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Abysmal state of the Blink QC in San Francisco peninsula

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:37 am
by ericsf
Yesterday, I had to unexpectedly leave work early and had to use the fast charge to make it to my appointment. It was a "do or die" situation. With half a dozen QC stations on the LEAF's GPS map along the way - 3 of them I had used at least once before - I felt confident it was going to be easy. Oh man was I wrong.

First stop in Mountain View at Intuit. The Blink's touchscreen on the right was smashed, both screens off. The pretty but useless video on the top rolling like if nothing was wrong. I thought "Okay, plenty more QC to try on the way". Back on the road.

Second stop at Facebook in Menlo Park. The message on the screen told me the emergency shut-off had been triggered and the station had "no power". It still had plenty of power to roll the useless video on the big screen but no charge for me. Back on the road.

Third stop in Menlo Park at another Intuit location. There, everything looked okay on the surface but once I scanned my card, I found out that the touchscreen was not working. Unable to press the "continue" button, impossible to charge. That time, I called Blink's tech support line. All they could tell me was that they knew about the problem but could not override the system and let me charge remotely. Wasted 10min of valuable charging time on the phone. Back on the road.

Fourth stop, Redwood City near the Stanford hospital. I saw this one on the GPS map but had never used it before. Drove around the building twice, asked someone who pointed me to some weird group of L2 but no QC. Thanks Nissan for putting up ghost stations on the map. Back on the road.

Fifth stop, Evernote in Redbood City. It didn't look good at first as only the screen on the left was lit. Another LEAF was plugged-in but done charging. I unplugged him and tried to get mine started. The first time I got a "charging can't start error"... darn. Tried again, same. A Volt owner using the nearby L2 saw me struggle and told me "this is always broken, good luck with it!". I was about to switch to a L2 and see how far 30min of L2 charging could get me (very little hope I was going to make it to my appointment at that point) when I noticed I had left my car turned on. Dang! The third time was the charm: I was finally charging.

This last glitch was my fault but come on Blink: Out of 4 stations, 3 were unusable, 1 was half dead. Seriously?

Re: Abysmal state of the Blink QC in San Francisco peninsula

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:53 am
by Nubo
The Blink QC have always worked for me the times I've used them; though my last stop in Pleasanton one of the touch screens was smashed and the big screen was proudly displaying a BSOD. Sad to hear of more vandalism. Makes me wonder about the decision for the units to call so much attention to themselves with a huge video screen. And of course when the unit isn't working, the big screen seems particularly ludicrous.

Re: Abysmal state of the Blink QC in San Francisco peninsula

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:07 am
by DanCar
The blink quick chargers at evernote have been in like new condition each time I've tried them.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Evern ... 79452495ce" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Abysmal state of the Blink QC in San Francisco peninsula

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:30 am
by ericsf
Indeed, I think that the fact that the Evernote QC is in a covered structure, away from the street and protected from the sun seem to help. Still, yesterday the right side touchscreen of this unit was dead.

Does the QC that the LEAF's GPS map shows at the intersection of Douglas and Broadway in RWC actually exist?

https://www.google.com/maps/place/998+D ... a05b5afdfb

Re: Abysmal state of the Blink QC in San Francisco peninsula

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:48 pm
by GRA
ericsf wrote:<snip>
This last glitch was my fault but come on Blink: Out of 4 stations, 3 were unusable, 1 was half dead. Seriously?
Be sure to contact Blink and report your problems, preferably via email. Although they aren't quick to get the stations back up and running, they do eventually get around to it. Of course, that doesn't mean that they'll continue working for any length of time, but constant nagging whenever one is OoS seems to be the only way to keep them semi-operational. The same goes for their L2s. Squeaky wheel etc.

Re: Abysmal state of the Blink QC in San Francisco peninsula

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:35 pm
by peter
ericsf wrote:Indeed, I think that the fact that the Evernote QC is in a covered structure, away from the street and protected from the sun seem to help. Still, yesterday the right side touchscreen of this unit was dead.

Does the QC that the LEAF's GPS map shows at the intersection of Douglas and Broadway in RWC actually exist?

https://www.google.com/maps/place/998+D ... a05b5afdfb
That's the Silver Springs QC - it's in the back parking lot. The only free Blink QC still left afaik.

All the bad chargers you mentioned have been down for some time and listed as such in Plugshare.

Plugshare is your friend.

Re: Abysmal state of the Blink QC in San Francisco peninsula

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:47 pm
by cwerdna
peter wrote:All the bad chargers you mentioned have been down for some time and listed as such in Plugshare.

Plugshare is your friend.
Yes. I would ALWAYS look at Plugshare first. Beside the web site, I have their app installed on both my smartphones (Android and iOS) and my iPads.

Depending on the charging station info in Carwings AND depending on ANY Blink infrastructure is a huge mistake. The former is often wrong, has insufficient info and lacks any recent crowdsourced info to determine whether it's likely to be working or not/worth bothering to visit.

FWIW, I've used Blink infrastructure exactly 0 times, so far. Well, at least it they weren't Blink- branded DC FCs and didn't require any cards. One of them (a http://www.nissanqc.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) apparently has had a Blink card reader attached it to it and is no longer free.