Bird overtook Lime to be the best rated micromobility app in the world. Lime dropped in ratings with increased number of issues related to their day pass and payment system.

With 4.85/5, Bird claimed the top spot in average user rating followed by Lime at a close second (4.84/5) in August. Change in overall satisfaction remained stable similar to previous months, with Voi and Beam improving their ratings by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively while Tier and South America based Grin dropping by 0.6%.

Micromobility Industry average App Store rating: 4.78/5

The total number of app store reviews dropped in August, by 5% compared to July numbers. Wind saw the biggest growth in activity (115%), followed by Yulu (86%).

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 (56.9%).

Lime was also the most-reviewed app in several key markets, including the US, Germany, France and Spain. Voi saw the highest review activity in its home country, Sweden with a massive lead of 58.3% compared to Bird’s 26.3%). In France, Tier improved the percentage of ratings from 1.3% to 2.5% last month.

In August, the number of App Store reviews remained stable for most operators, but few saw a drop compared to January levels. Total number of reviews of Voi and Bird were up 106% and and 75%. Lime’s total reviews have been steadily recovering from April bottom, but closed August at -27% 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 August at with 397% more reviews followed by Beam (278%) 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 August, Lime continued to retain the top spot with a NPS score of 91.68, followed by Bird (89.97) and Beam (88.53). Tier added 0.66 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. 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 – 34%: Similar to the previous months, issues with the apps were the most reported but with a little improvement from 39% in July to 34%. Users reported trouble with signup, payment setup and annoying notifications among other things. Here are some of illustrative or interesting user comments:

So so so buggy. I have to use Lime as my main transportation lately since my tube station closed, and I have major problems at least once every other ride. Randomly cancelled reservations, rides not ending when the bike is locked, completely wrong range estimations, and lots of other random little bugs that make it very hard to use. That is just the app experience, the bikes are often broken or in poor state as well.
Me: configures app in English Devs: send me notifications in french Me: rates app with 1 star Devs: surprised Pikachu

Interestingly, once you create an account with Tier, you cannot logout of the App. Browsing the app, I did not find a ‘logout’ option either.

I don't like the fact that I cannot logout of the app anytime I want to, let alone delete my account! I called the support team to have it deleted and the man was super rude and unfriendly, but he deleted it. I also don't like it that the vehicle only comes with one helmet!

Though Bird seems to have fixed the annoying notifications issue, Lime users continue to report receiving notifications/ marketing push.

Sending spam messages? Really? No i don't want a scooter app to ask me for donations using push messages

Scooter Issue – 17%: The number of hardware problems reported by users declined a bit (~1%) from July (18%), 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.

A regular Lime user who previously mentioned about faulty Lime Scooters ended up with a broken leg as the front week broken Bucharest.

Update review: If you read my last review where I said limes are broken... I just broken my leg because the front wheel broke while I was riding on asphalt, then a car almost drove over me. Be warm! Lime is not build for the safety of the driver. They want to make money. Even with broken Limes. Old review: 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.

There was also another Lime user with a wonder leg

Terrible scooters, ended up with a bloody wounded leg even before I got on the damn thing. App does seem to be working well either.

A SPIN user had a rather common and dangerous issue with the throttles.

While i was holding throttle down the scooter would stop g8vibg gas and thrn all of a sudden boom full throttle with throttle lever released ... It almost made me crash into car i want my money back that is some BS -

A Tier scooter got locked in the middle of a ride throwing the user to the ground.

Dangerous app! My vehicle blocked itself without a warning while I was driving and threw me on the ground. Worst outcome possible, will sue this company

A Wind user reported that the QR codes on scooters were peeled off

Half of the scooters with a scraped or peeled barcode, people steal the codes so that they have their own scooter without paying for its possession 50/50 chance that a scooter that appears on the map will be or without a code or in someone's house. , Call and contact us in the app. There is no answer, if you have a problem or problem on your own respond to bad greens they know but help no, well done

Overcharging – 16%: Overcharging by operators was the third most commonly reported issue in June. Over the last months, there has been increasing reports on issues with Lime’s payment system where users are overcharged. Lime hasn’t yet solved issues in the way subscription packages/passes are implemented. Users reported having charged more for the rides, on top of the subscription cost.

Used scooter 1 time and was charged 15 different times resulting in 102$ being taken from my account without my approval. Useless app designed to take your money without your knowledge or approval.
10 Euro deducted from my cc every time I unlock a scooter. No refund after, no remaining balance. Just stolen money Everyone please only use bird, same concept, faster scooters and No SCAM. This app stole money from me! No way to contact any support line. Will be sharing this experience wherever whenever I can.
Do not book these scooters. They say the have a day pass. For 19.99$ you think that would be all day. No it's for 30 minutes. They charged me and my 2 friends almost 600$ in total to ride these things for half a day. You can buy 3 electric scooters off Amazon for that price. Would not refund my money and even tried to keep pulling money off my credit card. Such a joke. Lime scooters can suck a fat one.

What happens when you implement day pass, but you also have a parking option which is not taken into account in the day pass?

The 24 hr pass is a scam. My husband and I both purchased one and took breaks, but we didn't "end ride" properly and hit "pause ride" instead and got charged while the scooters were parked for every minute after 30 minutes. That amounted to 2 hrs of ride time, only 2 miles of use and $40 each on top of the $12 we'd already paid for passes that are supposed to last a day. Customer service was absolutely ZERO help. They still haven't responded to the problem and it has been over a week now.
Scooter wasn't to bad to be fair. BUT..... I purchased the 24hr day pass for £8.67 it said on it there will be no extra fees if you buy this pass. Ok cool... few days later i check my Internet banking and notice i was charged twice for the day pass plus extra fees. I have informed lime support and they are pretty much saying im a lier. Funny because my online bank account says im not... SO BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN ADDING BANK DETAILS THEY WILL TAKE EXTRA MONEY.

Multiple Bird users reported a strange $20 debit on their credit cards. I’m not sure if Bird is experimenting on a hold on the credit card before ride to ensure that the user have enough credit to pay for the ride – a usual problem with the rise of easy to get prepaid cards from Revolut, N26, etc.

It s**ks! Like literally it charged me 20 euros and then my account got blocked!? Yeah, that's exactly what happened. Was starting to like the app but no. Just no. It doesn't even end the ride when I want it to and then it charges you extra for that as well. I liked this app in the beginning but now there are so many errors that I hate this app. I can't even use up the 20 euros on the account I can't log into! Please just terminate that account or give me the money back, my pocket money!
Lost 20 dollars when I couldn't even unlock and use the scooters.

Voi also, seem to be trying a €5 hold on cards before ride start.

Terrible customer service, been charged the 5€ authorization fee multiple times yet still unable to start a ride... contacted support with no response! I want my 30€ back :/

It is an expected trajectory for companies to put in place fraud prevention methods as the industry matures. It is yet to be seen how users would respond to multiple holds on payment cards.

Customer Support, Cost – 21%: More people found the service expensive in August compared to previous months. Here are some of the comments

If you report an illegal parking via the app itself (by scanning the QR code of the bike and taking a picture of it), they will come back to you via email some 20+ hours later acting like they didn't even read the report, asking you what issues did you encounter with the ride. NONE! I WAS REPORTING AN ILLEGAL PARKING! Then, they'd ask more details, like the location. So, if I report such a thing via the app itself, it's... useless? Riders can leave the bikes wherever they please?!

A Tier user reported that the company did not get back for nine days and counting.

Scooters are fine but customer support sucks! So no way to get refunded if you get overcharged. 9 days and still no reply (req515688) It's not about the money but the principle. Bye!

Increasingly, more users find e-scooters expensive (9% in July to 12% in August), as we have new users trying to use scooters, moving away from Public Transport.

For a cheap alternative to walking, the price is up there with a taxi. Took one for a short distance, costed $8, uber cab was 9 for the same distance. Not a huge difference in cost considering you are risking your life and braving the cold winds.
Prices are to high for 1 hour it came out to $51.26 will never rent this scooter again last year I paid 20 dollars for 4 hours

Unable Start/End Ride – 12%: Many users reported being unable to start or end their rides in the app. Here are some comments:

 Unable to unlock anything scanning or manual entry, invisible full battery scooters everywhere, but reality is everything is dead dying or parked in the middle of the street. It's a joke

A Bird user tried unlocking 10 scooters in a row and none worked!

I wish I could give this zero stars. There were over 10 bird scooters within a 2 block distance from where I live and none of them unlocked. Followed the instructions, but could not unlock the 7+ scooters. Another upsetting issue is that bird still charged me for the scooters I couldn't even ride. Customer support was also lacking to none existing.

SPIN users continue to have issues with ending their ride, in some cases waiting for 5 to 10 mins to end the ride.

Everytime i ride a scooter, it takes an extra 5-10 minutes to end the ride. The bike locks, but the ride won't end making the ride cost more than it should. Until yall fix that, I'm not riding anymore

Other Reported Issues:

As mentioned in the July report, one of the user experience challenges that e-scooter operators have to solve is alerting users on no-ride zones, and slow zones. Today, if you go into a no-ride zone, scooters come to a standstill 100+ meters later and in some scooter models, not until you release the throttle.

First ride and the scooter lets me run over 200 yards downhill into a dead zone. So then i have to carry the ******* scooter back up the hill to lock it. Didn't tell me i was surrounded by deadzones when i picked it up. Didnt tell me i was entering one until the scooter quit working inexplicably. Terrible experience. Will use other services now
Wasn't very clear that the scooters are only to be used on Whyte Ave, and didn't indicate that I'd need to park on 96th until I was about 10 minutes past, would have found out sooner if I had checked my phone while riding which is what I imagine is expected of users, ended up taking longer to get to my destination than if I had just walked from the get-go

Lime scooters have a screen and I hope that they make use of it to alert users on time. The recent Voi scooters have a bunch of indicators which is good, but none to alert users about no-ride zones. LINK/Superpedestrian is the only company today with a quick response system where the scooters come to a stand still much earlier – though, I’m not sure of how a “full throttle” case is handled.

Also, an interesting edge case in micromobility – What happens if your phone is dead during a ride? How do you end the ride? Here a Wind user reported such a case:

Phone's battery went off on a ride at 11 nis, full 50 shekels were charged while unable to stop the ride even when phone was powered on. No one answered the customer service after 40 minutes of holding on the line

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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