GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I purchased my Volt on Nov. 3 of 2011. On Nov. 4 I contacted SPX and filled out the application for a 220 volt charger. Now it is January 6th of 2012 and my charger is still not installed. In my opinion SPX has grossly mis-managed my charger installation. SPX has grossly over charged for the installation. SPX has supplied an unqualified and inexperienced electrical contractor to do the work. SPX has rescheduled over 11 appointments thus far without notifying me. Each time they promise to show up for an appointment they just fail to show up and force me to call them back and inquire as to why my appointment had been cancelled without my knowledge. At one point an SPX manager admitted that they had my installation confused with another customer ad was re-scheduling my appointments based on another customers schedule.

When the Electrical contractors first showed up on site to instal my charger on December 28th (After missing two scheduled appointments.) the electricians admitted that they had NEVER installed an EV charger before. These unqualified electricians never even looked at the installation manual for the charger. They did not bring the proper disconnect switch nor circuit breaker enclosure. They had to leave and come back with a disconnect switch. Then a supervisor on the phone told them that it was the wrong disconnect switch so they left for the day with about 1/2 of the work done. (And it was not done to code.)

After missing the scheduled appointment the electrical contractor sent over a different electrician who was supposed to be more qualified. He completely re-installed the meter panel and safety disconnect for the third time. He pronounced the job done and called the Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety for the final inspection.

After missing two more scheduled appointments without calling me... The electrical inspector finally showed up at my door to inspect the work. The electricians never showed up to meet the inspector... So I had to walk the inspector through the job my self and take notes. The inspector failed the installation with 7 major problems that he detailed on a list. I had to scan the list and email it to the electrical contractor and SPX. It has been two days since that inspection. Nobody has shown up to do any corrective work to get my system going despite two calls to SPX demanding a response.

Now SPX claims the contractor will be at my home on Monday to perform the corrective work and re-shedule another inspection. I have no faith that the electrician will show up on monday. I have no faith that that electrician will be qualified to perform the work to pass the inspection.

Perhaps if I lived in a small town where electric vehicles were very rare... I might understand why the local electricians might not be up to speed on installing the charger. But I live in Los Angeles. LA is the city where the EV 1 and the RAV 4 EV were launched. LA has a lot of Volt customers. There is no excuse for why SPX can't find qualified electricians to perform a simple charger installation.

I think GM should not be recommending SPX. SPX has over charged for the work. SPX has mis-managed the job. SPX has hired unqualified sub-contractors to perform the work. SPX has failed to communicate installation schedule changes to me on 11 separate occasions so far. After waiting for 32 days to get my charger installed I am considering canceling my credit card payment to SPX and hiring my own contractor (IBEW Qualified.) to finish the work. I will submit my invoice to SPX and take them to small claims court if they don't pay the bill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
Sorry to hear of the problems. It took SPX a couple of months to go through 3 different electrical contractors in my area before finding the right one. When they did, the job was completed perfectly. The installation was in North Orange County, but the electrical contractor firm is in Santa Fe Springs. Last time I chatted with them they were going to be upgrading some of the older public charge stations in North Orange County to J1772 models. They are still working on EV charge station installations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
The SPX "deal" should include homeowner first-right-of-refusal.

If their "guys" showup and say that "we've never installed an ESVE" - - you tell them to go home and call SPX to find another electrician. SPX's own web site says that they send out qualified EV ESVE installers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
I filled out the SPX online form, complete with photographs. They called me (with a blocked caller Id number, so I didn't answer it the first few times) to tell me that I qualified for the "free" charger. Two weeks later I called them to place my own order for a Voltec charger. A day after that they called me for my original transaction to ask me a good time to have an electrician come out to inspect my garage. We setup an appointment for that Friday morning. In the mean time, the Voltec unit arrived. I had already gotten a quote to install by the same people that installed the charger at the dealership. When SPX missed the Friday morning appointment I called my electrician back to have them install the Voltec. They came out the next morning (Saturday) to do the work. Took them about 1 hour. SPC called me again on Monday as if the Friday appointment had never happened to setup an appointment for them to survey my garage. I canceled.

The whole ordeal was about 3 weeks. Nowhere near as bad as the OP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I avoided SPX, based in large part on posts like this. I bought the charger from them, but hired a local electrician to install it, based on reviews in Angie's list, a local service that rates all kinds of services. He did a great job, took a couple hours from start to finish (including some time looking under the hood our of curiosity) and charged about $400. Everything passed inspection, no problem. And the charger is working fine so far.

I don't think it's so important that the electrician has installed a charger before. It's more important that they know their stuff and are conscientious. The install isn't that complicated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,876 Posts
I agree with a local electrician, I bought 2 SPX direct from them and had a local team do the install included a 60 amp sub panel in the garage. The install has been flawless, the chargers work fine, nary a glitch in sight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
The attraction is the "you qualify for a free charger". However, then they quote $1400 for install and bill DoE back for the charger unit and 1200 of the install cost. In the end, they can probably book revenue up to $2000 on a wholesale unit they pay maybe $200-300 for by subcontracting some local electrician. And you get a "free" charger and an maybe only 2-5 days home from work waiting on missed appointments :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Fulgerite, I just sent you a private message with the contact details of the SPX program manager who's been helping sort my mess out. Give her a ring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
The attraction is the "you qualify for a free charger". However, then they quote $1400 for install and bill DoE back for the charger unit and 1200 of the install cost. In the end, they can probably book revenue up to $2000 on a wholesale unit they pay maybe $200-300 for by subcontracting some local electrician. And you get a "free" charger and an maybe only 2-5 days home from work waiting on missed appointments :)
Not my experience at all. I am very satisfied with my experience with SPX. (I wish everything was going as smoothly with my car.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
My experience with SPX was less than exemplary, but the electrician I had was top-notch. The installation was way over-priced (about $800 for less than a day's work and a short run of wire), but it was paid for by DTE, my energy provider, so I am okay as long as I do not move within the 2 year period. I have to wonder if SPX is getting rich via tax rebates, giving it all a bad name. SPX has been the sole provider of GM essential service tools that GM dealers must buy for over the past 25 years. (I personally thought there should have been more competition and bidding, but GM seems to like SPX).

Last year at the SAE World Congress, I ran into Charlie Yankitis, Director of Business Development at SPX. I had dealings with Charlie years ago when I worked at GM. Charlie told me that if I had any problems, to call him direct. I did, and the process was still less than ideal. I would hope that SPX would be closely monitoring this forum and more importantly, making corrections based on feedback. But if they don't, I think Charlie Yankitis needs to hear about it, phone 586-578-7268.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
970 Posts
Fulgerite, welcome to the ONE consistently BAD experience associated with buying a Volt! Yeah a couple folks had okay experiences with SPX, but by in large most have found them to be disorganized, unresponsive, and ridiculously overpriced. It's best for many to buy a Voltec and hire their own electrician or install it themselves. I won't go into detail, but my experience was similar. First they said they couldn't find a single qualified electrician in Santa Cruz so they were going to send one from 4hrs away! Then they found one an hour away lol. Many missed appointments with no follow up on their end, only mine. The electrician who finally did show told me to expect the price to come in around $3600 - $1200 DOE Grant = $2400 out of pocket. Imagine my surprise when after that quote passed through the hands of SPX and came back to me at $10,900!!! No lie.

I bought a Power Xpress and installed it myself for $180 in parts and about 3hrs of my time. SPX finally got around to following up with me about 3 months later to see if I still wanted my "free charger" LMAO!

JT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Was your Volt Adviser able to help any? Did you call them?

I too am waiting for a "FREE" installation of the "Blink" charger. My garage is already wired with a 220V 40AMP circuit that was intended for this sort of devise. It should only be a matter of installing the correct wall outlet and plugging in the devise. Does SPX have any customer support email addresses especially for second level support. Can you share? I would like to get this damn thing installed.

In the mean time, I think I will order and pay for a 220 Volt Voltec charger and use it until the Blink charger can be installed. Then I will move the Voltec down to my business. O want one at home and one at my business anyway. So, maybe this will ease the pain of waiting for them to get the Blink system installed.

Are there email addresses for GM- customer support where we can lodge complaints. Can you post it here. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Portable Voltec install

After hearing the horror stories of the SPX install, I purchased the Voltec unit and installed it myself.

Being in the Coast Guard and due to move in about two years, I wired a 30 amp dryer socket with a disconnect for about $70 and attached a 6 foot Dryer cord to the spx EVSE. I then bolted the Voltec unit to a piece of wood so the EVSE can be screwed straight into the wall without having to take the cover off to move it. Results aren't as clean looking as it could have otherwise been, but otherwise it's good. I also used 10 gauge wire throughout even though the whole cable run to the EVSE is about 10 feet total. Been working good so far.

I know it is not to code, but I wasn't planning on it being to code, so i'm okay with it. The only permanent part, wiring to the disconnect and dryer socket, is to code so selling the house should not be a problem because of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
Was your Volt Adviser able to help any? Did you call them?

My garage is already wired with a 220V 40AMP circuit that was intended for this sort of devise. It should only be a matter of installing the correct wall outlet and plugging in the devise. Does SPX have any customer support email addresses especially for second level support. Can you share? I would like to get this damn thing installed.
To be up to code, it needs to be hard-wired (no socket) and inspected (which also means a building permit). But who's looking? And in the unlikely event you ever have a fire (but more likely than if it was professionally installed), it should rightfully take the suspicion off your Volt. As far as getting do-it-yourself support from SPX ... good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
I went through SPX and the electrician they used was "Mr. Electric. "Mr. Electric" was very professional and kept their appointments - they always called to let me know when they would arrive. The installation is top notch.

I had the Blink unit installed in my garage using a plug - which already came on the unit. Mr. Electric pulled a permit and the inspector passed the installation without any problems. Although I could have installed it by myself, I figured it was better having a licensed electrician do the work with the proper permits - just in case something happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
970 Posts
Was your Volt Adviser able to help any? Did you call them?

I too am waiting for a "FREE" installation of the "Blink" charger. My garage is already wired with a 220V 40AMP circuit that was intended for this sort of devise. It should only be a matter of installing the correct wall outlet and plugging in the devise. Does SPX have any customer support email addresses especially for second level support.

Are there email addresses for GM- customer support where we can lodge complaints. Can you post it here. Thanks
I'm not sure if you were directing these questions to me? I did not contact my VA, in part because - well I didn't have a VA. They never assigned me one until after I posted about it here and Trever helped out. But even if I did, I wouldn't have contacted them for SPX issues, not sure how much help they could offer.

Second level support from SPX? Now that's hillarious, first they would need first level support. Have you tried calling them? Just do some thread searches here on the SPX RMA process and you'll get a pretty good idea of what to expect. There probably is an email for GM, but I dont know it. Chances are they'll see it here if you post.

As far as plug-in installs go, it is allowed per NEC 625 given a few conditions are met. Among them, the install must be indoors and the EVSE must be listed for such use (the Voltec is not listed for plug-in use and therefore must be hard wired). Several EVSEs including the SPX Power Xpress, GE, and Leviton are approved for plug-in use.

I have NEC 625 posted in my profile picture albums for those who might want to read it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Was your Volt Adviser able to help any? Did you call them?


Are there email addresses for GM- customer support where we can lodge complaints. Can you post it here. Thanks

While GM may have recommended SPX... GM has nothing to do with SPX. I have not contacted my Volt advisor because SPX and the ChargePoint charger have nothing to do with General motors whatsoever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I bought a Power Xpress and installed it myself for $180 in parts and about 3hrs of my time. SPX finally got around to following up with me about 3 months later to see if I still wanted my "free charger" LMAO!

JT
My installation involves adding a separate "Time of Use" meter. I want the work done to code and I need to have all the proper permits and approvals. My power utility covers the cost overage that SPX ran up. So in the end it will be free. (If they ever get it done and approved.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE: Today (Sunday) The program director for SPX charger installation mysteriously called me out of the blue. (I wonder if she reads this Forum?) She was very polite and apologetic about the way my installation has gone. She promised that the electrical contractor would have someone out to my home tomorrow to perform the corrective work and be present for a second inspection. (We shall see.) She also offered to refund 1/2 of my out of pocket expense. I thanked her for that gesture and let her know that I appreciated the offer.

Actions speak louder than words. I hope this saga finally comes to an end tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
970 Posts
My installation involves adding a separate "Time of Use" meter. I want the work done to code and I need to have all the proper permits and approvals. My power utility covers the cost overage that SPX ran up. So in the end it will be free. (If they ever get it done and approved.)
I also had a TOU smart meter installed, but I just contacted my utility co, PGE, directly and had them come out and install it for free. It didn't require involving SPX. It sounds like your saga is almost over which is good news. I still think many will find it cheaper and far less painful to buy their own EVSE and hire their own electrician, even if they need a TOU meter installed. I honestly don't think SPX adds much value. They claim to manage the entire process for you but many here had to remain deeply involved to keep things moving along. And they say they offer specially trained electricians, but again many here have reported getting electricians with no more training or experience than any other electrician you might hire yourself. It would seem the only thing special about their electricians is the financial exclusivety agreement they have. But I hope you'll be enjoying L2 charging at home shortly!
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top