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Should I trust ChargePoint customer service?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by crmohler, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. crmohler

    crmohler Member

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    #1 crmohler, Dec 31, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
    There's a ChargePoint station I'm planning on using next month at the Kohl's in Ontario, CA (actually going to an event at the Ontario Arena, but they have nothing). PlugShare/Recargo have many check-ins that say that the J1772 isn't functional, only the 120. I emailed ChargePoint to "encourage" them to service it, and they responded today saying that the site is "functional". Should I believe them? It won't be a big deal if the SJC SC is live by then, but since I have a 60 with a 210 mile round trip, I want to have options in place.

    I should add that the ChargePoint website has said the J1772 port has been "in use" every time I've checked the last few days, which I doubt.
     
  2. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Just as a note, it shows as available today and the latest Plugshare shows a successful charge 8 days ago. I'd be inclined to trust them on this. Though, given that it's shown occupied quite a bit when you check, you may find someone else there ...
     
  3. joer00

    joer00 Member

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    I DO NOT TRUST the Chargepoint CRAP network. I keep on going to chargers which show green only to see that they stop working after 10 minutes with error "relay stuck". I reported this many times and nothing gets fixed. My other favorite location stopped working and it took them about 6 weeks to fix it only to see the same error again after 3 charging sessions. Customer service is TERRIBLE. Almost always I have to wait with "unusual call volume" message at ANY time of the day. So it's not unusual call volume but to little service reps ! The reps usually have no knowledge about anything, asking me for the station number as they are to stupid to find their own stations given the address ! Then they send stupid excuses for not working stations claiming that they are privately operated and therefore the owners fault. Well, I have chargepoint account a chargepoint card and its chargepoint who charges my card ! So if they are unable to have their stations working, their business model is flawed.

    With other networks failing, I believe they will all fail ! Not due to that mentioned problems, but simply for the fact that they do not understand our needs. 99 % of the stations are useless "Mickey Mouse" stations with 190 volts and 30 amps giving you about 16 miles/hour, what a crap ! If I really NEED a charge, I am willing to pay for an 80 amp service, but I am unwilling to pay for crappy stations. Instead of having 20 slow stations it would make more sense to have 5 powerful ones people would really use. Of course part of the problem is that only Teslas can handle it and there are not enough Teslas on the road (yet). I think Tesla will have to take care of the destination charge too. The hotel etc incentive program is a good start. I am working on getting at least 2 Hotels/Restaurants in the Tampa/St Pete Area to make a deal with Tesla. Let's see how it goes.
     
  4. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    In my experience, ChargePoint does not seem to know what it is doing. I was at a 208V/32A station that refused to charge at more than 16A no matter what I tried, so I called them up. First they blamed the car, so I called Tesla, who checked my logs and blamed the charging station. I called back, and then they said it was a 16A station so it was working properly (the display clearly showed 32A). Then they had me try the other port. Then retry the original port. Finally they gave up and told me to try somewhere else. The broken station charged $3.50 an hour starting at 1 minute, apparently, with a $10 maximum but I ended up with something like a $25 bill that took 4-5 calls and nearly a month to resolve, and even then they would only give me a credit on my account and not a refund.

    Epilogue: the station was running ond software with a bug that made it think there were two cars connected, splitting the current between them. I had to involve the owner of the station in order to get ChargePoint to even take a look at it.

    Most ChargePoint stations are 208V/32A, which is good for 22mi/hr. As a struggling public charging company, it's hard to make a strong financial argument for more powerful stations when, as you note, only Teslas support it, and not even all of them at that. So we get hotels and restaurants to install HPWCs, but that occurs at the expense of those who drive other EV models. Down the road the destination could end up resenting that they invested in a station that serves only a subset of their EV driving customers.

    Public charging is a mess right now.
     
  5. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    Sounds like Charjit (350Green) as well. :(
     
  6. crmohler

    crmohler Member

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    How do these Leaf owners make it work with their limited range? I see a ton of them on the road here in SoCal.
     
  7. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

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    Chargepoints near me have worked fine. NorCal and SoCal.
     
  8. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    I have a chargepoint station... The fault of their network is that the station communicates it's status over a cell network. If the signal is weak, it shows the station needing service when, in fact, the station works fine. I contend with this all the time. As for amps ...yes they need to move to a more current station. Pardon the pun.
     
  9. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    You may want to verify with Kohl's it is ok for you to use the charger. The Kohl's by me in OC also has a charger; however there is signage to the effect that the charger is for use by Kohl's patrons only.
     
  10. crmohler

    crmohler Member

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    I plan to do some shopping at Kohl's while I'm there. I will have a little time to kill.
     
  11. ElectricVehicle

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    Has anyone checked this station recently? It may have been fixed in December. If it's convenient for anyone in the area, please check on this station, attempt a charge session and report back to this thread on success or failure of the charging event. Include the station ID please. Often the street address is not sufficient as many sites have more than one charger. Using the station ID to identify a charger eliminates a lot of possible confusion.

    I know the Tesla may be the ultimate answer for those who can muster the resources, but we have to be mindful that here is a whole spectrum of Plug In vehicles put there, all of which avoid gasoline to some extent or completely. From the Plug In Prius with it's 11 mile electric range and 11 amp or so max charge rate from 208 to the Tesla - a few of which have the twin charger option and can take 80A. Public charging stations are out there to serve all Plug Ins, not just Tesla's. And it has to become an economically sustainable business. We have already seen the consequences of economically non-sustainable businesses. If you put in a dozen ports and each of those is 80A charging on a 100A circuit, you have to provide 1200 A of electrical service at 208 or 240 V. That kind of electrical infrastructure has a cost to it. For many sites, it would require an upgrade to the utility service and possibly the utility transformer. So sure, it would be great if every port were 80A charging current, but pragmatically that does not make sense for every port to be 80A. It's good to have a few 80 A ports, or some CHAdeMO chargers and then use the CHAdeMO to Tesla adapter for charge rates up to 50 kW (160+ miles/hr of charge on an empty pack for a bit..). There would be far fewer public charging ports today if they were all required to be 80 A , the additional project costs, especially it the 80 A requires a main panel or utility service upgrade would have killed many charger installations. Do we need some higher power options? Yes. Do we need to manage the electrical service coming into the building better? Yes. Should we charge at 80 A on the hottest day of the summer in June / July when the grid is in danger of blacking out? No. (Blackouts cause many thousands of dollars in spoiled food, some computer failures, and lost productivity.) When we're past the cirtical withcing hours of the blackout, should we charge? Of course, anything that avoids gas is a good thing for us all.

    The car MUST charge!
     
  12. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    I completely agree. But at least the chargepoint 70 amp J1772 at the Bowlin's rest stop in Picacho Peak AZ saved me when BLINK did their best to shaft me on my recent road trip: Blink let me down BIG TIME today

    Basically I will never trust anything but Tesla Superchargers, hotels I am staying at, or friends and family members for my charging needs on future road trips. Public charging companies just don't seem to care very much if they leave you stranded somewhere because one of their chargers is out of service.
     
  13. ElectricVehicle

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    #13 ElectricVehicle, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
    Some charging companies care very much if an EV charger ever leaves a driver in a lurch. It's no small challenge to keep some 15,000 chargers operational nationwide, particularly when you have to coordinate across multiple parties. If you have to roll a truck for a service call, that can get expensive, especially if the issue is not fixed by a single truck roll (usually over $100, could be a couple hundred, like any electrician truck roll), or it turns out the truck roll wasn't needed at all.

    Whenever you're doing a road trip, have several backup charging locations identified. The public charging infrastructure will get more reliable, certainly in comparison to the days when I had to rely on non-networked chargers for my EV1. We had to rely exlcusively on other drivers to report status and get issues resolved. It was MUCH harder then!
     

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