MSE News

Hive admits some users can't connect their electric vehicle chargers to its app – here's what you can do about it

Smart home tech provider Hive has admitted it's aware of a problem that's seen some customers unable to connect their electric vehicle (EV) chargers to the Hive app. While you CAN still charge your car if you're affected, you CAN'T use the app's features, such as scheduling to charge your car when it costs less. The fault also means you can't easily track how much you're spending on charging your vehicle. (MSE) first became aware of the issue after receiving complaints from users and spotting reports on social media. When we put this to Hive, which is owned by British Gas' parent company Centrica, it said that a "very small number of customers" in "poor mobile signal areas" were struggling.

It added that the issues relate to its 'Alfen Eve S-line' chargers, which contain a Sim card that should link to the app using a 2G signal called GPRS. These chargers launched in 2021, though they're now discontinued. They cost £489 when last on sale, plus £500 if you opted for them to be installed by a British Gas engineer.  

In comparison, Hive's current EV charger – the EO Mini Pro 3 – connects to your app using built in Wi-Fi. 

If you're thinking of buying an EV, you can compare how they cost to petrol and diesel cars in our Electric vehicle guide. You can also see our related EV energy tariffs guide. 

Hive customers got in touch with MSE to complain about the issue

Here are a couple of complaints we received from MSE users over email:

I purchased an Alfen EV charger from Hive, which they installed in March. Ever since I have had the device, I have never been able to link it to the Hive app and have been back and forth with Hive for over eight weeks about resolving the issue.

Without the app, it is more complicated to schedule EV charging, to benefit from lower cost electricity at off-peak times. In short, I have paid just over £1,000 for the box and the install and have not got what I paid for.

Since my charger was installed it has never been fully functional. I spoke to someone in the EV team to confirm that despite the charger unit being replaced once already, it is unable to communicate via mobile phone network and therefore not controllable. I asked when this would be fixed but they refuse to give a timescale, so I'm not sure what to do.

Hive says it will contact affected customers – but get in touch if you don't hear anything

Hive told us it will be in touch with affected customers to arrange an engineer visit to fix the issue. It also said that it would look into providing "goodwill payments" on a case-by-case basis.

But if you haven't heard from Hive, you can get in touch via email or by ringing 0333 202 1054 between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday. If your charger still doesn't connect to the app after an engineer visit, contact Hive to ask for a refund. 

Under consumer rights law, all goods must follow what we call the 'SAD FART' rules. In other words, they must be: Satisfactory quality, ADescribed, Fit for purpose, And last a Reasonable length of Time.

If your goods fail to meet any of these criteria (for example, where your charger was described as having smart app functionality that doesn't work), you're entitled to a full refund within the first 30 days. After that, you should be offered a repair or replacement – then, if those don't work, a partial or full refund within six years of purchase (five in Scotland). 

If you're unhappy with Hive's final decision on your case, or it's been eight weeks since you made your complaint and it hasn't been resolved, you can take your case to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) arbitrator UtilitiesADR. It will make a decision about your case within 90 days. Note that Hive isn't listed on UtilitiesADR's website but you can file a complaint under 'British Gas'. 

Still struggling to get a repair or some money back? Contact your card or 0% finance provider

If you don't get anywhere with Hive or UtilitiesADR, and you paid on plastic, you can try enforcing your consumer rights with your card provider:

  • If you paid on a credit card: Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, if you pay for something costing more than £100 but less than £30,000 using a credit card, the card firm's equally liable if something goes wrong.

    In other words, you have the SAME rights covering faulty purchases as you do with the retailer. In effect, your credit card provider has to step into the role of Hive, and it becomes responsible for helping you with a repair, replacement or refund.

    You can typically file a Section 75 claim within six years of purchase – contact your card provider and it should guide you through the process. See our Section 75 guide for more.

  • If you paid monthly with Hive's 0% finance option: This is technically an interest-free loan provided by a lender called 'V12 Retail Finance' (a brand name for Secure Trust Bank). You have the same Section 75 rights as if you'd paid on a credit card – and you can file a claim by contacting V12 Retail Finance directly.
  • If you paid with a debit card: Under chargeback – which isn't a legal requirement, just a customer service promise – your bank will try to get your money back from the bank of the firm you purchased from. Though be aware that even if you're paid, the firm itself can sometimes dispute it with the bank and the money may later be clawed back. You typically have 120 days from purchase to submit a claim. See our Chargeback guide for full info.

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