This is a rant story about two incidents that happened to me with the Bounce Share, the self-drive bike rental service currently available in Bangalore, Hyderabad and a few other cities. I wouldn’t have probably written this at all, if the customer service was this bad. I was a regular customer of Bounce until the following incidents happened. Read on.
Bounce has a cash back offer always running for people who refuel the bikes. For example, if you refuel the bike for 200, they give you 30% additional cashback. Rules are very simple. Refuel the bike and upload the bill along with the bike’s dashboard picture during the ride i.e., when the ride is active.
On December 18, 2019, I take a ride and refuel the bike for 200 to get 270 back. I upload the bill as per the instructions and everything works well. I don’t see any error on the screen. However, even after two days, the refund is not processed. I write to bounce with the Trip ID and the issue.
First response is them asking me why I didn’t upload the receipt. I respond back that I did upload everything but the app shows the following on December 21, 2019.
I did upload the receipt that day and I did mention this couple of times in the email and their team doesn’t look like they care to check this internally with their technical team at all. They come back to me saying, we don’t have your upload, so we can’t refund you. Sorry.
If one user faces an issue, there is a high chance that others also may face the same issue. Just because it is one user you cannot brush it off and say it is an edge case. I wasn’t even in an edge case scenario.
Next step for me was to investigate this myself and see if I have an image of the dashboard and the bill in my phone. I browser to the app’s folder in the storage and find the image along with the exact timestamp that this was uploaded. Note that this image is not from my camera folders but it is in the Bounce App’s folder which gets created when you install the app. This means that the image didn’t go through to their cloud for whatever reason. Logs should be the proof of what happened but I wish the team at Bounce was proactive enough about this.
When I sent them these screenshots from my phone, they realized the issue was at their end but only decided to refund 200 only instead of the cashback promise that they make asking you to refuel. Also, I got to read a lecture on how this is a one time exception for a mistake that is in THEIR OWN mobile app. I had to urge them to take this to their tech team for them to look into it and I don’t think this got resolved at all. Since I got the money I paid for, I decided to not follow up on the additional cashback and let this go.
This was definitely a major issue which I think still exists if not addressed because I am sure my support ticket on zendesk was closed that day itself.
Bounce recommends users to leave their scooter at any location where it is NOT a No Parking spot since they don’t have any stations. I ended my trip half way to my destination on Feb. 11, 2020 as something else came up mid way. I parked my scooter without any obstruction to public or traffic on the road side and where there was no sign of No Parking what so ever.
Recorded the two videos (next day) below the next day to see if I was really causing any obstruction to traffic or public which didn’t look like the case.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/nnLkxC5S5BpgRG7FA (Parked where the shops are all closed)
https://photos.app.goo.gl/8ABwkLX18v9DcQss7 (Parked where the shops are all closed)
While there is definitely no sign of No Parking, the shop owners may have had an issue with the bike in the morning. But, I parked it in front of the ones that are closed even during the morning and in the evening. There are no signs of traffic jam at this spot ever because I travel through this road every day.
I am absolutely fine to accept the charge and pay the penalty but, as a customer I deserve to know what exactly was the reason for the penalty. It cannot be as vague as “issue to pedestrians or traffic”. That was my point. Wrote multiple times to them with the same question again and again and got the same template response from the same person again and again. Also note that Bounce decided to change my name as well in the last email response after which I decided to not use them at all.
Team Bounce, while you raise millions of dollars in funding and make it big and are really solving a brilliant problem for people, please note that there will be people like who have issues and at least, care to answer the questions instead of using vague template responses.
I parked it on the road side but it wasn’t obstructing any traffic or people walking. At least show me the proof that I was wrong and I am willing to pay. But I won’t pay a fine if you won’t show me any proof.
With people stealing helmets from your own scooters, I know it is hard to also handle people like me who probably park their vehicles wrong and leave.1