oBike customers question need for more data, security of online refund form

oBike customers question need for more data, security of online refund form

“Why does the liquidator require credit card statements, IC numbers, phone bills or even student verification?”

oBike office 2
The empty oBike office at Commonwealth Lane. (Photo: Amir Yusof) 

SINGAPORE: Some customers of oBike have voiced their discontent and scepticism over the application form they need to fill in to kickstart the process to recover their deposits with the bike-sharing company.

These complaints come a day after the FTI Consulting – the provisional liquidators of oBike Asia, which had earlier announced it is exiting the market from Jun 25 – said affected consumers should submit their claim together with relevant supporting documents through an online portal www.obikedepositholders.com “as soon as possible”. 

The website has a link re-directing people to a Google Docs form that, among other things, is requesting user details such as oBike account name, mobile number and email account used to register with the company, member ID as well as initial deposit amount.

Screengrab of the oBike refund form
Screengrab of the online form for users to apply for a refund from oBike. 

Additionally, it also requested data such as one’s NRIC or identification number, name on NRIC, telephone bill used to register one’s oBike account, student certification and postal address.

The amount of information needed to kickstart the refund process with the bike-sharing company has irked some users.

One of them is Mr Aloysius Low, who told Channel NewsAsia: “I think it's deplorable that consumers will need to give up a lot of personal information in order to get back what they had, in good faith, placed with oBike.

“Why does the liquidator require credit card statements, IC numbers, phone bills or even student verification? Shouldn't there be a process to refund it automatically through the app already?"

He also went on to question whether the form submission is secure and if there are safeguards in place to protect the information given.

The online form also caused some to question its authenticity.

One Facebook user, Jeremy Tan, posted a comment on the social media platform saying the form “looks fake really”.

“Its (sic) asking for too much info when they should contact obike and get the info rather than asking for our information,” he wrote.

FB comment on oBike refund form

Another Facebook user, Sarah, simply wrote: “Is this even real!?” in response to Mr Low’s initial Facebook post on the matter.

FTI Consulting has declined to comment on these issues.

The bike-sharing company on Jul 5 announced it has appointed Mr Joshua James Taylor and Mr Yit Chee Wah of FTI Consulting as its provisional liquidators, who are working with the Land Transport Authority of Singapore to collect oBike’s bicycles.

The company’s founding investor and chairman Shi Yi told Channel NewsAsia last Tuesday that the total deposits it owed to customers amounted to US$4.6 million (S$6.3 million).

Source: CNA/kk

Bookmark