259 complaints received regarding oBike deposits: CASE

A commuter rides an oBike during the evening rush hour in Singapore on 15 June, 2017. (Reuters file photo)

As of 4pm on Tuesday (26 June), the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) has received 259 complaints from consumers claiming that they have been unable to retrieve their $49 deposits from oBike, one day after the bicycle-sharing operator announced that it was ceasing its operations in Singapore.

“CASE is deeply concerned about the abrupt decision by oBike to cease operations in Singapore and its failure to provide clarity to consumers about their deposit paid and/or membership purchased,” said the association in a Facebook post made at 5.39pm on Tuesday.

It added that it has reached out to oBike to “verify the number of consumers with an existing deposit and/or membership as well as their plans for refunding consumers” and will provide an update in due course.

“Meanwhile, we urge consumers with unresolved disputes to contact us at (6100 0315 or case.org.sg) for further assistance,” it added.

In an earlier Facebook post at 11.47am on Tuesday, the CASE said it had received 164 complaints.

In the same post, it advised customers who had made payment via credit card to the bike operator within the last 120 days to consider lodging a chargeback claim with their card issuer as soon as possible.

Many frustrated oBike users had earlier left comments on the company’s Facebook post announcing its closure here, with many using the hashtag #RefundMyDeposit.

In the post, oBike attributed its business decision to the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) new regulations on the industry, saying that it would “cause the company to sustain further losses”.

The company added that those looking to still use oBike’s services could turn to the GrabCycle bicycle and e-scooter sharing marketplace app, adding that users should “contact GrabCycle directly for further enquiries”. 

However, a spokesperson for Grab – which operates GrabCycle – said on Monday that oBike’s bicycles would no longer be offered on GrabCycle as “oBike will not have the appropriate bike-sharing license to operate in Singapore, nor will they be maintaining their fleet of bicycles”.

With oBike’s exit, GrabCycle users will have access to three local mobility partners GBikes, Anywheel and Popscoot. According to an earlier Straits Times report, GBikes will cease operations on 7 July.

Under the new LTA licensing framework, bicycle-sharing firms have until 7 July to apply for their operating licenses and meet the authority’s requirements. The changes are meant to address the growing complaints of indiscriminate parking by shared bicycle users.

Related stories:

#RefundMyDeposit: oBike users left frustrated after company shuts Singapore operations

oBike ceases Singapore operations, cites ‘new regulations’ as reason

LTA introducing geo-fencing, licensing regime to curb bike parking problem