Injured Lime riders lament company’s slow response

From Checkpoint, 5:24 pm on 27 February 2019

An Auckland man who was flung from his Lime scooter last October says it took four months for him to get a response from the company about the glitch.

Liam Thompson's jaw was broken when he was flung over the handlebars of a scooter when it braked.

Liam Thompson's jaw was broken when he was flung over the handlebars of a scooter when it braked. Photo: Supplied

The Lime e-scooters have been pulled from streets in Auckland and Dunedin while the city councils wait for proof the fault has been properly resolved.

Lime says it has received 155 reports of random braking - some of those have resulted in broken bones, massive grazes, and bruises.

One of those injured was Jesse McBride - he was one of the first people to hop on a Lime scooter when they rolled out in Auckland last October, and one of the first to be sent flying.

The 34-year-old teacher said he was riding down Queen Street when the brakes jammed up - at first he thought he must have hit something on the footpath so carried on, only to have the same issue strike again.

"I went flying forward, landed on the palms - I was absolutely nailed."

Mr McBride contacted Lime that night - and four months later finally heard back.

"That was the 24th of October and I got a call last Sunday," he said.

Mr McBride said he hadn't been able to get hold of Lime on the US number they left - and they hadn't called him back.

He said the total lack of communication - or accountability - from Lime was a major issue.

"There was no way for me to stop someone else from getting on that scooter and the exact same thing happening to them.

"I was back at my house picking out bits of gravel from my hands and it might've happened to someone else as well... Bar me throwing it off a cliff, there was no way of me stopping someone else get off that scooter."

One Lime rider who had managed to hear from Lime was Liam Thompson - the North Shore rider was flung over the handlebars of a scooter when it braked, fracturing his jaw.

Mr Thompson had surgery yesterday to put screws into his jaw - but doctors have told him it'll never be the same

"It's going to take about eight weeks for it to heal - there's just enough room for a straw to fit through for me to eat my soup.

"It's probably one of the most painful experiences of my life."

Mr Thompson heard from Lime five days after his initial injury.

"That was only because I was contacting every number I could possibly find to get an explanation.

"Since then I've been speaking to a lady there."

He said he was holding on to hope that Lime would do the right thing by the riders that had been injured by the glitch - but said he knew he was lucky to have heard from them at all.

At least one other Lime rider injured by the glitch said they hadn't heard from Lime for three days, before getting a generic email about the incident, which has left him with a serious knee injury.

Checkpoint has tried repeatedly to speak to Lime about these issues - they declined an interview response for this story.