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Ofo bike alarm outside my house kept me awake all night

A Cambridge man was left exhausted and irate after the incessant alarm from an ofo bike kept him awa..

By admin , in Cambridge , at April 20, 2018

A Cambridge man was left exhausted and irate after the incessant alarm from an ofo bike kept him awake all night.

Tom Tree said he barely got two hours' sleep as the irritating alarm sounded outside his home in Foxglove Way, Orchard Park.

The 34-year-old was forced to close his window and suffer the stifling heat left by the hottest day of the year so far yesterday (April 19).

As Tom left for work in the morning the alarm was still ringing, despite his efforts to contact the company to silence it.

The offending ofo bike (Image: Tom Pilgrim)

Chinese company ofo has hundreds of its distinctive yellow bikes dotted around Cambridge as part of its 'dockless' hire scheme.

Residents can borrow bikes for a low fee by unlocking them using the company's app.

Tom, a landscape delivery manager, returned home at around 6pm yesterday unaware of the torrid night he had ahead of him.

"My other colleagues were out on a night shift. I said I need to get some sleep," He explained. "It's ironic. I would have got more sleep if I went out with them."

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The first noise from the bike from the alarm began at around 9.30pm and did not stop through out the night.

"If it was a bleep like a fire alarm it would be fine," said Tom. "It was triggering after one minute, two minutes, three minutes. It seemed like a count down.

"What's the bloody point in an alarm going off if nobody is called to react to it? What's the purpose of it?"

Tom Tree (Image: Tom Pilgrim)

As Tom tossed and turned he concocted plans in his mind to silence the torturous alarm.

"I was tempted to put the bike in the back of my car and ditch it. I didn't know what else to do – but I didn't want to get done for stealing," he said.

"I did think about what we could put on top of it to mute the sound. I thought if we wheel it down the road it's someone else's problem."

All around his street Tom could hear neighbours slamming their windows and doors shut to keep out the bleeps.

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"Not many people knew it was coming from the bike," he said. "If an alarm goes off at night in a residential area it's going to keep people awake.

"You could hear it through the double glazing. When I close my windows I can't hear the A14 traffic but the sound of this bloody alarm did get through.

"I realised I couldn't sleep with the window open."

The bike was left on Foxglove Way, Cambridge (different bike pictured) (Image: Tom Pilgrim)

As soon as the noise started Tom fired off an email complaint to ofo as instructed to by its customer information.

"I got a response eight hours later. It's not good enough," he said.

"I didn't look it was vandalised so badly it would trigger the alarm. It didn't look like it had been touched or used.

"Why don't they have some additional silent alarm or the ability to knock if off remotely?

"In the morning my housemates said: 'Did you hear that?' They all had disturbed nights' sleep as well."

A customer service representative apologised for the inconvenience caused and said a local operations team would deal with the issue as a "high priority".

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Tom said he had not yet tried using an ofo bike, but admitted they were a "great idea", despite what he felt was poor customer service.

He moved to Cambridge two months ago and quickly became aware of ofo bikes appearing across the city.

"These yellow bikes are being dropped all over the place," he said. "I walked along the busway and people just leave them in the middle of the pavement."

Matt Thomas-Keeping, ofos operations manager for Cambridge, said: "We've been operating successfully in Cambridge for a year now and local reaction to the scheme has been hugely positive.

"Our bikes are fitted with alarms to prevent misuse, and this appears to be a case of a faulty alarm. We apologise for the inconvenience caused, and have sent a marshal to fix the issue.

"All of our bikes are GPS tracked and where there are any issues we have a dedicated team of marshals that is able to respond quickly.

"Levels of vandalism are low and the vast majority of our fleet in Cambridge is being used in a responsible manner."