Not much love and happiness from ZE connect

I really looked forward to using the ZE connect app. On Monday, the day of the first delivery attempt of my Zoe, the dealer people did not talk of ZE connect. Because I knew more than the dealer people, I decided to install the app and register an account in the evening. Installing the app from the Play store was easy. But registering an account became a new chapter in my book of electrobatics.

By using the nice web page from the Google people, I landed on the create a ZE account page. After filling in my name and a password and other data, I selected my country, ‘The Netherlands’. Then a popup said that I had typed in all the data for nothing and that I could not register an account on that page. I had to go to the Dutch Renault site and register a ‘MyRenault’ account. And so I did.

Registering the account was easy, and then I went to the ‘My Car’ menu option so MyRenault and my Zoe could meet. But MyRenault refused to know my Zoe. I entered all the data that was on her birth certificate, but the MyRenault web site did not want to know of my Zoe. So I gave up and went to bed.

What a surprise awaited me the next morning when I checked MyRenault: there she was! MyRenault suddenly did want to know my Zoe and knew everything about her. Even things that I had never told the MyRenault website. It was pure magic. And so I went on to try and register a ZE connect account. But MyRenault kept asking for an activation code that supposedly had been given to me by the dealer people. But I did not have the code. Because the dealer people know a lot about fossil cars but nothing about Zoe.

The dealer people phoned me Tuesday afternoon that my Zoe was now ready and I could take her home. I asked the dealer people about the activation code. They did not know of the code, but a kind young female from the upstairs department knew something about the machines called ‘computers’. And together with a colleague she discovered the secret activation code and put it in the designated input box of the MyRenault site. But the MyRenault site did not like the code and spew errors. The errors were not understandable. The MyRenault site blurbled about the contract not being valid anymore and that I had to approve of battery data transfer. Each time I checked the checkbox for my permission, it got unchecked after submitting the data. It was a special kind of checkbox, a ‘checkbox that can not be checked’. The MyRenault site did not want the secret activation code, nor my permission. I was very confused and so were the dealer people. It was late and they said “it takes 24 hours for the MyRenault site to recognise the secret activation code, it is better you go home and enjoy your Zoe.” And so I did. But I secretly thought that they said that because they wanted to go home too.

24 hours later the MyRenault site still did not want the secret activation code and so I called the customer relations phone number. The customer relations people promised me to help me, but it was too late for them, so they promised to look at my problem the next day. But the next day I did not receive any phone call. So I called them. Again they promised me to call back and this time they did, about 2 hours later.

The man on the phone did not sound really happy and actually it sounded like he did not want to help me at all, but I explained my problem anyway. Then he asked for my login name and password. I never give my passwords to strangers, and I thought that it was strange because he was of Renault and could see all my data on his computer screen in the Renault office and would not need my password. I also thought it was weird he did not know that you have no login name on MyRenault, because you login with your email address, and he had my email address right in front of him. That did not give me a lot of hope that he knew enough solve my problem. “Maybe he has a colleague that knows more”, I thought.

When I logged in to MyRenault in the evening, the error message had changed. It said: “Connection will be activated. Please start your car to finalise the process”. I thought that was really funny. And I laughed about it. “In order to complete your Google mail registration, please open the door of your refrigerator”.

But my Zoe is much smarter than me. She is ‘connected’. She can tell the website that I started her. So I obeyed the MyRenault command. The errors on the MyRenault site did not change because I had started my Zoe, and now when I tried to update the data of my car, there was no response from the server. But the permission to transfer battery data was checked (aka ‘the checkbox that can not be checked’). Was it my Zoe that did that magic for me?

I hope my Zoe will not let me down like the websites that the Renault people have built. Because they are really bad and make their customers very unhappy.


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