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FYI If You Live Far From A Service Station, Your Cost Of Ownership Just Went Way Up

Discussion in 'Model X' started by mikevbf, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. mikevbf

    mikevbf Member

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    #1 mikevbf, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
    like many of you, I have been obsessed with getting a Model X for many years and am totally excited that the Sigs are beginning to configure their vehicles. However, a change in the Ranger and Valet service policy make maintenance costs so high for people far away from a service Center that, for the very first time, I am questioning if I should go through with the purchase. It is very difficult to find the new policy in writing, but people are reporting that service stations are trying to charge for ranger and valet service at a rate of $3 mile one way (see quote at the bottom). At over 100+ miles away, I might be able to stomach the cost if it were not for a second more disturbing claim. It appear this cost is incurred even if it is for work done under warranty. If that is true, I believe that TM's will lose many sales or create many unhappy customers who more than 65 miles from a service station.

    Here is a thread on it.
    Change of Policy on Tesla Ranger Service
    I am posting in this forum instead of that one because this policy is so unclear now, I really thought all the potential Model X owners in my same boat should know of this change or at least get something in writing from their service rep if they claim the old rule which was $100 for ranger visits regardless of distance might still apply.

    Ok, now for a brief vent. Don't read past this point if you don't want to hear it. On the one hand, level headed people like Bonnie have voiced their opinion that the years of delay would help us get a more refined Model X and larger more robust Super Charger network. I appreciate and agree with this viewpoint. On the other, I have watched the cost of the vehicle's options sky rocket from when the Model X was supposed to come out. So we are paying for that refinement. Also, by having to wait, programs like the awesome unlimited ranger service no longer are an option. And now, just before being able to configure my Model X, it looks like the flat $100 for ranger visits is being phased out. I feel frustrated that now after years of waiting and so wanting the Model X, it might now be out of reach. My hope is that this thread turns out to be one big fat wrong rumor and the $100 a ranger visit is still TM's policy.

    Here is a quote from a site that spells it out:
    Tesla Letter To Raises Several Questions | CleanTechnica

    In a nutshell, until recently Tesla had been touting the ranger service as the means for people who don’t live close to any service center to get service. (Many people had asked about this before purchasing.) The policy had been that ranger service would cost $100 maximum, and I believe that it would be provided for free if the issue was a warranty issue. (That’s what I had been told, and some others as well, but perhaps not everyone was told that it would be free under those circumstances.) Additionally, if the service could not be taken care of on site, the car would be trucked to the nearest service center, and trucked back, also at no charge, and with a loaner car provided, if needed.For many people who live in areas a great distance from service centers, knowing we could get service, when needed, for at most a $100 fee, which at times would also include a loaner car, was the selling point that eased our minds enough to purchase a six-figure car, with no service available for hundreds of miles. Now Tesla has officially changed their policy, and is attempting to charge us $3.00 per mile one-way to valet our cars, or send a ranger. For me that would be over $600 every time I need something–including warranty work–done on my car, and of course it is more for others.
     
  2. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    I live 160 miles from the nearest service center here in California. I just had my car rangered in to have the center console installed and they also rotated the tires at my request. They didn't charge me for any of it.
     
  3. eloder

    eloder Member

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    It's unreasonable for a business, especially one that (right now) caters to high-end clients, to have a service like ranger at a flat $100 fee for very long trips. Why should they lose a lot of money on such visits when they aren't making up for it with their no-profit-aim service centers?

    With time, service centers will expand especially as Tesla has more than just three years of mass production experience behind their backs. It sucks for people who live a long ways from a service center, I'm sure, but in the long run it isn't close to sustainable.
     
  4. mikevbf

    mikevbf Member

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    I am glad to hear that. Did you purchase a service contract? Which one?

    - - - Updated - - -

    As an investor, I understand your point of view. But, this is not the tone that Musk set for customer experience as regards service. See Musk's blog post:
    Blog | Tesla Motors
     
  5. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    I don't know if it's official policy or not, but the Tesla people in Denver tell me as long as the nattering nabobs in the New Mexico car dealers cartel continue to pay off the state legislature to keep laws on the books that prevent Tesla from opening stores or service centers anywhere in this fine state, then Tesla will keep Rangerin' down to New Mexico to help out customers here, without charge. I'm just hoping that this really is the official policy or if not, that Palo Alto HQ remains blissfully unaware of Denver's divergence from the rules, and that they keep extending their kindness to New Mexicans for as long as humanly possible.
     
  6. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    #6 neroden, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
    You are absolutely correct.

    At this point (with Tesla no longer offering the prepaid Ranger plan which I have) I WOULD NOT buy a Model X or Model S unless I was within comfortable driving distance of a service center. Obviously, "comfortable driving distance" varies depending on who you are, but I certainly wouldn't tolerate more than 200 miles -- that's 4 hours each way on typical roads, which is slightly more than is reasonable to drive in one day by myself.

    And I will be telling people at the Drive Electric Week events in Syracuse NY and Binghamton NY that they should not buy Teslas at this time.

    Tesla has, so far, universally provided full transportation for the Model S when it becomes undriveable, which has happened to a very small number of people; I expect they will continue to do this, simply because it's so rare and can make for such bad press if they don't; and your insurance company will likely provide transportation for a non-driveable car if Tesla doesn't.

    HOWEVER, for other warranty work, with the car driveable, they seem to expect some people to eat the full cost of driving to the service center and back, even if it takes days to drive in and requires a hotel. The poor Newfoundland buyer had quite a fight before he got service...

    Tesla has not expanded service centers nearly fast enough to discontinue the prepaid ranger service program -- cities as large as Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Binghamton have no nearby service center -- but they discontinued the program anyway. Dumb.

    Although Tesla has still been providing "complimentary" ranger service to some customers, the repeated sudden changes in Tesla's offerings, without warning, mean that it's impossible to rely on this for the lifetime of the car, if you don't have anything in writing.

    This is the difference between being able to sell cars in Ithaca, and not being able to sell cars in Ithaca. I just told someone today to cancel their reservation.

    If Tesla found the Ranger program to be too expensive due to heavy usage by locals near the service center, an appropriate move would be to offer Ranger service (for future buyers) only to (a) people who are more than 120 miles from the nearest service center, and (b) people whose cars can't be driven at all.

    It's the people far from a service center who need the service. And if Tesla finds that they have high costs for sending Rangers to Ithaca, they can damn well cut those costs by *building a service center in Ithaca*.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Because Tesla wants to sell cars nationwide, rather than being a niche "only available in major markets" carmaker? They do NOT want to get that "only available in major markets" reputation; it has crippled many brands. And the reputation sticks for decades after the brand has service centers in the minor markets.
     
  7. EVenthusiast

    EVenthusiast Member

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    Actually, they can't build any more stores or service centers in NY, thank the auto dealer cartel for that one.
     
  8. Vitold

    Vitold Member

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    That's why Tesla is available anywhere but you have to either drive to service station or pay $3 per mile for someone to drive it for you.

    If it takes 'Ranger' 8 hours to drive to from service - that's ~$250 loss to Tesla vs selling the car to someone closer. At some point Tesla has to draw a line don't you think?
     
  9. lucy

    lucy bluehair

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    If I can drive to a service center, even if it is a long distance away (with Supercharger access along the way) I don't think it is unreasonable to be expected to do so if my car is drivable. I would even be willing to pay for an "insurance" type policy to cover possible trucking to a service center (like specialty AAA coverage?)if the thing crapped out completely.

    It it is a kind of bait and switch to have been providing this Ranger service, then quietly phase it out before the network of centers to replace the service is available. I've experienced driving 4-5 hours twice a year for warrantee work, not sure I want to do so again, even for the car of tomorrow.

    Although the back & interior of the MX do look pretty sweet. Still haven't seen the front...
     
  10. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    #10 neroden, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
    I had heard that that only restricted stores, not service centers. But if it restricts service centers, then Tesla absolutely has to reinstate free ranger service, they have no option, no choice.

    (I just double-checked the new-Tesla-store ban law. It only applies to sales, dealership licenses. It does *not* apply to motor vehicle repair shop licenses, aka service centers. Tesla should damn well open some service centers before the dealer's association tries to ban service centers too, like they did in Michigan.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Nope. Tesla can eat that $250 and they should. It's peanuts. Otherwise they're going to get a dangerously bad reputation and find themselves locked out of large portions of the country... permanently. After all, the cost is only incurred if Tesla manages to sell a car with defects, or for annual service.. so they have another way of reducing the cost, namely, make more reliable cars.
     
  11. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    Really? If I bought a car in the six-figure realm from a supposedly "premium" automaker I would expect a different kind of attitude toward service and customer satisfaction. Then again, I live in a country of relatively small size, so "long" distance would be relative. But for me (and a lot of people I know), having to drive something like 50 miles one way to a service center would be a show-stopper for buying a car. Remember, for most automakers over here you have service centers at least every 20 miles or often even nearer. (Our local dealerships/service centers for BMW, Ford and VW for example being in walking distance - and we live in a town of less than 10.000 inhabitants).

    And just for the record, our nearest Tesla service center is less than 20 miles away :)
     

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