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I did so this afternoon. They ask for the first four digits of your card, and the last four.

I was then issued with two receipts for charging sessions at locations I've never visited. Obviously someone else's sessions.

OK, there's no personal information in those receipts. But (a) it's a useless system if I can't find my own receipt, and (b) there are some potential concerns around privacy here. While it's unlikely that someone would use Gridserve exclusively, armed with that person's card number it would be possible to track their movements and certainly their charging habits. Stalkers/the wronged ex-wife/the jealous husband - it's not a huge leap of imagination.

While every card transaction made IS recorded somewhere, generally the details aren't available to the general public in this way...

This isn't the first time I've had difficulties getting a receipt from a charging network, either. I'm still waiting for one from SWARCO for a charge session in October - there, you have to email them.

Would it really be so difficult to fit a receipt printer to a charger? Or use NFC/Airdrop to send a receipt wirelessly to your phone? It's going to become more of a problem as more and more chargers accept contactless, and charge sessions aren't linked to an app.
 

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I did so this afternoon. They ask for the first four digits of your card, and the last four.

I was then issued with two receipts for charging sessions at locations I've never visited. Obviously someone else's sessions.

OK, there's no personal information in those receipts. But (a) it's a useless system if I can't find my own receipt, and (b) there are some potential concerns around privacy here. While it's unlikely that someone would use Gridserve exclusively, armed with that person's card number it would be possible to track their movements and certainly their charging habits. Stalkers/the wronged ex-wife/the jealous husband - it's not a huge leap of imagination.

While every card transaction made IS recorded somewhere, generally the details aren't available to the general public in this way...

This isn't the first time I've had difficulties getting a receipt from a charging network, either. I'm still waiting for one from SWARCO for a charge session in October - there, you have to email them.

Would it really be so difficult to fit a receipt printer to a charger? Or use NFC/Airdrop to send a receipt wirelessly to your phone? It's going to become more of a problem as more and more chargers accept contactless, and charge sessions aren't linked to an app.
I don't think we're too far from digital receipts being commonplace, as long as these machines can issue those when paying via card I think it's fine.

And for those where you use an RFID / some membership scheme - there's no reason for the receipt not to already be in the app.
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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There are some advantages to account / RFID based charging ;)

I think your impressively imaginative privacy concerns probably aren't much of an issue though! How else are they supposed to find your receipt and not issue it to any random person? All they have is the card number, date, time and location and the only thing that you're supposed to keep private out of that lot is the card number. It would be pretty easy to change your card number or use one they didn't know if you were worried about a stalker/ex/your other half finding out...

Quite ridiculous that they couldn't find your receipts though. I would have expected them to ask for a location and approximate date/time. Seems unlikely that two cards would share the first and last 4, but it certainly isn't impossible.
 
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I agree with the OP that using credit card numbers this way is not good. The first 4 digits of a card number are part of the issuer ID, so not many permutations will be common in a particular country. Even if all permutations of the last 4 are all equally likely, the 1 in 10 000 chance of clashes is too high.

It sounds like this system was designed without sufficient thought or understanding, perhaps as a stopgap until the much anticipated GridServe app arrives. I guess this will support receipts in a more friendly way. Still, I believe you shouldn't need an app to use a charger. (You don't for a petrol pump.)

These days many people don't want a receipt but there are good reasons for wanting one e.g. to claim expenses or to check that the company bills correctly.

Ideally, paper receipts would be issued, on request, by the charging unit. Alternatively, if the machine is out of paper (will happen), display on the screen all the information required, including a unique charging session ID. This can be photographed, with the photo then being the receipt, and/or the ID noted down to be used to quote to the charging company later.

Kind regards
- Garry
 

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Ideally, paper receipts would be issued, on request, by the charging unit. Alternatively, if the machine is out of paper (will happen), display on the screen all the information required, including a unique charging session ID. This can be photographed, with the photo then being the receipt, and/or the ID noted down to be used to quote to the charging company later.
Oooh imagine how good it would be if you finished the charging session, it displayed a QR Code on the screen, scan it with your phone's camera, opens a downloadable receipt.
 

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Oooh imagine how good it would be if you finished the charging session, it displayed a QR Code on the screen, scan it with your phone's camera, opens a downloadable receipt.
Not too bad but still...

There's a temptation for everyone to get carried away with smartphones, smart chargers, and general 'smartness'. Charger companies should ask themselves: is this process as simple as it possibly could be? Another way of looking at it: what would a petrol pump do?
 

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Not too bad but still...

There's a temptation for everyone to get carried away with smartphones, smart chargers, and general 'smartness'. Charger companies should ask themselves: is this process as simple as it possibly could be? Another way of looking at it: what would a petrol pump do?
The problem with Paper receipts is that eventually the till roll runs out and someone needs to replace it. Who does this at a Charging Station? That's an added cost. Plus the cost of the Printer itself and maintenance/parts - not expensive, granted. At a petrol station you have staff there the majority of the time, so someone is there who can and does change the paper.

I've only ever used to Rugby Grisderve chargers, but I doubt they would train anyone at Moto to change till roll, for example. Ironically I can't find my receipt for Monday, presumably because I used Apple Pay on my Watch.

With the Covid pandemic QR codes have become very widespread, from the Track and Trace Checkins to ordering food/drinks.
 

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Oooh imagine how good it would be if you finished the charging session, it displayed a QR Code on the screen, scan it with your phone's camera, opens a downloadable receipt.
I think that would be my preferred solution.

Not too bad but still...

There's a temptation for everyone to get carried away with smartphones, smart chargers, and general 'smartness'. Charger companies should ask themselves: is this process as simple as it possibly could be? Another way of looking at it: what would a petrol pump do?
Unlike petrol pumps, charging stations are not managed by the people at that location. So, there would be no one to change the roll of paper at most charging stations.
 

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Unlike petrol pumps, charging stations are not managed by the people at that location. So, there would be no one to change the roll of paper at most charging stations.
Ha we posted the same thing! Great minds...


I've just tweeted Gridserve the QR code idea, hopefully it's something they can look in to.
 

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Unlike petrol pumps, charging stations are not managed by the people at that location. So, there would be no one to change the roll of paper at most charging stations.
Depends on location. Think, for example, of the chargers at existing fuel stations.

If not, I'd argue this is a classic missed opportunity: the companies involved should think like petrol pump companies, and integrate the chargers more with the surrounding business environment.

If I understand the petrol station business model correctly, not a lot of money is made on the actual fuel; the profitable items are those retailed in the associated shop. People charging their car are a captive audience -- even more so than those filling up at a fuel pump, as charging takes longer. Make use of this! Actively encourage these potential customers into the shop & other nearby businesses.

Kind regards
- Garry
 

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Depends on location. Think, for example, of the chargers at existing fuel stations.
It comes down to cost though I guess. My local fuel stations can get one of their staff, who know what they're doing, to change till roll in two minutes, and it's what they are paid to do.

Sites like Rugby, there's no dedicated Gridserve staff. So you have to train someone who works in the Services to do this. Who pays for their time? For Gridserve it's an additional cost that's probably not worth it for them - and if they did have increased cost, they'd have to up the charging cost to cover it. Same for BP at MK Coachway, the only staff nearby are the National Express staff (etc).

Maybe at the Gridserve Hubs, yes this might be doable, but then making a design change to some of the units to add printers again probably isn't worth the hassle to them. If/when the Auto Charge payments come in, you could have your car registered with your email address. Charger knows it's you, charge stops, receipt emailed to you before you've disconnected and driven away.


Personally, I'm all for electronic receipts. I have to submit my expenses electronically anyway, so I don't want to have to ask for a printed receipt, to then scan/photograph it, and chuck it in the bin. Too wasteful, too time consuming.
 

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Autocharge is the way forward. It will know who you are and will issue an email receipt on completion. No need for other extra faff. QR code would be a second best IMO.
 

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Ecotricity always sent a receipt by email immediately after charging. I think I have only charged away from home once recently and that I think was Gridserve, but I don't recall getting a receipt.
 

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Personally, I'm all for electronic receipts. I have to submit my expenses electronically anyway. So I don't want to have to ask for a printed receipt, to then scan/photograph it, and chuck it in the bin. Too wasteful, too time consuming.
Then you are just the type of person to use an app or some other electronic means to get receipts when you need them.

A lot of EV early adopters are like you & current EV infrastructure works OK for these people. But, increasingly, as EVs move into the mainstream, not everyone enjoys this hodge-podge of over-complex 'smart' solutions. They just want things to work simply and consistently at every location. Frankly, even though I'm IT literate, I have a lot of sympathy with this point of view: although I am happy to deal with complexity where needed, unnecessary complexity still annoys me. Too much of the existing infrastructure has poor usability and accessibility compared with the traditional petrol pump model.

Taken to the logical conclusion, of course, this model doesn't lead to receipt printing at the charger; it leads you into the associated shop to get your printed receipt, where the business hopes you will also pick up snacks, magazines, scratch cards, etc. Probably, you will still be able to pay at the charger, even though this is worse from a business perspective, as people have now come to expect this option.

@Xtopher You are right, this is the ultimate in a frictionless charging experience. This is how Tesla Superchargers work, I think? It only works, though, because Tesla owners trust Tesla to get the billing right. (And they are only trusted because they basically do.) This level of trust may not be there for every charging company. It's not a great holistic business model either, since it doesn't encourage people into the nearby businesses, which I guess Tesla don't care much about.

Kind regards
- Garry
 

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I would imagine the charging firms would like to think no one wants a receipt because they mostly get binned. The idea with contactless is that you don't get a receipt (regardless of how many places do!) and instead keep track of it via your banking app or statements. The need for VAT receipts is a little different and they'd need to have something for that, but most business users will be happy to scan a QR code or use an app.

The other option (as ex-developer for a large payment processor) is that the charging firms sign up to services to send e-receipts via the payment networks and/or banks. In theory all they need is your card number (actually a token but we'll keep it simple!) and the message can be relayed to your email address, with the bank/payment network holding your PII details. Not sure that any of that made the light of day, but I was around when the idea was bound about a few years ago.
 

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Then you are just the type of person to use an app or some other electronic means to get receipts when you need them.

A lot of EV early adopters are like you & current EV infrastructure works OK for these people. But, increasingly, as EVs move into the mainstream, not everyone enjoys this hodge-podge of over-complex 'smart' solutions. They just want things to work simply and consistently at every location. Frankly, even though I'm IT literate, I have a lot of sympathy with this point of view: although I am happy to deal with complexity where needed, unnecessary complexity still annoys me. Too much of the existing infrastructure has poor usability and accessibility compared with the traditional petrol pump model.

Taken to the logical conclusion, of course, this model doesn't lead to receipt printing at the charger; it leads you into the associated shop to get your printed receipt, where the business hopes you will also pick up snacks, magazines, scratch cards, etc. Probably, you will still be able to pay at the charger, even though this is worse from a business perspective, as people have now come to expect this option.

@Xtopher You are right, this is the ultimate in a frictionless charging experience. This is how Tesla Superchargers work, I think? It only works, though, because Tesla owners trust Tesla to get the billing right. (And they are only trusted because they basically do.) This level of trust may not be there for every charging company. It's not a great holistic business model either, since it doesn't encourage people into the nearby businesses, which I guess Tesla don't care much about.

Kind regards
- Garry
I guess you are right. My generation has grown up with new technology so I suppose I am suggesting things that make sense to me personally.

But the auto receipt based on knowing it's your car would be the best solution I think. Maybe this will get implemented in the future, here's hoping!
 

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If I might make a small predication about the future of public charging in the medium term, say over the next 3-5 years...

As far as high volume, high value, charging locations are concerned, these will be increasingly integrated into the surrounding retail environments. Any charging companies that insist on going it alone in such locations (i.e. just focussing on charging & not encouraging customers to get out of their cars and spend) will go out of business. Since their model is inherently less profitable, they won't be able to compete.

Telsa's model may survive, of course, as they are not primarily a charger company. Their chargers are a loss leader for their cars. But even they have recently started to make noises about changing their charger business model. Assuming they don't want to get into vending chocolate, soft drinks, and the rest, it would make sense for them to partner up with someone who does.

Not only is it easy to see how the charging transaction can be managed off charger in these setups, at least for those who are more comfortable that way, this will be actively encouraged by making it the simplest way.

Kind regards
- Garry
 

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I would imagine the charging firms would like to think no one wants a receipt because they mostly get binned. The idea with contactless is that you don't get a receipt (regardless of how many places do!) and instead keep track of it via your banking app or statements. The need for VAT receipts is a little different and they'd need to have something for that, but most business users will be happy to scan a QR code or use an app.

The other option (as ex-developer for a large payment processor) is that the charging firms sign up to services to send e-receipts via the payment networks and/or banks. In theory all they need is your card number (actually a token but we'll keep it simple!) and the message can be relayed to your email address, with the bank/payment network holding your PII details. Not sure that any of that made the light of day, but I was around when the idea was bound about a few years ago.
It did but seems to use an intermediary with banks that support it, believe it’s called flux but with contactless use increasing I think it is inevitable it’ll go mainstream - assuming we are comfortable with our banks knowing what we are buying and not just where we are shopping (imagine mortgage lenders asking for that data)
 

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Just been to IKEA. Scanned my family card and it emailed me the receipt. Something similar is what I’d love to see for EV Receipts such as this.
 

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It did but seems to use an intermediary with banks that support it, believe it’s called flux but with contactless use increasing I think it is inevitable it’ll go mainstream - assuming we are comfortable with our banks knowing what we are buying and not just where we are shopping (imagine mortgage lenders asking for that data)
Mortgage companies largely get that data anyway from the mountains of statements the y need for the affordability checks...
 
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