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Kicked Out of a Motel for Charging at 12 Amps

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by GlennAlanBerry, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    Wow, sorry you had to deal with that. I will never stay at that motel.
     
  2. dadaleus

    dadaleus 4GETOIL P85#S70,FdrX,S85D

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    Been waiting to see your tripadvisor review pop up and how they'll respond but it's still not there. Did you get any response from trip advisor to explain the delay? I'm guessing they have some kind of dispute process with the hotels.
     
  3. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    My experience with TripAdvisor is that they are very review friendly - ie. they err on the side of a bad review rather than side with the establishment. They also happen to be very slow in posting new reviews - like up to a week delay. It'll pop up.
     
  4. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    heh, that's why i told my wife I bought the car after I bought the car.
     
  5. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    A horrible experience and you shouldn't have been treated like that.

    HOWEVER... what you did violates the NEC and can carry significant insurance and liability issues. If the manager knows of it and does nothing about it, and something happens to the hotel, he can have his claim refused for willful negligence.

    From the FAQ, section on extension cords:

     
  6. GlennAlanBerry

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    Well, Trip Advisor rejected my original review, since it was essentially the same as the blog post that I wrote on my personal blog: http://sqlserverperformance.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/ot-kicked-out-of-a-motel-for-charging-at-12-amps/

    Dear TripAdvisor Member,

    Thank you for your review. We have opted not to publish your review as it does not meet our guidelines for traveler reviews. We have listed the guidelines below; you may also view them at:
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/our_guidelines_for_traveler_reviews

    *Original
    Reviews should contain only original content and no substantial quoted material from other sources, including (but not limited to) websites, e-mail correspondence, other reviews, etc.

    I am going to rewrite the review and see if they will publish it.
     
  7. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Since he wasn't using it as a substitute for fixed wiring, would this still have applied? Or is the 'run through windows' enough to be in violation?
     
  8. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I'm guessing that an insurance company lawyer will tell you that is is in violation, which of course raises the question of liability in the event of an issue or a fire.

    Unauthorized use of an extension cord, through a window, contradictory to code, connecting to a powerful electronic device (where the manufacturer has told you that extension cords are not recommended).....even arguing you never read the numerous threads on TMC and on TM on this subject, I suspect you'd still be found liable if a fire broke out.
     
  9. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    It's true that hotel fires are serious business. When I worked for a global hotel company, we trained all employees to look for things like extension cords coming out of rooms, lots of electrical equipment in rooms, power strips, etc. and notify management. The manager's responsibility was to assess the risk and find some other way to satisfy the customer's need if the existing situation was risky or dangerous.

    Although the hotel manager would much rather know in advance, I know many that jumped through hoops on the spot to figure out a way to meet the guest's needs -- including parking the car in one of an old hotel's ballrooms -- the only location in the facility that had modern wiring.
     
  10. cerjor

    cerjor Member

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    I stayed at a motel in Joshua Tree, CA and asked the owner about charging from a 120V plug outside. He was very helpful and got out a roll of duct tape to tape the cable down to the sidewalk so nobody would trip over it. My owner seemed to be just the opposite to yours.
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    So what is allowed by a guest to be plugged in their rooms? Hair dryer? Coffee maker? Curling iron? Microwave? Medical device? Chargers for cellphone, toothbrush, laptop, hand drill, back massager, camera, radio, Mp3?
     
  12. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    Ditto for Ripplewood Resort in Big Sur. They were very accommodating to my charging on their 120v.
    Ripplewood Resort (Big Sur, CA) - Hotel Reviews - TripAdvisor
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    I believe the owner of this establishment had a right to be upset if you did not ask for permission prior to plugging-in. While you may have known that it would not cause an issue, the owner of a motel has other responsibilities and considerations - one of which is safety and making sure none of his guests are doing anything for which he or the establishment may be liable. If your vehicle connection were to start a fire in your room, or some electrical problem for the motel, then what? You have to look at this from the owner's standpoint, especially if this owner is not familiar with EVs. HOWEVER, with that said, the way the owner behaved was absolutely inappropriate. However, the OP behaved inappropriately when he did not get the establishment's permission to plug in.
     
  14. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    As a host - as well as a traveler! - I easily can see both sides of this situation. AND I have enough decades' experience in an extremely inhospitable environment to know how it's easy for a host to be upset at non-traditional behavior.

    From my read of the OP's story......I side with the OP. I do hope others reading this, though, take the story well into mind and try to defuse such misunderstandings before they occur. We're all ambassadors here.....
     
  15. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Agreed. The management at the hotel could easily have handled this in a friendly way. They chose not to do that. And in reading various reviews, this unfortunate event doesn't sound like a one-off, but rather just another example of a rude management team. And with all the reports of a/c going out, flickering lights, etc., sounds like they may have some major electrical problems they should be addressing.
     
  16. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Not sure why any guest would want to plug in a hand-drill in a motel room; but the point about liability and plugging in is that the car (obviously) wasn't inside the room and I believe that you'd have a hard time denying liability if an electrical fire started. It will always come back to what a court thinks is reasonable. Is it reasonable to plug in your phone, toothbrush, hairdryer etc.? Yes. Is it reasonable to plug in your car? I'm guessing any judge is going to rule against you on that (at least until the world gets much more educated about EVs).

    (Caveat: I studied commercial law but I'm not a lawyer.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    And motel owners all the country start saying "...watch out for those EV drivers, they do dangerous things with extension cords and steal your electricity...."
     
  17. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    I think the cause would enter into it. I mean, if a fire started because there was a fault in the hotel wiring, that's certainly something that can be argued in court.
     
  18. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    I agree with some of the other posters though. Why not just make sure you have permission to charge if there are no stand alone charging areas? Would have saved some issues with the OP (although granted he tried to contact them via email before arriving and certainly did not deserve the 'nuclear' response he received). I think Bonnie had it right that we are all ambassadors for EVs moving forward. better to ask permission than forgiveness.
     
  19. GlennAlanBerry

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    As I freely admitted, I did not get explicit permission to charge, and I did use an extension cord. Those were both mistakes on my part, but I don't think they warranted the response that we received.

    I used slightly less than 4 KwH of electricity in about five hours of charging at 120V and 12 amps. This was a short, very heavy duty extension cord rated at 20 amps that was not warm to the touch, so I honestly don't think there was any real safety issue (assuming the hotel's electrical system is not seriously deficient). This is akin to running a vacuum cleaner or blow dryer. People are welcome to quote the NEC and the Tesla Owner's manual as they feel necessary, but its not like we had some jury-rigged, obviously sketchy wiring setup.

    Here is what the hotel owners should have done, IMO:

    1. Called us in the room and asked us what we were doing and/or asked us to stop immediately
    2. Given us a chance to explain the situation
    3. Investigated the situation to see if there was actually a problem or safety issue
    4. If we did not respond or comply with their instructions, then escalate the situation as they deemed necessary

    If they wanted to err on the side of caution and liability, we would have not argued, and we would have simply unplugged the car without making an issue of it. Problem solved.

    There was no need for pounding on the door at 11:30PM, screaming and using profanity towards a customer, and then calling the police and evicting us in the middle of the night (especially after being made aware that we did not have the range to make it home, and that there was no place else in Salida for us to stay the rest of the night). The net result of this is that they are out our $129.99 room rental, they wasted the time of the police officer, and their reputation within the town and online has taken a hit.

    Luckily, the SugarBush Store and RV Campground http://www.sugarbushco.com/Welcome.html (where we had a reservation to charge the next morning), let us check in early and charge on a 240V 50 amp circuit using the UMC cable, while we tried to sleep in the car. This was not the end of the world, since I was a Grunt in the Marines (many moons ago), and luckily, my wife is a real good sport...

    There are plenty of other motels to stay at in Salida, and Salida is a wonderful tourist destination. I will definitely be going back in the future.
     
  20. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    #80 AlMc, Jul 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
    GAB....Did not mean to offend with my post, and my apologies if I did. As I indicated, the 'nuclear' response you received from the owner/operator was more than inappropriate and based on other reviewers of that establishment it would put them 'in the wrong'. Just wanted to find a solution for future potential issues with charging at motels as EVs hopefully become more common.

    There are many establishments that are forward thinking enough to provide 220 service for EV guests. However, there are more that still have not adapted to this technology....So, for those establishments that have not we need to make sure they agree with the needs of their EV guests, in advance.

    It does sound like in your particular case they may not have allowed it if they had answered your first email to them through your booking site. Sounds like they have some real problems with their electrical system in general.

    Bringing this situation to everyone's attention on this forum and your thoughtful and measured detailing your situation on the internet rating sites and to the local government and chamber of commerce were the best ways to proceed in my estimation. Al
     

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