How far can ofo go?

 How far can ofo go?

From 400 sharing programs on the campus of Peking University to more than 14 million bicycles, ofo Xiaohuang has grown rapidly in just three years. As one of the co-founders put it in a speech, the three letters of ofo come together like a person running on a bicycle.

Photo Source: Visual China

Perhaps its because of the blindness of the cycling stroke that ofo gradually loses control of the route. The problem is first exposed in the supply chain: Daily Economic News reported in July that an ofo smart lock supplier decided to suspend its service to ofo because of a default of service fees. Since the second half of this year, due to arrears and other issues, ofo has been repeatedly sued by logistics and bicycle suppliers in court.

Accompanied by some consumers deposit refund is not smooth. Third-party data platforms show that the number of complaints against ofo has increased dramatically since August, reaching its latest peak in November, while the period of deposit refund for ofo has been delayed from the initial second to 15 working days.

Photo Source: NBD Library

What happened to ofo? How is the operation of all parts of the country? What do consumers think of Xiaohuang cars? Recently, the daily economic journalists went to 11 cities in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, Nanjing, Xian and Jinan, directly attacking the current management dilemma of ofo.

In the process of field visits, reporters found that ofo has been relocated in many places, and the expiration of lease obviously can not answer all the questions; the lack of maintenance of damaged vehicles on the street is a common problem that can be seen in almost every city, while a shortage of hands obviously can not comfort the consumers whose deposit is difficult to withdraw.

The headquarters of ofo is located in Beijing, which is compressed from the original four-storey office area to share one floor with other enterprises; the former independent office area in Nanjing is moved to the shared space; the former office area in Hangzhou is people go to the empty building and is accused of unpaid water and electricity charges; the old residential building in Xian is moved into the old residential building, and the new address of ofo Jinan is being sought...

Offos bicycle delivery has also fallen sharply. Offo sources confirmed to reporters that the current ofo volume in Shanghai dropped by 40% during the peak period. Data provided by Xian Traffic Bureau showed that the ofo volume in Xian fell by 25% compared with the initial market entry.

Everything is running normally, although the ofo side has repeatedly used this phrase, but it can not really calm the doubts of the outside world. This once vigorous start-up company is facing the danger of falling from the wind tunnel.

Complaints peaked in November

21 CNC Complaints Platform provides daily economic journalists with data. In 2017, only 166 cases of ofo Xiaohuang cars were effectively complained on 21CN complaint platform. But by 2018, that number will have increased more than ten times.

Data show that from January 1 to the end of November 2018, 21CN accepts more than 2100 effective complaints from ofo Xiaohuang cars, involving more than 367,000 yuan per capita and 173.3 yuan per capita. Among these complaints, there are 1956 effective complaints with the keyword deposit, accounting for 92.4% of the total complaints.

Since August this year, the number of complaints related to ofo has increased dramatically. In September, the number of complaints about ofo Xiaohuang cars doubled that of August, reaching a peak of 1373 in November, which is 64.9% of the complaints in the first 11 months of 2018.

21 CNC issued a reminder in September that a large number of user complaints reflect that the deposit has not been returned seven days after ofo applied for refund, or it can not be returned after being misled.

As far as the area distribution of complaints is concerned, the first-tier cities with the largest number of bicycles have the most complaints. As of November 22, complaints in Guangdong, Beijing and Shanghai accounted for 15.2%, 12.6% and 8.1% of the total complaints.

Photo Source: NBD Library

The Black Cat Complaints Platform recorded a larger number of complaints. Daily Economic News reported earlier that in August and September this year, there were no more than 1,000 effective complaints against ofo yellow cars, while in September, there were more than 6,000 effective complaints against ofo yellow cars. As of December 3, the Black Cat Complaints Platform has counted more than 20,000 complaints from ofo yellow cars.

Photo Source: NBD Library

On both platforms, ofo Xiaohuang car occupies the top of the total number of complaints, even far away from the long-term hegemony of the Internet online shopping platform, Internet financial enterprises and so on.

However, the Internet complaint platform is only one of the many channels used by consumers. Many consumers interviewed by reporters said that they mostly complained to the relevant channels of the industrial and commercial administration department at the same time. One complainer told reporters that after giving feedback to the industry and Commerce department, the deposit was finally refunded.

Refundable deposit arouses concern

For the share bicycle industry with heavy assets, the deposit paid by users becomes the capital pool of enterprises, and the smoothness of refund often becomes an important indicator to measure the financial health of enterprises. Over the past two years, many bicycle-sharing brands have encountered difficulties in operation, and finally they all show the phenomenon of hard-to-withdraw deposit.

Photo Source: NBD Library

According to the statistics of Tian Eye Check, Dongxia Datong (Beijing) Management Consulting Co., Ltd. has produced more than 50 risk information for the operation of ofo Xiaohuang car. Since August this year, a total of 18 information have been enforced. Among them, the largest number of cases were filed in October. The amount of cases involved ranged from tens of thousands of yuan to tens of millions of yuan.

Daily economic journalists note that most of the deposit refund complaints in September and October of this year are related to the red envelope annual card business strongly recommended by ofo Xiaohuang car in the second half of this year.

Reporters found that the main problem consumers encounter is that consumers do not fully understand the consequences, deposits are converted into red envelope annual card membership privileges. According to the instructions, the cardholder has the privilege to ride a bicycle free of charge within 2 hours of the year, but does not support the refund or refund operation after it comes into effect.

A large number of consumers think they have been misled and seek various channels to complain.

In addition to converting red envelope annual cards, ofo Xiaohuang recently tried to launch a new business, converting user deposits into financial funds.

Users can choose to upgrade the deposit to PPmoney financing platform when they apply for refund on ofoAPP. They can lock in the deposit for 30 days and enjoy novice financial benefits. After expiration, they can apply for withdrawal and obtain principal and interest.

In response, ofo Xiaohuang issued a statement that the cooperation between ofo Xiaohuang and PPmoney is a new attempt and exploration of sharing bicycle usersfree deposit riding mode. Due to some details of cooperation, the activity was temporarily offline after consultation between the two sides.

In addition, the deposit refund time of ofo yellow car continued to delay, from the initial second refund to 0-3 working days, then extended to 0-10 working days, and then extended to 0-15 working days again, which also caused some usersanxiety. A user who initiated a complaint on the 21CN Complaints Platform said that during the process of deposit refund, the audit failed for several consecutive days and the customer service telephone was difficult to connect. Other complaints indicated that the deposit refund application was launched on 9 November, and that no response could be found by customer service telephone or online customer service until 3 December.

Shared bicycle list with deposit problems:

Photo Source: NBD Library

In response to the recent reports that the deposit refund button in its APP was gray and could not be clicked, ofo responded publicly that the gray of the deposit refund button was normal and it was normal to retain user settings, and there was no situation that it could not be clicked. Daily economic journalists test deposit refund in many cities across the country, but not smoothly. The response of ofo is quite similar: everything is running normally, due to limited staff and sometimes busy customer service, the company is still maximizing the protection of the normal work.

Source: Daily Economic News Responsible Editor: Qiao Junjing_NBJ11279