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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.
Repaint-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
Wyoming

If this is all so simple why is Tesla so special?I never have seen a company like Tesla or SpaceX.

They had the problems with engineering, they had the problems with production and they had the problems with distribution and I (and Tesla) know they will have the problems with maintanance. It's all first time lessons.

You don't need a kristal ball for that. Just all .....watch and learn!

Scale is a whole nutha ball of wax entirely... I'm rooting for them to break the mold here too!

@bp - I think when they are scrambling to get cars out the door, not everybody has the whole story. When I first finalized my order, I was also told that I would pay on delivery and a personal check was fine. Later, when it was getting closer to time to pay, I was told that I had to wire them the money first.

Frankly, that was what I expected from the beginning -- since they told me otherwise, I did feel somewhat misled, but it didn't really bother me much. I don't think the first reps were lying to me, but rather either that they didn't know or it changed between then and now. For example, I know some states have laws that prevent delivery specialists (plus a shortage of them given the pace at the end of the year) and may require the ownership transfer to happen out of the state.

If Tesla had said they only sold the cars in CA, and you had to arrange getting it home yourself, would you have chosen not to buy it? When I was thinking about how expectations were changing, I just thought about if it was that way from the beginning, it wouldn't have changed my mind, so I should cut them some slack for figuring it out as they go along and not worry about it.

The inconsistency in information provided by Tesla's phone support team is more likely a symptom of poor training or lack of information on some topics - than an effort to intentionally mislead customers. Everyone I've talked with or met from Tesla has always been very positive and tried to be helpful.

However, customers are still expected to make purchase decisions based on the information being provided by Tesla - online, in person and over the phone. And if that information isn't correct, and customers make decisions based on incorrect information, then eventually that's going to cause a bad customer experience - and harm Tesla's reputation.

Now that the end-of-year rush is over, hopefully they'll review how things went - and implement improvements in the purchase and delivery process - things which should be relatively easy to fix.

Glad to see George took quick action and made it right.

I took delivery on 12-12-12 and the experice was superb. Covered car carrier, wrapped car, superb delivery specialist, great truck driver (who let me drive it off the truck), and spotless car. They do know how to get it right.

And the car far exceeded my expectations on all accounts.

I had a similar experience with Lexus. The car I ordered ( LS 430) arrived with scratches in the clear coat resulting from the buffing that was done during dealer prep. They were only visible in certain light. I refused to accept the car and the ordered a new one with no question or extra charge and sold the original car as a used vehicle. That's the way service is supposed to be and It has been my experience with Lexus for more than 20 years.

Wow! Good for you. Congratulations then...

___________________
physical therapy management

Glad you reconsidered, Tom! Also glad that Tesla made this right. Vawlkus and others are correct: the measure of the company is how they respond to problems and what they do to improve.

I had my car delivered back to me last night, and it was perfect. George called me personally several times over the past week and I feel he is genuinely sincere. I feel that he would be very concerned about ANY customer and not just a "high-end" customer. I talked to George a little on each call and got to know him and I think he is a real "down-to-earth" guy. I don't think he really needs the job at TESLA but he does the job and loves it because, like me, he is a believer in this technology and the future it can hold for us all. My friend Graham, who delivered and oversaw fixing the car is a great guy and representative of the standard the rest of the company sales/delivery guys should be held to. Graham is welcome in my home any time and is really part of my family at this point. TESLA warranted the repairs to the paint for the life of the car. Although the delivery was rocky and the new (very young) people involved with TESLA seem to be on a steep learning curve, I am very satisfied how I was treated and how quickly my problems were remedied.
As one businessman to another: I personally like George and I share his passion for what he does. I live in the middle of Wyoming and Graham sells TESLAs in Florida. I will put money down on a Model X and keep working with the company. I will however, only buy a vehicle from my sales guy Graham, regardless of the distance from Florida to Wyoming. The sales and delivery people in the western US need to take a lesson from this if the company and the technology is to succeed.
Thank you George and thank you Graham.

All my best,
Tom and Gina
Wyoming

I also know of some people that have gone though to a similar experience with customer service and a final model s arrival shape.
All I know is that the level of service that you ask for will be the level of service that you receive.
If you present your problems and concerns TESLA has no problems with answering and address your concerns.

Tom,

How about posting pictures of your Model S for us to see on Flickr or anywhere else we can access it?

I'm sure you would have taken multiple images being techie.

Tom, glad your problem was resolved and you are once again a satisfied Tesla owner. I am awaiting my MS and the delivery is something I worry about too. I am considering flying to the factory and bringing my car home under my control. On the other hand, it would be exciting to have it delivered all wrapped up and enclosed in a delivery truck. I too would be let down if I saw it on a trailer pulled by a pickup. But if I brought mine home from the factory to Eastern Nebraska that is how I would do it myself. I am president of an electronics research and development company and my concern is I have a group of engineers that are excited about seeing my MS when it gets here. They are threatening to disassemble it to see how it is built. Don't think that will happen but we are all excited for its arrival. What a beautiful car and the engineering behind it is fantastic. If I pick mine up at the factory maybe I can meet up with you on my drive back to Nebraska.

tom;
terrific outcome. Give us some 'driving it at last' follow-up, OK?

I'm getting very concerned about getting this new car.
A good portion of the purchasing process on Tesla's end seems to be vaporware.

-Early on, they asked if I plan on financing any of the car because they have options. "Oooh, well I always like to compare rates from a couple of places - whatcha got?" "Oh, we don't do financing. You need to handle that on your own." Alright, was already doing that - NP. Just seems weird you offered me a service you don't do.
-Then, they asked if I'd like to do a trade in. Seemed odd - not a regular dealership, why would they do trade ins? But, I've got three ICE/hybrid vehicles and one of them has to go to make room in the garage, so "When and where do I need to take my vehicle for valuation of trade?" "Oh, we don't do trade ins." Again, why did you offer it?
-When do I pay? When you pick up. Cool - I'd like to make sure the car isn't all messed up and is ready to rock (especially since I'm seeing about requested options not being installed - specifically the rumble seats which I too have ordered). Then - oh, you need to pay before we release it and ship it to you. They are a start up, they need liquid assets - I can dig that. Don't like purchasing site unseen, but ok, I'll bite. So wire a portion of the cost from my personal account, send them the paper work for dealer electronic check for the financed portion. This requires Tesla to write in their company name, teh date, and their ACH (vice BFT) account/routing numbers then fax the purchase agreement and title application back to the bank. Tesla rejects it - "We don't do that. You have to do that." Seriously? This is a basic car seller function and you "don't do that." Not asking you to put out on a first date or sacrifice a goat, just fill out four partial lines of text and walk to a fax machine. Fine - I'll do it myself, send me the title application. They email me the title application - it isn't filled out properly. I have to correct it for them, and then fax it off to my bank. They (Tesla) then asked if I could please send them the confirmation number when the transaction completes. The response - "No, you keep hitting refresh on your account and look for the numbers to go up."
For a luxury vehicle, a much higher level of administrative service and competency should be demonstrated. Hell, I expect it (and receive it) when buying a low end vehicle for dirty jobs.

And these are indicators that there is a wider / deeper problem here. I am very nervous about this vehicle.

Louis, share some of your concerns - having finalized my delivery plans and sent them my final payment last weekend - before they would ship my car to Texas.

This is the first time I've paid full price for a car - before I have an opportunity to inspect it - so I am concerned. And my last car (a Lexus) was damaged in shipment - so I've had delivery problems before (my Lexus dealer and Lexus arranged for a replacement car to be delivered, so they worked it out - without having me involved).

However, I knew that ordering a car from Tesla right now is going to be less polished than from an established manufacturer or dealer. Even though this is Tesla's 2nd vehicle - they are still in 'startup' mode - going into higher volume production for the first time - which is stretching their staff capabilities and logistics to the limit.

Many of the problems we are dealing with in the delivery process are due to the lack of local dealership status in states like Texas. And Tesla has to be careful not to do anything that would violate the dealership laws - so they have to get payment before the car leaves their factory - and they can't have anyone present when the car is delivered.

This is clearly unacceptable in the long run - and I expect Tesla will figure out how to get dealerships in every state where they are selling cars in volume - and many of these issues would then go away - and getting a car delivered from Tesla would be like from any other dealership...

Just heard that my car is in transit - and could be delivered as early as this weekend - so I'll soon have firsthand experience in how all of this works out...

But, so far, everyone I've dealt with at Tesla has been very helpful - and, if I do have problems, I've been assured by my delivery rep that they'll take care of everything.

hp;
Try and stay with the program! Tesla has no dealerships, anywhere. Just stores and Service Centers. It's better to use those terms, too, so you don't create confusion about what a store can/does do. It is much different from a dealership, beginning with inventorying cars and fixing them (obviously that is dealt with at Service Centers).

Bp, we really do not want Tesla to have dealerships. We like Tesla. We want to work with Tesla. We do not need a middleman to jack up the price.

Oops, 'bp', not 'hp'.

louis and bp - I had the experience you're having. I now have my car and it's a distant memory, however it wasn't a great delivery experience. It is inconsistent with their product, showroom, website, design, engineering, etc. Needs fixin'

PS - I am in San Antonio, donde estas?

www.teslamodels.wordpress.com

Early adopters will be more forgiving of challenges during the delivery process - committing to $5K before the car is built and paying the remaining amount before the car is shipped - with no opportunity to inspect the car before payment - and only a verbal promise that Tesla will take care of any problems encountered upon delivery.

At some point, Tesla will exhaust the early adopter pool - and will need customers who will not be willing to pay for cars - before they can be inspected.

Those customers may also not be as willing to deal with the awkward process of submitting multiple rounds of paperwork (both electronic and via FedEx), in advance of the car.

There are also the issues of license registration and trade-ins - areas where buying a Telsa not only requires more effort by customers, but also prevents them from taking advantage of the cost benefits of trading in one vehicle for another.

If Tesla can solve these problems without establishing dealerships - then they need to do so.

But if a dealership is required, they really need to be working to get this in place before it starts impacting their sales.

I'm an early adopter - and willing to take the leap of faith that this will all work out - but I doubt many of my friends, family or colleagues would do the same...

It would be unfortunate for all of Tesla's efforts in building a great car - with great technology - were undone by having a poor delivery process.

Not to beat a dead horse, but...
So I now have a scheduled delivery time as apparently my car was loaded onto a transporter earlier this week (Individual to individual email).

And yet, I keep getting automated emails saying that my car is almost finished and I should be contacted soon to finalize paperwork and my estimated delivery time is over a month ago.

AND, my status within the My Tesla site simply says that the factory is still building it with a TBD completion date.

Yes, they are a start up. Yes this is all new(ish). But the fact is, it is a relatively easy fix to ensure the information flow processes are smooth and accurate in this last part of the early stages. It's a small enough operation that a little "shoe leather" goes a long way to fixing these things - because if they aren't fixed early, then when the tyranny of scale hits, everyone will be overwhelmed.

Ya, the concept of a "jump table", where figures and dates used in common by various processes can be updated once, centrally, with all the routines accessing it in real time seems to have escaped them. It was decades old when I learned it over 40 years ago ...

louis & Brian - Agree. They were still 'Building my Model S' while I was driving it. That's one heck of a space-time continuum. Little things like that are little things, but they can erode confidence, especially with those who do not have a pioneer mindset.

My friend, who reserved a day after we had dsm's party in September, got his 'Finalized' (or whatever, I don't remember what it's called) e-mail a few weeks ago and so his window was running down before the price increase. Believe me, the $2,500 was a non-issue for him, the detachment was. He was about to cancel when I got my car and went to his house and let him drive it. Got him re-energized. He now has 'Finalized', but would have cancelled if not for the fortuitous timing of my delivery.

I don't think this is an isolated problem for Tesla. All of us forum junkies have this to keep pumped and connected, but we are what - 25% of reservation holders? 50%? All those others drop cash and then get lonely. I think they are losing reservations because of it. I think more cars on the road will help, won't be 'out of sight' as much, and more showrooms/galleries where you can get your Tesla fix.

www.teslamodels.wordpress.com

@Tom - Graham was handling my delivery from 12/27 - early Jan and I was suddenly transferred to another delivery specialist. I asked the new one what happened to Graham and was told he was pulled off of all accounts to work a serious problem. No details as to what it was but now I know. Good to see them recovering here. I've had a few hiccups in my delivery but a) nothing like yours and others I've heard and b) they've resolved all of my issues to date.

Glad to see you back with us swimming in warm kool-aid ;)

Gina and I are driving the "S". we own 15+ cars and this is clearly the best car we have ever owned. I have to pry gina out of it with a crowbar. Our software is the origional version 1.14.15.whatever.

Issues so far: we paid for the "tech package" but voice dialing, auto presenting door handlesand navigation do not function.
Navigation has the car located in Palo Alto despite being in Wyoming. The connector to the roadster high powered wall connector is recognized by the car only rarely. I have to open the charge port manually from the touch screen and then it takes a while for the car to recognize that it is plugged in. Although the roadster HPWC is 100 amps, the car will only charge at 40 amps. I WILL NOT upgrade to an upgraded software package because I have read that the software upgrades have a lot of bugs. Graham has continued to be great and has been a great representative. Nothing he has said or done has ever been false or misleading. I find it disturbing that when I was in the showroom in Denver, the female TESLA sales agent was "selling" the attributes of the model S to another customer. I find it a little upsetting that she was representing things about the "S" that doesn't currently work on my "S" as if these technological issues do not exist. I feel that if I paid for the tech package, then it should work as promised. If it is not going to work, then I should be able to pay for it " a la carte" if I wanted to upgrade later. I paid for a bunch of promises. I hope they eventually come true.

We really love the car.

Tom and Gina
Casper, Wyoming

Tom and Gina;
Seems a bit like a contradiction if you want everything to work but won't upgrade the software. You might as well accept the updates as they come; you might be surprised at what suddenly starts to work!

In for a penny ...

Tom and Gina,

"tom@cwnsurgery.com | January 21, 2013

Gina and I are driving the "S"...I have to pry gina out of it with a crowbar. Our software is the origional version 1.14.15.whatever.

Issues so far: we paid for the "tech package" but voice dialing, auto presenting door handlesand navigation do not function..."

Did you upgrade the software?
Are all of your problems solved?
Do you have any new problems with your Model S?

Blankenship's response is typical of how good Tesla is to its customers. I damaged my MS and they fixed it GRATIS. I had a problem with the supercharger at Barstow they called back to make sure everything worked out. Yes they are having teething problems but they have the right attitude. Tesla rocks!

I don't mind people discussing their MS problems but reading through this whole post, Tom comes off as a Prima donna. There are many Tesla customers that have decent size companies and make a fair bit of cash without putting it all in writing. I have some issues with my car but will make the calls and emails first without blasting off a wall of text about how they are so wrong and I'm so right because I have 15 cars and 250 workers and a mansion and supercharges installed everywhere... You think one of the 250 people could get a Tesla manager on the phone for you? You think when such a majestic businessman could see his car is so stuffed up coming off the trailer to sign "refused due to......visible defects"? Or maybe I got this all wrong I should through a giant hissy fit and have Elon fly in a sort out my issues.

Fishguy is bogus. He or SHE gave themself away. Who said anything about a mansion or multiple charging stations? I will invite him or her to show up at my "mansion" and I will be happy to show him how a self-made man can take care of himself. I can do my own "wet-work".

You are a coward to deride me like that.


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