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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used a Podpoint charge point at a hotel a couple of weeks ago, not used one before. Had a devil of a time trying to pay for the charge, as there was next to sod all signal in the hotel car park. Eventually got the car charging OK, and got a notification later telling me that the charge had cost £6.95. Checked my bank statement a few days ago and found that Podpoint had taken £20. Emailed them to ask what the hell was going on, they just emailed me back to say that they were hanging on to the £13.05 balance.

It strikes me that this is like paying for something in a shop with a £20 note and the shopkeeper refusing to give you any change. Being very generous I could class it as sharp practice, but if I'm honest it seems damned close to being taking money by deception. I've demanded they refund the money immediately, but don't hold out a lot of hope that they really will.

I've had pre-authorisation fees show up a few times when charging, but in every single case they've cleared very quickly, always the same day. This doesn't seem to be a pre-authorisation charge, it's showing on my bank account as a completed payment.

I'm certain that if I hadn't spotted the payment on my bank statement they would have just kept the money. How on earth can they get away with doing this?
 

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Perhaps you signed up for a payment scheme that requires you to open an account and deposit funds in there so that you can draw that down in misc smaller charge sessions. The minimum is usually a £20 deposit for those and they also have an auto-top up so that if your account balance falls below, say £5, then they claim another £20 top-up so that you have funds available to continue drawing down smaller charge sessions. I suspect that you have an account with £13.05 in there that is waiting to fund your next Podpoint visit. From past experience the only way to get your cash back is to close your account, claiming to have sold your EV is a good excuse, and ask for a refund of your account balance.

I fell for a similar trap with Chargepoint and still have a credit balance with them of £9.04 there that I can use at my next Instavolt visit. Again with the risk that if that next visit is £8 ish then they will take another £10 from my bank to carry forward a credit balance.

So, probably not a scam or even sharp practice. Just a manifestation of how the system that you signed up for works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Perhaps you signed up for a payment scheme that requires you to open an account and deposit funds in there so that you can draw that down in misc smaller charge sessions. The minimum is usually a £20 deposit for those and they also have an auto-top up so that if your account balance falls below, say £5, then they claim another £20 top-up so that you have funds available to continue drawing down smaller charge sessions. I suspect that you have an account with £13.05 in there that is waiting to fund your next Podpoint visit. From past experience the only way to get your cash back is to close your account, claiming to have sold your EV is a good excuse, and ask for a refund of your account balance.
It's possible, I had a heck of a time getting the charge to start, combination of almost no signal and bright sunshine, making it hard to see what was going on in the app (I was on an iPhone, not that I think that should matter at all). In the end I entered my payment details via their website in my room, on a laptop with a wifi connection, just copied the website address from the app, theres a link there to use if the app wasn't working (which it wasn't, probably just a connectivity thing). I had absolutely no idea I was opening what sounds like a "lets keep your money" scheme with them, I just assumed that the £20 was a pre-authorisation when the website said that was the payment that would be taken.

I'm going to avoid Podpoint like the plague from now on anyway, simply because I think their business model stinks. I thought the days of charge point operators using a subscription model were well and truly over, and that they had all switched to direct payment.
 

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Back then I didn't try to close my Chargepoint account because the card that they issued appeared to be quite reliable when a machine failed to accept others. Could be useful as a backup. Also, not sure that closing and asking for a refund would work seamlessly either. An option that occurred to me was to wait until I needed at least £9 worth of electrons. Cancel my card details on the edit function to prevent any more cash from being taken under their top-up system. Then use their card to run up a £9 bill at a Rapid to zeroise my account that way. That might work. But only when I was away and needed a 20 kW battery fill.
 

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I have credit balances with a couple of providers. Annoying, but in each case they were the only choice. Couldn’t find a way to only pay for what I used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I haven't had any issues with PodPoint... I just pre-load the account and my charges get debited... simple :)

I don't have any sort of account, AFAIK. This was a charge point in a hotel car park, with a website link to pay for a charge. I went on to that link, entered my card details, clicked the "claim this charge" button and assumed I was only going to be charged the amount that was notified when the charge completed, which was £6.95. Instead the buggers took £20 out of my account.
 

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I don't have any sort of account, AFAIK. This was a charge point in a hotel car park, with a website link to pay for a charge. I went on to that link, entered my card details, clicked the "claim this charge" button and assumed I was only going to be charged the amount that was notified when the charge completed, which was £6.95. Instead the buggers took £20 out of my account.
That doesn't sound good. At least you have credit to use for future charges.

On a slightly different note... I really don't like any chargers that require me to pay using my credit/debit card. I detest the pre-payment and then the fight to get the money back if the charge fails. That is why I have pre-paid on PodPoint and Bonnet. Unfortunately my personal policy means I can't use GridServe and as they are the biggest CPO on motorway services it makes life more difficult. I can't use MFG either. I am hoping they get put onto Bonnet but I won't hold my breath :)
 

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I don't have any sort of account, AFAIK. This was a charge point in a hotel car park, with a website link to pay for a charge. I went on to that link, entered my card details, clicked the "claim this charge" button and assumed I was only going to be charged the amount that was notified when the charge completed, which was £6.95. Instead the buggers took £20 out of my account.
they just emailed me back to say that they were hanging on to the £13.05 balance.
That can't be right, it only makes sense if they took it and added it into your account. But it you are charging as a guest, how would that work? Where does the money go if they decide to keep it? On what grounds would are they keeping your money?

I would be very interested to see their reply Email on justification for why they are keeping the £13.
 

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That doesn't sound good. At least you have credit to use for future charges.

On a slightly different note... I really don't like any chargers that require me to pay using my credit/debit card. I detest the pre-payment and then the fight to get the money back if the charge fails. That is why I have pre-paid on PodPoint and Bonnet. Unfortunately my personal policy means I can't use GridServe and as they are the biggest CPO on motorway services it makes life more difficult. I can't use MFG either. I am hoping they get put onto Bonnet but I won't hold my breath :)
MFG are on Zap-Pay if that helps you?
 

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I have about 30p credit remaining in my Pod Point account, less than a pound in my BP Pulse account, same with Geniepoint.

I was over enthusiastic when I first started 😂
 
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That can't be right, it only makes sense if they took it and added it into your account. But it you are charging as a guest, how would that work? Where does the money go if they decide to keep it? On what grounds would are they keeping your money?

I would be very interested to see their reply Email on justification for why they are keeping the £13.
I've never actually come across a Pod-Point that wasn't free of charge, but I can see in my app I can top-up in increments of £5. I assume it works the same as BP Pulse, where you need a balance to start the charge and when it gets to zero it either stops or takes some more.

So, by that reckoning, they might have taken £10 - but charging as a guest there's no reason why they shouldn't have just taken the notified amount for the charge.

Really, both Pod-Point and BP Pulse need to sort their lives out. The app shouldn't need topping up, they should just be able to direct take from the registered card the required amount (even if they do it on a monthly basis like some other providers, to try to minimise processing fees). They also need to get some roaming agreements set up, so the likes of Zap-Pay, Electric Juice, Bonnet and Shell Recharge can be used to pay for these chargers - which again would negate the card fees. GeniePoint has recently switched from a top-up system to one which takes the correct amount and works with some roaming agreements, which proves it can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That can't be right, it only makes sense if they took it and added it into your account. But it you are charging as a guest, how would that work? Where does the money go if they decide to keep it? On what grounds would are they keeping your money?

I would be very interested to see their reply Email on justification for why they are keeping the £13.

I agree. AFAIK I don't have any account with Podpoint. The sequence of events is that when booking at the hotel I asked if they had a charge point, they said yes, so I booked our stay. When I checked in I asked where the charge point was and whether I needed a card from reception (we'd stayed at another hotel in the same group before - they held an RFID card at reception to activate the charge point). Hotel reception told me the charge point was free and didn't need a card.

When I found the charge point there was a website link to Podpoint. I tried that on my phone, but the signal was patchy, and I couldn't get it to work. I plugged the car in, it started charging, so I went to our room, connected my laptop to the hotel wifi, went to the website (which I'm pretty sure was https://charge.pod-point.com/), entered my card details and found the charge had stopped. I went back to the car, unplugged it, plugged it in again, the charge started again, went back to the room, and then managed to "claim" the charge.

The next morning I had a notification from the website that the charge had cost £6.95, and I assumed this is what would be taken from my card. A few days ago I checked and found the buggers had taken £20 from my card. I'm waiting to hear back from them, as I've demanded they refund the overcharge.
 

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I agree. AFAIK I don't have any account with Podpoint. The sequence of events is that when booking at the hotel I asked if they had a charge point, they said yes, so I booked our stay. When I checked in I asked where the charge point was and whether I needed a card from reception (we'd stayed at another hotel in the same group before - they held an RFID card at reception to activate the charge point). Hotel reception told me the charge point was free and didn't need a card.

When I found the charge point there was a website link to Podpoint. I tried that on my phone, but the signal was patchy, and I couldn't get it to work. I plugged the car in, it started charging, so I went to our room, connected my laptop to the hotel wifi, went to the website (which I'm pretty sure was https://charge.pod-point.com/), entered my card details and found the charge had stopped. I went back to the car, unplugged it, plugged it in again, the charge started again, went back to the room, and then managed to "claim" the charge.

The next morning I had a notification from the website that the charge had cost £6.95, and I assumed this is what would be taken from my card. A few days ago I checked and found the buggers had taken £20 from my card. I'm waiting to hear back from them, as I've demanded they refund the overcharge.
If you are paying as a guest user, you agree to a pre-auth.

Having checked just now it appears it's £30, though it could've been different for the charger you were at.

Best enquire with your bank & Pod Point as to whether the pre-auth has been reverted on both sides.

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Worth you also double check what the exact tariff was at the hotel.

Pod Point sell hardware to host sites. The site then determines the tariff (and keep most of the revenue). Hotels often charge expensive hourly rates which could explain the additional costs.
 

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I haven't had any issues with PodPoint... I just pre-load the account and my charges get debited... simple :)
Simple, well I use them only because they are half the price of competitors. Life would not be simple at all if all charge providers required you to preload an account and use a telephone signal to get a charge. No, it's a flawed system.
 

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The next morning I had a notification from the website that the charge had cost £6.95, and I assumed this is what would be taken from my card. A few days ago I checked and found the buggers had taken £20 from my card. I'm waiting to hear back from them, as I've demanded they refund the overcharge.
I think that the full story may only be revealed when you hear back from them! This thread may have been started a bit too early!
 
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