lime scooters’ brakes not functioning properly.

Worst experience ever. Brakes didn't work. Won't accelerate. App show that it was 3 mph zone but it won't do even 2.7 and those 2.7 was more like 1.7 cause I wasn't able to hold level and drove slower than walking. Tried to end my ride but app showed as I'm in prohibited zone, same zone where I picked up my ride. End up driving to designated parking spot and guess what my location in the app jumped around that zone so I couldn't end my trip. End up leaving ride at designated spot.
Not once did the scooter accelerate. Ride would not end and charged me $8. Trying to file a ticket always results in "Message failed". Use any other scooter app

Two Spin users reported non-functioning scooters or scooters that stopped mid-ride.

Tried two scooters, neither worked despite saying they had charge. I'm now being charged 27.50 for each ride I didn't take. Never again. Give me back my money. And don't get me started on how laggy and invasive the app is.
Very dangerous fun. Today a scooter returned while driving and just stopped. And the scooter in front of it ran out of battery in the middle of the street, even though it had a range of 18 km 20M beforehand ..

Overcharging – 18%: Overcharging by operators was the third most commonly reported issue in June. For Spin, multiple users reported being unhappy that the company placed  a temporary hold of ~$27 on their credit cards. It’s possible some riders did not realize the hold was temporary.

Spin charged me 27 for just trying to get a scooter to work. I don't see how they're a "dollar ride" if it costs me an entire tank of gas for a single scooter ride. This app is disappointing.
Good scootering liked it until every time i use it i get a temp hold of 28 dollars and i dont seem to get it back... its done happened 5 times... Thought it was a dollar to start 29 cents a minute... more like 30 to start... Thats Crazy
Scanner never works. Always charges my card $27 for rides I did NOT take due to the scanner never working. Also typing in scooter number doesn't work.

At least two Lime users reported being charged multiple times. Implementation of payments is always a challenge for operators. In scenarios where an initial charge fails or doesn’t return a response, companies normally try to charge the linked payment method repeatedly, until the charge is successful.

It is extremely rare that 100% of the rides are successfully charged to users linked payment methods.

First time using the scooter and its over price, it withdrawal multiple times I would say about 10 withdrawal from my bank account with different amounts charged that brought me up to 165 dollars that it charged and withdrawal out of my bank account. For only using the scooter for about an hour. Try reaching out to customer service but said due to high volume it would take time to review my charges.
Horrible, my card was charged 9 times, I only authorized 3 charges. I never even received the product!!! Unable reach one single person to discuss anything! I am filling accomplant with the BBB!! I have sent out numerous emails and followed their protocol, I still yet to hear from anyone from Lime.

Customer Support, Cost – 17%: Reports of customer support issues spiked in June, mostly because of an update in the Bird app that made it difficult for users to reach the brand’s helplines

They revamped the app to make it much more difficult to directly speak to customer support. Their official phone line is dead as well. Completely unprofessional. 
Technical service support is reduced to zero, in principle it was the same from the beginning, on April 28-29 I used it for the first time, wrote to the port, recorded a defect, wrote me a reply in a few days, promised me and the performance was zero. Do not expect to be overwhelmed or overwhelmed!
Impossible to reach customer service. Got charged for a ride I never took because the lock would not unlock. Their customer service through the app is simply a bunch of FAQs with no option to actually connect with a human being. If you look up their number, and call, you are told to email their customer service and then it hangs up on you. Another crappy corporation, don't support them

In addition, multiple Bird users reported that when they messaged customer support, they received “message failed” errors.

I am trying to write a message to the help center but every attempt shows me "message failed"

Similar to previous months, India-based Yulu saw complaints from users who did not receive their security deposit refunds.

I have applied to refund my depisit of Rs 250 more than one month back but still not refunded. No satisfactory answer was received from Yulu team. Stll waiting for refund.

A few users simply found their scooter service to be too expensive last month.

A great idea in principle but a number of issues, some that could be easily fixed. I'm a London rider, and these are the main problems: 1 - too expensive. Fares are insane compared to other bike hires, bus, tube, etc. 2 - the no parking red zone covers areas that are incredibly central and seems arbitrary. Being able to take these to places where there are no TFL bike stations would be a great bonus point which Lime have failed to capitalise on. 3 - bike clunky even compared to a TFL hire bike.
extremely expensive. Taxi ride is way cheaper than this if you want to move somewhere. For 10 minute ride price is 4.5 lari which is more expencive then taxi ride to same destination where you are going

Unable Start/End Ride – 12%: Many users reported being unable to start or end their rides in the app. Two Bird users reported that it took 15 and 30 minutes, respectively, to do so.

I rarely rate negative comments on apps but I had such a bad experience that I need to share and let other avoid of this. r we finished with our ride and it took us more than 15 mins try to lock and end the ride. Through out the ride the scooter keep beeping without given any reason. The app and map is poorly designed without given much information in how to end the ride. The end ride instruction is located in such a hidden Q&A location which make the end ride experience even more challenging.
Pro: fun fast scooter... that's it. Wish I could give it ZERO STAR rating!! Cons: stops working without warning. Can't end a ride. It ended roughly 30min after walking away from the useless scooter and it continues to charge you even when scooter stops working. Be prepared for a surprise charge for it does not clearly post prices. App itself is of no use or unresponsive when help is required. Not worth it for a short ride that leaves you stranded!

Meanwhile a Spin user reported that it took ~7 minutes and Wind user reported it took a full hour to end their rides.

Takes so long to stop ride I waited 7 mins as its charging me the whole time, I have to keep reloading the app just to push buttons the delay is terrible
A very bad experience. The scooter kept saying I was out of the allowed range even though according to the map I was in the allowed range. The trip cannot be stopped and charged me for money for an entire hour. Very upsetting

Geofencing remains a point of confusion for many users. In most cities, scooter operators set up virtual perimeters around real-world geographic areas to enforce things like speed limits, parking restrictions, and no-ride zones. These invisible boundaries are shown only in the apps, which a rider cannot access during a trip without checking their mobile phone. The result is that many users navigate into restricted service areas unknowingly, causing their vehicles to slow down or stop without warning. Making matters more complicated, scooter companies change the perimeters of their geofences as often as once a month, creating even less navigational reliability for users. 

For better customer experience, micromobility operators should develop hands-free systems for notifying users when they are entering a restricted area.

Here are some user comments:

I got a lime to get me home. I couldn't park it anywhere near my house so I had to go and PAY one more km further to lock it. I can't express how much I hate you.
Lime severely reduced the service area without warning the customers, and then to add insult to injury the dumb scooter didn’t even notify me that I had entered the red zone until i was at least a km into it, and since it refuses to let me lock the thing, I was forced to push the scooter over a dozen city blocks to a point where I could leave it behind...and then it charged me over 10 dollars!! for a ride where I did most of the pushing. Maybe your pop-up declaring you’re “back in service” could include the phrase “severely reduced operating zone”. The zone is so small and the bridges are redzoned, that i have to wonder why anyone would even use one of these scooters at all? Everything;’s walking distance.
Huge rip off. Rode it for 10 minutes, then all of a sudden it said I was in an area I couldn't ride. I had to walk it back the way I came for 30 minutes. I was charged for the entire time I walked this dumb scooter back to a designated parking area. This company showed up after the Corona virus to fill the void and they did it to rip everyone off! I want a refund.

Note: Data gathered from 150+ Apple and Google app stores across the globe. If interested in more insights on the data collected, do send me a message!

Content Collaboration: Micromobility Industries is a digital media and events company devoted to the future of movement. Subscribe to their newsletter here.

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