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Letter to George Blankenship

Posted this letter to George Blankenship today. Thoughts?

George,
I am a long-time fan of Tesla with an order in for a P85 (VIN: P17616) due to be delivered on August 22. Let me start by acknowledging what an extraordinary thing you all at Tesla are doing for your customers and the world at large. Thank you.

I am writing today because I noticed that Tesla is now offering the Parking Sensors for $500. I would love to add those to my configuration, but I am seeing in the forums that Tesla is only allowing me to add the sensors if I am willing to reconfigure my order, which would cost me several thousand dollars more than my current $114,453.00. I have already arranged financing for this amount. I have already signed the Tesla purchase agreement. All I want to do is install the parking sensors that you are currently offering.

This seems grossly unreasonable. And, in the past, Tesla seems to have always chosen the reasonable course.

Given Tesla's interest in providing world-class customer service to people willing to spend more than $100,000 on a car, I would hope that Tesla would be more accommodating for those few of us who fall between the cracks and have made a commitment, arranged financing, signed the paperwork, but whose car has not been built or delivered yet. I have to believe that the parking sensors will be available as an aftermarket upgrade sometime in the near future (likely at a higher cost than the $500 Design Center option). I also have to believe that it will be more costly to add the $500 parking sensors as a retrofit, since you will likely need to remove the nose cone and rear numbers, drill some holes and install the sensors. If that is the best you can do, I will wait for the retrofit option. However, this seems like a classless solution being offered by a very classy car company. Is there not a compromise between paying thousands of dollars for reconfiguring the car just to get a $500 feature (A feature that probably should have been part of the Tech Package already) and being forced to wait until the car is completed, then have to bring it all the way back to Tesla, wait for days, and pay extra for the retrofit? This doesn't sound like world-class customer service to me.

The minor cost of accomodating those few of us who are in this situation would seem trivial when compared to the loss of image to the elite Tesla Brand. Or, at the very least, would it not be more indicative of world-class service to offer to install these new options in those cars currently going through their builds for some incremental amount above the current Design Center List Price but below the expected retrofit price. Everyone would be a winner and you would once again be viewed as stepping up to another level of customer service.

I hope you can resolve this. In any event, I remain a big fan and a hope to be happy customer driving my P85 very soon. Thank you again for all that you and your employees do for us.

Warm regards,

I would love to add my name to that letter.

This sounds like a pretty reasonable request and I echo your sentiments.

Tesla may feel that it sets a bad precedent to allow customers to add features that have been announced after commitment. But I agree with you that it seems to be a relatively minor cost to incur in the grand scheme of things.

+1 well put

Personally, being dutch, I was able to configure the PDC right from the start in june, so there's no issue for me. Still I feel your pain.
It would be nice to know in advance what kind of upgrades/options are in the pipeline so one can anticipate, maybe even opt-in without knowing the exact specs, release date and price.
If it can be done with the whole car under development, then why not with an option or subsystem ?

@Tesla: please give the guys&girls a brake, even if it costs you some margin or you lose a bit of money on the sale of the option or retrofit. It buys you a lot of loyalty and reputation!

Best regards, Geert

I also feel EXACTLY the same. What is especially troubling is the "right hand" doesn't seem to know what the "left hand" is doing. I emailed my "Senior Delivery Experience Specialist" today and he sent me wrong information telling me that I could get the $500 upgrade price "since my car hasn't yet entered production".

I emailed him back to confirm it would be $500 more and he confirmed. Then I get a phone call a few hours later stating that wasn't true. This is really frustrating to get conflicting information.

I'll also email Mr. Blankenship separately and forward my email from my "Senior Delivery Experience Specialist" but really if these guys aren't sure of something it's better to say " I don't know" rather than giving out wrong information.

I was about to scrap my order and reconfigure with the higher prices, but will most likely just retrofit, as I don't want to pay an additional $8,000 for the opportunity to have a non-retrofitted parking sensor system. Feel free to add me to the letter if you send it out, looks great. I'll give you my reservation number if you need it.

I just hope the retrofit is priced reasonably.

I'll say another thing. While I do think Tesla is a revolutionary company, I'll have to seriously rethink my opinions on their business model. Before, I was raving to anyone that would listen how Tesla's business model vs. the traditional dealership model was clearly better.

I really don't feel the same way anymore. I've never liked the dealership model and this model that Tesla was after seemed to be the better model but quite honestly I'm not sure anymore.

I thought the direct to consumer model was going to be a more transparent, more ethical, and more simple process vs. the dealership route. But quite honestly, I almost feel like a dealer would have fought more in this situation vs. Tesla's handling of this kind of situation.

Again, I can understand if those of us that are complaining didn't originally order the technology package, or our cars already started production. Then absolutely I think it would be a no brainer. But many of us already ordered the technology package, our cars haven't yet entered production so it would be no big deal for Tesla to simply add the PDC to our order.

It's not really even just the financial aspect of this. But the way they are handling it.

I mean, I spent several minutes on the phone with a girl from Tesla today telling me that it would be better if I would downgrade my order and leave off HPWC along with other things that "probably wouldn't be needed by most Tesla owners". Saying things trying to get me to downgrade several upgrades to my P85 all so they could upsell me on the new pricing.

My thought is what ever happened to George?? Remember the lighted sun visors and pano roof shade not a word and almost a year ago these were promised! I don't expect a response....

My car won't be delivered until August 17. I want to add the parking sensors but it makes no sense to reorder the car with new pricing. I can't believe Tesla is leaving some of us stuck in this situation while the car hasn't been build. I hope someone from their top can recognize our special situation and make us a reasonable upgrade offer instead creating an order!

"The cost of accomodating those few of us who are in this situation would seem to far outweigh any loss of revenue or loss of image to the elite Tesla Brand."

That one sentence is almost impossible to understand, but I think it says the opposite of what you intended.

I agree. Tesla is looking greedy.

My Car is to be delivered on August 10. I was told that I could add the parking sensors, but only by repricing the whole car. That adds up to about an extra $5000. Tesla needs to rethink this. That is not a way to treat a customer. Surely there can be an accomodation for those of us whose car hasn't entered the final production process and the cost to Tesla is only a couple hundred dollars at most. I'd be happy to pay the $500 for the sensors, but they are not worth $5000.

Come on Elon, do the right thing.

Anyone willing to tweet Elon abou this?

@ampedrealtor, I tweeted to Elon earlier. If you haven't, you should voice your opinion!

What is Elon's twitter address?

This has the potential to work. Precedent: TM raised the price of one of their service contracts recently without notice. There was a large backlash and they gave a 'grace period' of several days to allow people to get in at the lower price.

Hope you are successful.

+ 1

@elonmusk

FYI. My Delivery Specialist just emailed me to "apologize for conflicting information in previous emails".

I forwarded that email along with this email to George. I hope he responds.

___________________________________

George,

I want to preface this email by telling you what a wonderful job you are doing. From all accounts, you are an ethical, reasonable and fair guy. It's clear you're an extremely hard worker and I really admire how accessible you have been with your valuable customers. I'm a big fan of your company, Mr. Musk (and I have friends/clients that went to University with him in Canada and personally know him) and your amazing cars.

I'm sure you have received several complaints about this Park Distance Control upgrade issue. I am attaching my email correspondence with my Senior Delivery Experience Specialist. My VIN# is 17334 due to be delivered on August 24. As you can see from my order, I already ordered the Technology Package and I find tremendous benefit to upgrading and ordering that package.

When I noticed that you are offering the Park Distance Control option for $500, I immediately emailed my SDES and you can see our email chain below. While I can appreciate that this is new and there may have been some communication issues with the staff and members of your team, I simply can't wrap my head around the thought process as it pertains to valuable customers who have already placed orders and already upgraded to the Technology Package whose vehicles have NOT entered into production yet.

I had a member of your Configurations/Inside Sales team call me today to inform me that although I have upgraded and ordered the Technology package, and my car has NOT yet entered into production, that there is no way for me to upgrade to add the Park Distance Control for the added $500 fee. She said that I would need to "reconfigure my order" to pay the increased prices that you came out with yesterday.

George, I could understand if this was a matter of me not originally ordering the Technology package and now trying to take advantage of adding it now after the fact. Or if my car had already entered production, (which my Delivery Experience Specialist has confirmed has NOT happened yet). But this is not the case. I can't understand the thought process of not allowing me to upgrade to simply add on the Park Distance Control since my car has NOT yet entered production.

I have already signed the Tesla purchase agreement, and I am fully committed to purchasing the vehicle and have the funds to purchase it. I don't find my request unreasonable to simply upgrade to add on the Park Distance Control. I realize that later you might have an option to add on a retrofit option to add on the Park Distance Control but it will be much more expensive and also it doesn't make sense because my car hasn't yet entered production yet. It would be a win/win situation and make sense for Tesla to add this to my package now before production begins. Maybe there could be a compromise and you could make it available for some extra fee vs. the $500 but I'd appreciate some feedback from you on what the possibilities are short of paying $6,000+ more simply to add on PDC.

I consider myself a very objective and fair person. And from everything I have seen and read about you, I am confident I can say the same about you. If there is some compromise that makes sense for people that are in my situation it would be greatly appreciated and we would continue to have a great feeling about a great company that values their customers more than the almighty dollar.

I'm quite confident there aren't too many people that are in my unique situation. However, I do know they exist out there and from all accounts, we all feel the same exact way about this issue.

The worst thing to me is I was someone that truly believed in your business model vs. the traditional dealership model. I have been singing your praises why Tesla's business model was better vs. the traditional business model. I have even signed various petitions to assist Tesla's cause in Washington DC as well. But the way that I am being treated in this unique situation doesn't leave a good feeling with me.

Your Configurations specialist that called me today even was trying to talk me out of upgrades that I already made and ordered telling me things like, "most Tesla owners wouldn't need these things so it might be a good idea to reconfigure your car to remove these unnecessary items". Quite honestly George, this felt like extreme up-selling to me of a great car that I already configured to get me to pay thousands of dollars to simply add the Park Distance Control. It was a far worse feeling vs. any slimy experience I've had over the past several decades buying cars in a dealership. That perhaps is the saddest thing about this experience.

I hope you can come up with some compromise and I'd appreciate the simple courtesy of an email back about this issue. Time is of the essence due to the fact that my car hasn't yet entered production and I really believe this matter needs some resolution. I want to thank you in advance for your time and attention to this matter.

Please add me to the letter and let me know if you need my VIN. I'm in the exact same situation as you and was expecting delivery 8/19. After i spoke with my specialist this morning, I told my wife how disappointed I was with the way Tesla was handling this situation. Knowing how impressed/excited I had been with the car and the promise of this company, my wife had convinced me that i would be more upset without the parking sensors and had almost won me over to reconfigure and fork over the extra few thousand. I don't understand why TM wouldn't honor our existing pricing and just charge us the extra $500 for a car still in production.

I'm truly shocked and amazed by their decision given all the great praise I've showered on this car to my friends.

I hope we receive a positive response soon.

Instead of writing all of this on the formums why don't you call your delivery specialist to see if these new items can be added to your vehicle while it is still in production. I have been told my car is supposed to roll off the line on 8/5 with a delivery scheduled for 8/13. I would also like to get the parking sensors, fog lights and Michelin tires, but I don't blame Tesla, Elon or GB if my request cannot be accommodated.
I see it as the price for ordering before the announcement if I cannot get them.

@mclary,

Are you even reading any of these posts we took the time and trouble to post about? I HAVE spoken to my delivery specialist. I got confusing emails from him about it today. Read all the posts.

I did read all of the post.

If you don't like your current configuration, then pass on your current order and place an order for a new one with the new prices and options.

Please stop complaining and blaming Tesla.
Thanks

I would be delighted to add my name, order #, and VIN # to Mr. Thorens' (or anyone else's) letter referencing the parking sensor issue. It should be noted in any such letter that virtually no one is asking for such consideration in re leather, or fog lights, or anything else. It's all about a safety issue costing $5-6,000 more for those of us with orders already confirmed and vehicles in, or about to enter, production.

No one is threatening to cancel their order over this, but the situation takes a shine off the purchase. Does Tesla marketing take into account how many buyers in this position will be telling friends "Yes, great car, great buying experience...except...."

How many word-of-mouth "excepts", at a cost of $500, translate into lost potential sales of $100,000 cars? There will be no charts, no statistics, to show that. Is it worth it to the company?

Could any one (existing owners ) contact tesla and clarify this point. Previous owners who purchased service plans, should be able to add these new options for the incremental price only, ex: PDC for 500$. Because the service agreement says hardware upgrades. As these options were not offered at the time of purchase to previous owners, if they could retrofit these options Tesla should only charge the hardware fee($500 for PDC, cold weather $750). Because the service agreement says hardware upgrades, I hope that's what they meant. In future, they should be able to do the same for 4G LTE chip when they include it in the upcoming models.

Please correct me if I am thinking wrong. Also I am not an owner, one of my close buddy was feeling bad that these options were not available when he bought. My understanding is all these new options are retrofittable in the previous models unless there is a redesigned internal structures. I saw some tesla engineers profiles on LinkedIn and few people had mentioned that they worked on integration short range radar systems (PDC) in the Model S. May be they have redesigned some structures, I am not sure.

Please add me to the list regarding adding parking sensors. VIN FP17479

I totally understand if I don't have the sound upgrade and I need to pay for the new price of $2,500 instead of $950. But I already have the tech package and I shouldn't have to reconfigure a new car to receive a new safety feature.

You can add me to the letter also. I was excited this morning after finding out the parking sensors I've been waiting for have finally arrived. That was before I found out it will cost me an additional $8k to reconfigure my current car just to get them. I'm very disappointed to say the least.

+1

Same situation here. Great letter. It sounds like you already sent this, but if you haven't, please add my name to it too. I don't have a VIN yet, but my res # is 756035.

I'm res #873753 if it makes any difference.

EXACTLY. Great points so I'm glad you guys/gals agree. I totally agree with you that no one is threatening to cancel their order. I certainly won't and I'm very much looking forward to getting my Model S.

I also think there is a good distinction that this isn't something that is some cosmetic upgrade or something like audio upgrade that would be something that isn't too important. I want it from a safety aspect and I speak from someone that has young kids and also someone that personally knows people that have had accidents from rear ending either a young child or pet.

Also, I think a big distinction is that many of us have NOT even had our cars enter production yet.

I think rather than some of you asking to be added, let your voice be heard and email Mr. George Blankenship at gblankenship@teslamotors.com.


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