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Can they do this? Renege on an email about Ranger visit charges?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by JMG, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. JMG

    JMG Member

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    So in an earlier post in charging, my 15 month old HPWC stopped working. I was informed it was out of warranty and they are sending a ranger to take a look at it. I also contacted my credit card company to see if their extended warranty protection would cover it (nope, excludes any automotive or their equipment or accessories).

    Anyway, when inquiring about the ranger fee, I was told it was $3 per mile. I'm 110 miles from the service center. Rewind back to last March when I was considering buying a Tesla, I asked the inside sales rep in California via email (thankfully) about the Ranger visit policy. He referenced it in two emails. Here is the first:

    "Ranger service is still offered but no longer at a flat $100 rate. We now charge a $100 minimum fee that is based on distance from the service center. 108 miles is not a distance that I would see incurring a large fee. To be honest, we changed the language to protect ourselves from ranger visits that oblige us to send a tech very long distances (i.e. up to Alaska).

    I will check with Dallas service to see what kind of fee would be associated with a trip to your hometown. I should have an answer for you mid-day tomorrow."

    I replied with a question about the valet service, and then he responded the next day:


    "We’ve actually just made some changes and valet is now limited to 10 miles without incurring a fee. However, any ranger visit (warranty and non-warranty related) would be subject to a flat $100 fee for your distance. That fee would also cover the tow in the event that we would need to take the car back to the service center. If a service loaner is required, that would be issued to you free of charge."


    So when all of this was happening, I was wanting to confirm that it would only be the $100 ranger visit plus any labor/parts while he was at my house. In other words, I didn't want to wind up being out $400 to repair a HPWC that could be replaced with a brand new one for $550 with a new warranty. The service rep told me about the $3 per mile. I informed him of my email, and he said to forward it to him and he'll take it to his supervisor. He called back and said basically, "Okay we'll do it this one time because of the email. But next time it will be the $3 per mile. The guy shouldn't have said that."

    Uhhhh....that was one the reasons that helped push me over the edge to purchase a Tesla in the first place. Now, $200 is not going to break the bank obviously but it puts a little sour taste in my mouth that they are now unwilling to honor a written agreement that was made to me last year when I was in the process of buying the vehicle.
     
    • Informative x 1
  2. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Terms and conditions change. This has been a very controversial issue since Tesla first started changing their ranger service and I can promise you, you're not the only owner who has been negatively impacted.

    Going forward I would expect you to incur the $3 per mile charge on any future needs as your email chain is useless under the new T&Cs...

    That's my understanding of the reality unless anyone else has different or better information to provide...

    Jeff
     
    • Like x 2
  3. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Tesla changes anything, at any time, without notice, and without regard to the consequences.
    Can they? well, if you sue you might win, but it will cost you more than you'll save, and Tesla knows it.
     
  4. Drivin

    Drivin Member

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    Your ranger agreement is the agreement.
    It doesn't matter what an employee says since they don't have the authority to change the terms.
    They can do things for good will purposes, which they have done, so you should be happy.
     
  5. InternetDude

    InternetDude Member

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    My ranger fee went from $100 when I bought the car to $1,500. I can't do a thing about it. Consider yourself lucky it's so cheap.

    Why not just call an electrician to look at the HPWC? It'd be cheaper.
     
  6. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    I can't believe you guys are being so accepting of such an obvious bait and switch. Even if they can legally do it it's very shady of them and terrible customer service. A promise is a promise.
     
  7. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    They can't really legally do it.
    The word of an employee before sale does carry quite a bit of legal wheight if you can prove it.

    The catch is, you have to prove it in court, and that costs lots of money.
    Tesla knows this and is betting people won't sue. They've taken this stance on a LOT of things.
     
  8. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Agree and it SUX of them. What happened to "going the extra mile" and all of those outstanding customer service ratings in CR and elsewhere? That's one reason why many of us bought these cars.
     
  9. InternetDude

    InternetDude Member

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    Accepting? Of course I think it's stupid but I have no choice. It's not like I had something in writing that said "ranger visits would be $100 for as long as you own the car"... they changed the terms on the not-so-clear ranger policy. If I had any idea when I bought the car that they would increase the ranger fee from $100 to $1,500 just a few months later I would have done everything possible to get something in writing before the switch.
     
  10. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Yes, I was pissed too. Ranger was free when I bought my car, as below. But honestly, I do get where they are coming from. The cost is simply too high to be maintained. I just don't like it, as it was one of many points I considered when buying the car.

    In reality, it has not been a problem for me. Though I still don't like it.
     
  11. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I think it is more ambiguous than that. They didn't promise how long the policy will last (during warranty, life of vehicle, or forever?). In this particular case, the email also pointed out the policy had already changed by the time he asked (that $100 was the minimum).

    This is similar to selling you a car when the dealership has a labor rate sign posted (which is very common). If they change the labor rate after for unrelated reasons, can that be really be successfully sued for "bait and switch"? After all, that rate was not incorporated into the purchase contract.

    There are some people that have a service contract where they have a guarantee that the Ranger price stays the same for the life of the contract, but outside of that case, I don't think Tesla is really out anything legally.
     
  12. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    I understand it may be "legal" but is it right? I have a friend who lives in the Midwest a 4 hour drive from the nearest SvC. He didn't buy his car until he got an email commitment from them stating that if they had a Ranger in his area they would take care of him with their other local customers. Recently they are telling him it's the per mile charge. He wouldn't have bought if he knew that. So yes they probably can do this but what about promises, trust and good will?
     
  13. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Well, I make no comment on whether this would be the right thing to do, only that it is not evident that it is illegal. I definitely can understand people being pissed off about this, given it does increase service cost substantially.
     
  14. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    I'm not sure either but I hope there's some remedy. This sure isn't the same company I remember a year ago. The one that will "go the extra mile". It was sort of a mantra in the past.
     
  15. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    To the OP - take your $100 ranger visit this time - and worry about what happens next time when the next problem rolls around. At THAT time, then haul out your original e-mail again, demand the $100 - and if you don't get it then escalate - and keep escalating until you get it.
     
  16. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Well, Tesla is under cash pressure right now to get ready for the Model 3 (preparing for another funding round). Service was supposed to be "break even," but I'm pretty sure it is a money loser right now for Tesla. They can't really afford to maintain the "goodwill" attitude in as many areas as they initially started. It is still far better than others in however in most areas.

    For this particular issue, I guess the main hope is that the expansion of the service network will eventually reach people affected by this. The biggest obstacle however seems to be dealership laws (some states Tesla can't legally have a service center).
     
  17. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Next time, if they charge you $1,500, take them to Small Claims Court. I can almost guarantee that you'll win. Post about your case here, and whether you won, and I can probably guarantee some policy changes over in Fremont.
     
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  18. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I am still getting ranger visits for no additional charge, but I prepaid for mine for 4 years at the time of purchase.
     
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  19. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    That's not really a switch is it? Bait&Switch is when you end up buying something other than what you intended to buy. Labor / service / ranger fee increase after the sale would have to be filed under "Bait and Inflate." That's not a catchy phrase because, well, it's pretty common. Being inflation and all.
    IANAL but I have bought stuff...

    There's the counterexample: baited and not switched.
     

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