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BAD EXPERIENCE AT THE NEWPORT BEACH DEALERSHIP - ANYONE ELSE?

I went to Newport Beach yesterday afternoon to check out the Model S. The actual car, as opposed to the photos, didn't disappoint. What did disappoint was the arrogant attitude of the representative. Every question I asked was responded to with defensive and condescending answers. The guy really didn't know what he was talking about. I walked out of the Tesla dealership with a bad taste in my mouth - I felt almost like requesting a refund on my deposit. Anyone else have this experience? I think Tesla needs to re-evaluate this guy's position in their company.

The three staff we met at the Newport dealership a month ago were nothing but super helpful and spent almost an hour answering questions and showing us the roadster, even though there was no chance that we were going to buy one, which we were open about. Maybe just a bad day?

I only interfaced with a young lady and she was very professional and nice. I liked the looks of the car but wished I could sit in one....which will be a prerequisite before I buy one. Also the 21" low profile tires looked good but not to my liking for a daily driver around town, but I'm sure there will be options to choose from.

I attended on the 17th which was a private showing for reservation holders; I presume you were not there that date but attended on Friday the 18th based on your post. I found the representative to be very engaging and answered the few questions I had very professionally. He was very upbeat about Tesla and their ability to build a superior EV compared to other auto manufacturers offerings. I suspect perhaps this enthusiazum is what turned you off.

It's said, Tommy Lasorda, manager of the L.A. Dodgers, bleed blue; I think this representative has the same passion for Tesla and bleeds Tesla red. That's an admirable trait to have in my view.

I went by on the 17th to check out the NB dealership, but no one would talk with me. Only signs indicating private reception. But... I'm a reservation holder! A bit rude, I think.

You should have received an e-mail indicating the private reception date and the need to RSVP from Tesla; if you didn't than perhaps Tesla has a different e-mail address than yours and needs to be updated or your spam filter filtered out the e-mail.

Tesla also lists the dates on their web page as the tour makes its rounds to the different showrooms. L.A is next week.

At any rate, I don't think they were rude to you if you did not RSVP; people do crash events especially when the event is catered. Tesla was being prudent in allowing only those on the confirmed RSVP list to attend.

I have only had good experiences at the Newport showroom. We have been by there many times and We were there on the 17th for the preview and had many questions answered by all the Tesla reps. We also did the tech talk at the beginning of the month and learned quite a bit from Ben during his presentation. Suggest you sign up for one of the tech talks.
The event on the 17th was RSVP only. Emails were sent out a few weeks before along with postings on the website.

I visited the NPB today (19 Mar) and had a mix of both good and bad attitudes. I also met with a lady (mid 30s) and when I heard her talking to others, she sounded very belittling. The moments I spent takling to her, she was professional and upbeat. Perhaps she was sensing a well informed reservation holder instead of an average citizen. Perhaps she was just hungry and I was being quick and to the point which gets her to lunch sooner.

Overall, I'm not going to judge the product based on the people that try to represent it. The Model S (even the Alpha version) looks to be a fantastic car, the car speaks for itself, even if the representatives have trouble doing that.

OCATTY---If you don't like the guy that you met, go to Tesla and replace him. Tour with the vehicle and present it better and with more love and enthusiasm. If that is not a possiblity, then thank TESLA for making a great car, and hope that the same guy is not your delivery agent when your number rolls around. Enjoy your Model S.

Just to add another data point for the Newport Beach location: My wife and I visited the Newport store the afternoon of the 19th, and the staff there were very pleasant and chatting with the public rolling in and out. They were very helpful.

Kyrstin, who appears to be the main sales rep there at the Newport store, was answering everyone's questions about the car - as best she could given that there are still many outstanding questions that can't be answered until we get closer to the launch date. The gentleman from Corp who was assisting Kyrstin was really nice too.

We had been there at the store once before and got to test drive a Roadster to get us into the mood for the Model S, and the staff there again were as nice and helpful as can be.

BTW: It may be just us, Model S looks even better "in the flesh" as compared to pictures. If you have a chance to check out the prototype as it tours, don't miss it. Love that red color too.

A quick follow-up. There were two employees in the showroom when I went to look at the Model S - a "gentleman" and a woman. The gentleman never welcomed me or introduced himself. Now, I don't expect to get red carpet treatment when I visit a car dealership, but by the same token, I do expect a minimal amount of courtesy. It's been a while since I've received customer service as bad as I did on Friday. Like many people who attended the open house, I drove a fair distance in heavy traffic to get a view of the Model S. Being treated rudely by the Tesla rep was insulting. I intend to keep my place in the queue, but will probably take shipment from the LA dealership.

Bound466 (or anyone who saw the Model S "in the flesh"), I missed the Model S tour in Chicago (I live in Michigan). Is the Model S prototype on tour the Alpha build?

I bet it is the mockup-model that gives only rough estimate of the actual product.

The model on tour is the latest prototype, pre-alpha, and is drivable. It has the full interior with the 17-inch screen. It is not the alpha models that they just built. But it still gives a sense of what the car will look like, the size of the car, etc. Still worth seeing if you can get a chance.

I was at the NPB store for the showing of Model S prototype on Friday March 18 from about 2:00pm to almost 4:20pm. The two staff members were Ben and Valerie. They were both very helpful to me and seem to be helpful to others while I was there.

What time did "Ocatty" arrive at the NPB store on that Friday?

My wife and I also ran into a "snobby" rep. in their Menlo Park showroom. At the time they only had Sportsters, and the moment I said "S", it was like I was 3 rungs down the food chain. Never felt so poor, especially during the process of "buying" a $57,000 car.

A friend who has owned many exotic cars visited the NYC showroom and had the "salesperson" talk to him while typing on the computer and barely making eye contact. He said it was the worst attention he's ever had in a auto store. He thinks it was because this is a company store and not a local dealer situation. I had a completely opposite experience at the Chicago store where the "salesperson" was engaging and enthusiastic.

I am with William13 about the Chicago store. I've been there twice and each time greeted very well and the second time the gentlemen recognized me right away.

Ditto, I lived in W LA and now in Newport. Newport Beach dealership had sub-par customer service, I was in the dealership with maybe 5 other people and not once in 45min did anyone approach me, smile or even attempt to help me.

If Tesla wants to imitate Apple they have a long way to go and in addition to buying Model S I'm also share holder.

Elon, you need to take a 2nd look at your Newport staff.

Waymond, I arrived around 4:30. This was for the open house showing, since I could not make the "private" showing the day before.
Today I received a call from a very nice Tesla customer service person assuring me that customer service is very important to Tesla. She was quite concerned about my treatment at the Newport dealership and said it would be addressed at a higher level. Now, as (only) a reservation holder (not yet an S-model owner), I very much appreciate the outreach from Tesla on this issue. Well done!

Ocatty, I am glad that a Tesla Rep. is following up on your concern. I just missed you comming to the store that afternoon.
When you arrive, I was at the Ferrari store next door.

I was a model S reservation holder before seeing the actual prototype. I liked the car so much that day that I decided to upgrade to a signature series model S that afternoon.

I still can not understand why either one of the NPB store Rep would treat you like that. Hope your future experience at Tesla would be better.

@Waymond
What S-Sequence number did you receive after upgrading?

We are keeping a Tally on the "Model S Reservation Tally" thread:
https://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/model-s-reservation-tally

Signature Series model S no. 241 on March 18, 2011.

I attended the Chicago store showing and was greeted with great friendliness and interest. Dustin Krause and his team have their act together. They showed enthusiasm and eagerness to talk and answer questions. Even though I am only a Model S reservation holder they showed me the roadster giving me the details and a tour of the shop where they were working on one. I took a ride in the roadster and then drove it and was very impressed. They followed up with a call the next week to ask about buying the roadster and ask if I had other questions at all about either model. It was a great experience.

Hmm. Tesla have been opening stores VERY fast, which means they've been hiring very quickly. I'm not surprised if they've been hiring some "lemon" employees. It sounds like they're making every effort to fix that as fast as possible, so by all means do report discourteous service to the central office.

Their Australian rep has been very friendly and helpful to me. We do not have a showroom, and the rep comes to your door. I was given a test drive of the roadster which absolutely blew me away. I was up front about the fact that I had no intention of buying the roadster. If the "S" is ANYTHING like the roadster to drive, it is going to be an amazing car. Like nothing I have driven before! The need for brakes is negligible during city cycle driving and my guess is that driven properly (and you learn that within 15 mins.,) you only use the brake for emergency stops and to bring the vehicle to a total standstill - the regenerative braking is that good and predictable. You may never need new brake pads, AND with negligible brake dust, your rims are likely to stay clean too!
Main problem is we have to wait til 2013 for the right hand drive model here and it will be DOUBLE the USA price!!!(with the Aussie dollar above par with the USA).

This may be a late reply, but I'm surprised to hear about ocatty's experience at the Newport office, since I've had the opposite experience. I spoke with Ben, who was quite helpful and knowledgeable, and not pushy or condescending in any way. His excitement about the cars, and the company itself, made me eager to learn more. I guess anyone can have an 'off' day, but I haven't seen it at Newport Tesla.

Everyone is different. You have to take the locale into account when you evaluate customer service at Tesla. I am a Roadster owner and I have found that Tesla is approaching their product like it's a swanky nightclub. They want a que out front to attract others to see what the que is about (if you know what I mean). Sometimes the "doormen" can rub one the wrong way. I feel they are trying to present an "elite" product without being "elitist". It's a fine line and some are better than others at walking it.

My folks at Menlo are great. See them all the time, always treat me well. I don't like LA as a city so the "LA" attitude from the employees there (Santa Monica Blvd) doesn't supprise me. I get the same attitude from the Starbuck's employees right next door. Doesn't bug me, because hey "that's just LA". Guys talkng "movie deals" on their cell phones while sipping latte's......

As for Newport Beach, the girl there was fantastic when I stopped for the night for charge.

I too had a bad experience at the Tesla Newport Beach showroom. I went there to look at the Tesla up close and to ask questions. I asked one of the reps what do I have to do to get a test drive. His response was curt and something to the effect that when you are serious and ready to buy I can have a test drive. I was shocked as in fact I was ready to buy or lease but had questions which were left unanswered. What a shame that such a beautiful car is represented by these kids with no social or sale skills.

BTW how does one make a decision about buying any care without test driving it first. It was a stupid and condescending remark. In the mean time there were a lot of people with their children jumping in and out of the only Tesla model S who had no knowledge of the car and were obvious just there to look.

I hope the attitude at the showroom does not reflect t he attitude of the service reps should the car need work. Mr. Musk should make some undercover boss visits at the Newport Beach showroom to see for himself.

If you really want a test drive just say the lease on your BMW is coming up in 4 months and you'd like a test drive. You'll get an appointment immediately.

Tesla or not, life's a game. Play it hard.

Musk? Undercover? About as easy as Madonna undercover. Which would be hard to achieve, unless she knows you really well.


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