Using an EV Car with Electrify America

Prepare for a rant…I’m LIVID!!

Last month I got a Hyundai Kona Electric, that I’m totally loving.  The range is amazing, almost 300 miles with a bunch of rebates that brought the price down.  I used TrueCar to get some pricing without going into a dealership, then once I got the lease price I wanted went in to pick it up in San Leandro Hyundai/Kia.  It was a stress free buying experience, no problems with it and no buyers remorse.

Now I’m just figuring out how the charging stations work or more importantly, where they are?  I have 110 at home, an overnight charge is slow going.  So far I’ve found a few close by, for Christmas I parked in a lot for 3 hours while I was at my son’s house to come back to a $10 charge.  That seemed reasonable, as much as parking would be somewhere so NBD.  The next charge was in Concord and was free.  I had another hour charge for $2 in Emeryville while I went to lunch.

Before my son left I took him to the outlet stores in Livermore.  Imagine my surprise when a little over an hour later I came back to see a $70 charge!!!  I called their customer service, honestly thinking a decimal was out of place, and they were so empathetic but it was their money and I did use the station.  WHAT???  They stood firm, super sweet about not giving me my money back or an adjustment.  I couldn’t believe it!

Then I looked it up on google, for some reason there’s a software glitch on Hyundai & Kia’s that overcharges and I guess it was a fast charger that was not labeled as such.  I was even more mad, they knew it was a problem and they STILL didn’t adjust it?  There’s no email to customer service and I had pressed “no receipt” before I charged.  I did take a picture of the station.

Being the last of my friends to go electric, a few friends with EV cars thought that price was outrageous too, one friend sent me an article on how the State of California has banned per minute rates starting Jan 1, 2020.  I parked on Jan 2, so I thought I had a better case with round 2 of customer service armed with my google knowledge that this has been a known problem for at least 6 mos.  I also wanted my receipt.

First I sweetly asked for my receipt, which they emailed to me, then I let them have it.  I told them I felt like I was robbed or like the car was broken into when I saw the price – they were oh so sympathetic, they would have felt the same too, but sorry no adjustment.

I mentioned that CA banned per minute rates starting Jan 1, so in fact they were robbing me and they said to sign up via their website for when those updates take place.  They’ve already taken place!!  My last effort was to say the way this should have gone down, from a customer service standpoint, is the initial phone call they should have said,”Oh, you have a Kona!  We have a known issue with those, let me adjust the charge.”  Like any company does when there’s a known error.  Got the same BS line, they were so sorry and understood my frustration.  I got nowhere 🙁

I finally hung up, since I at least had the receipt in hand (or email box).  I went ahead and sent it to the California Office of Administrative Law with a plea to either fine Electrify America for not complying with the deadline or put them out of business.  They’re not on the map yet for BBB, I put in a request to add them.  They’re robbing us Blockbuster late fee style (another ugly story, glad they’re out of business!).

With all these start ups, customer service shouldn’t be an empathetic person on the other end nicely telling you they’re keeping your money pretending to guide you to a supervisor.  What a horrible business plan!  The funny thing is, right when you call it says something like “press 2 for a pricing issue.”  They know, the F’ers.

The other thing that’s odd about this is wouldn’t you want happy customers referring their friends and coming back as opposed to the one time gouge where you’ll never come back & make sure none of your friends do either?

I’m lucky I can eat this as a huge lesson, it doesn’t make me any less mad about it though.

That’s it for my rant – Unless you want the shocker bill DON’T USE ELECTRIFY AMERICA!

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