My wife and I went to Manhattan this morning to meet up with some friends who were visiting from Massachusetts. We met for brunch on the Upper East Side and had a really nice time. We live about 50 miles from the city and a round trip of 100 miles without charging would necessitate extreme-efficient driving, mostly because it was in the low 40's and the range is a bit compromised when the temperatures fall below 50 degrees. However I was gong to work directly after and that's only about 20 miles from the city, so the 70 miles trip would be no problem.
When we arrived at the restaurant, there was no on-street parking available so we found a parking garage right down the block and when we approached my wife noticed a sign outside that said "Beam Electric Vehicle Charging Station". When we pulled in, straight ahead I saw the Coulomb EVSE with the ChargePoint name printed across the front of it. I didn't really need to charge but what the heck, I'm here and there's an EVSE available so I might as well grab some extra electrons.
When I got home I went to the Beam website and saw I need to also register to their network to use Beam EVSE's, even though it says ChargePoint Network on the EVSE. As I wrote, they sell the $98/month unlimited use deal, but also a pay-as-you-go contract for a one time fee of $9.95. You then need to wait for them to mail you a card to swipe, so you can't just register with your smartphone and begin using the unit on the spot; not very user friendly in my opinion. To make matters worse, the EVSE was covered in dust, like it was never used. Here I was ready to pay to use it and they wouldn't let me. I think they should at least have some single-use swipe card at the garage that you could buy when you arrive. They could sell them in hourly increments so you can buy however much time you want the EVSE to charge for. I really don't want to have to have a half dozen swipe cards on my keychain, and you know even if I do when I really need to use a public charger I'll happen to find one that I don't have the card for.