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Is Customer Service Really This Bad?

random155

Member
Mar 18, 2019
876
453
NJ
I'll make this short to keep your attention. Purchased 2014 MS 85kwh in March with chipped up windshield. Spent hours on phone because this damage was not depicted before sale. FINALLY I was told "over the phone" that a due bill was issued for windshield. Tesla even ordered it for me. Windshield arrives 2 months later and I drop my car off, even given a loaner. Today I get a bill for approval for the windshield replacement. What!!! I go back on forth on the stupid text message with service person who says its not a due bill repair. Not only that, but my tail light full of bugs isnt covered under warranty either. I don't have the time or energy to fight over fricking text message about these issues and I'm beyond disappointed. I love my Tesla but customer service has gotten to a point that I dont know if I can enjoy ownership of this car know what I have to deal with for repairs. The bill even says "as per customer satisfaction please replace windshield, thank you". WTF!!!! No human contact, only text message, cant call service center, lies about warranty/due bills... Whos interested in buying?
 
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ev-now

Member
Jul 30, 2015
565
278
Denver, CO
Agree communications are getting really poor - not sure if Tesla thinks it is insulating employees from unreasonable customers (who are getting that way from frustration) or are simply overwhelmed with the volume of customers to deal with right now. SC in Denver told me they wish they could talk to people directly but there's only one line into the building so it's always busy.
 

PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
1,854
Philadelphia
Agree communications are getting really poor - not sure if Tesla thinks it is insulating employees from unreasonable customers (who are getting that way from frustration) or are simply overwhelmed with the volume of customers to deal with right now. SC in Denver told me they wish they could talk to people directly but there's only one line into the building so it's always busy.

So this only leaves those same customers to be even more upset and drive to the service center to have a "chat" with the same employees that the text message system is trying to "protect?" I doubt anyone would enjoy dealing with customers even more upset that they had to drive to a service center just to talk with someone.

Especially with the defective yellow screen debacle, I feel like they have decided customer service is not a significant priority. The only fix for this is when Tesla has real competition and IMHO competition can't come soon enough -- for so many reasons.
 
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Greengolfer

Member
Aug 12, 2016
275
115
Highland,CA
I believe that the level of service depends on the service center. The SC in Palm Desert, CA has always been good to me in the 2 years I have been a Tesla owner. They always answer the phone and have been very up front with me. I guess that I must be among the lucky few:)
 
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seclinton

Member
May 25, 2015
393
271
Newark, CA
taillight fails are covered under warranty. I had a ranger replace mine just a few weeks ago due to dimming and out lights and fogging of the glass. interesting. My DU is covered, basically any mechanical defect, but not damage caused by me, or cosmetic wear and tear. Lights obviously being the exception here
 

f205v

Member
May 12, 2018
646
748
Tessin, Switzerland
I recently read a lot of complains about poor customer service from Tesla, and the vast majority of them comes from people in the western part of US (but not only from there, obviously). Very few complains from Europe, nothing from the rest of the world.
My personal experience here in Switzerland is one of the most positive ones you can imagine.
I always speak with real people (frequently the same guy, who now knows me and recognise me from the phone number!) and the ranger service is based just a few Km away from my home and always reacts very fast. The fact that 99% of the maintenance is done by the ranger directly at my home or office is such an incredible thing that when I told it to the Jeep service guy (servicing my wife's car) he initially thought that I was trying to prank him!
 
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whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,701
8,041
Seattle area, WA
I recently read a lot of complains about poor customer service from Tesla, and the vast majority of them comes from people in the western part of US (but not only from there, obviously). Very few complains from Europe, nothing from the rest of the world.
My personal experience here in Switzerland is one of the most positive ones you can imagine.
I always speak with real people (frequently the same guy, who now knows me and recognise me from the phone number!) and the ranger service is based just a few Km away from my home and always reacts very fast. The fact that 99% of the maintenance is done by the ranger directly at my home or office is such an incredible thing that when I told it to the Jeep service guy (servicing my wife's car) he initially thought that I was trying to prank him!
West coast of the United States is home to some of the largest Tesla populations (e.g. you can't drive even short commutes around the greater Seattle area without seeing Teslas on the road). With the Model 3 flood, Tesla hasn't scaled their service capabilities to deal with it. Or maybe they didn't think that brand new Model 3's would require service in the first year of ownership - so that would make it a failure in production quality or design, rather than scaling service in time, but either way it's a fail. That and of course all the new money saving measures - no more loaners, things like screen going yellow no longer covered under warranty, no more goodwill services, etc. Sadly, with an early adopter car (which Teslas still are) service is what keeps the customers coming back.
 
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iqless

Member
Mar 20, 2017
619
733
Atlantic US
With the influx of Model 3's, Tesla seems to be having a real hard look at what they will replace under "goodwill" and what they won't. It changed a lot.

But by far the worst aspect of Tesla right now is the inconsistency. There is no company line on any issue, so you can speak to a different person until you get the answer you want. Which is cool, you think, but when the time comes to act, you never have any idea who will actually be making the decisions on Tesla's part and what their view on life and customer relationships is as well as what side of the bed they woke up on that morning.

Your issue is a big one (windshield replacement costs about $1,000, I think?) but they are exactly like that on even bigger issues. For example, for a couple weeks, in July, nobody knew if the free ludicrous deal for owners was still on or not. That is $20,000. Seriously. Every OA gave a different answer. But when the time comes for that discount to be applied, the deciding team is completely separate from any OA you can talk to.
 
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random155

Member
Mar 18, 2019
876
453
NJ
*UPDATE* So I drove to the service center today to get first hand information about the repairs. THE WINDSHIELD - when I took delivery i had all of the chips documented. They didnt issue a due bill at the time but they said i could follow up later. I spent hours on the phone, multiple phone calls to different people, email after email, etc... Turns out IM NOT CRAZY!!! The due bill was approved!!! I go in to get the windshield replaced (along with rear bumper re-paint DUE BILL) and the service manager inspects the car and decides ALL ON HIS OWN that the windshield does not need to be replaced, so he cancels the due bill. Holy *sugar*, wtf!! He won't even come out and talk with me, he has his errand boy service advisor relay all the information to me. Im beyond disappointed in Tesla customer service. I hate loving this car. Future Tesla's are out of the question for me due to customer service and the process of repairs. Absolutely horrible to deal with.
 

iqless

Member
Mar 20, 2017
619
733
Atlantic US
*UPDATE* So I drove to the service center today to get first hand information about the repairs. THE WINDSHIELD - when I took delivery i had all of the chips documented. They didnt issue a due bill at the time but they said i could follow up later. I spent hours on the phone, multiple phone calls to different people, email after email, etc... Turns out IM NOT CRAZY!!! The due bill was approved!!! I go in to get the windshield replaced (along with rear bumper re-paint DUE BILL) and the service manager inspects the car and decides ALL ON HIS OWN that the windshield does not need to be replaced, so he cancels the due bill. Holy *sugar*, wtf!! He won't even come out and talk with me, he has his errand boy service advisor relay all the information to me. Im beyond disappointed in Tesla customer service. I hate loving this car. Future Tesla's are out of the question for me due to customer service and the process of repairs. Absolutely horrible to deal with.

You are not alone in any of this. I'm sorry this happened to you.

Again, the inconsistency is what gets you.
 
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random155

Member
Mar 18, 2019
876
453
NJ
Oh and Tesla no longer covers tail lights with bugs in them. Apparently its perfectly acceptable to have a 90k car with dead begs looking at the cars behind you. So who has a trick to get these suckers out. Issue is with driver side trunk light.
 
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SeminoleFSU

Voluntaryist
Apr 5, 2013
1,466
364
Atlanta, GA
It took them 55 days to reply to two missing referral inquiries from friends I work with. Once they finally responded, we had a few email exchanges where I explained one friend was 100% sure he used my link and the other friend bought an inventory model but provided my code up front when making the deposit over the phone with his sales associate. When I offered to provide email proof that my 2nd referral's adviser confirmed my code should have been applied, they replied with:
"No referral link was used to place this order, therefore no referral credit was issued." twice for each VIN, then proceed to share that:
"Thank you for your response. Please be aware that we test our ordering page regularly to assure it is functioning as designed. We have no reports of the page malfunctioning on the date the order was placed. To be eligible for referral awards, all orders must be placed through a valid referral link. Each owner's personalized referral link is found in the Loot Box section of an owner's Tesla App or in the home section of the MyTesla account. Each owner can share their link with friends and family, after a vehicle is ordered through your personalized referral link, both you and your referred owner will be eligible to earn Supercharging miles based on the current award benefit and limits of the program.

The Tesla Referral Program strives to provide a fair and equitable process for all owners, for this reason, we do not add any referral codes retroactively. Please understand that future replies to this email will be read but may not be responded to."


I emphasized to both friends the importance of ordering through the referral code link or providing it up front when placing a deposit (in the case of the 2nd friend). I did this because a previous (3rd friend) had failed to use my link but called a few days after placing his order (before taking delivery) and was not able to add my code retroactively. Losing that 1st referral caused me to strongly emphasize to the next two friends to be sure and provide and confirm that it was received... All to no avail.

How much is 1000 miles of supercharging for a model 3 in the South East? Less than $100 I would guess... The sad part about it is while I was excited about getting a few free supercharging credits, what I really wanted was to be entered for a chance to win a Y or Roadster or whatever... Not that I ever win those sorts of things, but I digress...

There's so many concerning personal examples I could give that would make most normal people turn and run away from this company as fast as they can. I want them to succeed because I really don't want to drive anything else but I'm very skeptical they will at this point. Heck, I've always been skeptical but now I'm almost certain they probably won't survive more than a 5-10yrs...

Having said all that I recently had a detailer bend the chrome piece above one of my turn indicators so I used the app to place a mobile tech appointment. They arrived on time (surprised) with the right parts (surprised x) and switched out both turn signals for me. The one the other side was starting to come unglued and pull away from the plastic so it was going to happen on that side too eventually... anyway, the tech was SUPER cool... we chatted for quite a bit and I liked him very much... The total bill to have a mobile tech come to my house and replace two turn signals (with the cams) on my Model S: $155. Surprise #3 it was so cheap!

Anyhoo, I think Elon has made a lot of mistakes that has resulted in literally 0 room for error now...
  • Solar City Acquisition = WTF?
  • Focus on Solar Roof = Why? There's such a tiny market of people who could afford these??
  • Focus on the Model 3 before the Y? Compact cross-over SUV market is the hottest of all segments in the USA?
  • Focus on the Semi (where are these things going to supercharge????) before making a pickup truck, one of the most popular car segments in the USA? Now Rivian is about to eat their lunch (minus SpC network)
  • Insistence on the FWDs on the Model X? Dude, the car is cool enough with normal doors... I would have bought one if it wasn't for those things... overly complex and waiting to break

I could go on and on... I know it's easy to criticize from the outside looking in, but some of these seem pretty obvious to me...
 
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neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
*UPDATE* So I drove to the service center today to get first hand information about the repairs. THE WINDSHIELD - when I took delivery i had all of the chips documented. They didnt issue a due bill at the time but they said i could follow up later. I spent hours on the phone, multiple phone calls to different people, email after email, etc... Turns out IM NOT CRAZY!!! The due bill was approved!!! I go in to get the windshield replaced (along with rear bumper re-paint DUE BILL) and the service manager inspects the car and decides ALL ON HIS OWN that the windshield does not need to be replaced, so he cancels the due bill. Holy *sugar*, wtf!! He won't even come out and talk with me, he has his errand boy service advisor relay all the information to me. Im beyond disappointed in Tesla customer service. I hate loving this car. Future Tesla's are out of the question for me due to customer service and the process of repairs. Absolutely horrible to deal with.

Did you get the due bill on paper? If you don't have it on paper, you can't get anything out of Tesla.

The service manager does not have authority to refuse due bill repairs, but you have to have an actual paper due bill with a signature. If you push you should be able to get the service manager fired, though.
 

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