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Can we PLEASE Get a Competent Service Center in the Rocky Mountain Region?

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,628
4,196
Colorado, USA
We have one in Littleton, one in Evans and a third in Superior (all suburbs of Denver BTW) that should be online sometime next year. That's three within about a half hour of each other in the Denver area. This is terrible planning. If they instead put the same three service centers in Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins they could greatly increase the ability to help their customers and make sure their problems are minimal. But instead they place them all in the same city when the next closest center is about a 12-hour-drive (w/Supercharging stops) to Salt Lake City Utah. After that the next closest is Scottsdale, AZ with the next locations being in Kansas City, MS and Minneapolis, MN. Try to picture all of the states that fall in that massive area and how under-serviced the area is right in the middle geographically that I'm speaking of.

That's it for about a six to eight state-region of the Mountain/Southwest/Midwest US depending on how you look at it.

The Evans location has four technicians and seemingly the same number of service writers although only three were present the day we were there. The Littleton location has maybe six (best count as of this post) techs and an equal number of service writers, maybe less. So they compound the problem of not enough service centers spread out with the fact that the few they have are incredibly understaffed and under resourced. Things are looking bleak in terms of getting quality assistance should you have a problem, right? But wait... there's more!!

There are two separate phone numbers for each location but they both ring into a single phone managed by a guy named Scott. That's right, one single human being fields phone calls for tens of thousands of Tesla owners across several states of the region. As you can imagine, this person is quite busy. I've never actually got him to answer a call no matter what option I select. If I'm lucky, I can leave a voice mail and he will usually get back to me... eventually. A majority of the time I can't even leave a voice mail because the mail box is full.

Imagine having a serious issue with your car and not even being able to talk to a human being about getting it fixed. I don't have to imagine because I've experience this first-hand now numerous times. Tesla seemingly has two dozen (I'm being generous with that high guesstimate) actual human beings that handle ALL of the service issues in about a half-dozen state area of the US. I can't even blame the employees because each one seems to be doing the work of four or five. This is just Tesla's idea of proper staffing for X number of customers.

If you schedule an appointment via the app you often times get a call back for the most common issues that can be repaired in the field to be asked if you'd prefer that. For people like us who live over an hour one-way (w/good traffic which is nearly non-existent these days) from the nearest service center, this is the best possible news you can receive. Our Ranger Tech for the Northern area of Colorado, named Nick, is incredible. He's punctual, professional and very good at his job. If Tesla employed a few dozen people like him at each location and actually fielded phone calls I would have no issue. Sadly, they don't. The worst case scenario is that you have a problem that must be handled by the service center because this is when the nightmare begins, not ends.

Our most recent saga began when we had a slight clunk in the steering when we turned the wheel. Barely noticeable but I wanted it fixed since we were under warranty before it got worse. We set an appointment via the app as we were coming in from out-of-town. The first available appointment was several weeks away so we selected it and hoped that we'd get a call back saying that they could fix it at our location. Sadly, this wasn't the case so we took the day off to drive the car down for service since it would be an all-day-affair.

Upon arrival the morning of our appointment, we were informed there was no loaner and our car would be put "into queue" now that our car was physically there. Let me say that again because you may not have caught it the first time: our appointment wasn't an appointment at all. Instead it was waiting weeks to get the car into a line to wait again to be looked at by a technician just to be able tell us what was wrong, if they had parts and how long it would take to repair and return to us. It was a Friday and they told us they wouldn't even be able to look at the car until the following week. What was the appointment for?

The service writers spent an obscene amount of time arguing as to how they worked for other car manufacturers and it was the same process. No, it's not. Don't treat me like I'm a moron because it's nothing like other car manufacturers and not in a positive way. I can call a local Honda, Ford or GM (not even getting into luxury brands that go above and beyond) service center near me right now and not only will a human answer the phone by the 2nd ring but I will have an appointment within a few days after a brief call to get my information and properly schedule. During that appointment, I will wait in a waiting room for 5-15 minutes (depending on the extent of the diagnosis) and the service writer will tell me on the spot what the problem is, what it will cost and if they can do the repairs now or if they have to schedule for a later date. If it's the latter it will often be within a few days even if they have to order parts. I'll have a single point of contact the entire time and the person will follow up with me to make sure I'm happy with my experience too because THEY ACTUALLY CARE. This is nothing like Tesla.

They then offered to Uber us somewhere. Really? We set an appointment just to get our car into a line to be looked at at a later date? What's the point of an appointment!? They tried to explain how busy they were and why this method was necessary to their work flow and, frankly speaking, I just don't care. Their solution is to Uber us back 1.5 hours to the city we're from and then Uber us around for a week or two for all of our commuting and errands and finally Uber us back down to Denver to pick up the car? No wonder this company is hemorrhaging money in the service dept. Their solution is to deny claims and tell people their obvious warranty work isn't covered when what they need to do is figure out their communication and logistics on the front end. An ounce of prevention saves a pound of cure applies 100% here.

We even had to get into a heated verbal discussion with the Service staff just to get a loaner they initially claimed they didn't have even though we made it clear numerous times Uber simply wouldn't work for us and our unique situation. They finally gave us a shot-out RWD car for a loner with snow looming the following week. "No worries" they told us, they'd have it back to us in less than a week. I had my doubts but I believed them.

We got an automated text the following Monday saying that they found the problem and attempted to charge us for the repair as well as several other up-sell opportunities. I had to remind them that the car was still under warranty and I wanted only the problem fixed that we brought the car in for. Great, they'd have it done the next day is what we were told.

The next day (Tuesday) I checked the Tesla app and it said the car was expected to be done by 5:30pm. No call. Nothing. Wednesday came and went. Nothing. I attempted to call, text & email repeatedly because Thursday was predicted to have a foot of snow and I didn't want my wife driving a RWD car to work and back. We owned AWD cars in Colorado specifically for days like this and now we didn't have the AWD car we paid for. RWD wasn't a big deal for when it's summertime & sunny and we were appreciative of the loaner but I would have taken our car back that day had I known my wife was going to have to drive the RWD loaner in that kind of snow. Thursday, still nothing. Finally, on Friday, I got someone to call asking about the loaner. Had we not had the loaner who knows when we could have got our car back.

The icing on the cake? There's now a new clunk in the steering/suspension that wasn't there when we took the car in. The soonest we could schedule an appointment via the app is over a month away! We're now going to have to through this entire fiasco again and I feel like every time we take a car into service we take one step forward and two back since they screw up more than they fix when they have one of our cars for repair. I can't even talk to someone to see if they can make an exception to get us in sooner given they clearly screwed something up during the previous repair.

Tesla wants to be taken serious as a car manufacturer and yet they don't take it serious themselves. They want to be a viable complete option for a family rather than the "second car" that someone owns yet still has to keep an ICE car for actual real-world use and yet they can't be trusted enough to do that. We're now a Tesla only family and I'm seeing first-hand what it's like to trust this company with 100% of your transportation needs. I would never bat an eyelash to owning two Hondas or two Toyotas or two of just about any other brand as our only means of transportation. With Tesla I have serious doubts they can keep us on the road and things are getting worse not better since Elon stated nearly a year ago they were working on the dire Service issue. It's been a year. It's safe to say they are either unable to address it through incompetency or they just don't care about customer service as much as they'd like us to believe.

Around the same time as this latest of many Tesla car service fiascoes I canceled our contract with Tesla to install solar on our roof. We were on the fence and based on the awful customer service we recently received on our cars plus the horror stories we were hearing on the Tesla Solar side of things we decided we just weren't ready to commit another $30k to a company that wouldn't serve us with issues once they took our money.

We went from talking about how much we love our cars to warning everyone we talk to about how awful customer service is. As good as these cars are the customer service is equally bad and Tesla won't do anything about it as long as their sales numbers keep going up. Service resource expansion has not come anywhere near pacing sales #'s but hey... stock prices are up and they posted another quarterly profit so who cares..... right?!

This is unreal. This is NOT how customer service works.
 

MichaelP90DL

Active Member
Apr 19, 2019
1,594
1,635
Lancaster, CA
If I were the marketing boss for the new Mustang Mach-E, I would order up advertising pointing out easy availability to quality service centers, and "No longer will you be ignored for months. If you need us, we'll be here." Tesla is vulnerable in this respect. And Ford can certainly capitalize on that.
 
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Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,628
4,196
Colorado, USA
If I were the marketing boss for the new Mustang Mach-E, I would order up advertising pointing out easy availability to quality service centers, and "No longer will you be ignored for months. If you need us, we'll be here." Tesla is vulnerable in this respect. And Ford can certainly capitalize on that.

It's incredibly arrogant for Tesla to think this level of customer service will be acceptable once the big buys start producing BEVs and may ultimately be their undoing. I really really don't want to see that not only for selfish reasons but despite Tesla's initial plans I'd like to see them stick around for the long-haul rather than just be a tiny blip on the radar that got things starting to head in the right direction.

I think some of your outrage should be directed towards the local state legislatures and the dealership groups that have worked to prevent Tesla's expansion in the Southwest - see this post re: New Mexico:

As I stated, Tesla has two currently in the state of Colorado and a third will be done next year and all are withing about a half hour of each other. There are two major cities in Colorado, one north of Denver and one south of Denver, that would be FAR better locations to have built #2 and #3. Had I mentioned Cheyenne or Albuquerque then you could bring up the political aspect that differs from state to state. At this point I'm only talking about putting service centers in more spread out locations within the same state. As someone who lived in a neighboring state I can't begin to tell you how big of a deal it is to be able to drive to Fort Collins, CO than have to drive to Denver.

I guess it doesn't really matter where they are geographically since they can't even seem to properly staff any of them. To me it's kind of stupid to build another location relatively close to the others when you can't even properly staff the facilities you currently have. The location of the three of them was kind of a footnote to the rest of the point really.

If it was me, in your situation, I might have just lived with the slight clunk until after the winter storms.

Try to keep in mind that this entire process started nearly a full month prior to any snow was forecasted. If only I had a crystal ball...
 
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tmoz

S85D, Prius PiP
Aug 16, 2015
975
564
Gilbert, Arizona
I tried going Tesla solar, but the online app which graphed my monthly savings with and without solar, shifted the months so that January was being compared with April, instead of january vs January. The reason I cancelled my solar was that our local power company doesn't want rooftop solar, and I'd only save $500 a year on a $20,000 installation (~8 kW) system. Their price per kW installed was really good at ~$2 / W after rebates, but I didn't get warm fuzzies about the system going up, etc.

I just had my MCU replaced for $2000. The car wouldn't get into drive. It was a week before someone could look at it. Thank goodness, the guys were competent, but half the support staff was fired earlier in the month - in the drive to report a profit, and they seemed overworked. No more courtesy car wash either - did they have to give that up too? I had to be persistent to get a loaner as well, and the one they gave me was in need of repair itself.

I'm just crossing my fingers nothing breaks in the next few years, as I'm entering year 5 with the 2015 model S. Maybe a lease would have been better?

Still my worst car ever was a cadillac catera - averaged a warranty visit every 6 weeks for the first 4 years.
Hopefully Tesla will figure out how to build cars with a lower failure rate so that their limited service centers don't become overworked.
 

Barry

Active Member
Aug 9, 2013
1,869
1,514
Colorado
The tl;dr of the OP's post is customer service sucks. It's corporate-wide with a few rare exceptions by location.

I just hope my MS holds out long enough until there are some viable EV competitors out there. Or until Musk is out. He's the problem.
 
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tmoz

S85D, Prius PiP
Aug 16, 2015
975
564
Gilbert, Arizona
The tl;dr of the OP's post is customer service sucks. It's corporate-wide with a few rare exceptions by location.

I just hope my MS holds out long enough until there are some viable EV competitors out there. Or until Musk is out. He's the problem.
He is both the solution and the problem, or maybe being a publicly traded company is the problem - demanding short term profits and all.
I think the model Y will be a smashing success, and I hope that will enable them to fund service centers to the level they need funding.
 
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MichaelP90DL

Active Member
Apr 19, 2019
1,594
1,635
Lancaster, CA
He is both the solution and the problem, or maybe being a publicly traded company is the problem - demanding short term profits and all.
I think the model Y will be a smashing success, and I hope that will enable them to fund service centers to the level they need funding.
Wall Street is a legendary pain in the rear. Endless greed. There is no tolerance for R&D and the expenses of growth tied to sector domination. All they want is an overnight miracle with lots of profit. I'm sure EMusk would love to take Tesla private just to escape those guys.
 
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aaronhoffman

Member
Oct 25, 2015
37
43
Grand Junction CO
Colorado could definitely use a service center that is outside of the Front Range. Things can get stretched a bit thin for mobile service appointments, and I've got two places in mind.

Glenwood Springs: This is quite close to Aspen, Vail, Carbondale, Snowmass, and even reasonably close to Telluride, Ouray, and Montrose. It is also within range for a service day-trip for people who live in Grand Junction. This would probably be the best option to cover the communities with the most Teslas on the Western Slope of Colorado. Many other automotive dealers have locations in Glenwood Springs for the same reason.

Grand Junction: This would be a geographic choice based on distance from Denver and Salt Lake City. We are the largest city in between those two larger cities, and having a service center here could be convenient if you are trying to build service centers based on equidistance between larger metropolitan areas. It is the site of one of the earlier Supercharger stations for that reason.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,770
8,360
Boise, ID
I read the northwest and mountain regional sections because Idaho is kind of on the edge with both, and I go to Utah frequently. That is pretty messed up not spreading those service centers around Colorado more. I've been saying for a while though, that I am really glad that I do live too far from a service center, so all we get is ranger service, which is far more convenient. Our nearest service center is in SLC, which is 340 miles away. If they really can shift more of their service to the service rangers, as they have been talking about, that might actually help the situation, rather than the disorganization and delays at the service centers.

He is both the solution and the problem,
Wholeheartedly agree. My wife is more than frustrated with that, since she is in economics, business, supply chain, etc. so she sees how badly he screws these things up. He is too much of a micromanager, and makes snap decisions on some business things without thinking of the damage some of them will cause. She has said for a while that he has the engineering focus that is great, so he needs to be moved over to a position like Senior Product Architect, or whatever you want to call it, to direct the technology path and development, but being less involved with the company decisions that he frequently does badly.
 
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Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,628
4,196
Colorado, USA
He is both the solution and the problem, or maybe being a publicly traded company is the problem - demanding short term profits and all.
I think the model Y will be a smashing success, and I hope that will enable them to fund service centers to the level they need funding.
The Model 3 was a smashing success in terms of numbers and only served to strain the customer service by stretching it even thinner. It's not a funding issue it's a resource allocation issue. They're trying to run one of the fastest growing car companies in history on a shoe string budget with people who have poor training and no support ether laterally or vertically. Summary: it's a fundamental customer service fail that goes to the highest levels of the company as it's clearly systematic.
 
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Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,628
4,196
Colorado, USA
I read the northwest and mountain regional sections because Idaho is kind of on the edge with both, and I go to Utah frequently. That is pretty messed up not spreading those service centers around Colorado more. I've been saying for a while though, that I am really glad that I do live too far from a service center, so all we get is ranger service, which is far more convenient. Our nearest service center is in SLC, which is 340 miles away. If they really can shift more of their service to the service rangers, as they have been talking about, that might actually help the situation, rather than the disorganization and delays at the service centers.

I personally couldn't care less if they put a dozen service centers in the Denver zip code if I received proper customer service whenever I had an issue. When the service is absolutely the worst I've ever experienced in my several decades on this earth from a company of this size I tend to start nit picking though. I'm not alone. Tesla is pissing off more and more people every day as new people need service and discover that they're screwed first-hand. They simply can't survive that because nobody in history has. There are a number of things they can "disrupt" but happy customers who have spent six figures for a car isn't something they can take for granted or, eventually, nobody will buy their cars.

Wholeheartedly agree. My wife is more than frustrated with that, since she is in economics, business, supply chain, etc. so she sees how badly he screws these things up. He is too much of a micromanager, and makes snap decisions on some business things without thinking of the damage some of them will cause. She has said for a while that he has the engineering focus that is great, so he needs to be moved over to a position like Senior Product Architect, or whatever you want to call it, to direct the technology path and development, but being less involved with the company decisions that he frequently does badly.

It's tough because I know that w/o him and his craziness constantly pushing and expecting the unexpected the company wouldn't be where it is. I just wish he would recognize his short comings and surround himself with people who are strong where he is weak. Engineers historically don't possess people skills and he fails to see where this is a massive shortcoming because he also doesn't think it's necessary. This is also common among the Engineer community. Having been the liaison professionally between the Engineers and our clients I know this all-too-well.
 

MichaelP90DL

Active Member
Apr 19, 2019
1,594
1,635
Lancaster, CA
I read the northwest and mountain regional sections because Idaho is kind of on the edge with both, and I go to Utah frequently. That is pretty messed up not spreading those service centers around Colorado more. I've been saying for a while though, that I am really glad that I do live too far from a service center, so all we get is ranger service, which is far more convenient. Our nearest service center is in SLC, which is 340 miles away. If they really can shift more of their service to the service rangers, as they have been talking about, that might actually help the situation, rather than the disorganization and delays at the service centers.


Wholeheartedly agree. My wife is more than frustrated with that, since she is in economics, business, supply chain, etc. so she sees how badly he screws these things up. He is too much of a micromanager, and makes snap decisions on some business things without thinking of the damage some of them will cause. She has said for a while that he has the engineering focus that is great, so he needs to be moved over to a position like Senior Product Architect, or whatever you want to call it, to direct the technology path and development, but being less involved with the company decisions that he frequently does badly.
Agree. Entrepreneurial CEOs can be a big hassle and are not necessarily beneficial to the company past a certain point. The wise entrepreneurial CEO can delegate and focus on his or her main skill set. Tesla's service ops need to be handed off to an exec with vast experience at it. Let Elon do what he's best at.
 

sdoorex

Member
Feb 25, 2015
320
961
Front Range, CO
Wall Street is a legendary pain in the rear. Endless greed. There is no tolerance for R&D and the expenses of growth tied to sector domination. All they want is an overnight miracle with lots of profit. I'm sure EMusk would love to take Tesla private just to escape those guys.

The stock market had a very high tolerance for Amazon spending money on necessary expenses for R&D, growth, and eventual market domination. However, the requirement was that they show sustainable returns on those investments which Amazon has done even though they did not show a profit for many years. Tesla has thus far been unable to show that they can maintain free cash flow, let alone a profit, which means their growth is funded by lots of investor money infusions instead of cash flow from operations. Once they can show consistent growth in revenue, free cash flow, and profit then they will have a much better time on the stock market.
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,628
4,196
Colorado, USA
Agree. Entrepreneurial CEOs can be a big hassle and are not necessarily beneficial to the company past a certain point. The wise entrepreneurial CEO can delegate and focus on his or her main skill set. Tesla's service ops need to be handed off to an exec with vast experience at it. Let Elon do what he's best at.
Exactly. It frees up Elon to focus on what he does best.
 
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Nrazar

Member
Jun 23, 2018
150
66
Denver
If I continue to have a ton of problems with service, I am definitely going to have to reconsider the next car I purchase.
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,628
4,196
Colorado, USA
If I continue to have a ton of problems with service, I am definitely going to have to reconsider the next car I purchase.
Between our first-hand experiences with Tesla customer service (many more prior to the one detailed here, all negative) and last night's reveal I'll be mighty interested in forthcoming offerings from Rivian & Ford. After we took delivery of our first Model S I really thought we'd be Tesla customers for life. Sad.
 
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tmoz

S85D, Prius PiP
Aug 16, 2015
975
564
Gilbert, Arizona
I've had pretty decent service in Tempe Arizona. AC went out under warranty - fixed it right away. Instrument cluster went out - also fixed and replaced promptly. Even this latest MCU unit going bad - 1 week wasn't too bad, but driving a loaner that had a horrible whine to the motor, wasn't bad. But, I now feel like it is a throw of the dice as to what is going to happen when the next thing needs service, as it is extremely obvious that they have cut back to save money.
 
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odingrey

Member
Sep 5, 2019
33
11
Boulder, CO
Holy crap you weren't kidding about the Evans location. I came in with 5 issues that should have been under warranty, they fixed none of them. They 'couldn't reproduce' 3 of them, one of which happens 100% of the time, had half a dozen examples in data given to them and was seen on the test drive.

And almost worst, my car came out of alignment from the factory (issue reported at ~100 miles), they charged me for the fix, without ever getting permission from me (which is against the MVRA) AND screwed the fix up.
 

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