My pano roof was making cracking noises when I closed it. I noticed pieces of plastic broken in both rails the roof rides in. I called the Menlo Park service center and they said, "just drop by and we'll take a quick look at it." By the time I brought it in it would no longer open when the service rep looked at it. "We have to order a new roof. Come back in two weeks when we get the parts." They took a list of other other issues I had with the car.
Came in this morning and the experience is not making me feel comfortable.
The service rep started taking information down like this was the first time I had ever shown up. "Don't you have me in your system?" she gave me a blank stare in return. I've paid for the "4-Year Anywhere Plan Service, does that mean anything?" She gave me another blank stare. I went through the list of other issues I gave them two weeks earlier.
Oh well, at least I'll get a Tesla loaner and be on my way. "Am I going to get a Model S or a Roadster?" I asked. The service rep just laughed, "Oh no, our sales guys sell all our loaners as fast as we get them. We'll get you an Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Oh... "You have to go with the Enterprise rep to their facility across town, they don't have the paperwork here." Oh... No Telsa loaners, no loaners on site...?
Now across town, we're filling out the loaner paperwork when the phone rings at the rent-a-car company. It's Tesla service calling. I had left with my Tesla key in my pocket. My fault I guess. (But you would think "ask for the keys" would be on a service reps checklist.)
Finalizing the rental paperwork the reps says, "Tesla covers the car rental but you pay for the gas." Say what? That's not how my other car dealers handled loaners. Probably just a mistake since I'm dropping of my key, I'll ask my rep.
Back to Tesla in my Nissan Altima loaner to drop off the key.
Since this experience wasn't making me feel like anyone actually had ordered parts for my car, now that I'm back at service I asked them to check to see if they had the roof parts they had said they needed. A few minutes later, "Oh we have roof deflectors and roof cables." Hmm, that doesn't sound like the parts I pointed out were broken two weeks ago that you said you ordered. The service rep who originally looked at the car two weeks ago pretended he wasn't in the room. Well Ok, I guess you guys know what you're doing, what time should I pick up the car today? "Oh, it's not going to be done today, it may be done by next Monday or Tuesday." Today is Thursday. Yet another surprise.
Oh by the way, "Enterprise thinks I'm paying for the gas - that's a mistake isn't it?" The rep said, "Oh we're not allowed to pay for gas." When I said "say that again" she then backtracked and said, "Well I can ask my service manager if we can waive that for you." That's when I just said thank you and left. I really don't care about paying for gas, it's a rounding error.
But the entire experience made me feel like what I imagine service feels like in a Chevy dealership. "I have to ask my manager" is a phrase I thought left behind. In the last 20 years I've had Porsche, Jaguars and Lexus and none of their service experiences felt like this.
Couple of conclusions- 1) Tesla is a startup and acts like one. 2) They're selling as many cars as they can (great) but they will do it at the expense of existing customers. 3) Service and support will suffer until it starts to impact their sales (same experience I had being an early Solar City customer.) 4) The CEO makes claims that are great for the stock price (and he actually might believe) but which really don't show up on the ground now or potentially ever.
p.s. like everyone else who owns the car I love it and will never go back to an ICE car. Just disappointed they haven't made the service experience in one of their larger markets feel as good as the car.
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