Will Bird overtake Lime to be the best rated micromobility app in the world? Almost!

Bird closed in on Lime to level at 4.85/5 sharing the top spot as the best rated micromobility apps in JULY. Change in overall satisfaction remained stable similar to previous months, with Dott and Bird improving their ratings by 0.3% while India based operator Yulu dropping by 1.4% followed by Wind (-1.4%).

Micromobility Industry average App Store rating: 4.79/5

The total number of app store reviews continued to grow in July, up by 32% compared to June numbers. Beam saw the biggest growth in activity (126%), followed by Spin (91%).

Overall five operators, Lime, Bird, Spin, Grin, and Voi, accounted for more than 90% of all international app store reviews last month. Lime had the highest number of ratings (57,1%).

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 with a massive lead of 57.9% compared to Lime’s 21.1%). In Belgium, Lime reclaimed the the top spot from Dott (50% vs 33%). In France, Tier had just 1.3% of the share of all App Store ratings last month. This share should improve in the coming months given that they won both Paris and Lyon e-scooter tender.

In July, the number of App Store reviews remained stable for most operators, staying at par or above the January levels. Total number of reviews of Voi and Bird were up 100% and and 70%, with Dott dropping a little (-3%) from their January baselines. Lime’s total reviews have been steadily recovering from April bottom, closing July at -13% below its January benchmark. Grin’s app store reviews are still down by 98%, ending last in the list. Grin will continue to stay at these levels until there is significant improvement in the current COVID19 situation in South America. Tier, as in previous months, is way ahead of other operators, closing July at with 486% more reviews compared to January.

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)

Click here to read more on the methodology.

In July, Lime continued to retain the top spot with a NPS score of 91.68, followed by Bird (89.99) and Beam (88.6). Tier added 1.33 points to their NPS score, continuing their growth similar to previous months.

Although Lime ranked the best globally, in some key European markets, local players scored higher in customer experience. In Germany and France and Italy, Voi had a higher NPS than Lime, with Lime losing the top spot in Italy to Voi in July. On the contrary, in Sweden, both Bird and Lime scored higher than their European rivals. Lime led in the U.S (94), Spain (88), Portugal (90), New Zealand (92) as well as Australia (93). Both in Australia and New Zealand, smaller rival Beam is closing in on Lime with an NPS score of 91 in both markets.

Micromobility Industry average App Store based NPS Score: 89

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 – 39%: Similar to the previous months, issues with the apps were the most reported. Users reported trouble with signup, payment setup and annoying notifications among other things. Here are some of illustrative or interesting user comments:

The app does not function at all. Everytime, it asks me to scan the code and once it reads, it just returns back to home screen. It is frustrating. I have tried troubleshooting it by manually adding the code, still it does not work and returns to the same home page. I have checked my phone and all the required permissions are turned on too. Just fix this, please.

Above comment is from a Lime user and it was reported by few other users as well.

Did operators start pushing out notifications at a higher frequency in July? Multiple Lime and Bird users reported annoying notifications. Users giving consent to notifications is precious – use it wisely!

Love the product but please stop with the notification spam, or at least provide a way to opt out. Currently you group this spam in with "General" notifications under Android and I think disabling that will also block useful notifications (like ones you get when riding). Please fix this.
Took two rides, kinda fine. A day later I stay getting notifications about how I should ride more. No option to turn off. Uninstalled.

A Spin user reported that scooters on the map wee not present in the actual location. This is a common issue where static scooter data is loaded when a user opens the app and the state of scooters on the map isn’t updated in realtime. Tier has a good implementation where data is populated based on the map area that is visible on the phone. As you pan the map, data gets re-loaded based on the new panned state.

Writing this as I begin the 45 minute walk home, after going to 2 different locations, each time to get there and find the scooter is on the map but no where to be found. Are people hiding them in their homes? No clue. There doesn't appear to be a method for reporting this, so I gave up. Who doesn't want to work a 16 hour shift and then walk home after spending a half hour searching for non-existent scooters?

Scooter Issue – 18%: The number of hardware problems reported by users declined a bit from June (19%), but they were still the second biggest source of reviews last month. Similar to previous months, there were reports of issues with brakes in Lime scooters

I use lime a lot but they are so broken in Bucharest. The baseboard was loose in all rides I've taken in the past month, brakes are absent in some rides... It's just a a horrible experience.
scammy as hell, got app to ride scooter, not only was scooter brake destroyed, the thrust was.destroyed and scooter was in red zone. had to walk it to white zone and was billed for my trouble. avoid! no they would not provide a $5 refund. i dont even care about the money, its insulting.

Overcharging – 14%: Overcharging by operators was the third most commonly reported issue in June. Lime seems to have issues in the way subscription packages/passes are implemented. Users reported having charged more for the rides, on top of the subscription cost.

Bought two $15 day passes for me and my boyfriend, my credit card was charged $114.17. There is NO WAY to contact customer service. The phone number calls an endless hold line and the emails get one auto reply and NOTHING else. This is the biggest scam in the world. Would have loved the heads up on this so I could have spent my $100 on something more needed, LIKE GROCERIES!!!!
Unauthorized Transactions - WTH?? I bought the $14.99 Lime Pass but they charged me another $34 - so my scooter ride was almost $50! What the hell is up with this company??

Following comment is from a BIRD user:

I got charged 20 dollars 12 times in a row lol. Scummy.

Customer Support, Cost – 18%: More people found the service expensive in July compared to previous months. Bird seems to have partially solved the Customer Support issues that they had in June. Here are some issues reported by users:

There is Litterally no way to contact customer service in Israel. No phone number, no replies from the bot on FB messanger, the support email or the through the website. Nothing. If you have any issue, well, good luck to you.
Terrible customer support also it took more then 200 dollars on my fist ride and I can't get a refund because i can't get incontact with the company. They won't answer

Here are few comments from users who found the service expensive.

Totally overpriced! I wanted to save some money for my stay in Vienna (2 days) and would have liked to take an e-scooter instead of the tram. This costs 2.40 per trip. With the scooter you already have to pay € 1 activation fee and then another 0.25c per minute. For my planned trip of more than 15 minutes (with green traffic lights and good traffic) I should have paid an additional 3.75. So a total of 4.75 €! So I'm not going to be a regular customer .... Can't recommend it.
Too much money, was going to try it out but when I saw it starts at 1.15$ to ride plus 35 cents for every minute spends seems a bit pricey.

Unable Start/End Ride – 11%: Many users reported being unable to start or end their rides in the app. Bird scooters continue to have issues with Unlocking and locking.

Spent 5 or so min trying to unlock 3 different scooters. None worked, (I filled out everything I needed to and had a positive balance), lost 5$
I had trouble to lock the scooter for 15 minutes. Even though I tried to close and open the app multiple times and trying to lock the scooter, the app was not responding making my total booking time 15mins longer. Only after logging out and in I could lock it.
10 min ride wouldn't shutdown for another 15

A Neuron mobility user reported to have issues, as the ride ends only when the helmet is relocked. We will see similar issues reported by users in Chicago as the second Pilot requires operators to have a physical lock attached to the scooters and the ride ends when the user locks the scooters to a pole/bike rack, takes a picture and uploads it.

Terrible! Even after relocking helmet it wouldn't let me end ride and charged me extra 10 mins until it auto disabled. Very annoying.

Other Reported Issues:

In addition to these issues, there were multiple reports from users on confusion around geofences and zones. This still remains an unsolved user experience problem. Users of e-scooters want to hop on a scooter and go to the destination, without any route planning to be sure that their routes doesn’t cross no-ride zones, where they could be locked out.

With the current implementations, users get locked out few hundred meters into the no-ride zone or when the users releases the throttle. Only way out of this is to drag the beeping scooter back into the geofence or get charged a hefty fine.

I don’t know of any scooter operators other than Link/Superpedestrian using a quick response solution that prevents users from going far into a no-ride zone.

A good implementation would be to alert the user much before the no-ride zone using the available screens or gradual deceleration. I hope micromobility operators are busy solving this issue.

This app went from a saving grace to a turd on wheels. The no lock zones could force you to go a mile+ from your destination forcing you to either walk all that way or bite the bullet and ditch your ride.
Holly s*** what a bad experience. I ended up trying this for the first time. Rode the scooter out to a paved trail and lost power because of zone restrictions. I had the choice to ride back going the opposite way or walk the scooter about 2.5 miles towards my destination. I chose the later and what a miserable experience pushing a dead scooter in 100+degree weather with no water in sight. Refund for unconvincing? Like $3 for a $20 ride and I still had to get an Uber! Not using again!

India based Yulu has been having issues related to refund of the security deposit for the last few months and they haven’t managed to solve it.

They don't refund your deposit money , don't fall in their trap.
no refund for security deposit, clear excuse is session expired and an automatic log out.

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!

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