Having a great idea is one thing; executing that great idea is another one altogether.
Recently, I happened upon a row of green Gobee bikes in Tai Po Waterfront Park. “Pay HK$5”, a sticker on the rear mudguard of each said, “and ride for 30 minutes.” All I had to do was download the app, register my credit card, agree to a HK$399 deposit, scan the QR code on the bike of my choice and away I’d go.
All I had to do …
Downloading the app from this recently launched local company offering a “cashless and station-free bike sharing service” was simple enough. But then what? I was taken straight to a screen that gave me the choice of logging in or registering. I clicked the latter, and was taken to a screen that asked for my mobile number and a verification code. What this verification code might be or where I could get one was not explained. Without it, though, I could go no further in the registration process.
And that was it – a dead end that I always ended up at no matter how many times I tried to retrace those few easy steps.
It is probably possible, with enough patience and determination, to work out how to register for this service without doing so through the app, but surely that’s not the point? This kind of service is supposed to be simple and appeal to the impulsive. I gave up.
Another man was trying to hire himself a bike, too, but was a bit wary, he said, about giving his credit-card details to an app. He needn’t have worried; he managed to get only as far as I did in the registration process.
I thought Hong Kong was supposed to be good at this sort of thing?