The sh*t has really hit the fan.
Loss-making oBike has been unable to refund potentially millions of dollars in deposits to thousands of its users in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
oBike not refunding deposit to Australians
As per Guardian Australia on June 26, it is obvious that not only thousands of Singaporeans have been unable to get their S$49 deposit refunded by oBike, thousands of Australians are also facing the same problem.
The Age reported on the same day that Australians are unlikely to see their A$69 (S$69.50) deposit ever again after oBike has gone cold in some states after pulling out.
oBike pulls out suddenly
oBike announced two weeks ago that it was closing its operations in Melbourne.
On June 12, oBike removed all its bikes from the city after the mayor threatened to impound them and charge the company A$3,000 (S$3,022) for littering.
Guardian Australia and The Age both said Australians were then irked to find out that their initial deposit with oBike had been converted into an ongoing oBike subscription fee without their permission -- a same stunt the company pulled on Singapore users before closing down.
This secret conversion occurred to Australians between March and April 2018, mostly without the knowledge of users.
Australians then discovered the refund button on the oBike app has also disappeared, which is the exact same occurrence that happened to Singaporeans.
Angry reactions and comments are flooding social media in Australia.
And those who applied for a refund weeks ago have not heard back from oBike.
Requests for comment by The Age were not returned.
'I realised they were in deep sh*t'
One oBike user said: “I came to Australia last July and was happy to learn that they (oBike) were here, but shortly I realised how wrong their entire system is,” he said.
"Pricing, app design, customer service, back-end IT support, promotions. Everything they did signalled to the market that they were in deep sh*t. Now they have problems refunding our money."
“I wouldn’t call it scam. I just think they have a completely wrong business model.”
Malaysians cannot get refund too
And somewhere north of Singapore, Malaysians are also finding it impossible to get their deposits refunded as well.
The same stunt of converting users to ongoing subscription has been pulled and the refund deposit button has also disappeared.
This has resulted in angry reactions on social media:
For your update from Malaysia, oBike has maliciously removed the Refund button from their app. All users who wished to refund at this moment are stuck in anger without any notice from the oBike itself. This has affected Singapore and could be in worldwide scale.— Bleio (@spddkt) June 26, 2018
A day after oBike closed down in Singapore, the Malaysia operations was said to be continuing in a statement by the company issued to the press.
oBike deposits in Malaysia ranged from RM19 (S$6.40) to RM79 (S$26.70).
oBike was serving areas in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Kuala Terengganu.
Still operating in Sydney
However, a spokesman for the city of Sydney said oBike continued to operate in Sydney.
“The city has found bike share operators to be responsive to requests,” he said.
“The city of Sydney has agreed on a set of guidelines with five other inner-city councils which set out minimum standards and expectations for dockless bike share operators.”
But it is uncertain how long this arrangement will last.