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Is it impossible to add any options after finalizing?!?

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by SuperCoug, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. SuperCoug

    SuperCoug Model S Res #7734

    Mar 16, 2012
    Bothell, WA

    After finalizing my 60 kWh Model S I started to regret my decision to not pay the extra $2000 for Super Charger access. I finalized #7734 in early November and my order was immediately "sent to the factory". Tesla has not started building my car and I do not have a delivery window at this point.

    After talking to my wife she convinced me that I should bite the bullet and ask Tesla if we could add the Super Charger access to our configuration. I called the 888-51TESLA number today and was shocked then I was told that it was "absolutely impossible" to make any changes to the car after you finalize. He said that even if I had called the very next day after I finalized my car in November it would have been too late. He kept saying "once it's sent to the factory there is absolutely nothing that can be done". I am extremely frustrated by this and I really would like to add SC access to my configuration.

    This is when the rep (named "Jason") got pretty rude. I asked him if I could plead my case to a supervision or somebody in customer service. His response was "Listen Pal, that's not how it works around here! I will ask my managers and when they say NO then I call you back and say I TOLD YOU SO".

    I told him that I was under the impression that others on the TMC forums had changed their configs (color, batter size, etc) after they finalized (often causing a delay in the delivery date but I understand that was a possibility). Jason told me that changes are never allowed after the order is sent to the factory and that I couldn't believe anything I read on this forum.

    After hanging up with Jason I called the assistant manager of the Bellevue store and explained the situation. She said she didn't think there would be a problem adding the SC option to my car and couldn't understand why Jason insisted that was impossible. She said "let me make a couple calls and I'll get back to you".

    15 mins later I get another call from Jason to confirm that any change to my yet-to-be-built car was not possible. He claimed to have talked to his managers but I'm skeptical.

    Has anyone else been in this situation? Anybody been able to change their config after the order is "sent to the factory"?
  2. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

    Apr 20, 2012
    Rocklin, CA
    Not impossible, just really really really hard.

    Regarding Supercharger access... that one might be really difficult because it is in the core of the car. Or not. I'm not sure what exactly is being paid for with the $2000, but I'm under the impression there are hardware components (thicker wires, etc) and software (that should be easy, but maybe it is circuit board related).

    Wheels, parcel shelf, paint armor, jumpseats, etc., would be pretty easy since those are external changes.

    Edit: if they haven't actually started building it... then I don't see what the problem is.
  3. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    It's very easy for this type of thing to get out of hand as more and more people finalize their car configurations. It can become an absolute logistics nightmare if suddenly dozens, then hundreds and possibly thousands of people change their minds after finalizing their configurations. Final to me has always meant 'final', though, I understand your point.

    If "Jason" spoke to you in that manner (even if you were less than cordial and provoked him - which we have no way of knowing), then "Jason" needs to find another line of work because customer service is not his cup of tea, nor where his personal talents lie.

    I would give the Bellevue store AM a few days to see what she can come up for you, but understand that in English 'finalize' means :

    1.put something into final form: to bring something to a point at which everything has been agreed upon and arranged
    2.complete something: to complete an agreement, sale, or other transaction

    Good luck!
  4. highfalutintodd

    Oct 19, 2012
    Hendersonville, Tennessee, United States
    While I hate to hear that Tesla was rude to you about it, I have to say I'm continually surprised at the number of times I hear people on these boards complain about not being able to make changes after finalizing.

    I know we're all excited, but doesn't the very word FINALIZE seem to imply that you should, you know, have your mind made up before making this decision? This very EXPENSIVE decision that, based on my time between placing my reservation and receiving my finalize button, you've had weeks or months to ponder?

    Hell, all of the synonyms for the word final also seem to imply that there's not a lot of going back (ultimate - last - definitive - terminal - conclusive - finale - end).
    Not passing judgment, just expressing surprise.
  5. SuperCoug

    SuperCoug Model S Res #7734

    Mar 16, 2012
    Bothell, WA
    This is exactly my point! My order is simply a record in a database at this point. Nothing has been built. My car does not exist.

    No more Webster's definitions guys - that's pretty insulting. When you finalize your order you are committing your deposit and it is no longer refundable. That's about it.

    Funny that it's the Super Charger for the 60 kWh car at the root of this issue since Tesla themselves changed their minds on this very maater (anybody remember the sequence of "TBD" to "INCLUDED" to "OPTIONAL"?)

    Oh, yeah, did I mention that my car doesn't exist yet and likely won't exist until sometime in late March or April? (Hard to say since I haven't even made the production schedule yet!)
  6. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

    Jun 4, 2012
    After reading about the success of others that managed to change things after hitting the button, I tried to change my wheels, but was told that its not possible. I'm cool with that, it was a long shot. When they are producing 100's a day, what can seem like a trivial change can really screw up the supply chain, especially if they're in the practice of fulfilling parts on a Just In Time (JIT) basis (I'm sure they are). I've ordered new from Audi and Mercedes in the past, and aside from the fact I had nothing like the access to the manufacturer that we do with Tesla, there was absolutely no chance of charging the spec once the order was with the factory.

    No excuse for the rudeness though. I've spoken to a few different people at Tesla, and they've always been great. You were unlucky with 'Jason', it's not typical.
  7. rcc

    rcc Model S 85KW, VIN #2236

    Aug 1, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Um, that's why they call it finalizing. Final means you can't make any more changes. That's the reality of mass production combined with just-in-time parts delivery.

    Sure, it's physically possible. But once the order goes into the system, a number of balls start rolling.

    Supply chain management has to be notified to ensure that the parts needed for the car that aren't built by Tesla show up on time. Bear in mind that if Tesla changes anything beyond certain agreed-upon (and paid for) parameters, it will typically be weeks if not months before the results of that change (like adding more parts to an order) show up at the factory.

    Tesla builds a lot of the car parts on site. The build of the requisite parts have to be scheduled (and their parts and/or raw materials lined up).

    The scheduling system has to figure out how to batch the cars to make efficient use of the manufacturing line, based on when all the parts are going to be ready and what other cars can be built at the same time.

    All of this stuff (and probably more) should start to happen immediately after you hit "finalize".

    You change your order and this carefully choreographed dance has to change to adjust to your change. I'm sure they can absorb one change. Maybe two. Maybe three. But at some point, the system breaks down, especially if you're talking about something core like supercharger hardware as opposed to say, a parcel shelf.

    I know it was possible to change things after hitting "finalize" when the factory was ramping production. But at that point, everything was chaos anyway so what's a little more chaos?

    But to produce 400+ cars a week, they can't afford chaos. Everything's got to run pretty smoothly or they slow down too much.
  8. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

    Oct 26, 2012
    Santa Cruz, CA
    #8 gregincal, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
    You're not just committing the deposit, you are signing a legally binding contract. If you want Tesla to change the terms of the contract, they are perfectly in their rights to say no. And why do you think your car is so far away? There's a 60kWh reservation in the 6000's that is already halfway completed. You car could conceivably be just about to start with the all the components already lined up. I can understand being disappointed, but I don't understand how you can be angry about it.
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Nov 10, 2011
    Just out of curiosity...

    @SuperCoug - What word should they have used instead of "Finalize" to make it clearer that the configuration would be etched in stone from that point forward?
  10. ddruz

    ddruz Member

    Mar 17, 2012
    North Shore Oahu, HI
    SuperCoug - My experience has been somewhat different than yours. Tesla graciously allowed me to change my configuration after finalizing. But it may be because my 60 kWh, regular suspension car was so far away from being built. I understood my contract was binding but simply asked them if it were possible to change since my car was months from being built. They looked up my record and said sure, no problem. I suspect if I had ordered air suspension or an 85 kWh battery the answer may have been no, not possible.

    All my experiences in dealing with Tesla folks have been top notch, over the top helpful and courteous, truly exceptional. I'm sorry you had a tough experience. It sounds very much out of the norm for a rep to have become rude even if the answer was no. If you have a regular suspension car perhaps there is still a chance for a change if you try again and get a different rep. Once we finalize, our contracts are indeed binding so we need to keep that in mind. Thereafter Tesla is under no obligation to make changes. With cars being produced so quickly now it may also be they are logistically unable to make exceptions that they could have made previously.
  11. loganss

    loganss Spaceman

    Mar 6, 2011
    Ouch tough crowd on this topic.

    @SuperCoug - your best chance at changing your order would have been before the 60 kWh packs with air suspension started being produced. Based on the 60kWh delivery thread the reservation numbers entering production are getting close to your number. It could very well be that there is one system pre-production of certain config types that contains a list of people's orders and another system containing a list during production of similar config. My guess would be that once you enter the later it'll be near impossible to change your config without having a lot of sway higher up. Can't hurt to try though. Good luck but just set realistic expectations and know the change probably won't happen at this stage.

    FYI as my sig indicated I changed my "final" contract to upgrade my pack from 60kWh to 85kWh before 60kWh production began with no problems. More money in Tesla's pocket. The Tesla rep that made the change mentioned several time that the change was only possible because the 60kWh weren't in production but it also meant I entered the 85kWh line of cars to be made at the end (at the time of pre-MVPA signing)
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Feb 6, 2011
    Columbia River Gorge
    +1 to most all responses in this thread.

    At some point, a manufacturing operation has to lock down what they're building. 'Finalize' is pretty clear and I think most agree it's not just the point at where you cannot get your deposit back - it's the point where you have finalized the configuration of the car. (And let's not revisit what Tesla said regarding the superchargers. There are a number of people on this forum who publicly agreed with the interpretation Tesla thought was clear.)

    Tesla has been kind enough, when they were first ramping production, to change a few final configurations. But anyone involved in a manufacturing operation can tell you that changes, even BEFORE something hits the floor, causes work. Stock on hand, changes to the MRP system, scheduling, paperwork for the specific item (travelers in my business) take time to change. Multiply your *simple* request by 10 or some other number and they miss production goals for the week.

    At some point Tesla needed to say 'no, not going to happen, finalize means finalize' or put the business goals at risk. As an investor, I hope this is the lockdown on changes. With enough yelling publicly on the forum, maybe you'll get your change. But I hope not. It's time for Tesla to be a manufacturing company.

    Here's a question: Would you be willing to pay for the costs the change incurs in their workflow? (And before you say 'yes!', I can tell you that metrics I've run in the past show the simplest change (prior to production, parts not committed, parts in stock, etc.) show a pretty pricey tag.)

    I'm sure you're disappointed and I'm sure you can't understand why, if you want to spend more money, they don't just say yes. The specialist's reported attitude (I'm sure unprovoked) was unacceptable. But out of kindness, think how you might feel if you'd had ten calls in a row asking for just a small change & a company saying 'finalize is finalize'. What do you want him to say?
  13. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

    Apr 25, 2012
    Schaumburg, IL
    There is one major difference with all this.
    I assume you were trying to make a change AFTER you have clicked FINALIZE and signed the papers.
    I made a change to mine after I clicked FINALIZE, after the papers has arrived but before I signed.
    I felt "guilty" as hell ... admittedly mine was an upcharge. They let me.
    But had I asked for a change after I signed, I would expect them to say no no matter ho much bribery was involved.
  14. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2012
    Skaneateles, NY
    I think you have to remember that at some point, there will not be a backlog anymore. So once you hit 'finalize', the production will begin immediately. Therefore, you won't be able to change anything once you click that button.

    Now I understand that is not the case right now, due to a variety of reasons including what you order (40kWh, standard suspension, or red), and the current backlog. So the terms in the agreement are likely there based on the future of no backlog and no needing to wait for production to begin for certain selections. They could make a temporary exception to this for now, but there are no procedures for this since in the near future that would be impossible to do when the car immediately starts being made after you submit the finalizations.

    Personally, I think there should be a 1-week grace period, or at minimum a 72-hour grace period. I think it would be a good practice for Tesla wait submitting for a short amount of time after submission to allow people to go back and change one more time. Perhaps someone submits the finalization, then tells others about what you submitted, then gets feedback for "why didn't you do this, or why didn't you do that", then they can go back and change. That has probably happened a number of times. Especially right now because everyone is gunning to submit as fast as possible to get 'in the line in front of others'.

    In any case, whoever that rep was should either be fired or severely reprimanded for his attitude and response. There is no need to be an a-hole about this. He could have responded in a polite and professional manner. I think if George B is reading this, he would agree. We're all adults here ( side-note: HAH-are we? ok maybe not - it could be argued we're all acting like little children in excitement for our new toy :) ).

    That specialist's attitude is definitely not representative of Tesla, and nobody should take it as such. They should have a process in place (probably too early for this company but I'm sure they will at some point) to record and review all conversations so that they can improve on customer relationships. It's not hard to be polite but clearly that guy was not trying and does not care. It seems like it is in his nature to be argumentative, and as such definitely should not be working in a position that interfaces directly with customers. He would probably be better suited at the factory on the line with a stopwatch yelling at everyone during each run to improve their times. Can we say FMJ? lol

    As for your situation, I'm sorry it sucks. They are so high-tech they should have an automated process where you can see where in the line your car is currently being built and changes that can still be submitted by you. Any change made would show up on their build system by the time your car got to that point in the line. It is definitely technically possible to do this (heh, I'm a software engineer so I know it can be done!! anything can!) .

    So my proposal to TM would be something like the following:

    • Manufactoring:
      • implement a system to track all the stages for a particular car in the line (probably already done actually)
      • provide an online 'real time view' of where your car is in the line
      • timeline view of line that shows specific key frames on where changes that can still be made by that specific time in the line
      • provide clickable links in that timeline to allow modifications to be made and submitted
    • Delivery
      • have the delivery of your car GPS tracked (well it does have a 3G connection so DUH, use it!!)
      • online map of showing delivery route, current location, and estimated time of delivery (kinda like UPS/FedEx).
    • Bonus (here comes my software developer over-engineering skills! lol)
      • live webcam view of key points in the stage so you can watch your car being built!
      • notification system of when your car reaches this stage so you can get notified, go online and watch.

    Why do this you ask? Well, every time someone has asked Tesla 'Why?', they fire back "Why not?". Why not have a rear view camera turned on at any point? Why not have a car that starts with no keys and no start button? Why not have a full web browser available while you are driving when other manufacturers would cringe that the legal liability of this thought? (etc..etc..the list of innovations goes on and on). Soooo why not provide a real time system described above for paying customers to actually participate, still make some changes, and get live feedback between finalization through delivery? This is exactly why they should do it. It's thinking outside the box. Nobody else (to my knowledge) does something like this, at least not in the automotive industry. It also helps fill the gap between stages which is driving people insane (this gap of 'waiting in the dark, wondering if your car is being built, etc', I might add, is perhaps fueling a little tension/anger for some people. you could curb all that using this system). So give people something to do, and the comfort of knowing what is going on. Imagine if they set another precedent here. The process probably could be patented, adding another innovative notch to their belt, and proving again that Tesla are at the innovative front of the industry.

    (hey if you are reading this TM listen up: You've come out with sooo many cool innovations, between the car and your factory, if you were to implement something like this you would be the first in the industry to do so, and imagine what kind of feedback you would get...come on Tesla you can do it!!)

    By the way...the above proposal is under the assumption that the time from start to finish in the line is longer than a few days. How many cars are in the production line at a time? How long does it take from start to finish anyway? It's also probably not linear either, right? some things probably get done concurrently too, right? I'm not in the automotive industry so I don't have a clue is this is even viable lol but it sounds really cool.
  15. Owner

    Owner Active Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I recently just successfully did change my order after I finalized. I think it all depends upon the exact timing of your order. I had ordered the 19" wheels, finalized, and then those beautiful 21" wheels kept nagging at me. I did a ton of research on trade offs, and emailed my person at Tesla. He said it was no problem to change the order, and we did so.

    I think it all has to do with timing. The factory pulls orders out in some kind of batch system, every week or so, and then processes those. If you order hasn't been actually pulled out yet, you might be able to change the order. If you hit finalize, and they pulled your order, your out of luck.

    I think I was in a somewhat unique situation as I was delaying for tax reasons into 2013, and I am a Roadster owner, so I get into the top of the queue. Also for the end of the year, they may have pulled more orders than expected, and they hadn't yet pulled mine. When I changed my mind, he put my reservation on hold just so they wouldn't pull it. By the time we redid the paperwork, no orders had yet been pulled.

    I can look up the exact dates if anyone is interested.

    It may be that they are extra nice to Roadster, Friends and Family but I keep thinking so, and then find they are as nice as possible to everyone!
  16. Zythryn

    Zythryn M3 Silver, M3 Midnight Silver

    Mar 18, 2009
    One needs to understand there is a reason it is called "finalize", but Jason should not have spoken to you in the manner he did.
  17. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

    Oct 8, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    no it's not. you apparantely need to be explicitly told that you are WRONG here and that you are giving Tesla owners a bad name.

    accept your mistake, or forfeit the $5k and don't take delivery of the car. whatever your decision, stop acting like a victim ferchristsake...
  18. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

    Dec 2, 2009
    Belmont, CA
    I didn't think it was out of line to ask, after all, like you said, others have made changes after finalizing.
    You probably wouldn't feel so frustrated if you got a more detailed answer rather than a rude one. If your order truly has gone to the factory and balls have started rolling then it's much more reasonable to accept.

    Snippy responses like "this is what 'final' means" or "stop your whining" also give Tesla owners a bad name (at least TMC forum members).
  19. jomo25

    jomo25 Active Member

    Mar 16, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #19 jomo25, Jan 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
    Even your limited definition of what "Finalize" means fails what you are wanting. I think Tesla would be happy to keep your deposit as you cancel this order and do a new reservation to get the exact config you now want.

    I happen to believe Finalizing (and I don't just mean pressing the button, but getting the Pre-MVPA and signing, which I'm assuming is what you did) is a legally binding contract stating exact configuration you committed to purchasing or forfeiting the deposit.

    Now, for the rude responses you got from "Jason", that's not called for in any circumstance and probably contributes heavily to your perspective of this inflexibility on Tesla's part.

    I'm sensitive to this topic because I am falling further and further behind in queue (P#s 10000 higher than mine are Finalizing before me now) and risking the price increase because I feel the gravity of signing the Pre-MVPA papers.
  20. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    May 17, 2009
    See if they will let you upgrade to an 85kWh pack. That might make it easier for Tesla and you'd likely break even or come out ahead instead of giving up your deposit since the difference is only $8,000 with Supercharging on the 60 kWh pack.

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