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How do I communicate with Tesla about my project?

xwang

Member
Jan 26, 2018
17
10
California
I chose Tesla to install solar panel. I am in bay area.

Start the process 6/19/2021.

Got an message like:

Hi xxx, this is xxxx with Tesla. I will be your Project Advisor, assisting you through installation. I just sent you an email with additional information and your next steps to complete in the next 48hrs.

The thing is, I emailed, text messaged, left voice mail to this person, asking some questions, never get any reply. I tried to communicate that the design I got is not what I want, but no answer.

Things moving along: 7/6/21:

Hi xxx, exciting update - we've received your permits. This brings us one step closer to installation day. Please reply if you have any questions.

I did reply and asked a question, try to say I have question to ask, but could not get any help, no reply.

Next message I got:

Hi xxx, an on-site home assessment is required prior to installing your system, so we scheduled the first available appointment for your convenience. Your assessment is scheduled to start on July 12, 2021 between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. To learn more or reschedule, visit your Tesla Account.

So July 12, someone from Tesla came to the home, did home inspection. Based on the discussion, he agreed the previous design was not optimal, and said he will do some modification, and I should get another design review from Tesla.

But that is it, so far, I never heard anything back from Tesla, the problem is, I have no one to ask what is the status of my order. Is there any design modification review or confirmation. I tried to text message, no luck. From Tesla account, it shows:
Installation: Coming Soon
We received the required approvals to start your installation. We’ll reach out to schedule your installation soon.


This is the strangest experience, or put it straight forward, the worst experience I ever had. I like a lot of things from Tesla, but this is so frustrating.

Anyone could give me some suggestion what for me to do? Or just wait? It is one way communication, I got instruction what to do, but I could never ask back.

Help really needed, to see if anything can be done for me to get some update on what is going on,

Thanks
 

SadSolar

Member
Jul 18, 2021
22
8
92620
for what it's worth, i signed back around 8/15/2020, responded to their requests immediately, fixed the roof but they didn't respond or acknowledge the roof was fixed until end of 9/2020, got SCE approval around 10/20/2020, but they didn't install until around day before Thanksgiving. Actual install took 1 day (around 8hours) to install 24 panels and 2 Powerwalls. Received some additional documents to sign a few days after that (stuff that probably should've been sent to me back in 8/2020, city inspection happened around Christmas time, and I got my PTO from SCE right around valentines day 2/2021.

throughout the process, my Tesla contact was really slow in responding... days and weeks would pass... then I'd get a 'you didn't call to schedule the install right after approval, so now it's going to be 4 weeks later' :(

funny enough, they immediately invoiced me the day after inspection... I paid the next day (and they took my money), but my order didn't show paid until PTO.

Based on my experience, I've retracted my referral for 3 other friends from going with Tesla because of their level of customer service... suggested they go check out the subcontractor from Costco instead. (so yes, I would've been 3/10ths closer to a free powerwall, but I wasn't going to screw over my friends)
 
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dailo

Member
Jul 22, 2017
773
862
Bay Area
Pretty much the experience I've had with Tesla so far as well. Out of the blue they will just call me and move things along and when I have them on the phone they seem to be helpful, but very hard to get ahold of them on your own. Definitely not a great buying experience, but I guess I am willing to put up with it for a good product. I got a call out of the blue from Tesla to schedule my install the next day since they had an opening. The install crew that showed up was pleasure to work with and were willing to work with me on where I wanted things, but now that they have all the gear installed I haven't heard from anyone else at Tesla. Sent emails, but haven't heard back so I am guessing I'll get another call out of the blue to tell me when someone will come out to install the backup switch. At least I haven't had to pay them anything yet, so hoping they will want to get things moving along before end of quarter.
 

sk00

Member
Jul 30, 2021
48
5
New York
I chose Tesla to install solar panel. I am in bay area.

Start the process 6/19/2021.

Got an message like:

Hi xxx, this is xxxx with Tesla. I will be your Project Advisor, assisting you through installation. I just sent you an email with additional information and your next steps to complete in the next 48hrs.

The thing is, I emailed, text messaged, left voice mail to this person, asking some questions, never get any reply. I tried to communicate that the design I got is not what I want, but no answer.

Things moving along: 7/6/21:

Hi xxx, exciting update - we've received your permits. This brings us one step closer to installation day. Please reply if you have any questions.

I did reply and asked a question, try to say I have question to ask, but could not get any help, no reply.

Next message I got:

Hi xxx, an on-site home assessment is required prior to installing your system, so we scheduled the first available appointment for your convenience. Your assessment is scheduled to start on July 12, 2021 between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. To learn more or reschedule, visit your Tesla Account.

So July 12, someone from Tesla came to the home, did home inspection. Based on the discussion, he agreed the previous design was not optimal, and said he will do some modification, and I should get another design review from Tesla.

But that is it, so far, I never heard anything back from Tesla, the problem is, I have no one to ask what is the status of my order. Is there any design modification review or confirmation. I tried to text message, no luck. From Tesla account, it shows:
Installation: Coming Soon
We received the required approvals to start your installation. We’ll reach out to schedule your installation soon.


This is the strangest experience, or put it straight forward, the worst experience I ever had. I like a lot of things from Tesla, but this is so frustrating.

Anyone could give me some suggestion what for me to do? Or just wait? It is one way communication, I got instruction what to do, but I could never ask back.

Help really needed, to see if anything can be done for me to get some update on what is going on,

Thanks
This actually sounds like a pretty good experience compared to what I and others have gone through. The worst is yet to come.
 

yblaser

Member
Aug 4, 2018
122
89
South Bay Los Angeles
My experience actually has not been too bad despite several delays in the project, most outside Tesla's direct control. They seem to have different project advisor groups for different metro regions so that may partly explain some variability in service.

Emails and texts are either ignored or take a long time for a response. I have never had an issue reaching a project advisor on the phone besides an occasional recording that it is outside their normal business hours even though I call well within those hours. I've never talked to my actual project advisor, but when I dial in his extension it rings for a bit and then gets forwarded to the project advisor team. I've never had the option to leave a voicemail.

The advisors I do reach are almost always helpful. I have been able to make a couple of changes to my solar layout in this method. The first time I sent an email with a picture of how I wanted the panels to layout. I didn't hear any response, so reached the project advisor team via phone a week later. The advisor I talked with was able to find that email and then send the request to the design team. I had an updated layout on my tesla account a few days later.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,363
1,706
East Bay NorCal
I think the easiest way to empathize with the poor folks at Tesla Energy is like this:

Let's pretend everyone you directly interact with has positive intent. Your advisor probably joined Tesla thinking they're going to help drive some green revolution and excited to help put solar on many rooftops. But Elon needs Tesla Energy to be profitable to not run afoul into all those proceedings around whether the Solar City acquisition was a fair purchase instead of a family grift.

So what happens is Tesla has a crap ton of customers all chomping at the bit to get all this fancy tech at the cutthroat discounted prices that Tesla has been dangling for years. This way Tesla doesn't advertise, they just undercut the competition on the merits of their tech and low pricing.

Your advisor is also part of a under-staffed team that is tasked with "doing more with less" and "outworking the competition" and all the other weak-azz platitudes managers like to spout when there are insufficient resources to execute tasks.

So your advisor has a mammoth queue that probably grows in size faster than they can reasonably clear out. This means they only get to your thing when they can first resolve the other things at the top of their priority stack. And as you can imagine, that means your personal experience will be sub-par compared to that of a better staffed local shop.

It's not your advisor's fault per se, it's just the fault of the situation that there are more customers than there are people to handle it. I kind of wish Tesla customers would read this forum before they sign a contract with Tesla. That way they know what they're walking into. Tesla should eventually get the system working, and in a decade, the homeowner will not really remember pain of the install. The future homeowner will be enjoying a nice green energy system. But that means the present-day homeowner is going to deal with some pain along the way.
 
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ericl

Member
Aug 19, 2021
69
26
florida
In my opinion the Tesla Advisor is the worst part of the operations chain. I would keep calling the main hotline and just talking to whomever is the next available Advisor to get your question answered. Keep pestering them.
 

slcasner

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2011
1,392
939
Sunnyvale, CA
When I first placed my solar roof order, the project advisor contact information was shown at the bottom of the account page. The assigned project advisor changed a few times while I was waiting for Tesla to develop a solution for a problem area on my roof. I'm currently in the stage of having a project design to accept and needing to make changes; at this stage, the project advisor contact information is not shown. To see the currently assigned PA requires clicking on the little chat icon (like a word balloon) in the lower right corner of the web page, then type "project advisor" in the question box, then scroll all the way to the bottom of the resulting answers. This method was told to me by a different project advisor that I reached when I did not know an extension number for my assigned PA. Why make this difficult?

I have successfully called my project advisor at the number and extension shown when I called him at the end of his workday (shortly before 4pm PST since he is in Utah). He told me that he has 50 clients to handle each day. My last contact was when he called me last Saturday (I didn't think they worked weekends). That call was very effective, but it was a bit of a surprise because he was calling just to touch base with me, whereas I had 2 or 3 emails to him outstanding to which he had not responded. I gave him some detailed information that he forwarded to the design team and said he would call again with an update, but I'm still waiting for that call.
 

sunwarriors

Member
Jun 30, 2021
76
45
Southern CA
From all the experiences posted, it'd be great to hear from an ex-advisor what the scoop is inside. Sounds almost like unless things are on fire, escalated, do nothing as you only have time to deal with the high effort callers.
 
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Reactions: Adrian Cockcroft
I ordered power walls in February, had onsite visit in March, they said they would have a design in June, and not a peep out of them since March. Tried every week or so. I don't have a project advisor named on my account page. The last number I had from an advisor is no longer connected.

I've looked into alternatives, but I need a large high current system, and several vendors are promising stackable and higher current inverters "soon", so I'm waiting for now to see how the market develops, or if Tesla manage to get their act together in the meantime.
 
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dailo

Member
Jul 22, 2017
773
862
Bay Area
I ordered power walls in February, had onsite visit in March, they said they would have a design in June, and not a peep out of them since March. Tried every week or so. I don't have a project advisor named on my account page. The last number I had from an advisor is no longer connected.

I've looked into alternatives, but I need a large high current system, and several vendors are promising stackable and higher current inverters "soon", so I'm waiting for now to see how the market develops, or if Tesla manage to get their act together in the meantime.
I guess I hit the project advisor lottery then as I ordered end of June and was installed last week. Don’t know when I will actually be able to use my system though, but after providing all my docs they sent out a design pretty quick.
 

mjptech

Being cyberbullied by TMC users PhilDavid + DCEV
Mar 30, 2019
532
245
Ventura
In my opinion the Tesla Advisor is the worst part of the operations chain. I would keep calling the main hotline and just talking to whomever is the next available Advisor to get your question answered. Keep pestering them.
@xwang - What @ericl mentioned is the way I handled it.. I was given an advisor that was probably inattentive and never answered or returned calls..

Until I called in and spoke with someone else that actually took the time to help me and get things going.. Then, I got an e-mail from her (my assigned advisor) saying "I should reach out to her next time." A month later, I was switched to different advisor that also responded in a timely manner...
 

xwang

Member
Jan 26, 2018
17
10
California
In my opinion the Tesla Advisor is the worst part of the operations chain. I would keep calling the main hotline and just talking to whomever is the next available Advisor to get your question answered. Keep pestering them.
@ericl , What is the main hotline? It seems to me now I cannot reach to real person, every thing has to go to Tesla phone app?
 

ericl

Member
Aug 19, 2021
69
26
florida
@ericl , What is the main hotline? It seems to me now I cannot reach to real person, every thing has to go to Tesla phone app?
Try 8775717652 and dial the extension, most of the times your advisor won’t be there available because they suck answering the phone and you will be rerouted to someone else.
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,564
2,615
Northern California
So July 12, someone from Tesla came to the home, did home inspection. Based on the discussion, he agreed the previous design was not optimal, and said he will do some modification, and I should get another design review from Tesla.
Unfortunately this is where you lost your first opportunity to get behind Tesla's poor communication system. You should have asked the site inspector for both his/her email and cell number. I actually offered to send my inspector some additional information they did not have access to at the time plus later they wanted to verify something they glossed over so this was a good thing.

While they are just one contact, it helps to have that route.

When Tesla actually gets ready to do the installation they will send out the actual Project Manager (not Project Advisor). This will be your most important Tesla contact period. Make sure you obtain both their emails and cell numbers. There is a good chance they will call you by their cell the day before the scheduled site visit or the morning of, so you will have that captured.
 
Still no response on email, but I did get through with a minimal wait on the phone to the generic number. The guy on the phone was helpful, apologized for the delay, said they got behind and are starting ramp up deliveries again. My install has slipped from design in June to design in a few months, I don't currently have a project advisor assigned to me, and delivery end of year to early next year. I had asked for an increase in the number of power walls on my initial order, and never got confirmation, but he did say they had noted that increase.
 

ericl

Member
Aug 19, 2021
69
26
florida
I would like to advise all of those that haven't gotten their contract signed to do it immediately because I just re-entered my address in the estimate tool and now they are forcing you to buy the maximum configuration; my install now is projected from 83k-110k for a 14kw-20kw roof with 2 powerwall+ vs what I received for 52k which was a 11.7kw roof with 1 powerwall+. The larger sizing does not make sense to me economically because even with all that excess generation, my power company will not pay me as much causing my ROI from 10 years (if excluding the premium roofing estimated to be 15-20k) to 20+ years.
 
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