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Change of Policy on Tesla Ranger Service

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by >NetZero, May 13, 2015.

  1. >NetZero

    >NetZero Member

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    Location:
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    Hi everyone.

    Just wanted to start a discussion with folks about how Tesla has changed their policy on their Ranger Service. I know that this service probably does not impact the majority of owners out there but it is an important issue to those of us who bought a car and live far away from any Tesla service centre.

    "For those who do not what to read the whole story below": We are dissatisfied and disappointed that Tesla is no longer offering $100 Tesla Ranger visits no matter where you live even though we were told by Tesla before buying the car that we would always have that option.

    I know there are others in the same boat as us but I will give our background.

    About a year ago we were looking to buy a model s. We live in St. John's, NL Canada so we flew up to Toronto to test drive and fell in love with the car. A few months later we had worked everything out to purchase one and there was only one question left relating to servicing the vehicle. We had heard that the Tesla ranger service was going to be $100 per visit. Even back then we knew this was a crazy thing for Tesla to offer as they would be loosing a lot of money overtime as the fleet increased in size. Perhaps back then we believed that there was such a small number of people living so far away that the lose would not be that great to Tesla and maybe they could sustain it. At least for the next several years or until the Model 3 comes out.

    During our correspondence with the Tesla rep in Toronto where we decided to purchase the car from we had many emails back and fourth about this details of the Tesla Ranger service. I have severals emails from Tesla stating that all issues relating to warranty work will be fixed through the ranger service and it would be $100 per visit. I asked them why there is nothing written in any documentation about the Ranger service and how can I be guaranteed the Ranger service would remain $100 per visit for the duration of the warranty. They respond again saying they have contacted Tesla service in California to get clarification on the issue. I even asked them about what happens if the car is not able to be fixed through a ranger visit. Again they came back, and told me in black and white, that should any work be needed to be done at a service centre Tesla would ship the car to the nearest centre (Montreal - over 2000 kms away) and that THEY would cover the cost. We found it hard to believe they would do this but again, they told us it would happen and I guessed we convinced ourselves that because we are such a small number of people in our situation Tesla could just eat the cost. Anyways, we told Tesla that "THE TESLA RANGER SERVICE" is the reason we are able to justify purchasing the car being so far away from a service centre. They assured us we would not have a problem. Car was purchased and delivered 3 months later.

    Received the car in perfect condition with no issues. Absolute joy to drive and couldn't be happier. After about 3 weeks we noticed continuous build up of moisture in the reverse lights after washing or heavy rain. It was not a huge issue to us so we just left it. Another 2 weeks go by and we started having problems with the driver side wiper causing streaks across the window. This was more of a pain so we decided to reach out to Tesla to tell them about the wiper blade and the moisture problem. We did not tell them to come to fix anything, just notified them of the issues. They replied back that they were sending a replacement wiper blade as well as a replacement part for the reverse head lights and that a Tesla Ranger would be coming to replace the part. We didn't ask them to come fix the moisture problem and we would just wait until we drive up to Montreal next year for our annual service but said oh well at least we'll see how the ranger service works out.

    The Tesla ranger arrived a few weeks later after doing some other jobs in the Maritime provinces. The guy was super friendly, took the car to a local a garage, replaced the reverse tail light part and brought the car back within about 5 hours. We expected to get some paper work describing what was completed but did not receive anything until we asked the Service centre about it. They send us a report outlining what they did which included several other minor things they fixed without telling us. Also that there was ZERO cost to us for anything! Not even a $100 charge for the ranger visit. We thought this was strange and inconsistent with what we were told but was not going to complain about something that was free.

    Fast forward about 6 months we had zero issues with the car! Awesome! Even through a harsh Newfoundland winter we had essentially zero issues.

    Then last week, out of nowhere, the passenger side door handle would not open the door. It would present but not open the door when pulled on. The inside latch was still abel to open the door. We called Tesla right away and told them the situation and they said they would look into it. Over the next couple of days the handle would randomly start working again and then stop working. As of right now it hasn't worked at all for 5 days. Unfortunately this was not just a minor issue where we could wait until July when we go for a annual service in Montreal so we required a Tesl ranger visit.

    Tesla (Montreal Service Centre) replied saying no problem to fix the door handle and that a ranger could be there as early as two weeks. Only thing is that we will be charged $800 to cover the cost of his transportation! Could not believe what we were hearing! This is exactly the same thing we were told WOULD NOT HAPPEN. We replied back that with copies of emails showing our correspondence with Tesla about the $100 fee. We did not hear anything for four days! Just let hanging there without any word of what was going to happen. Finally they replied saying they would come to fix the door handle and the Ranger service for this one time and one time only would be $100. Thanks for cutting us some slack but what about going forward! Believe it or not another Tesla here in the province had an issue with a pano roof clip breaking. They called Montreal service centre and was told the same thing - $800 for a Tesla ranger to come fix a sun roof clip are you kidding me!

    Also one more thing on the Montreal service centre. We had a small accident and scratched some paint off the rear bumper. We brought it to a highly regarded body shop near by and they said no problem we will take care of it. Got the car back two days later and you could never tell what happened. What was interesting though is the body shop manager called the Tesla service centre in Montreal before starting any work on the car. He simply ask if he broke any clips or needed some replacement parts could they buy the parts and have them shipped to Newfoundland. I heard it second hand from the body shop manager but he said Tesla Montreal service centre's reply was "Absolutely not would they send any parts to a non-Tesla authorized body shop! All work on Telsa's must be done here at the service centre or a body shop that we tell them they can use." What is up with the Montreal service centre! They are just not very accommodating at all!

    Anyways we have been discussing what is going to happen going forward. How can this be made right. We understand from both sides. Tesla would be loosing money on all these long ranger trips and can not sustain something like this. The issue is that before we purchased the car we were promised we would always have the $100 ranger service. Its not cool to go back on your word. A change of policy is fine to all new customers as long as they are made aware of the situation before purchasing. However, for those few people (I would guess that there is probably less than a couple of hundred of us who are far away from service centres and purchased the car before the policy was changed) who were promised this service before they bought the car and before the policy was changed, Tesla's commitment should be honoured.

    I would love to hear folks from TMC on this issue. What do you think is fair? Have you had an experience like this? What would you do if you were in our position? Thoughts on the Montreal Service centre? Would we have better luck with the Toronto service centre? Possible options for Tesla? Any thoughts on Tesla authorizing repair shops to fix their cars? Hard to think about how Tesla can service hundreds of thousands of vehicles in a few years with limited service centres and authorizing a repair shop would be a lot easier than building their own if every major city in the world.

    It's sad to say but 8 months had passed since we purchased our car and not a single day went by that we regretted the purchase... until this day :(. Huge supporter of Tesla and every day we are trying to sell their cars to friends, family, random people we meet coming up to us. Service is the number one question we get asked about and before now we always had a response. Now we can honestly not recommend buying a Tesla here in NL or anywhere not near a service centre.
     
  2. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Tesla has a record of this particular sort of shady behavior. Unfortunately, if you don't have it in writing, they're free to promise all kinds of things and then renege, just like your typical car dealer.

    Although you *do* have it in writing and they're *still* trying to renege. This problem probably needs to go up the corporate ladder; they should at least give you what they promised.

    I purchased the "unlimited" free Ranger service specifically because they can't back out on that; they have to provide the Ranger service for free for eight years, which is what I paid for in advance. And they have indeed been providing that service. In general, for those of us who bought the "service plans", there were specific promises made about the availability of Ranger service at a particular price.

    However, if you haven't already paid in advance, Tesla is pretty much able to change its available service options on you without warning, up to and including eliminating all service. Which is a serious risk, and one I considered before buying the car. I really do hope someone hacks the car and figures out how to repair & replace everything (including the software), given Tesla's behavior.

    Tesla is not selling the unlimited Ranger service option to new customers, either. This means I can't rationally buy another Tesla.

    I've actually started telling people not to buy Teslas if they live more than ~100 miles from a service center. Tesla apparently doesn't want us as customers. I strongly recommend to people living in Ithaca that they should not buy Teslas until Tesla opens a service center in this area, or restores the previous cheap Ranger service.

    Beyond that, the refusal to provide parts to third party body shops is just pointless hostility to customers, particularly those who live significant distances from a service center. Tesla's developing a reputation for this sort of stuff. It's not a good reputation.

    Apparently the Tesla Board doesn't care about the bad reputation Tesla's developing for crap like this. The car is so far ahead of the competition that developing a corporate record of this sort of behavior just isn't hurting business significantly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Escalate to California HQ, preferably with a group of Newfoundland owners and possibly owners in other remote areas who all have the same problem. Make it clear that you have been promoting Tesla but that this is the sort of corporate behavior which would cause you to discourage anyone from buying the car, and tell them that you hope that the Montreal Service Center behavior is not corporate policy.


    ------
    What Tesla *ought to do* (but probably won't)
    (1) Honor their Ranger Service commitment made to prior customers.
    (2) For future customers, offer unlimited ranger service at a reasonable price to customers located more than 100 miles from a service center.
    (3) Sell parts, on request, directly to customers who are located more than 100 miles from a service center.
    (4) Publish their service manuals.

    There is good reason for Tesla to use direct sales. There is no good reason for Tesla to attempt to monopolize service & repairs, however. *Tesla isn't even trying to make a profit on service*.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yes, they absolutely should live up to their promises. Reach out to Eli Edwards in Toronto, he's the service manager for Canada. Express your dissatisfaction. I can't guarantee that Tesla will respond in a favorable fashion, but I'll be pretty disappointed in them if they don't.

    FWIW it used to be a charge per distance traveled. The $100 policy was a huge step, which no doubt has gained them many sales. Going back on that will have the opposite effect.
     
  4. Shortmanz

    Shortmanz Member

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    I agree with you that Tesla should honor the promises they made to you.

    Btw, Tesla has published the Model S service manuals. They are only available online and require a subscription to access.

    Link to the service manual subscription page:
    Welcome | Tesla Service

    Forum thread discussing them:
    Service Manual Subscriptions
     
  5. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    It would appear to be the same situation in this thread, except you got written confirmation (while the other didn't):
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/35752-Owning-a-Tesla-in-a-remote-small-town-practicality-of-service-issues

    In the Roadster days, $100 was the *minimum* charge, and then $1 per a roundtrip mile after that:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/coming-your-neighborhood-tesla-mobile-service-rangers-make-house-calls

    In 2012 they changed it:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/transforming-automotive-service

    It still says that in the FAQ page (which is likely outdated as there is no link to it anymore from the main pages; the page appears to only be reachable by Google or a direct link):
    http://my.teslamotors.com/service/faq

    And it did in the 2013 version of the service plans:
    https://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/blog_attachments/na_tesla_service_plan_agreement_ca.pdf

    The new page (which is what shows when clicking through links) says:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/support/service-plans

    So it seems this is a recent policy change. I imagine it is because ultimately $100 ranger visits regardless of distance is unsustainable in the long run.
     
  6. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Changing the terms for new customers is perfectly fair. But ABSOLUTELY they should live up to what you were promised when you bought the car!

    I imagine they will, though as neroden suggested you will apparently have to go up the ladder to get them to do the right thing. It is unfortunate that they often make the customer push like this.

    Let us know how it turns out. If they really make this sort of after-sale change I'll stop pushing Teslas too. But I don't think it will come to that.
     
  7. mryeburn

    mryeburn Member

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    I posted this thread about 8 months ago when I started saving to buy a Tesla - the plan has been to order a Model S later this year. Like the OP, I had been reassured multiple times by Tesla sales people, and by someone from Tesla on the phone (I forget who I called so many months ago) that Ranger visits will be $100.00 despite the fact that I live far from a Tesla service centre, and if need be, Tesla would ship my vehicle round trip to their service centre at Tesla's cost. I was unable to get anything in writing, and I would not place a purchase order without getting it in writing.

    I do not do business with any company that treats their customers like this.
     
  8. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I actually linked to your thread in my post. The thing is that it WAS true at the time you asked that ranger services was $100 flat rate. This was true since September 2012. However somewhere near the end of last year or beginning of this year, the policy changed. I guess their accountants said this was costing them too much money and given there was no written guarantee how long this policy would remain in place, they reverted back to the old one from the Roadster era (where $100 is minimum and rate varies by distance).
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Also note that if you got the "anywhere 4+4" service plan in the "early days" of Model S, the web site now links to a PDF that doesn't say anything about the "anywhere" part. I already contacted my service center about it (after getting no response from servicehelpna). Service center said they will honor the existing contract, but I still need to follow-up with Tesla corporate to get the website corrected under "My Tesla". Pointing to the wrong plan is b.s.
     
  10. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Speaking as someone living in a city that has a perpetual "coming soon" service centre (It's not "soon" by any sane definition if it's multiple years and no hint of any progress!!!). This worries me a lot. I want to buy a Tesla "soon" (the real definition, not Tesla's) but if they're going to charge me a thousand dollars for a warranty visit (nearest service centre is about 1000km away) that could get expensive fast!
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    $800 for Newfoundland sounds less expensive than the original Ranger service charge. What is the rate they are charging per mile/km?

    In Canada they were originally charging $1 per km instead of $1 per mile. For my first annual service for my Roadster I was charged $868! I went to bat with service over that, pointing out that their web site specifically quoted $1/mile throughout. Tesla eventually agreed to change the rate for Canada to $0.65 per km - only slightly higher than the US rate. That reduced my bill to $564.

    The bill would have been reduced more when they opened Montreal, but by then Tesla had switched to the $100 flat rate. Hurray!!!

    Needless to say I purchased the Model S "anywhere service" plan when it was originally offered. Wasn't going to take any chances on that. It proved to be a good investment given the large number of service visits my early Signature has required. However my Roadster is affected by this rate increase. Luckily it hasn't required anywhere near as much service.

    Still, given the moving target on service costs, I think it's safe to say I'm holding on to my Signature and it's service plan for the full eight years. No P85D for me!!!
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I did get some information back from Tesla on this. Apparently because Tesla is planning a service center for Ottawa, they're not charging the fees here. I imagine the same would be true for Calgary.

    I don't have any information on NFLD though - I guess the OP will have to pursue it.
     
  13. Genebe

    Genebe Member

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    Tesla seems to be doing whatever it takes to kill sales to people who don't live near an authorized service center and/or approved body shops. If you have to pay $800 for a tech to come fix a wiper blade & tail light, or have your car hauled to a service center or body shop that's 500 miles away, you cannot economically justify buying this car, no matter what the price of gasoline.

    I know it's a loss-leader to provide these services to rural customers, but that's how you build a brand and reputation. Look how well serving the rural areas first did for Wal-mart; nobody every thought they would unthrone K-Mart with that business philosophy.
     
  14. >NetZero

    >NetZero Member

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    So an update on our service experience:

    The Tesla Ranger arrived to to fix our door handle problem. Very nice gentleman out of the Montreal Service Centre and he knew his stuff. He simply replaced the entire door handle assembly which involved removing the door paneling to access it. He had it all put back together and working in a little less than 2 hours so that was great.

    We also had him look into a squeaky front suspension noise that has been slowly getting worse over the last month. Without putting it up on a lift he simply said its needs to be fixed quite soon and must be done at the Montreal Service Centre. We were going up in a few weeks anyways for our 1st annual service so its not a big problem. However, it goes back to the heart of the issue: We still don't know what Tesla plans on doing long term for its more remote customers who need service. What if we were not going to Montreal anytime soon? Would Tesla cover the cost of transporting the vehicle to Montreal and back to fix a problem with a strut? I don't think they will be doing it for future customers and I am beginning to think they are not going to ever do it for us even though we have it in writing that they will cover those costs.

    We also haven't heard from anybody at Tesla about the $100 fee for Ranger service going forward. This "one time" we got away with $100, but if the Montreal Service Centre has their way we will be paying $800+ every time a Tesla Ranger needs to visit us. Not sustainable for anybody.

    Another Model S owner (there are only two Model S owners in the province thus far) here required a roof clip to be replace on his pano roof. Again he was told by the Montreal service centre it was going to be $800 for the ranger to visit him to replace his roof clip! The owner complained and told them our story and he got it for the $100 as well but this one time only...

    We will now await our report for the service that was done, and what Tesla is going to say about the front strut issue. The Tesla ranger said it could become a safety issue if not dealt with so Tesla has to acknowledge that it needs to be fixed soon. Are they going to ask us to bring the car to Montreal at our own costs? Should we play devils advocate and tell them that we were not planning to come up in a few weeks for the annual service just to see how it all plays out?

    Related: Separate to the whole remote service issue, does anyone know if work on a squeaky front strut has to be completed at a Tesla Service Centre? If they sent down the right parts from Montreal couldn't a tesla ranger bring the car to a garage with a lift to complete the work here... He mentioned it had to do with the ball joint. Montreal is a long way to go to fix an issue thats pretty standard on any car.
     
  15. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    One reason I downloaded a copy of the plans I paid for immediately. (I just verified to make sure I still have them along with the receipt.) Tesla is generally completely incompetent when it comes to legal issues, anyway; I certainly wouldn't trust their website to be correct.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yup.
    Yep.

    I'm going to be talking to some other Tesla owners in Ithaca soon. One of them is planning to buy a Model X, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to advise her not to do so.
     
  16. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    I'm following this issue very closely, as I'm over 2000km from the nearest service centre!

    I needed a Ranger last October. Charging unit went bad while I was in Nova Scotia. Without any prodding, Montreal sent a ranger out to correct it 2 days later and, like >NetZero, I was NOT even charged the $100 fee!

    What's up Tesla?! I've been singing your praises to everyone I meet for over a year now! This treatment is something I would expect from a sketchy used-car lot! Waiving the fee in some cases and then grossly inflating it in others, WTF?!

    If Tesla has reneged on its Ranger policy, I expect to see at least a blog post detailing the new policy (better yet, a tweet from Elon himself, who has a lot to answer for)
     
  17. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    You must understand that "Coming Soon" is Teslaspeak for "We hope it will happen someday, but don't expect it within the next year."
     
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Just think of Elon Musk as a ruthless businessman who will do anything to achieve his goals and will run over anything and anyone in his way. (Because he is). Right now Tesla is burning through its cashpile, has a ever-shifting X roll-out and is trying to expand its Supercharger network and build the first part of the Gigafactory. Removal of fixed-price Ranger service is a natural target for the cost-cutting they're trying to do right now, so if you want to keep it you'll have to go up the chain to get them to back off.
     
  19. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Oh I understand that very well, if I actually thought "Soon" meant something with Tesla I wouldn't be reading this thread at all because I'd be expecting to use a service centre instead of a ranger when I buy my MS "soon"
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I don't think it's quite as bad as that. Tesla told me that they're waiving the fee in Ottawa because our service center is coming. Assuming a consistent policy, then they would calculate your fees based on your distance from the "coming soon" Calgary service center.
     

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