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Thoughts on plugging in without permission...

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Darren F, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Darren F

    Darren F Member

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    So, on another forum, someone posted a video showing the manager at his parking garage unplugging him from an electric outlet. The general consensus was that the manager was a dirtbag for doing such a thing. Yet, the poster explicitly stated he did NOT ask first before plugging in. He then stated later he would offer the guy $5 to not unplug him anymore. There has been a surprisingly large number of Tesla owners that support this behavior in that thread. I find it appalling, as it is truly theft, even if it is only a few dollars a day, it is still theft.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    Not nearly enough information to make a judgement.

    Thank you kindly.
     
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  3. Darren F

    Darren F Member

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    What information would you like?
     
  4. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    The fact of the matter is, if you plug into another person's electrical outlet without asking, you are stealing. YES it's only a few cents of power, but that doesn't make it right. You need to ask permission to plug in if it's not clearly obvious EV's are allowed to juice up at the location.
     
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  5. Fresh Start Detail

    Fresh Start Detail Local Vendor - Northwest

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    Hmmm, do we ask for permission when we plug in a phone to charge? Probably not because it's just pennies, but a car is using more electricity like the OP said so does this mean we should ask only because it's more money? I say yes, I would ask before plugging unless it was an emergency and I couldn't contact the owner/manager.
    There are also socially acceptable activities like charging a phone without asking first, everybody does that. Obviously charging a car is something relatively newer within our society and it isn't quite as acceptable to charge without asking.
    If I found someone using our building's electrical outlets without asking I would be a bit miffed if only because it's rude... unless it was just a phone. Why? I dunno, sounds silly but I think it's the socially acceptable part I mentioned. But if I saw someone charging a car using my 110v outlet without asking I would not think highly of that person. However, we have a free 24/7 public J1772 charging station on our property so that scenario wouldn't likely happen.
    Having said all that, I think it's less about the $$ than the courtesy of asking first.
    Just my off-hand thoughts.
     
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  6. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    taking something that isn't yours without permission is theft, regardless of it's monetary value.
     
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  7. kavyboy

    kavyboy Member

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    I would never think of plugging in without permission from the right person. If I were talking to the person who pays the bills, I would also offer a fiver.
     
  8. Darren F

    Darren F Member

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    That is my thought also, but not (apparently) of a not insignificant number of Tesla owners.
     
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  9. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    this is just symbolic of entitlement mindset, the lack of character and huge levels of narcissism found in many people these days.
     
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  10. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #10 ChadS, Aug 12, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
    Or it could be symbolic of the fact that the situation is more complicated than "stealing is taking what is not yours without getting permission first", because I can think of cases where that is not true. I think it's more about expectations (which can vary with time, culture, experience, etc).

    Don't get me wrong; I agree that people should ask first. But what if you drink out of a water fountain - is that stealing water? You didn't ask, it's not your water. But most would not consider it stealing, because the fountain is obviously placed there to make it so people can take a low-cost commodity. I think the determination of whether or not taking something is stealing depends on something other than asking permission.

    What about water from an outdoor hose bib, rather than a water fountain? What about an electrical outlet, which is placed to allow electricity use? What if somebody was dry-washing their car and plugged in a radio - is that stealing? I would say those are stealing if you walk on to private property and use them when the homeowner doesn't expect it. But, I think those are all OK for renters of a property to take without asking - because the property owner should expect that. Same action, different expectations.

    Charging an EV does cost more than charging a radio, but then we're down to does-stealing-depend-on-the-quantity, which I don't think is a valid frame. I think the best way to look at it is: does the owner of the property EXPECT it to be taken and think it's not a big deal. Water from a water fountain should be fine in every case. Water from a bib or electricity for a radio from an outlet is not fine for a passer-by going on to private property, but is OK for guests and renters of the property.

    A renter plugging in a radio should be fine, and charging an EV is just a quantitative extension of the radio. However, the property owner probably thinks EVs cost a lot more to charge than they do, and it's new and not something they expect. Given that I think it's all about the expectations, I would agree you should ask first. At least for now - over time, they may come to expect it.
     
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  11. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    not theft, the water fountain was placed for people who are permitted to where they are to use it, for example a water fountain in a supermarket is placed there for the use of their staff and customers.
    all examples of using something without permission, theft.

    snipped for relevance
     
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  12. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    What is meant by "his parking garage"? What is the full nature of the agreement between the car owner, the garage owner, the plug owner, and the manager? Why are there plugs in the garage at all? Legal questions are always complicated by not only laws but customs and expectations. Anyone who thinks any such question is plain and simple, hasn't thought about it enough.

    Thank you kindly.
     
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  13. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    Depending on where your are, this could result in your car getting keyed or worse. I would never take a chance. Ask first. If it was some sort of an emergency, I'd stay with the vehicle and be prepared to explain, offer money regardless if they ask or seem to expect, and last but not least, offer a sincere apology in a nice and respectful tone. People carry and use guns for less these days. :eek:
     
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  14. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Regarding "all examples of using something without permission, theft."

    I hope I was clear. I agreed drinking from a hose bib and plugging a radio in to an electrical outlet are theft if an unexpected passer-by does it.

    But I very strongly disagree it is theft if a guest or renter does it. I would say it is expected use. I base the determination on expectations rather than permission. When expectations are unclear (as in the case of EV charging, because it is new) you should ask to clear up the confusion; then they become the same thing.

    Mine is a more complicated answer, but I think a far better explanation of how most people interact.
     
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  15. jelloslug

    jelloslug Member

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    I would never plug my car into someone else's power without their express permission.
     
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  16. Darren F

    Darren F Member

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    Meaning the parking garage where he rents a parking space. As stated in the original post, the garage manager was the one who unplugged him. I think that makes it pretty clear where the garage ownership stands on it.
     
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  17. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    FWIW: when I rented a couple of condos in CO this past winter, I made it a point to ask permission from the property managers before plugging in to their 110 outlets. some of the hazards that could be encountered is improper wiring or overloading the circuit.
    if you plug into any old outlet you could be the cause of a range of unintended issues.
     
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  18. davewill

    davewill Member

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    #18 davewill, Aug 12, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
    The manager didn't do anything to the guy's car. He simply unplugged it from an outlet he has responsibility for. The car owner should be apologetic, not indignant. The only times I've plugged into outlets at public locations, I've asked permission. Usually a hotel, but once it was at a design appointment with my LEAF where I was really up against my range and pretty sure I couldn't drive the 10 miles home. If they had said no, I would have had to have my wife pick me up and we would have been late.

    I'm not saying that I would absolutely NEVER plug in and hope it's OK, but I know when I don't own the plug, I don't get to call the shots.
     
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  19. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    In regards to the "Do you ask to plug in your phone?" Yes I do. You should also. Until society as a whole is accepting of people plugging in cars willy-nilly like we do phones, you should always ask.

    Thing is we all have phones, and at times we all need a charge. People are much more forgiving about it, and also phones literally are fractions of a cent to charge. Cars pull a lot of juice. Still only going to be pennies if plugged in for under an hour, but the pull could cause a problem if the wiring sucks.

    Regardless of what you are doing, if you don't own the plug, you should always ask. Technically if you don't you are stealing.
     
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  20. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Gosh, Chad. I am so-o-o-o guilty of theft! When I was growing up in the late '50s and '60s my friends and I as custom would walk up people's driveways to their hose and avail ourselves of some water when we were walking or riding our bikes home from a day's worth of playing and just being kids. We were in Southern California in a hilly location, and the weather was quite hot late in the day from July through October. We always replaced the hose as we found it. Never did we encounter the homeowner's wrath; in fact, sometimes if someone saw us, we would be offered a glass of ice water. We generally politely declined and thanked them.

    We used to take short cuts through people's property to save a quarter mile or more of walking using the streets. We were guilty of trespassing too, I guess.

    To me there is nothing immoral or unethical about using someone's hose to get a quick drink. There is nothing immoral or unethical about cutting down an embankment that is unimproved and away from structures to save 10 minutes.

    So, from my personal history, I do not equate a casual action of quenching one's thirst on a hot day to taking electrons from another person's plug--I agree, that is theft.

    I just hope the statute of limitations has lapsed for my childhood life of crime!
     
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