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After few month of positive signs, there seems to be a slowdown in November, with many countries re-introducing lockdowns because of COVID.

In November, Lime continued to hold the top spot in App Store user ratings (4.88/5), among all micromobility companies. Bird and Voi hold the second and third spot with 4.84 and 4.83 respectively. Change in overall satisfaction remained stable similar to previous months, with Dott and India based Yulu improving their ratings by 1.6% and 1.3% respectively while Bird and Wind dropped by 0.1% and 0.2%.

Industry average improved by 0.02, from 4.79 to 4.81 out of 5.

Micromobility Industry average App Store rating: 4.81/5

In the newly opened UK market, Voi and Lime are the top rated (4.9/5) followed by Tier (4.8/5).

The total number of app store reviews were down by 35% compared to September numbers. Beam saw the biggest growth in activity (42%) while SKIP dropped by 82%

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 (56.8%).

Lime was also the most-reviewed app in several key markets, including the US, Italy and Germany. Voi saw the highest review activity in its home country, Sweden with a massive lead of 55.6% compared to Tier’s 22.2%) and Voi also lead in the UK (72.5%). In France, Dott saw the highest activity (46.2%) followed by Lime (30.8%).

In November, the number of App Store reviews were a bit below January levels for most of the tracked operators due to COVID19 linked lockdowns across the globe. Total number of reviews of Beam and Tier were up 381% and 163%, compared to their January baselines. Lime’s total reviews have been steadily recovering from April bottom, closing November at 24% 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.

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 November, Lime continued to retain the top spot with a NPS score of 91.69, followed by Bird (89.98) and Voi (88.12).

Although Lime ranked the best globally, in some key European markets, local players scored higher in customer experience. In some of the largest markets in Europe like 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), South Korea (87) as well as Australia (93). Both in Australia, South Korea and New Zealand, smaller rival Beam is closing in on Lime with an NPS score of 92, 84 and 91 respectively. In UK, Lime and Voi took the top spot (92), followed by Tier (88).

Micromobility Industry average App Store based NPS Score: 88.8

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 – 41%: Similar to the previous months, issues with the apps were the most reported, but stayed the same in percentage as October. Users reported trouble with signup, payment setup and annoying notifications among other things. Here are some of illustrative or interesting user comments:

Lime recently pushed out an update with a Dark UI and some users are confused!

This app seems stuck on a dark screen (theme) with button options missing, phone is not on dark mode either, so is not useable at all, this started recently, is it my phone or the app???

With operators adding an additional layer of Driving License verification, it adds additional points of failure in the onboarding flow. Normally, these verifications are not instant and can take anywhere from few seconds to a few minutes. Here is a comment from a SPIN user:

Could not confirm my drivers license which is fine and kept having processing icon spinning for long periods of time for multiple verifications screens I had to go and use another inc scooter nearby.

Voi had the most number of negative comments on Driving License verification:

Have to have a drivers licence. Do you need a licence to ride a bike or a skateboard on the road? No. So why this. Response to developer reply: no i downloaded the app, added payment details, walked to a scooter, then it told me.
the camera function in the app keeps passing on 'unclear' versions of photos of my driver's license through to the voi office for verification... even though they look absolutely crystal clear on my phone (daylight photo with no reflections). such a shame as I really approve of the e-scooter method of public transport in Liverpool. I've used the Lime e-scooters in Frankfurt and had a much better/streamline experience.

Tier users reported verification issues as well:

They never verified my driving licence even after 3 weeks

And… Wind:

The team of WIND is pathetic.. for them Indian Driving Licence is not valid.. but they have provided the option of India to choose.. how moron they are.. and if they dont get what they want they will ban you and your number.. if I had chance I would have given them minus rating !.. infact the tele. Team also dont respond

At this rate of move towards having only users with a valid Driving license, very soon, e-scooters won’t be available for many users, especially those who don’t have a Driving License and rely on bikes, public transit and e-scooters.

Scooter Issue – 19%: The percentage of hardware problems reported by users increased from 16% in October to 19% in November.

Here are some comments from users:

Total rip-off I went down hill scooter became unresponsive. Did not have time to push up hill to get it to work. They keept charging me would not stop They charged me $40

A Neuron Mobility user reported inconsistent scooter behaviour in restricted zones:

Scooter kept going into slow mode when I wasn't in the slow area, but then even in the no riding zone went fast. Then told me to turn around as I was leaving the service area, I turned around but it was still in limp mode and wouldn't go at all. Then when i checked the map.i wasnt even leaving the service area. Absolutely useless around central townsville. Don't know about elsewhere but I'll stick with lime...

A Dott user reported injury after unexpected acceleration of the scooter:

Technical issue at the first use : sudden acceleration that threw me into the air, now I have 1 twisted shoulder, and 2 twisted fingers. Plus it is very expensive compared to some other same scooters. Although I was very excited about using this app, I'm never coming back and would advise you to buy your own scooter instead of renting it. All in all it'll cost the same if not cheaper and you will know the machine you're riding, and its possible technical issues.

A scooter user of India based Yulu scooters reported error in battery status and stopping in a busy road:

Pathetic experience. Bikes shows 100% battery but stops in between the rides suddenly saying battery low. I really felt dangerous to use this again as it stops suddenly at middle of the road and you can't even push the bike as the tyre gets locked and won't rotate. This happened not jus once but multiple times. Imagine how I would have felt when It broke down near Silkboard signal, felt very embarrassing dealing with it on busy road.

Overcharging – 14%: Overcharging by operators was the second most commonly reported issue in November. 

Did Lime solve the day pass issue yet? Though the number of negative comments have come down, the issues is not fully solved:

Total ripoff! Paid for the day pass for $15 and rode around DC for about 2 hours. Then it shut down on it's own with 50% battery left. Then like charged my PayPal almost $91 for the trip. I emailed my concern 12 days ago with no response. What a con job!

Disadvantages of having distance based billing. How do you make sure that the distance measurement is correctly calibrated? Here a Yulu user was charged for 32km when in reality it was only 10km:

I have worst experience . I have used 10km . But in this app showed 32km run by me. Please solve this issue . I have overcharged . Worst app

Bird seems to have issues with Promos:

I got a promo that literally says free rides on the app and it charged me $45 talked to a representative after getting off the phone they had charged me another $21. What is going with this company???

Customer Support, Cost – 19%: More people found the service expensive in November compared to previous months. Here are some of the comments:

So I can get a bike with Lime for 2.5 kroner per minute or I can get a Mercedes with Share Now for 2 kroner per minute. And the luxury car doesn't come with an extortionate 'unlocking' fee. Something doesn't quite add up there.

And, Bird is indeed expensive than other operators in certain cities:

Useless, they charge about 10-20% more than lime does. Me and some friends did a ride, I had bird they had lime, I paid $10 more for the exact same ride

Unable Start/End Ride – 7%: Issues with Unlocking and Locking vehicles reduced drastically over the last few months, indicating maturity in tech involved.

It is a growing trend among operators to define parking zones in cities and force users to park only in these zones. But, what if the GPS is not accurate enough? Here is a disappointed Lime user reporting the issue:

So many times using this app, at the end of a ride I could not lock the bike because apparently I wasn't in a proper parking lot (although I was). The latest ride I had, it took me 45min to be able to lock the bike after trying so many different parking lots. Really pissed!

Some cities mandate operators to have an additional lock-to mechanism. Here is a comment from a Bird user:

Terrible charged $7 to not even be able to unlock their janky bluetooth locks and there is no guidance on how to "reset the pin" to the lock therefore making it impossible to lock. Did I mention they charged me money to go nowhere at all? Very poor app.

Other Reported issues:

One of the issues with ‘free-floating’ e-scooters is the numerous restrictions in cities with no-go zones, slow zones and no-parking zones. Multiple restrictions would mean that the users would have reduced origin-destination pairs.

Users don’t necessarily check the destination and the routes they would take for 1 to 2km with e-scooters. As most users use e-scooters as an alternative to walking, having a slow zone (~8kph) would mean that they don’t have any advantage over walking, except for those calories conserved.

In the next iteration of e-scooter tech, routing and guiding users so that they avoid slow zones and be sure that they can end the ride at the destination will be important – in addition to accurate GPS .

Doesnt allow you to ride in many areas for unknown reasons. Was left stranded and had to backtrack to find a place where i was allowed to lockup the scooter without being fined $50. Had to to take an uber from there. Massive waste of time and money. Lime you've made an enemy for life. I swear i'll get back the money you stole 100 fold

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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