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Avoid Blink Charging Stations

Discussion in 'North America' started by akat, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. akat

    akat New Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Immediately below is my reply to Blink's response to my November (!) visit further down. Note there is no empathy, admission, or apology for the experience, let alone the overcharging, to which the agent admits. CEO, cc'd on my reply, has yet to respond.

    Promoting their own at-home charger option seems ridiculous for someone who's owned a Model S for a year and a half. Don't you think?

    Anyway, you'll get the gist and come to your own conclusions...
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Crystal, while I much appreciate CarCharging's reply to my call, being in Sales, it is not a letter I would have ever written.

    First, in the more than year and a half since I've had my car, I have NEVER once paid for charging, anywhere in California at a non-Tesla SuperCharging station. That said, I acknowledge that, in the remote town of San Ysabel, I was a captive audience for Blink and knew, by the signage that I would have to pay.

    What I did not know, for which there was NO signage, was the rate, nor the rate of charging, nor what to expect. At a gas pump, I know the price, I know the size of my tank, and can readily approximate cost of sale. That cannot be said of this Blink station.

    Moreover, to have had to leave my car overnight, and then some, unattended, at your station, to yield the measly (as in not fully charged) 75 kWh used, was not inline with what Tesla's target market would expect.

    While you indicate that standard CA rates are $.39 per kWh , according to the agent on the phone, I was in fact charged $.49 per kWh.

    As I indicated to said agent, it was beyond egregious to be charged ($37.21) nearly HALF as much as what it costs me at home MONTHLY, at twice the charging rate.

    Where CarCharging is in its corporate evolution is irrelevant to the experience at hand and what you need to do as an organization to be competitive.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thank you for contacting the Blink Network. It is our goal to make EV charging an increasingly easier, more understandable, and better total experience for any EV driver utilizing our services.
    While we are excited to finally offer kWh pricing, we do understand that drivers may be surprised by the rates. However, in order to provide the infrastructure required to support EV charging, there are various costs involved. For example, while a Tesla can accept a charge up to 7.2 kW, a Chevy Volt can charge at a maximum rate of 3.3 kW. Therefore, taking into consideration the costs involved in owning and operating the stations, including electricity fees and reimbursement, transaction fees, host payments, service, and maintenance, pricing must be based to accommodate all EV models.

    As a new Blink member, we have gone ahead and issued a one-time complimentary credit of $10 to your Blink account. Please Note for the future that the rates are stated on the screen and when you press “Charge” you are accepting the rates listed for that unit. In California, we typically charge $0.39 per kWh for members on Level 2 chargers. Also, if you are interested, we have a great home charger called the Blink HQ that we think you might be interested in. You can learn more by visiting www.blinkhq.com.

    We welcome any constructive criticism we can get so that we can recognize our weaknesses and grow as a company. However, we do ask for some patience and understanding given that Blink Network went through a bankruptcy and lost government funding all within the same two months. We are still in the process of reorganizing and getting back on our feet. Now we are solely here to make your experience, and others EV drivers such as yourself, better as a whole. We aspire to separate ourselves from the competition with newer and higher expectations for reliability and reputation.
    Please do not hesitate to contact us. Our Blink support line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (888) 998-2546 or at [email protected]. You may also contact me directly by responding to this email or by phone at (480)525-7710. Thank you for choosing Blink Network and enjoy your holidays!
     
  2. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    The charge seems completely fair to me. If I am in a remote location, and a company has provided a charger that has refilled my car, and the charge is less than the equivalent cost of gas, I don't see an issue.

    These companies are not in the business of providing free charges.

    Just because you've never paid at any other public charger you feel the rate should be super low, like your home electricity rate.

    Well, we could all grow food in our backyard gardens, but yet we go out to stores where we can pick it up at a greater cost to make it convenient and practical for our modern lifestyle.

    Sorry you felt overcharged, but am not supportive of your post or effort to affect how others use the Blink service.

    As for me, I've only ever charged outside of my home twice, and both times I put positive thankful comments on plugshare to the coporations and individuals who provided the charge.
     
  3. ra-san

    ra-san Member

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    #3 ra-san, Jan 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
    Have to say I feel similar to SmartElectric, at first read. To make sure I understand though, you plugged in and agreed to a per kWh charge, but were never told what the charge was? I'd expect to know before charging what rates I'd pay, and wouldn't start unless I had more information.

    That said per kWh rate you paid wasn't like highway robery out of line, just the annoying high amount most of these paid services charge. Nothing to be outraged about, just live and learn and either avoid them or look into the packages offered if you think you'd regularly benefit from using them.

    I do agree that any charging setup should be clear about charges to expect. The response you got says the rates were listed I they scree you had to accept prior to charging though. Maybe you just missed them. I haven't used one lately so don't know how obscure vs. In your face the rates are.
     
  4. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    Actually I think they are being perfectly reasonable.
    The fact that Tesla provide "free" superchargers has no bearing on the prices that Blink (or any other network) charge.
    Especially when you have to agree to the pricing before you start charging - and you have the option to quit and not charge.
    They seem to be providing excellent customer service by offering a $10 credit and had no obligation or requirement to do so.
     
  5. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    #5 SW2Fiddler, Jan 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
    The Blink network in Texas is not allowed to charge by the kWh so they still apply a time-based fee which changed after their rate increase:
    Old regime: $1 for each hour or part thereof (10 minutes = $1, 59 minutes = $1, 61 minutes = $2)
    New regime: .02 for each 30 seconds

    (and as of this week the rate is displayed before charging starts)
     
  6. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    I agree with the OP that the price per kw should be clearly visible. Other than that, I would expect it to be higher than what I pay at home since Blink needs to make money.
    At the Blink chargers I have seen, there hasn't been any clearly marked indication of what the charge will be.
     
  7. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    that was my experience as well.
    Chargepoint mostly charge $2 per hour, but that is often the same for L2 or Chademo so is sometimes more or less expensive :)
     
  8. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I don't understand your outrage. The price isn't cheap, but it's not a rip off either. I pay up to 45 ct here at home during peak time. Keeping a charging network up and running isn't cheap. They have to make some money. I avoid Blink wherever I can, same as most Chargepoint stations because they are pretty expensive, but when I need it it's a very good and convenient thing to be able to charge. You expected 39 ct and payed 49 ct. Not a huge difference and you got the difference as a credit. Move on. No need to bash the company. There is very little money in building public chargers. The vast majority of charging is and will be done at home. The need to charge outside of home is small and will only get smaller as batteries get better and EVs have more range.
     
  9. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    In the past Blink charged per hour of CONNECTION, not just while charging. That's not usually a problem for an empty 85 KWH tesla. However, I know of 2010-2011 Leaf owners who get dinged for $2/hr and only get 3.8 KW/h. If you're out for dinner and a movie and connected for 4.1 hrs and only charging for 1 hour, you still pay $10.
     
  10. shady

    shady Member

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    I've used a Blink charger once, at San Diego Zoo, and it told me what the rate was going to be on the display.

    Maybe the display was not working on your one, but that's not normal
     
  11. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I too expect to pay a premium as they have to recoup the charging station and the installation. Around here Blink does show the cost and I consider them reasonable. What I do wish is they are more powerful than the paltry 6KW power level.
     
  12. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    All Blink chargers I've ever visited displayed the rate on screen. It's displayed after you use your card to activate the charger (at one point there were different pricing level depending on you membership type, so they need to know who you are before displaying a price, but that may no longer be the case)

    I really like the new per kWh charging and their return to 30Amp charging. when it was 24Amps and pay by the hour, it seemed like you were always paying more than you should.

    I was in Pheniox for Christmas and it was $.16 per kWh there, but in CA it's definitely more.
     
  13. UberEV1

    UberEV1 Member

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    +1 Same experience here. Over the Christmas break, we visited Borego Springs (South of Palm Springs and East of San Diego) and the 4 Blink chargers at the Chamber of Commerce was the only game in town (other than the RV park). Price was clearly displayed at $0.49/kWh. The 24amp charging rate was too slow IMO, but wasn't a burden. Needless to say, it is easy to get spoiled by the Superchargers.
     
  14. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I just found the Blink charging station on PlugShare at Don's Market in Sta. Ysabel. The phone app clearly states that the fee is 59 cents per kWh. It also shows "estimated availability" in four-hour segments from 06:00 to 22:00 hours each day.

    I have used a handful of ChargePoint J1772 stations in my 7 months of ownership. The screen on the charging station is difficult to see when the sun is out and there is a lot of glare.

    Perhaps this was a good educational experience to download the PlugShare app and consult it to determine just how much the fee is going to be at public charging spots before we decide to use one. That way, no surprises!
     
  15. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    i would be ok with that rate if it charged up in 30 minutes. The are slowwwww.... My time is more valuable - so fast is always better.
     
  16. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I completely agree that the rate should be clearly displayed before one commits to the expense. I do think that their rate is awfully high. It is almost as high as the highest peak rate for residential, which adds up fast. It's wonderful that the OP has had the gift of free charging, but clearly, these services do need to make a profit or they will fold. I do think that $35+ for a charge is high, considering that I can "fill my tank" for 10.00 in off peak rates of .09/KWH on my EV plan at home. I actually did all the math and was shocked. I think something around 15.00 would be reasonable at a public station. Just a guess on my part.
     
  17. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    It appears they've figured out that you can't make a profit unless you charge very high rates. It's understandable because it's not inexpensive to put in even the cheapest Blink EVSE and many have very little use. I don't see this changing because when there are so many BEVs causing a particular EVSE to be in use all the time additional EVSEs will need to be installed. Because Blink and ChargePoint are, for the most part, way too slow for trips and aren't needed for normal day to day driving in a Tesla, their main purpose is as a backup for emergency charging, gaining a bit of range at a destination, and for use with charging whore cars that don't take long to fill up--even at a slow rate of charge.

    I don't really have a problem with the higher rates because my use of them is so infrequent (to date, never) that they won't affect my energy cost. Having them as a backup just in case, is very worthwhile.
     
  18. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Why don't you tell us what you really mean, Jerry: there are certain cars that you really, truly despise. :biggrin::biggrin:
     
  19. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    LOL. They work for some, and that's great, but I think it's silly to buy a car that causes you to always be looking for a place to charge. A couple of trips ago, I had some strong headwinds going home on the last leg of the trip. When the orange bar appeared at 40 miles, I thought to myself, "If I had a different car, I'd be over 50% full instead of being very low". It's just a totally different milieu. (Ended up making it with about 15 miles Rated and 29 projected).
     
  20. TTT

    TTT Member

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    We can't charge at the the Blink charging stations at San Diego Mission Beach anyway, 3 of the 4 stations were taken up by three CAR2GO cars and 2 weren't even plugged in after an hour.
    image.jpg image.jpg
     

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