Just before the Land Transportation Authority implements its new regulations on dock-less bike sharing companies, oBike has completely ceased operations.
According to the post above, SVIP members of the app can still use oBike everywhere they have branches, except Singapore.
They are reportedly finding trouble fulfilling the new government requirements.
But what about my deposit?
Users of the app who paid a $49 deposit have these instructions to see when they look at the site’s FAQ:
According to the post above, to get your $49 oBike refund, here are the steps if you’re on the app:
- To get a refund for your deposit, please go to My wallet, and click the link for refund deposit. You will receive your deposit within 14 working days.
- If you did not receive your refund after 30 working days, inform oBike and they will look into it immediately.
But according to this post on a popular Singaporean forum, getting back the deposit isn’t as easy as they say. Take a look:
Other users also complained of the same predicament, where they log in to find out that their deposit has been converted to a SVIP status without their knowledge, and so there is no money to refund, no matter how long they wait.
Here is another experience from a former oBike user:
The only way to get the refund then, is to hound oBike with emails and messages into releasing the refund to them, which could take a lot of stress and time.
If you would like to go through the stress of getting your $9 deposit back, you can send emails to [email protected]
Why did they close down?
Thanks to the size of the bike sharing industry and the inconveniences that occur due to lack of regulation, the government launched a new set of rules that these bike sharing companies must follow, or else they’ll be slapped with a $100,000 fine and other sanctions.
oBike, whose owners come from China, suddenly ceased operations just before these new rules would be put into effect.
According to a report from The Straits Times, the new rules being implemented cover the parking for most bikes, which now designates the correct areas and manner of parking. A licensing fee for operating will also be charged.
This will discourage both the company and the app users from irresponsible bike sharing behaviour.
Most of the new rules would reportedly cause the companies to reduce their fleet size, and implement strict measures. The new rules say that to violate any of these rules three times within a year has serious consequences as mentioned above.
Irresponsible bike sharing users would not be spared. Users who do not return bikes and even those who do not put the bikes in proper bike parking areas shall be punished. Three violations on the part of the user also means being banned from using any bike service for a certain period of time.
All in all, the new rules are akin to regulations on cars and other vehicles. But the government takes this one step further with geofencing technology, where users and bikes can be monitored real time based on their entrance and exit to designated parking spots.
What do you think of these new rules? Have you gotten your oBike deposit back? Let us know in the comments!
Header image from oBike Facebook page