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No More Topanga Mall Charging

Discussion in 'North America' started by Lenn, Dec 17, 2013.

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  1. Lenn

    Lenn Member

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    I pulled in today to the Westfield Topanga Mall to do some holiday shopping and to charge my Model S, only to find that Tesla is no longer allowing their customers to charge at their location. Preferred parking and charging has been available since the store first opened, but now they claim that they need the six parking spaces, two Model S chargers, and a Roadster charger are all needed for "store inventory". Today the Topanga "store inventory" consisted of two new Model S's that were NOT plugged in, and 4 empty spaces. The two cars were parked in parked at an angle that deliberately blocked the use of two other perfectly good spaces. (The picture below illustrates the two Model S's blocking the 4 spaces, with two empty Roadster spaces back right. The two cars back left are using the only two public chargers at the mall...including my white Tesla)



    I'm happy about Tesla's success, as I am an early adopter, and an early stock investor. I understand that the stores need inventory for test drives, sales, etc. However I'm disappointed that the company has pushed away it's current owners by taking away the perk of parking and charging at their stores. If the parking spaces and charging stations are available, why not let us use them?
     

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  2. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    Bonehead move. Charge inventory cars at night. Leave a couple spaces for customers to charge during the day. If those fill up, fine, understood. But anything less is bad karma.

    Hopefully other Tesla mall stores do not follow suit. I think the Tesla parking spots are a huge perk!
     
  3. Lump

    Lump Active Member

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    #3 Lump, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
    in early October, took a friend who is considering buying to the store & was talking up one of the benefits of parking & charging at that location if running low but the signs were already up & I had to come up with a lame excuse so I wouldn't look bad. I was told some locals were abusing the privledge & leaving their cars there all day long so they were forced to close it off to all.
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That is a dumb justification. If you have a problem child, deal with him/her on an individual basis. This is like holding the entire class for detention because two kids in the back row were making noise.
     
  5. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I try to look at it this way: with "X" a small number and "Y" a large number (we all hope.....):

    in X months there will be Y Model Ss and others on the market. The company's own parking slots - ie, those in this discussion - will be able to accommodate a ridiculously minuscule fraction of the vehicles out there. So.... better get used to this trend. Unfortunately.
     
  6. TylerCA

    TylerCA Member

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    Tesla will need to increase their supercharging infrastructure. As AudubonB pointed out this is a very possible trend we will continue to see.
     
  7. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    Just got off the phone with the Scottsdale Fashion Square store to ask if this was something they'd heard about. He indicated that Topanga has a very large "fleet" of cars that require charging. Expects that will ultimately be the case in Scottsdale, but not until after the first of the year when Superchargers become widespread in AZ. Whew! Was counting on the store for topping off on my trip to Tucson in a week and a half.
     
  8. aaron0k

    aaron0k Member

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    The Century City Tesla Store started locking up their chargers a few months ago. It's inconvenient, however they'll still let MS owners charge, during business hours, if you leave your keyfob with them. Disappointing as some of these locations are ideal for charging.
     
  9. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    That is a very nice solution.
     
  10. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    Where to increase supercharging first?

    Assuming the store locations are in areas of maximal interest and ownership, it would seem more cost effective to increase the infrastructure at the stores than in new fresh new sites nearby the stores. And people do like to shop while charging, possibly for Tesla gear. Seems like a no-brainer to me to make a better effort to keep up with demand near existing stores.
     
  11. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Things are not always black and white 'no-brainers'. With the difficulty Tesla has experienced in several states just opening stores, it's quite possible that at many of these locations they simply can not just add more charging spaces. Recently at one mall location Tesla had to jump through hoops for months to be allowed to have a few loaners/test drive vehicles on hand because the zoning (and the residents) didn't allow for 'car lots' in that area.

    Secondarily, the purpose of Tesla store chargers was never meant for 'customer stopovers on their way to distant destinations'. Does any other car manufacturer/dealership have gas pumps on their car lots that customers can fill up for free? Clearly electricity and electrical outlets is a different ballgame, but let's try and keep things in perspective.

    Yes, Tesla chooses to - as part of their business plan - to offer free charging at their Supercharger Stations. They do that for a few reasons, but it's not an invitation for customers to take liberties and pull into their store location chargers and use them at will as if they were Supercharger Stations. The loaners and test drive cars need to be regularly charged at store chargers. Staff at the Tesla stores have a job already and don't need to be burdened by moving loaner/test drive cars, or anything else involved in accommodating those that feel entitled or can't be bothered to call ahead and make arrangements with that particular store location because they're in a pinch.

    This whole *long range BEV only* thing is new and requires some understanding and patience. No other company ever tried to execute planet wide multiple businesses all at once. That's not an excuse for Tesla, that's just simply the reality of what they are doing. It had to be done this way, and because it had to be done this way means that not everything is going to go as planned or be convenient, or, or, or.

    If you're buying this car it's incumbent on you to do some planning when going a distance greater than the battery charge, to understand that the infrastructure isn't yet perfect, and that what you think is a 'no-brainer' may indeed be far more complicated and involved, or.......it might already be on Tesla's to-do list. Be patient, the world doesn't get changed overnight, but Tesla sure is trying their darnedest to accomplish it.
     
  12. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

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    There is no excuse to not be able to use a FREE charger that isn't being used.
     
  13. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Spoken like someone who thinks FREE actually exists somewhere in the world AND has never worked in customer service.
     
  14. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Well said. I also think it's incumbent upon us as owners to be appreciative of these resources and use them appropriately. If a store has the resources (# of chargers, sufficient reserved spaces, etc...) and are willing to allow owners a courtesy charge, then we should be conscientious in how we use them.

    If somebody who lives near the store is parking for hours on end so they don't have to charge at home are clearly abusing the idea. Even charging "just for the heck of it" or without asking first might be pushing it.

    The store near me has six spaces and two chargers. I've asked if I could park and or charge there, and was told I could. Even though I have permission, I don't normally use the chargers because I don't need to (I live only 20 miles away), and only use the spaces when there are several free.

    Let's be gracious and appreciative. Otherwise the annoyance factor to stores will cause them to simply stop offering the perk (especially as the number of cars in the wild increases), and we'll all be the poorer for it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    What are you describing that qualifies as a free charger?
     
  15. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    Stores and Service Centers are among the few places that have better than 40amp charging. If they are limiting customer charging that's another reason to NOT get the twin chargers.
     
  16. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    No-brainers

    I regret that my use of the term "no-brainer" detracted from the point I was trying to make.

    Given that chargers are clearly at a premium, and given that there are a substantial number of store locations that could potentially serve to increase the number of chargers, and given that they may not be fully utilized, as well as the fact that the basic infrastructure clearly exists there to support additional chargers, it seems indefensible to me that Tesla would find it necessary to institute a policy *prohibiting* any use of the chargers for other than sales purposes.

    Is that carefully worded enough?

    I have seen no evidence that this policy (at Topanga Mall, if not elsewhere) resulted from customer abuse of the obvious purpose of store chargers in support of sales. I've heard no evidence that anyone had any expectation other than to use the chargers on a basis of non-interference with the sales purpose. Moreover, my suggestion was that the stores could very likely (at least in some cases) incrementally increase the number of chargers at their locations, above and beyond what they find necessary for sales purposes. I'd also like to point out that Nissan provides chargers for Leafs at their dealerships, and that some Tesla drivers have availed themselves of such Nissan Leaf chargers when practical, even though the charging rates are somewhat anemic by Tesla standards.

    So I maintain that Tesla would be well served to consider its stores as cost-effective sites for enhancing the number of chargers available. If there are sites with so much demand that it would interfere with sales and test drive charging, I would suggest that such sites are ripe for expansion.
     
  17. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    ThosEM- I agree with your premise that it would be in Tesla's best interests to try and accommodate legitimate demand... particularly in this early phase of adoption when the charging infrastructure is still immature. Being able to count on a HWPC charge at a Tesla gallery is a nice back-up plan.

    However, it was Lump who mentioned:
    I see that as an illegitimate use of the store chargers, and assuming that's an accurate account of what happened at the store he was referring to, I think it will make life difficult for the stores, which have limited resources.

    So, for all of us: let's give the stores an impetus to follow ThosEM's suggestions to expand as much as is practical to accommodate us by not sabotaging the situation by using them for selfish purpose (i.e. to avoid paying for charging at home, etc...)
     
  18. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Thank you, but I did understand you the first time. I simply don't agree.

    Evidence was provided in this thread. The chargers weren't turned off just because. There was a relevant and valid reason given.

    And as I explained, expansion isn't an option for many of these store sites. Tesla is having a hard enough time just getting permission to open up many of their stores, let alone getting parking/charging spots for a couple of test drive/loaner vehicles. It's going to take time to get everything straightened out, even in current mall locations where Tesla isn't having to fight everybody and their brother.
     
  19. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    My guess is that, if you ask politely at the store, they can accommodate customer charging most of the time.
     
  20. Lenn

    Lenn Member

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    I followed up with Tesla Topanga store manager Mike, who told me yesterday that it was a corporate decision to deny customer use of the chargers. In addition to needing the space for inventory, there were apparently several instances of abuse by some people who decided to leave the premises for the entire day while their car charged, arguments by customers over how long they could charge, and in one instance a fist fight broke out. I'm disappointed that a few greedy Tesla owners may have contributed to this privilege being revoked from the rest of us.

    Mike was very nice, and courteous while explaining the situation. He asked me several times if my charging request was an emergency, which it wasn't. He went on to offer me a charge if it were "an emergency...say, under 30 miles of charge remaining". If I had an urgent need, I know he would have done his best to accommodate.
     

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