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My experience at a Tesla Store

I just want to let everyone know how my experience was at the Los Angeles store in CA.

Yesterday a friend and I went to the Tesla store because I wanted to put down my reservation for the Model S and also get some questions answered.

We got there and to my surprise the store was a little bit smaller than expedited. We were greeted nicely by a lady that was obviously new there. She tried her best while we asks questions about release dates, warranties, options, etc etc. Since she was new many of her answers were "I'm not too sure so I'll let Layla (sp?) answer when she gets back. She's the sales rep"

So we wait awhile for the resident sales rep to get back into the show room area. We started to ask her the same questions and her attitude was very rude and negative. She pretty much made us feel insignificant and didn't want to help or answer us. When we asked about specifics she said that those details are not released yet which is quite understandable. But what really ticked me off was her general attitude. She made it seem like she didn't give a crap if we put down a reservation or not. She was saying that they have over 5000 people that have reserved a model S so since there is so much interest Tesla doesn't care if you put a reservation down now or just wait for the Model S to be released before we make a decision. If I remember correctly her words were something like, "You can put a reservation if you want, if not just wait for the car to come out." It's hard to relay how her attitude was typing this out but she really didn't give a crap about us. After a very short <5 minute conversation with her she returned to her computer and left us while the other rep was still around. Maybe it was because it was a holiday weekend and she just didn't want to be there. Maybe she was busy chatting with her friend on the computer or browsing the web. Whatever the reason, it was unacceptable!

I ended up putting in my reservation anyways because I knew most of the answers from reading these forums and on the site. It not like I was going to give her my commission when the car was actual released. I'm definitely going to head to the Newport showroom to pick up my car.

Tesla, if you are listening I hope not all of your reps are untrained and rude! I was seriously thinking about just leaving and forgetting the whole thing all together but I love the this company and the car. I'm still unsure of the whole thing now. I did put in my reservation regardless but I wanted to share this experience with the rest of you.

My reservation # was RN063491.

Since I've only read a few of these reports from different places, it's my hope that maybe the sales rep's are just having a bad day. I will be driving to Chicago when I get the word to go fill in the details. If I get any attitude I will scrap the purchase. The dealships are the face of the company and they are the people we will be doing business with if there are any issues with the vehicle.

Maybe the rep on your day had too many jerks coming in asking what they should do when the car rolls over and spills battery acid all over them. I've got that question just in general conversation about the car. My answer is, "You watch too much Top Gear."

Dupe posting. Delete it.

I had a very different experience at a Tesla store. This was the Seattle store, where I had an appointment with Lance Merkin, whose title is Sales Advisor. One difference is that I was there to test drive a Roadster, not to talk about the Model S. And I WANTED to love the car, though I had some serious reservations.

Lance picked me up at the airport. He was there when I arrived, though I had to wait a few minutes for him to circle around. He was friendly, open, and cheerful. He offered to let me drive immediately, but I asked him to get us out of the airport first because of the traffic and I knew from reading that the behavior of the electron pedal might take some getting used to.

Once we were out of the airport and off on a residential street we switched places and he explained the basics to me (most of which I knew, from having followed Tesla for about 4 years). I drove back to the freeway and to the store.

We talked a very little bit about the S and about other EVs (Leaf, Xebra) and about the Prius, which first piqued my interest in the idea of electric cars, since it will drive under pure electric power for short distances under the right conditions, but almost exclusively about the Roadster.

For my impressions of the car and what followed, see my thread "Woo-hoo..." in the Roadster forum.

The woman at the front desk (I think her name was Julie?) was also very friendly.

Lance had to leave to take the demo car to a show or demonstration somewhere for the next day, and was going to get me a taxi back to the airport, but then decided I ought to have a bit more driving, and even though it was going to make him a little bit late, he let me drive the Roadster back to the airport.

Altogether an excellent experience. A lot of times we post complaints but not praise, because anger demands an outlet while satisfaction is more relaxed. For that reason I wanted to post this.

I realize this reply is well after the initial post, but thought I'd add my $.02

I was surprised to find a Tesla store in a local mall when I was shopping for clothes with my two kids. The store was so appealing that it would have been impossible for me to walk past without stopping in. I was definitely in summer wear and am sure I did not look like someone who could afford a Tesla. However, the sales rep was incredibly friendly and obviously enthusiastic about Tesla. She also didn't mind helping my kids design their own Roadsters on the flat screens. I left the store really impressed not thinking that I was going to make a reservation, just really excited about what Tesla was doing. Well, it's a little over two weeks later, and I made my reservation a few days ago. Now, I can't wait. Is it 2012 yet???

This reminds me from one case where my relative was treated badly when she was buying a car.

It went a bit like this: She enters the store, says that she wants to buy that one there, the sales rep tells her that "lady, you can't afford that one". She leaves, goes to another car store, tells the rep that "I buy this one with one condition: you call that another shop and tell the guy there who refused to sell the car to me that I'm now buying that same car here". Sales rep does that laughing with malicious delight, and gets the car sold.

Luverly stories, both.

Shows the underlying power of emotion in guiding decisions and actions, I think!

I've been to Seattle twice. Nice folks. Nothing like a normal car sales operation (I tried to sell cars nearly 30 years ago at two places. I hated it).

I think for your best experience, make sure you're not in a hurry, or make an appointment, look and ask questions, but understand the S class is under development. If you want a roadster, fine, they can get one for you or get you one off the floor, but for the S class colors, trim, options, pricing, etc are not available yet. The person speaking with you is not being evasive, they just don't know yet.

With that in mind I had a great time on the first visit, went home, saved up a bit of cash and put down a deposit on the second visit a few months later. Now looking forwarding to seeing Freemont NUMMI on October 1st.

I can relate to Splitsec002's story. I worked in sales and customer service for years and always have a treat people the way you want to be treated attitude. I feel so strongly about it that 99% of the time, if I experience bad customer service I wont return to that business ( at any location) I'm resonable and can understand if someone is new and still training, or if the system is down or some other situation that cant be avoided, but a bad attitude or web surfing and chatting is no excuse.


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