You get what you pay for is a maxim that tends to get forgotten in a society obsessed with pound shops and getting a bargain but it really told true this week for me.
I had a problem with my British Gas EV domestic charge point the other day. It went from being a British Gas EV domestic charge point to just a British Gas EV domestic point: it facility for charging went away. To be more precise, it tripped the circuit breaker every single time I tried to charge my LEAF. It wasn’t the end of the world per se but it would have made things incredibly irritating to work around.
Fortunately around 15 hours after I phoned in my problem, a very nice gent was on our drive way testing the charge unit to see if it was faulty. The phone conversation I had initially was illuminating too because the person I spoke to listened to what I said and responded accordingly. Let me say that again; he listened to me and responded accordingly, he didn’t read from a script or ignore what I said, or ask me to do some stupid irrelevant things. It was almost like I’d time travelled to a golden age of telephonic customer service.
After I had picked the time that suited me for him to come(!) to look at the EV charge unit, I was able to sleep safe in the knowledge it was going to be looked at.
The fault I’d described over the phone wasn’t one that the chap had come across before, so he came prepared and in the end changed pretty much all the innards from the British Gas EV domestic charge point. It turns out there had been a recall of the very very early units for a circuit board modification and he was a bit mystified how my unit had been missed out until I told him it wasn’t installed via retail as it was a promotional unit, so probably didn’t get flagged on the recall notice. Apparently my unit was the first instance of a recalled unit failing, so it was doubly rare.
What it proved to me though was the maxim I started off with: you get what you pay for. You could get your local electrician to install a charge point if you wanted to save a few quid, although it wouldn’t be installed anywhere near as thoroughly as BG do. But what happens if it goes wrong and you need your electric car? It was well under a day from the unit breaking to the unit working like nothing had ever been wrong with it, and that sort of service is second to none in my book.