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Our Destination Charger Experience at our Business

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by drichardson875, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. drichardson875

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Manchester, MD
    My wife and I bought a small 24-lane duckpin/tenpin bowling alley in Hampstead, Maryland a few years ago to preserve this for business for the community since there is very little to do in our small town. We have a 12-year-old son that has loved duckpin bowling since he could walk and we couldn't stand to see this business turned into something else. We both work full time jobs and this bowling alley is, for all intents and purposes, a hobby for our family.

    As a proud Model S driver since 2013, we thought it would be a great addition to our small town if we added two Tesla destination chargers in our parking lot. We went through the process with Tesla and opened these free chargers to the world a few months ago.

    Our demographic for the bowling alley in our rural community is certainly not EV drivers, for the most part, but we thought adding this to our family business could be a good way to introduce electric vehicles to people who otherwise view EVs in a negative light.

    Much to our surprise, the chargers have been extremely successful and quite a conversation piece among our customers. We find there to be vehicles charging almost every day although there are few EVs spotted in the community. This has been a pleasant surprise.

    One thing that has surprised us negatively however is the Tesla drivers themselves. Rarely do those who charge their vehicles come inside to patronize the business. That's understandable because we are a bowling alley and bowling requires a substantial time commitment but we do have a pretty nice snack bar available so they don't know what they're missing.

    One thing I don't understand is the amount of trash left by these drivers in our lot which shows a complete disregard for our property and family business. We even have a trash can close by.

    Today was even more troublesome because we found one of our traffic cones that we use to block off these charging spots from our bowling alley customers for the Tesla vehicles was stolen. Granted, this is a nice cone that I custom made myself with a Tesla logo but never in a million years would I have thought someone would steal something like this from our lot.

    Unfortunately, our security cameras do not show these chargers which I never thought this would be something we'd have to consider doing.

    I will say I am pretty upset by this and the overall experience with Tesla drivers in general. I thought if we had an issue it would be the acceptation of our customers of EV drivers parking in "premium spaces" but so far our customers are intrigued by these vehicles.

    When we bought our first Model S the Tesla community seemed far different than it is now since Teslas have been more prevalent with the Model 3. Back in 2013, things felt like more of a close knit community than now.

    Nonetheless, if anyone sees our White Tesla cone out in public please assist in its rightful return to Greenmount Bowl.
     

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  2. NickFie

    NickFie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2017
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Near Philadelphia, PA
    I regret your that you are being punished for such a constructive gesture.

    I recently used a destination charger for the first time. I called the Mystic Diner about an hour before arriving to check that the HPWC was available, and that it would be okay to leave the car charging overnight.

    After plugging in, I went inside. The diner was closing. Introduced myself as the fellow who had called earlier about charging. Assured them I would return for breakfast. Gave the waitress a tip. She started to decline it. I explained that the Diner’s charger was making my Tesla warm and happy, it was my pleasure to thank the staff.

    Next morning walked over from the hotel, enjoyed a good breakfast, left a nice tip, then drove back to the hotel with a charged car.
     
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  3. MichaelP90DL

    MichaelP90DL Active Member

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    Lancaster, CA
    For your own sanity, I suggest you place a high-res wifi camera aimed at the chargers so that you will get a clear view of the vehicles and license plates. And put a sign next to the camera. I suggest you have it say: "Charging is free. We have a great snack bar. And your license plate has been recorded." Just do a search for "custom made signs" to find plenty of people who can set you up with something very attractive and affordable. Good luck.
     
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  4. Evoforce

    Evoforce Active Member

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    Fountain Hills AZ
    I agree with you that people can be trashy. I thank you for providing chargers for the community and I agree maybe some signage might help direct to the snacks. You can't be sure though that a Tesla driver stole the cone. I believe in cameras... Good luck!
     
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  5. Joshib

    Joshib Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
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    39
    Location:
    Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18017
    My wife and I travel a lot in our Tesla and when we stop at any location where we use the facilities we make it a point to purchase something at least. We usually do that at the Superchargers and favor small business as we ourselves are one. I would consider posting the theft on your local Facebook page or if you have Nextdoor - Make an offer Suggesting no questions asked return as this Tesla Cone is unique and somebody has to see it somewhere else later. Good Luck with that.
     
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  6. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,993
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    Sorry to hear that your generosity has been rewarded by such behavior. I’ve been in the Tesla community for six years and I don’t think this sort of disregard is the norm. Like a previous post said, my family always tries to spend money at the businesses who host chargers. I like the suggestion for a camera and a sign that welcomes people to try out the snack bar.
     
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  7. MichaelP90DL

    MichaelP90DL Active Member

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    Lancaster, CA
    When charging at a certain location on Interstate 5, I end up slurping split pea soup.
     
  8. Itsuo-DC

    Itsuo-DC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2018
    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I share the sentiments of the other posts regretting the negative experience you’ve had with these chargers.

    As previously mentioned, I recommend some kind sign to communicate with those using your chargers. At the very least you can let them know there is a place to sit inside as well as a snack bar. Sadly you might also ask that they place their trash in the nearby bin.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. COlsen1

    COlsen1 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Maryland
    Sorry you have experienced this but I can't say I am shocked. I own an electrical contracting company that has installed a lot of destination chargers in the DC/MD area. I unfortunately have to have that conversation with clients that there are going to be people who will abuse your generosity. Trash cans are recommended nearby and some polite signage works well also. For restaurants we recommend putting a weatherproof container for flyers with some information about your establishment. Also we've seen clients offer a food discount with a selfie of them charging

    Try and not let the few bad apples ruin it for you. Thank you for supporting EVs in an area that isn't always the most EV friendly. I'll have to stop by sometime and bowl a few games. Did you get Tesla charging signage for your install? I can drop off a few if you didn't get any.
     
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  10. iRia

    iRia Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    I agree with you that today a lot of EV drivers act like pigs. They are worse than ICErs.

    My biggest pet peeve is when people just toss the cable on the ground when they are done and pull off. I always take time to wrap the cord and hang up the plug properly back in its holster.

    The trash must be annoying for you as an owner.

    Around here there is a supermarket with two destination chargers and I always shop there when I’m charging. I can’t understand people who freeload. But you indicated where the freeloading mentality may be coming from. It’s sad. We need to educate these new owners but looking in Facebook groups a lot of them seem like really awful people who get a kick out of ruining others’ experience.

    Anyway good on you and I wish you were closer... my kids enjoy bowling!
     
  11. model3fan

    model3fan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2015
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posted on Twitter for visibility, hope you get your cone back. Others please RT if you think it'll help.

    Tesla Model 3 Fan on Twitter

    Good luck. I don't like bowling but I'm tempted to drive the two hours to visit the snack bar (and use up some of my supercharging credits).
     
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  12. powaking

    powaking Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Messages:
    412
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I was about to say something along these lines. Maybe a sign near the chargers saying ‘while your car charges why not come inside for some snacks and watch some pro duckpin bowlers.’ It’s likely they don’t know about the snack bar but then again what bowling establishment doesn’t.
     
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  13. Deslah

    Deslah Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2019
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    67
    Location:
    Germany
    I'm hesitant to write this--but not so hesitant that I won't write it...

    My car and I are in Germany, so it wasn't me. That needed to be said first. I have never charged at a destination charger without patronizing the establishment (in my case, always hotels).

    Let me say: anyone choosing to install chargers is doing a tremendous service to EV owners. If they are on top of that free-of-charge, it's amazing generosity that should be respected to the utmost. Unfortunately though, as most people know, the reality is also that no good deed goes unpunished.

    Having said that, I'm not sure I appreciate the blind and wide-netted accusations.

    First, the cone really could've been stolen by anyone--even a local man or woman who doesn't own a Tesla but thought the cone would be a nice souvenir to put in the garage or on the bedroom floor in a corner until they can afford one.

    As for trash laying around, is it possible that non-charging vehicle owners (EV and ICE) are using your parking spaces and leaving trash behind? Could it be pedestrians who walk by and find it convenient to litter there?

    And, to blame this asocial behavior on Tesla's success in expanding its market? You are practically saying that Model 3 owners are litterers and thieves while Model S owners are incapable of anything of this sort. Close-knit does not mean that certain people don't do bad things when no one is looking.

    I'm not saying that this couldn't have been the work of a Tesla owner, but I don't understand the accusations without any sort of evidence whatsoever.

    You've installed two chargers--why not park your Model S in one of them with sentry mode activated? That way you might just catch the actual culprits rather than blaming "someone like me" (a 2019 Model 3 owner).
     
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  14. SMAlset

    SMAlset Well-Known Member

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    SF Bay Area
    #14 SMAlset, Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    I’m on the other side of the country but saw this thread and had to say how super it is of you to support your town and Tesla owners. Makes me angry to see anyone be so lazy as to leave trash around especially when trash cans are provided. I hope the cone is found and returned. Likely some teenager wanting it for his room and wants to be a Tesla owner some day but you never know. Still theft no matter how you look at it. I do hope all the outpouring for your efforts have softened a bit of your anger and disappointment in people.

    BTW took a look at the Plugshare listing and the Map linked to it. I noticed the crabcake restaurant tagged on the Map with food icon but no such marker for your business and the description while lists dining could lead people to think looking at the map it’s at the nearby crabcakes place. I also checked your address on Google Maps. Don’t know how Google assigns their icons but think it would be helpful to list “Bowling Alley/Diner” to the map and provide a link to your business. Do you also serve coffee? Have pinball games, etc for people to relax while they charge? I do think people are likely using the chargers and walking over to the restaurant.

    Do you have a website? Can’t recall if Plugshare mentioned one. Also maybe adding some verbage to signage around the chargers saying “Courtesy of ....” would help draw in some business if not during the charging then later another time.
     
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  15. SMAlset

    SMAlset Well-Known Member

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    SF Bay Area
    #15 SMAlset, Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    Ok just checked Tesla’s Map for Destination Chargers and saw you are listed there and there was a link to your website through there. Nice site btw and looks like a great family resource for your community. After looking around a bit on the site I noticed your Menu and saw you really have a lot of food items that I think would appeal to a wide range of people using the chargers. I did have to search the site to find it and would suggest adding a link to it on your main page instead of just the pull down menu. Definitely think you should have your menu displayed for people to see at the charger location if you don’t already. I never would have thought to stop in a bowling alley for food and maybe others don’t either. Looks like a nice place and hope your kindness comes back to you in many ways.

    http://greenmountbowl.com/Flyers/Menu2019-2020.pdf

    and wow you even have some breakfast and lunch items. People traveling early in the day should know this! Maybe you should be known as the Greenmount Bowl & Diner?
     
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  16. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    Thanks for your generosity and service to your community. As others have said, it would probably help to let people know what you have available. A sign by the chargers mentioning that food is available and trash cans are nearby might help. You might also want to check into selling Tesla themed items, as it could be another way to recoup the cost of the chargers and electricity.

    Have you considered selling custom cones? There's obviously a demand.;)
     
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  17. Deslah

    Deslah Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2019
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Germany
    You took the time to "Disagree" on my post. What exactly do you disagree with? Maybe you'll convince me of something I've overlooked if you actually post a constructive critique.
     
  18. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    Messages:
    562
    Location:
    Houston
    I've been a member of the TMC for a few years now. This is the first posting, that I'm aware of, positive or negative, concerning the Destination Charger hosts. I've been around long enough to notice that a Springfield MO hotel host first installed 2 WCs, removed one after 6 months, and removed the second after about 4 years (lot was sold, and construction of new building). Is this all that there is for comments from site hosts?
     
  19. Jeepxj

    Jeepxj Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2020
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    NYC
    Someone should make an offering where the business owner can use an app to turn the charger on and off. The best I can come up with is a wemo light switch and a 100a contactor with a 120v signal circuit. Patron comes in to charge, owner/cashier hits the switch and lights it up. As the community grows there will be more bad apples i'm afraid.
     
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  20. BrownOuttaSpec

    Joined:
    May 13, 2019
    Messages:
    396
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    The new wall connector has wi-fi built in. Not sure of all the features of it but that may be coming soon:
    Wall Connector


    @drichardson875 , Sorry to hear about your troubles, but thanks for doing a great job for your local community and the EV community. My guess would be that someone who doesn't own a Tesla but likes them (or maybe hates them) took your cone. Hopefully it will be returned to you soon.
     

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