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Discussion Starter #1
Since the Chargemaster Denial of Service kicked in on 1st April, I enquired with Bicester village management as to who owned/supported their charge posts and why they didnt provide free charging to encourage visitors. Their answer was great news:-

"Although we were aware that they had started charging some customers, we were told it was not all sites that were included in the charge. Since your email, we have made enquiries with Charge master and found that they are indeed currently charging for the use of our charging points.

As you correctly stated, we do not only see free charging points as an incentive for guests to visit us, but also to promote the use of energy efficient electric vehicles. To that end we are now in the process of having the charge removed from Bicester Village so regardless of the other sites that may charge, we will not."


You will still need a CM membership to use the post but the usage charge should be removed shortly however evidently chargepoint site owners are not aware of charges CM are sneaking in and expecting their consumers to pay...
If we campaign for all retail sites to support free charging we should be able to get these charges removed. Short list of places that come to mind:-
Asda
Waitrose
Little Chef
MK Shopping Centre???? to include M&S, Debenhams, John Lewis
Any costa locations?
Advise everyone check the CM map for charges at places where site owners would be willing to support the incentive of customers and effecient vehicles and raise with the site owners!
 

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that's great news. I haven't actually used the Bicester chargers yet but I'm sure I will at some point.
 

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Its a great stance to take that is! when the supplier is telling chargemaster that they dont want to charge the user surely chargemaster might read something in to this? i.e its too expensive? I always use the rapid on the motorway when I go there however I can easily get to and from bicester from home, still nice to have a top up where possible.
 

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Do you have the name of any contact you could share, or ask them if they mind if I pass their name to another shopping centre? I've been talking to gunwharf quays about the CM charges there/ They're unhappy and want to change but they seem to be having difficulty communicating with chargemaster (there's a surprise). If there's someone I could point them out it could oil the wheels?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I sent the request in through the contract form on Bicester's website, didnt get involved with CM or have any contact details. If the speak to the Chief Executive they will get nowhere as he's the one who thinks we should be ripped off... Probably best to call the 0845 number and speak to someone about the chargepoint on THEIR site...
 

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Do you have the name of any contact you could share, ..?
Possible contact included in this recent correspondence/update.

Lyndon
Many thanks for your positive reply. It might be helpful if I could update you because since my original email I have paid another two visits to Bicester. I called in last Friday on my way south and again this Monday (15-12-14) on my return trip North. On the Friday parked in the covered car park close to the shops and immediately went to reception to try and get one of your guest cards to charge up but was told by the male receptionist on duty that they no longer did guest cards as originals went missing some time ago. This Monday was very busy and I could only get parked in the EV bay so immediately set off to your upstairs Management Offices and was shown through to the security desk where I received confirmation that extra guest cards were still awaited so I went off and moved my EV into a normal parking bay.
I have also just tried to download the Polar instant app you refer to without success but I understand from the reviews the site is unstable. Chargemaster doesn't have a great reputation in the EV community and you may want to consider "Charge your Car" which does and increasingly has national coverage. See discussions here https://speakev.com/threads/bicester-village-and-other-shopping-locations.1786/
I am not an enthusiastic shopper but my wife is and every visit spends several hundreds of pounds whilst I tend to sit using your free WiFi service which I am very grateful for. ( you may want to consider a little sports bar/ lounge for us "chauffeurs"). I think it may also benefit you to install some more chargers on public display so that all of your Chinese visitors getting off coaches get a good view of them because EV charging is going through huge development in China as they attempt to deal with their Air Quality/pollution issues
************

On 16 Dec 2014, at 16:09, Lyndon Covacic <[email protected]> wrote:
Good afternoon


Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding our electric car charging bays and the lack of available RFiD cards for general use. We do indeed have the cards here to be used and I am disappointed this was not pointed out to you at the time. Not only that but we have also had Chargemaster remove the billing from the points as we believe making the electricity free helps add to the service we provide to our guests. Since your email I have contacted Chargemaster and requested more cards to be sent through to us to ensure that this does not happen again, in addition I am investigating as to why the correct information was not passed to you in the first place.


Finally, during my recent call with Chargemaster they have pointed out that there is also a free app that can be downloaded for both Android and iPhone. Called Polar Instant, this negates the need for an advance registration or an RFiD card. I am not sure if this is something you would be interested in but it is something that I was not aware of.


Once again, thank you for taking the time to send your feedback, and apologies for my delay in responding to you.


If there is anything further I can help you with please do not hesitate to contact me.


Kind regards


Lyndon
 

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The app is not reliable in that location - I couldn't end the charging session when I tried a few weeks ago. My cable was locked into the post until their telephone help desk unlocked it remotely. They said it was a mobile reception issue because its in a multistorey.
 

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Nissan Leaf Driver @tw1nspark
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Do you have the name of any contact you could share, or ask them if they mind if I pass their name to another shopping centre? I've been talking to gunwharf quays about the CM charges there/ They're unhappy and want to change but they seem to be having difficulty communicating with chargemaster (there's a surprise). If there's someone I could point them out it could oil the wheels?
Hi Mate,
Did you have any luck with Gunwharf Quays? Would be good if they did remove the fee's.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Possible contact included in this recent correspondence/update.

Lyndon
Many thanks for your positive reply. It might be helpful if I could update you because since my original email I have paid another two visits to Bicester. I called in last Friday on my way south and again this Monday (15-12-14) on my return trip North. On the Friday parked in the covered car park close to the shops and immediately went to reception to try and get one of your guest cards to charge up but was told by the male receptionist on duty that they no longer did guest cards as originals went missing some time ago. This Monday was very busy and I could only get parked in the EV bay so immediately set off to your upstairs Management Offices and was shown through to the security desk where I received confirmation that extra guest cards were still awaited so I went off and moved my EV into a normal parking bay.
I have also just tried to download the Polar instant app you refer to without success but I understand from the reviews the site is unstable. Chargemaster doesn't have a great reputation in the EV community and you may want to consider "Charge your Car" which does and increasingly has national coverage. See discussions here https://speakev.com/threads/bicester-village-and-other-shopping-locations.1786/
I am not an enthusiastic shopper but my wife is and every visit spends several hundreds of pounds whilst I tend to sit using your free WiFi service which I am very grateful for. ( you may want to consider a little sports bar/ lounge for us "chauffeurs"). I think it may also benefit you to install some more chargers on public display so that all of your Chinese visitors getting off coaches get a good view of them because EV charging is going through huge development in China as they attempt to deal with their Air Quality/pollution issues
************

On 16 Dec 2014, at 16:09, Lyndon Covacic <[email protected]> wrote:
Good afternoon


Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding our electric car charging bays and the lack of available RFiD cards for general use. We do indeed have the cards here to be used and I am disappointed this was not pointed out to you at the time. Not only that but we have also had Chargemaster remove the billing from the points as we believe making the electricity free helps add to the service we provide to our guests. Since your email I have contacted Chargemaster and requested more cards to be sent through to us to ensure that this does not happen again, in addition I am investigating as to why the correct information was not passed to you in the first place.


Finally, during my recent call with Chargemaster they have pointed out that there is also a free app that can be downloaded for both Android and iPhone. Called Polar Instant, this negates the need for an advance registration or an RFiD card. I am not sure if this is something you would be interested in but it is something that I was not aware of.


Once again, thank you for taking the time to send your feedback, and apologies for my delay in responding to you.


If there is anything further I can help you with please do not hesitate to contact me.


Kind regards


Lyndon
Simple answer is to get them to join source london or source East scheme. ..
 

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Simple answer is to get them to join source london or source East scheme. ..
Not for me or the rest of the country which has gone on to CYC. We need a national card and that's our best bet if Ecotricity don't want to stray from their Electric Highway. In any case it seems doubtful whether your two suggestions are any better than Chargemaster ie
https://speakev.com/threads/source-east-chargers-source-london-card.3844/#post-43505
https://speakev.com/threads/source-london-pricing.4631/
https://speakev.com/threads/roaming-on-to-plugged-in-midlands.5493/page-2#post-71286
 

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Used the Bicester Village charging point today. These are at the rear of the multi-storey car park on the ground level and are coned off for EV's only, the parking attendant directed me to the area and moved the cones.

There are two stations each with 7kW/32amp and 3-pin 3kW 13amp charging ports. The Polar Instant website seems to only show one of the stations but the App shows both.

If you don't have a RFID card yet (like me) and use the App to connect to charging station, although it's free to use you need to have a credit on your polar instant account. Minimum topup is £20.

I found the App a little buggy to use (connected over wifi from my car rather than mobile signal), it took me several attempts to get the charging station to open the port or start charging but then all was fine. Disconnected without issue. Definitely recommend using the RFID card to save time.
 

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We used the Bisector point today, and not only was it free but the application Polar Instant worked, although it still took two attempts to start charging and to disconnect.

What was annoying was that two of the four spaces within reach of the pod were taken by non EVs, and there seems to be no policing of this.

Given the journey is 59 miles for me, I would have to return on petrol generator in my i3 if I couldn't charge which isn't ideal.
 

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Bicester is on my list of "alternative places to stick a rapid than motorways". Given its just off the M40/A34 heading south.... the usual route for us lot from the Midlands heading down to Portsmouth, Southampton, Poole. Or anywhere in between. It's about half way between Brum and Southampton... 60 miles from Brum city centre so reachable by the current generation of 20kWhish EVs or an i3 without a REX. you've then got Chievely (which isn't working) or a potential new site maybe at Newbury at one of the Supermarkets (1.5 miles of the A34). That's potential as in "a good idea" not planned.
 
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