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Discussion Starter #1
Am I unlucky or is the Polar network utterly rubbish? Three attempts to use Instant and not one could be done without recourse to the call centre for machine restarts. The app is a dog‘s dinner too. Staff were helpful but general opinion was ‘yes they don’t really work in the winter’
 

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Polar are poor at maintaining their equipment, especially the further north you travel in the country. Not helped by the fact that you were using the app. While it has got a little better with the redesign, it still isn't reliable.

If you are using public chargers a lot, sign up for Polar Plus. You'll get better prices as well as improved reliability when you no longer have to use the app, though it is still worth keeping a plan B for charging at the likes of an Instavolt location since the likes of their Ultrachargers tend to go offline for a week or so after people hit the emergency stop buttons and cause the software to freeze until an engineer attends and switches it off and back on again for example.
 

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Roulette is a good way to describe them. Like @80698 I find the Polar card more reliable than the app. It has also been true for me that some locations are terrible (has anyone charged at Cheltenham Station, ever?) But others have usually worked, like Cheltenham racecourse.
 

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I've given up with Polar and cancelled my Plus subs yesterday, the last straw was the total failure of both units at the new 150Kw Ultra at Emsworth when I was very low on electrons (or coulombs) and also short of time, so bad planning on my part all round. Found the nearest Instavolt 50Kw and got 90% of a tankful but it took >90 minutes.
 

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(has anyone charged at Cheltenham Station, ever?) But others have usually worked, like Cheltenham racecourse.
Looking at Zap Map, the station appears to be on the CYC network. The racecourse is a Polar network charger.

CYC Is mostly abandoned and long forgotten. They don't really get touched when things go wrong. Chargemaster seem to be bringing the chargers and posts that they are still interested in across to the Polar network, and the others are just being decomissioned. If the site owner or local authority wants to keep them alive it seems completely down to them to run these off-network, or sell them off to other networks like Electric Blue, who seem to have made at least half of their business out of taking over CYC equipment and giving them some love for the first time in years.

CYC in my area is still mostly the original 8+ year old charging posts with 3-pin sockets, very few of which actually work. The rapid chargers are equally old, and my nearest one as an example hasn't worked since late 2015, the next nearest has been dead since last April.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can I get a card and still use Instant? Given the shambles of the network‘s general state, i’m not minded to subscribe
 

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Can I get a card and still use Instant? Given the shambles of the network‘s general state, i’m not minded to subscribe
Polar Instant by card hasn't been a thing for years now. The only way to use RFID is to subscribe to Polar Plus. Instant is now app only.
 

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And the App is very poor. Polar is an object lesson in how not to build and run a charging network.
 

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Looking at Zap Map, the station appears to be on the CYC network. The racecourse is a Polar network charger.

CYC Is mostly abandoned and long forgotten. They don't really get touched when things go wrong. Chargemaster seem to be bringing the chargers and posts that they are still interested in across to the Polar network .............CYC in my area is still mostly the original 8+ year old charging posts with 3-pin sockets, very few of which actually work. The rapid chargers are equally old, and my nearest one as an example hasn't worked since late 2015, the next nearest has been dead since last April.
Yep the North East is full of them. Can’t comment on rapids mind but destination chargers seem to have been abandoned in the city or taken over by Hubsta on hospital sites. Having said Northumberland County Council have been responsive replacing CYC units with Chargemaster in some locations
 

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Ive just had a second relatively new ultra charger fail to work for me in successive long weekend trips to the North East coast, this time in Pickering. Well pissed off, annoyingly contactless worked (but wouldn’t end the charge as it failed to recognise my card) but I’m a Polar plus member so should have been paying 15p not 30p per kWh. Customer service failed to fix the issue and I had to emergency stop the charge to release the CCS connector. Sub will be cancelled next week after I seek recompense from their customer service team.
 

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Yep the North East is full of them. Can’t comment on rapids mind but destination chargers seem to have been abandoned in the city or taken over by Hubsta on hospital sites. Having said Northumberland County Council have been responsive replacing CYC units with Chargemaster in some locations
Its the north east specifically that I am talking about here. You're about to see a ton of Electric Blue rapid chargers appear in the coming weeks/months. They are taking the majority of the CYC rapids as well as installing a number of their own. I have also heard that they will be doing something about the long forgotten rapid charger at Metrocentre too!

The destination units that have been replaced with Chargemaster ones I am told have just had CYC stickers attached for the time being, but will eventually be moved over to the Polar network. I've unfortunately noticed that the majority of these posts that have been replaced were originally 7kW are now only 3kW however, and still not especially reliable.

I've seen a small number of ex CYC units get transferred to Hubsta, not just at NHS locations. They were all the posts that were made by Elmtronics. Have you had the chance to try out that network? Are they any good? I've always just avoided them since it would mean signing up for yet another account, but if they put more around me I may have to consider it.
 

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Hubsta are a joke. Took weeks to get anything working with them. They've made some areas a total no go as there are only their chargers there.
 

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Yeah I have tried a Hubsta several times and have had no problem with them So far.nThey have always worked unlike CYC and up to now I have no had to call customer support from a charge point. Sign up was easy too. The only prohibitive aspect has been the extremely high hourly parking rate at some of their locations.
i see Gosforth has some new chargepoints installed. Maybe they are Electric Blue?
 

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Ive just had a second relatively new ultra charger fail to work for me in successive long weekend trips to the North East coast, this time in Pickering. Well pissed off, annoyingly contactless worked (but wouldn’t end the charge as it failed to recognise my card) but I’m a Polar plus member so should have been paying 15p not 30p per kWh. Customer service failed to fix the issue and I had to emergency stop the charge to release the CCS connector.
I had the self same issue at a Holiday Inn near the NEC. Started the charge with a credit card then it didn't recognise the same card to stop the session. Had to hit the reset button.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had the self same issue at a Holiday Inn near the NEC. Started the charge with a credit card then it didn't recognise the same card to stop the session. Had to hit the reset button.
Try not to hit the red button. It trashes the machine and they have enough broken ones as it is. Better to ring it in.
 

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Try not to hit the red button. It trashes the machine and they have enough broken ones as it is. Better to ring it in.
They typically refuse to stop a charge or remote reset a unit for you these days. It's not worth sitting on hold on the phone for ages to be told no.

If you press the red button and don't instantly twist it back, it shouldn't get confused and freeze. I often find it you press it, then wait for the button to appear on the Touchscreen before you twist it back and then press OK on the Touchscreen (takes just under a minute to appear sometimes) then it will go back to normal operation.

It only seems to be if you push it and then twist it straight back, or push it and then leave it like that for hours where it seems to freeze in an emergency stop state.

Since the Polar Instant app generally glitches out for me saying an error occurred and it doesn't think it successfully started the charge session, the emergency stop button is often my only way to stop the charge. Hitting the red button the way I described above has never crashed a unit for me yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
They typically refuse to stop a charge or remote reset a unit for you these days. It's not worth sitting on hold on the phone for ages to be told no.

If you press the red button and don't instantly twist it back, it shouldn't get confused and freeze. I often find it you press it, then wait for the button to appear on the Touchscreen before you twist it back and then press OK on the Touchscreen (takes just under a minute to appear sometimes) then it will go back to normal operation.

It only seems to be if you push it and then twist it straight back, or push it and then leave it like that for hours where it seems to freeze in an emergency stop state.

Since the Polar Instant app generally glitches out for me saying an error occurred and it doesn't think it successfully started the charge session, the emergency stop button is often my only way to stop the charge. Hitting the red button the way I described above has never crashed a unit for me yet.
That's useful to know - thanks
 

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I'm having issues withy local Rapid charger at the Toby in Carlisle. CCS goes through all the hand shake and 'safety' checks fine but then you get the red cross saying charge failed to start. That is with Polar plus with RFID card. Interesting, I haven't tried just using my debit card. Might try that.

They were not able to get it working when I rang them and said it was charging ok 4 days ago but I don't think they are looking at which connector is being used. If you look on ZAP MAP their is a stream of failed sessions reported going back months on CCS. The others work fine.

I'm annoyed as I don't currently have a home charger and the alternative is 35p per kWh with Instavolt. Even when it does work, I'll be required to go into the Toby and buy a packet of nuts just so I can tap my Reg into their computer and avoid a fee.

You shouldn't have to do this if you are paying a subscription!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just discovered a better aspect of Polar Roulette: 3 charges and they haven't managed to bill me any cost so far!
 

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They typically refuse to stop a charge or remote reset a unit for you these days. It's not worth sitting on hold on the phone for ages to be told no.

If you press the red button and don't instantly twist it back, it shouldn't get confused and freeze. I often find it you press it, then wait for the button to appear on the Touchscreen before you twist it back and then press OK on the Touchscreen (takes just under a minute to appear sometimes) then it will go back to normal operation.

It only seems to be if you push it and then twist it straight back, or push it and then leave it like that for hours where it seems to freeze in an emergency stop state.

Since the Polar Instant app generally glitches out for me saying an error occurred and it doesn't think it successfully started the charge session, the emergency stop button is often my only way to stop the charge. Hitting the red button the way I described above has never crashed a unit for me yet.
I wondering what routine need was there to do this, which allowed you to find all this out?

Are they really that unreliable now?
 
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