I am finished with TESLA

I am finished with TESLA. I own a large business with 250+ employees. I own a roadster with all the options (hardtop, extended battery warranty, etc),which cost almost $150,000. I have a background in physics, although it is not related to my profession, but I understand technology. I have been following the company and the technology while the roadster was only a prototype. I believed in Musk and I believed in the technology and the concept. I believed in my sales representative, Graham. I did a big article in the local newspaper about electric vehicles and how I installed TESLA charging stations at my business because I so believed in this concept. I in fact, thought it would save america from the curse of oil dependance and auto emissions. I was wrong. I don't believe anymore.
I waited for almost a year for my model S. After Graham (the only one in this whole ordeal I can trust)moved away,I was handed off to many different people handling my car purchase (5 or 6),and none of them really knew very much. I was repeatedly lied-to by several about the delivery of my vehicle. In fact, Mike from California said "we just want to get this car off of our lot" and was going to drop-ship the car to me by UPS. Wait a minute, I paid for a "delivery specialist" to be there for me, and at least I was promised that the car would be wrapped and delivered in an enclosed truck to Wyoming. Another "delivery expert" took over and he (Cale) assured me that the car would arrive charged and would be wrapped and in a covered truck.
When the car arrived today, battery almost totally discharged, un-wrapped, un-covered, pulled on a cheap, open trailor behind a pick-up truck, it was covered with water which should have alerted me to a problem. But I believed in TESLA. I was wrong. The delivery driver quickly dumped the model S and drove off. The car, my beautiful model S was scratched in multiple places, the scratches had been attempted to be covered up by buffing, which scratched the car further. There was road dirt all over the vehicle and bits of some type of adhesive. The water on the vehicle in retrospect was a trick to cover-up all the blemishes.
I called Cale, my "delivery expert" and he stated that since the car was paid for and registered to me, it was my responsibility. I was later called back and informed that someone would pick the car up to re-paint it.
My beautiful Model S, for which I waited for a year. Now it needs to be re-painted, and somehow it has become my responsibility. Cale the "delivery expert" said "at least you got a tax break". Great... trash my $100,000 car and tell me I got a $7,500 tax break for buying an electric vehicle.

I was going to put a $40,000 deposit on a model X on Monday, Jan 7, 2013.
Not any more.
I am done with TESLA and the teenagers that they have empowered to handle customers paying $100,000 for a sedan, and who lie and behave like they are selling cheap chevy's.

I want the company to buy back my roadster, my charging stations, and my model S.

I don't believe any more.

I am finished with TESLA.


Tom - I am sorry this has gone so poorly for you. Tesla needs to be delivering both product and service, so if they are slipping in one or both that is worrisome. I hope someone up the ladder there grabs hold of your situation and makes it right for you, you clearly are a passionate EV advocate - the rest of us need you!

This recent delivery push has seemingly created great confusion, anxiety, and diminished the quality of some of the product and service. I hope for your and many people's sake this is corrected. Short of these types of experiences affecting reservations, they need to figure out how to appropriately deliver over 2,000 cars a month from here on out.

Tesla, we need your 'A' Game.

Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience. A mark of a great company is it's ability to make things right for wronged customers. I hope Elon and Blankenship make this right immediately.

George Blankenship just called me on my cell phone. 6:00 pm Saturday night, Wyoming time. He was very nice and offered to build me another model S immediately. I suggested that we try to see if the paint can be fixed professionally first, before we build another vehicle. My origional sales rep Graham will fly in to look at the condition of the vehicle on Sunday morning and take it to a shop to make it right. In my line of work, there is no tolerance for error or carelessness, and I understand customer care.

George made it right by me, fast.

Maybe I was wrong. Perhaps the measure of success is not being perfect all of the time, but rather being willing to fix the things you can, with honor and integrity.

I will give TESLA the chance they deserve. It took extreme courage to start this whole EV concept in the first place.

Maybe I(we) can believe in TESLA, after all.

I am going to give them a chance.

Wow, Tom- quite the story. It sounds like a promising resolution- please keep us posted.

Tom - That's sounds Lincolnesque, 'Perhaps the measure of success is not being perfect all of the time, but rather being willing to fix the things you can, with honor and integrity.'

I am glad George was so responsive and that you have met them in a reasonable spot. hope you get an outcome that turns you into an even larger Tesla advocate. That would make us all happy, and happy for you.

Best wishes, please keep us informed.



It's great that George B. got this resolved so quickly.

But I am curious.

Had you called Tesla to complain, or had Tesla seen your comments in this thread and gotten the information to George?

Too much emotions. Get real.

Don't croaq at him! The Model S inspires passion ...

By requiring out-of-state customers to pre-pay before delivery, Tom's situation is what I have been concerned about when I finalized my order several weeks ago.

Before finalizing my order - and committing the $5K deposit, I was assured by the Tesla "finalize" rep I called I would not have to pay for my car before it had been delivered to me AND I had an opportunity to inspect the car - so that if there was anything seriously wrong, I'd have an option to refuse delivery. The paperwork they provided confirmed this "payment due upon delivery".

I signed the paperwork - and then after seeing multiple comments on the forms, called Tesla again - and this time, I was told "delivery" meant "delivery to transport company" - and that I would be required to pre-pay for the car, sight unseen.

BUT, I was assured the final paperwork would outline my rights to refuse delivery for the car - if it was in unacceptable condition - which doesn't appear to be what happened in Tom's case.

Why am I worrying about this? Because I had this happen to me when I ordered my last car - my 2007 LS 460. When my LS was delivered to the local Lexus dealer, it had been damaged in delivery. While the damage was minor enough that they could have fixed the problem, they refused to give me the option to take the car and let them fix the problems. Instead, Lexus and the transport company worked things out to re-route another car to me quickly (which turned out to be on my birthday - what a great birthday present!). Neither the dealer or Lexus would allow a repaired/damaged vehicle to be sold to me as a new vehicle.

So if the final delivery paperwork Tom signed covered this situation, then he should have been able to refuse delivery of the vehicle - if he found the damage severe enough.

But if the final paperwork doesn't cover this - then I've had a second instance where a Tesla rep (not a local sales rep - but someone at HQ) has misrepresented the delivery process - and I'll be considerably more concerned about sending them $100K for a car that I haven't seen, won't have an opportunity to inspect, and will be stuck with, even if there is major damage - at least from a contractual standpoint.

If Tesla doesn't have this situation covered in their purchase agreements, they really need to get this fixed - because it is inevitable cars will be damaged between the factory and customer delivery.

While Tesla appears to be handling Tom's situation well now - why put customers in the situation Tom faced? Clearly he's been a strong supporter of Tesla - and had a bad delivery experience - which could have been avoided, if there had been a clear process established for him to make the decision on whether he wanted the car repaired - or a replacement sent to him.

Even though Tesla is not a dealer (at least not here in Texas) - Tesla should provide customers the same rights we would have if we were purchasing other cars - from local dealers - where we have the right to inspect the cars (even drive them) before we are committed to keeping them...

We all want Tesla to be successful - and it would be unfortunate all they have accomplished so far could be put in jeopardy by mishandling the delivery process...

I think to solve this tesla needs its own trucks and drivers to deliver the vehicles. That would be the best, but costly move.

I think there should be no war and food for everyone.
Come on, Tesla is a startup. And they are doing very, very fine.

Shit happens! You can see the quality of a company by the way they solves the problems.

( by the way, I'm a Signature res in EU and haven't seen nothing like a testride, deliverydate of whatever so far)
I had better aspectations about that also.

Wow. Tom, make sure you update us. I don't care if the car will go to the moon, if Tesla treats its customers like crap, I ain't buyin'. This sounds like GM or Ford in the 1970's.

And you're a REPEAT customer, and potentially a THREEPEAT customer! My fear: since you have obviously been a strong customer and advocate for the company (and, it turns out, quite vocal), it's understandable that Mr. Blankenship would jump in to make this right for you. Would he, or Tesla, do that for just a regular Joe Shmoe like me? Regardless, I, too, will be very noisy if I get treated like this. Like you, I WANT Tesla and EV's in general to succeed. But I am not going to be treated like I should be honored that Tesla took my $85,000. I expect to be treated like royalty given the cost and risk I'm taking here.

C'mon Tesla! Really? Pre-paying the full amount for a car sight unseen (as bp says above)? We - your customers - need to be treated with trust and respect. Just like we're treating you. We'll be waiting for your final report, Tom. Good luck!

In the excitement of beating Q4 estimates, I think they've pushed a little beyond capacity. Another sign of a great company is being able to "adjust fire" and hit the expected quality standard at the pace of its growth. Going from 253 cars produced last quarter, to over 3000 this quarter, and 6400 a quater next year provides a substantial test. Again, my name is Yoda.

WHAT a story. I am glad it appears to be working out for you. I think a lot of us waiting on our cars have similar fears. I am glad GB is making this right.... Tesla did the right thing offering you a new car and you were very gracious suggesting the re-paint.

cprenzl, in some states Tesla is not allowed. Wyoming may not be one of them but in some cases Tesla is stuck using third party delivery anyway. Tesla and the customer should also have avenues when the product arrives damage with a third party delivery. A claim can be made with the delivery company's insurance carrier and damages paid. It sounds to me like this delivery specialist is the one that messed things up. I would imagine a claim will be filed.

At least from my experience, quality customer care is critical for startups - because it's hard enough for a startup to establish momentum and gain customers, without also having to overcome bad word-of-mouth. Tesla's done a great job on their technology - and building a community of early supporters - but that could be quickly undone by a few bad customer experiences.

As a first step, Tesla should review their training for the call center folks - and make sure they are much more careful about what they tell customers - particularly anything related to contract terms (my experience with getting conflicting feedback on "payment upon delivery" is really unacceptable).

They should also review the MVPA - and fix the wording so it reflects many customers will be required to pay BEFORE delivery - and then outline the customers rights to resolve issues if the vehicle they receive is unacceptable.

These are both easy steps to take - and could be done immediately - and avoid these issues - before the get bit by someone with a bad delivery experience.

NOTE that I'm not even bringing up the lack of "personal delivery" or that many of the cars being delivered appear to be short items - those are also important issues, but probably not as important as anything related to the contract terms and ensuring the customer gets the car they ordered - and that it is acceptable...

Bp, you start your long complaint with "by requiring out-of-state customers to pre -pay before delivery............" I did not pre pay. I gave the ds a check when he delivered the car. You might have a problem with your state and not Tesla

It appears only some out-of-state customers are being required to pre-pay. I'm in Texas - and that may be one of the states. The lack of a dealership license in Texas may also be why the Houston store can't provide any test drives.

But it is up to Tesla to figure out how to work with each state's laws, and provide reasonable support and service for their customers.

Looking forward to the details in how my delivery will be handled. Hopefully my concerns will be unfounded.

Own trucks and delivery men would be costly for Tesla...maybe further on down the road when the company can afford it.
For now they should ensure cars are transported in an enclosed truck and covered. Elon is supposed to be pretty fanatic about the paint quality so I am surprised he is letting cars get damaged/dirty in the delivery process. Enclosed delivery trucks are a must, especially in winter.

It has been already reported that TM is developing its own delivery fleet. A few cars seem to have been dropped off by Tesla trucks already. Here's hoping! It certainly fits with Elon's vertical integration philosophy.

Also, no one can be perfect all the time. What matters is what happens after the mistake is made. That's when customers find out if the company truly cares.

I cannot believe all the garbage being spewed here. What states have outlawed the Tesla? I want to know ONE.

Tom: I find it almost UNBELIEVABLE that you would pay for a new Tesla, and then not "SCRUTIZIZE" how it was going to be shipped to you. Really? Tom, I wouldn't be SHOCKED at seeing my new Tesla arrive behind a "pickup truck", because I WOULD ARRANGE IT as to how it was coming. A pickup truck to Montana? Whose fault is that? If I lived in Montana, I'd arrange shipping myself, and buy insurance as well. It takes 3-4 days by Conway-fully insured. Batteries, damage, and pickup trucks are not part of the equation. I need an aspirin.

Boy, I am sure getting bugged reading things like "My car sat there for 5 dang weeks, and when I turned it on, HEY! it didn't operate yuh no?" Hello?!? Knock Knock! This is an ELECTRIC CAR. PLUG IT IN LIKE THEY TELL YOU. Have you read anything about Lithium Ion Batteries? Need a phone? Well, I'll tell you one thing, before I spend $150K on a car, I think I'll read up a little, maybe ask a question or two. You know? PLUG IT IN. HIRE A QUALITY SHIPPING SERVICE TO INSURE AND TRANSPORT YOUR CAR SAFELY. ok???? (really?)

Tesla is staffed by people, and people aren't perfect. They will screw up, and/or accidents will happen. What matters most is this: can Tesla learn from this, and keep from making the same mistake again? GB getting in on this makes me think they can, but ultimately, only time will tell.

I find your story very disconcerting, if only because I am guessing that Tesla would not have reacted anywhere near as spectacularly, if you had not spoken out in a public forum and if you were not a high end customer.

They'll go down flames if stories like this become more common as thousands more vehicles are delivered.


They may not have to own their own trucks. They may just have to own a set of covered delivery trailers. And get a reliable company whose drivers will follow instructions for delivery.


Blame the customer is really not a good business strategy in the long run.

TV is a troll. Obviously. No one is required to handle delivery of any vehicle on their own unless they've modified it after the fact. I don't expect to handle shipping on my own; I expect to be a customer. (And a pampered one, for the ~$100,000.00 I am spending.)

And having '000s of customers sending trucking co's in to the factory lot to pick up their cars is a logistical nonsense. Not happening.

Based on Tom's experience and a sample of the comments in the forum, I think the following sums up the past few weeks: the car rocks, the admin and delivery suck. Factory pick up does not apply. Always easier to fix the admin and delivery process then the car, so that's a huge plus. But, got to do it fast because there are going to be 20K+ cars out there by year end. Bigger spot light when problems compound. Only so many personal responses the top brass can make to customers like Tom. Roll up the sleeves and get to work on the team. I heard they are already retooling the "delivery experience" process, so a big good-for-you to Tesla if this is true. Now that rubber has met the road with sales, time to earn your pay George, et al...

To add, if Tesla's is going prevent more "Toms" and get to the GENIII scale of production over the next few years, they will have to spend just as much blood, sweat, and tears on leadership and management as they do engineering. The organizational requirements of large scale production will require extensive brainpower and artistry in itself. This goes well beyond the "start up" status they enjoy today. This actually gets to the heart of principle Tesla is based on: sustainability. If they want to create a sustainable future in energy consumption (and production), this is the part of the equation their brilliance will have to shine through as well. This might not require spending more money on hiring different management, but the leadership spending more time developing the people they already have. This is the long term commitment Tesla's executives have to be willing to make if they really want to disrupt the car market and lead to mass adoption. I predict Elon is going to have to do some soul searching in how committed he'll be in achieving his goals with Tesla. He won't be able to run both SpaceX and Tesla as CEO for long.

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