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Delivery disappointment ... then the car!

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by wq2345, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. wq2345

    wq2345 Member

    Feb 14, 2014
    First: thanks to everyone who contributes to the TMC forums. Your sage advice has been very helpful, but a special shout out to those who already own Model S vehicles.

    Here's my story in as brief and straightforward manner as I can muster - I purposely waited until now so I had some time to distance myself a bit:

    Jan 18: Ordered Model S, black, leather, tech, subzero package, parking sensors, factory pickup indicated.

    Jan 19: Confirmed

    Early Feb: VIN# plus call from Van Nuys Service Center regarding delivery. Redirect delivery to Factory pickup because we would like to take tour.

    End Feb: Factory delivery specialist estimates completion by March 20th. However, we are out of the country March 20-30th, I ask for Friday April 4th.
    Nope, Tesla prefers to delivery before quarter end. If I don't, they estimate mid-to-end April. So I re-book international flights into SF for March 31st so we can pick up+tour at 10am. Plan: drive down to LA Monday afternoon using superchargers.

    March 10th: Finalize financing thru Tesla/JPMorganChase: 2.39% with 15% down: "Bring personal check for down payment at delivery". Very smooth process.

    Saturday March 29th midnight: Call from factory delivery specialist: Down payment policy changed March 24th. Wire down payment immediately or no car. :eek: Me: "Why not tell me before? Can't wire at this point. I'm bringing personal check as my paperwork indicates. Please give car." They say ok. [comment: this really pissed me off - would have happily wired if they had contact me 1-2 days prior during the week]

    Monday March 31st (BIG DAY): Pouring rain in Fremont all day.
    10am Arrive Factory - car not ready. Being detailed. Complete paperwork, hand over personal check, sign all documents (20min). Car still not ready. Start tour.
    12.15pm: especially long tour which was personalized to whatever we wanted to ask about. Very enjoyable but could tell it was a delay tactic. Return well after regularly scheduled 11am tour.
    12:30pm: Car not ready, firmware corrupt, entire software system needs to be reloaded. "Go have lunch sir and we will call you."
    Lunch at Zareen's ( - excellent.
    1:30pm: Call = car will be ready in 2 hours. We head back to Factory since heavy rain causing massive traffic delays.
    3pm: Arrive Factory. "While waiting for your car, we will do a walkthrough of someone else's for you." Walkthrough someone else's similarly equipped Model S in our sopping wet shoes.
    4pm: Car still not ready, no accurate estimate for completion: "Some time today" [!!!]
    Me: "Look, at this point we do not want to drive in the middle of the night in pouring rain to LA. We would fly back but have no ticket."
    Delivery specialist: Apologizes profusely: Car will be shipped to LA and delivered to our home. She proceeds to buy us one way tickets to LA, Uber ride to San Jose Airport, and lets us take anything we want from Tesla clothing store. Returns my personal check. Approximate total cost of transport+swag: $1500.
    8pm Arrive home

    Tuesday Apr1 - Thursday Apr3: logistics of delivery organized although in each situation I had to be the proactive one to ask when my car will arrive. Receive notice that JP Morgan Chase loan has originated even though I do not have car (!)

    Friday April 4th: Car delivered to the home by tow-truck driver; no Tesla delivery associate present. Driver: "Wow I've never done this before without a delivery person." All final paperwork is dated 3/31/14 so it counts for the prior quarter.

    Car is magnificent as everyone attests. No issues whatsoever so far (2 days & 100 miles into it). :biggrin:

    I'm curious to hear how other people would have dealt with this situation.

    I believe the Delivery Specialist at the Factory did the right thing by taking care of us. Essentially, if that had not happened I believe we might have possibly asked for our initial $2500 deposit returned to us and walked away. Despite being led on by the delivery specialist for most of that infuriating day, I have to commend her for taking care of us in the end - without her ability to recognize their error and attempt at correcting it, things could have turned out differently. I also think that our experiences with the MiniE and ActiveE programs (and even failures with the Leaf early on) allowed us to patiently wait out this delivery process glitch.

    A few nagging questions persist: why demand an arm-twisting wire in the final day before when personal checks were being taken not only from me but others taking delivery? Walkthrough in someone else's car? The varying stories we received about our car that day make me wonder - what exactly was the delay? Software? :confused:
  2. DaveT

    DaveT Searcher of green pastures

    Nov 15, 2012
    San Diego
    My guess is that your car was one of the last manufactured in Q1 and was probably finished the day before on Sunday, March 30... probably evening time. It didn't even have time to go through quality control so perhaps that's what they were doing on Monday morning. However, quality control found some issues (ie., paint blemish, wrongly installed dash, crooked door, etc.) and they probably didn't want to detail the issues since it might scare you away and it's something that they thought they could fix that morning but it turns out it took them a lot longer than they expected because 1) the issue(s) took a lot of time to fix and 2) they had a ton of other cars as well they needed to get out for delivery that day (last day of quarter) and needed minor fixes as well, but those other cars were really minor issues while your car was a bit more than minor. Anyway, by the time they realized that they couldn't fix the issue(s) with your car by late afternoon, they realized they had majorly screwed up and thus decided to ship the car down to you and pay for your travel expenses.

    Regarding the wire transfer vs personal check - I think it might have to do more with the delivery specialist and how he interpreted the change of policy. My guess is that Tesla switched to preferring wire transfer and/or debit card (echeck) transactions for down payment but that they still had a grace period where they would let a lot of people slide. But your delivery specialist probably was a bit extreme in how he presented it to you, but when you pushed back he quickly gave you slack because the real Tesla policy is probably to try to encourage people to do wire transfer/bank card but to let it slide during the grace/transition period.
  3. russman

    russman Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    I took delivery 3/21 and my car has been to service twice and needs to go back for condensation inside the lights. I'm bummed that I'm on the 3rd door handle in 2 weeks and need the 3rd visit to service in the same time.

    Car is awesome, just sometimes you get the bad luck.
  4. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

    Aug 24, 2013
    Look up the term "Monday Car". Taking delivery during the end of the quarter rush to finish production and deliver the last week of a busy quarter is a little risky. From any company trying to finish a period with a burst. 3/31 being on a Monday doesn't help. :)
  5. apvbguy

    apvbguy Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Ponte Vedra Beach FL (JACKSONVILLE)
    his is a story of absolute frustration, he wasted a day of his time, had a huge letdown and had his enjoyment delayed and lastly the clock on his insurance and finance payments had probably started to run.

    I had a crazy delivery experience as well, 6 days later MY car is finally home with me.
  6. invisik

    invisik Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Being used to regular car dealer paperwork signing, I had no idea what to expect. We took delivery 3-30-2014. Had to bring a cashiers check as well. Actually had to get a second check as the down payment amount was different then they originally stated because I added HPWC to the car after the order went through and they did not rerun my financing to add it. They did have my Aero wheels on it as promised. All in all, we were there about 4 hours, largely waiting for responses from Tesla or whoever. Lots of "end of quarter" reasons given.

    The car is fantastic... Everything works, no issues, and I even have the titanium underbody installed from the factory they say.

    Sadly, in a last showing of winter here, I got hit in the car (no injuries, side airbags did deploy) and am without it for a week or so until it's fixed. Ah well, that's how it goes. The service center is coordinating everything regarding repairing my car which is very very nice. No regular car dealer would do that, in my experience.

    So hang in there!

  7. thetigerfans

    thetigerfans Member

    Mar 10, 2014
    We took delivery almost a year ago. They were trying to get ours done for the end of March 2013. Ours was not done, then the factory shutdown for a week of retooling. At that time they were delivering the cars to you, but were transitioning over to pick-up at the service center, so we experienced some initial confusion as well. We had our loan paperwork and insurance ready for the first delivery date, so we were actually paying interest and insurance on our car for 3 weeks before we received it - but Tesla made everything right.

    At our scheduled pick-up, we were the only family there, and had the service tech to ourselves for an hour. We didn't tell our son that we were picking up the car, only that Dad had to stop and look at a job on our way to his soccer game. We pull up in front of the service center, but since it was still new, there was no visible signage. We walk up to the front door, and our son disappears down the side of the building. As we make our way to back of the building, we find our son there with the tech. He had spotted what he thought was an unusual car behind the building, and had headed that way. He saw that it was a Tesla, but still didn't make the connection that we were there for our car until the tech spotted him and let him inside. 11 months and 29,000 miles later, I remember that smile as if it were this morning! AND, we still smile every time we get in the car.

    We have found Tesla to be over the top helpful and customer oriented, and cannot say enough nice things about the car and their staff.

    A friend of mine says: "You Tesla owners and not just fanatics - it's like you're all in a cult!"

    As Invisik said, hang in there. If you are at all like us, you will LOVE this car.
  8. MidlifeCrisis

    MidlifeCrisis Member

    Dec 5, 2013
    Marietta, GA
    Based on comments here, I think the safe advice is to avoid end of quarter delivery, or be prepared for a sh!t show. I would have made the same decision absent of this story, tho. Who wants to wait 2 extra weeks for the coolest car on earth?

    That all said, I also agree the DS did a great job taking care of a bad situation, which reflects well on the company, in my mind.
  9. darthvdr

    darthvdr Member

    Jul 13, 2013
    los gatos, ca
    I am surprised to hear this. Luck of the draw perhaps. We had no issues with bringing a check. Is this a new policy of Tesla?
  10. Beckler

    Beckler Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Different outlook here but I don't really understand these sorts of posts. If I'm getting a Tesla, minor setbacks are completely irrelevant. Nothing would even remotely make me consider "walking away". I mean what else are you going to buy, exactly?
  11. Ocelot

    Ocelot Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    It is another thread about poor communication. This has been a fairly consistent theme as the company grows, and hopefully the threads keep getting spaced out more. It is a shame really all the push for end of the quarter deliveries, and I question why someone like Elon who seems to have more of a long-term outlook really cares about another few hundred cars being squeezed out at the end of each quarter. This will have zero effect on long-term prospects of Tesla but obviously does effect short term stock movements (more cars out, higher the stock). Long term however it hurts the stock, as you have extra expenses (like airplane tickets) being given out. As a shareholder I much rather see a phone call (not at midnight) being put to the customer, explaining the situation at minimum a few days before...something along the lines of " there has been a delay in some things, and there is a significant chance your car will not be ready on time, if you still want to come that day you are more than welcome". As a customer , I would prefer that phone call as well, so as it being my choice to maybe waste my time, or just reschedule things.

    I also would not be surprised if your delivery specialist dropped the ball somewhere beforehand. ie. they knew about the policy change weeks before it happend and were supposed to inform people picking up their vehicle after that date about the change. Hence the not wanting to go get someone up the company ladder to go authorize acceptance of a personal check, as it would make them look bad.

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