Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Is Tesla truly 'Different' or are the dealerships scam artists like the other car dealerships?

Did you have an experience that made you trust Tesla?


  • Total voters
    66
  • Poll closed .

Labelman

Member
Dec 17, 2018
12
7
Orange County, CA
Walked into Buena Park dealership 2 weeks ago. 2 days later ordered online. My Model 3 is now ready- 6pm appt set. Got emails from 2 different Tesla employees with equally confusing titles (Inside Delivery Manager and Energy Manager (what's an 'Energy Manager??') trying to rush the delivery- said, 'Our delivery guy has no more deliveries and is trying to setup delivery right away!' I now realize this was a tactic to get me excited and to quickly sign the online contract (which is written poorly, devoid of important info and full of numbers that don't jibe, not to mention that the rate and figures don't match the 'estimate' the sales advisor gave me.) Then another 'manager' called me to say he was in charge of my delivery and wanted to come over with the contract and get my car to me asap. I've delayed them citing inconsistencies that need to be cleared up. More confusion and a new email with a better rate and a "Thank you for pointing this out. I've 'fixed' it, here's your new contract."

After pushing them several times to see the actual contract I got another email from yet another new title- "Senior Delivery Experience Specialist"- Lol, are they kidding? Who's who, what do these people do, why is the process (and the people involved) so unclear?

Now I'm even more suspicious.

Anyone else have a similar experience?

Any advice on what to do at this point? I'm becoming concerned.

Dad always taught me- "The worst time to make a deal is when you really want something badly. The more you want it the more vulnerable you'll be." I think Elon Musk tells his employees this as well- so that they can use it to take advantage of customers.
 

TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,650
8,911
Austin, TX
It's not a dealership, it's a Tesla store. People are in the habit of calling the place you buy a car a "dealership" because that was the only business model for decades, but it's not a Tesla dealership any more than an Apple Store is an Apple dealership. Actually I found buying direct from Tesla (twice) one of the best things about owning the car. You've just hit the end of the year rush exacerbated by the full tax credit about to expire.
 

Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,278
1,897
The Woodlands, TX
You had a bad experience that has been typical as of late. Tesla is in a huge push to get as many cars out the door by 12/31 as possible.

You are dealing with understaffed and likely undertrained individuals with less that optimal processes and work orginazation. Your situation is not likely (I won’t say certainly, you never know) a result of someone looking to push you. It’s a result of an inadequate organization, as of right now.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,896
12,621
Riverside Co. CA
You had a bad experience that has been typical as of late. Tesla is in a huge push to get as many cars out the door by 12/31 as possible.

You are dealing with understaffed and likely undertrained individuals with less that optimal processes and work orginazation. Your situation is not likely (I won’t say certainly, you never know) a result of someone looking to push you. It’s a result of an inadequate organization, as of right now.

How did your own delivery experience go? I have been wondering how it went, given the paperwork challenges you were going through.
 

NeverFollow

Active Member
Aug 9, 2010
1,278
806
How did your own delivery experience go? I have been wondering how it went, given the paperwork challenges you were going through.
Order on line. Don't take a test drive and you get thee extra months of Supercharger, or return it within 3 days of delivery.

Note: If you are not decided for getting or not the Enhanced Auto Pilot, test it.
You will certainly want to get it thereafter. It's one of the features who make a Tesla to be so unique and advanced.
 
Last edited:

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,221
10,092
SF Bay Area
Tesla is working hard in these last few days to get people who want a car before the end of the year in their hands so they can be owners of the car and qualify for the $7500 Federal Tax Credit if they can (depends on your own tax situation--not a rebate). There is paperwork to get going that usually takes them a week. If you think they are playing around with you, I think you are solely mistaken, and really don't buy a car from them. I have no doubt there are other purchasers who would be delighted to have Tesla reaching out to them near the end of the year but they haven't gotten around to them in their area of the country...either no inventory available or swamped.

Maybe people who haven't followed Tesla and these end of quarter sales periods like many of us have, think this is more like a traditional car dealership here. They are a young company, who just had a real first quarter in the black, and are striving to have another blowout quarter now that they have gotten their production numbers up. People have been pulled from other areas to help make deliveries. Don't think some people understand how hard everyone is trying to make this year end quarter a huge success. Don't think they are trying to push anyone into to car they don't want or do a hard sale by any means. There are people who really want to qualify for that full tax credit. Maybe not everyone is in that position or maybe the $3750 they will lose by buying next half year doesn't makes any difference to them. I personally think it's great that OP has had the amount of contact this late in the year that they got. Most of us had very little in the way of email or phone contact before our delivery day although we wish we had more. Go figure.
 
Last edited:

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,598
Canyon Lake,CA
Saw a bit of this confusion today and believe I have the reason.

I referred a friend to Tesla. She ordered Model 3 10 days ago and took her for delivery today at the Costa Mesa CA delivery center.

The scene was composed chaos. They were prepping and delivering 11 cars at a time in their delivery room. All the different cars were sitting there. The ones ready for customer inspection had their headlights turned on.
We were greeted at the driveway with a Valet to take care of our current car while the delivery was being made. Sat for a bit in the lounge until called for paperwork. All went smoothly. I went over her car carefully while she was making final payment and signatures. The area was well lighted with bright flourescent tubes. Made inspection easy. The car was perfect. Had 8 miles on it and was freshly hatched.

Delivery specialist was patient, professional and knowledgeable. Showed how to charge the car, operate the handles, seat and mirror adjustments. Went over the display and basic operations. When each new owner drove out the door a final check was done to make sure the proper car was given to the proper owner...and away we went. 30 minutes total.

As we drove out the door all the employees gave us sincere applause to cement our wonderful first impression.
Could not imagine it going any better.

I guess they were delivering over 100 cars that day. This is the end of the mad rush to get as many cars delivered as possible before the end of the full tax credits. So many employees were there to make it go smoothly. It was obviously all hands on deck. I met delivery specialists, computer data entry people to get us logged in. There were people selling charging stations, Others selling logo clothes and accessories. I met a guy that worked for Power Walls. Said that he had been requested to help out with the deliveries. We talked a little about the power walls, but his main intent was to assist in getting the deliveries out the door. He was plugging in cars awaiting customers, restocking charging stations and directing people. Also was taking general Tesla questions. People were restocking the coffee pods and keeping their water tanks full. Had a cooler of cool water bottles etc.

The place was clean and presentable, considering the large volume of people and vehicles going through.

So I suspect that Tesla is putting everyone that might be available to assist in getting the maximum number of cars to owners prior to EOY. Sometimes this may result in confusion of duplication of effort, and I assume that some items may have slipped throught the cracks or mistakes made, but overall this was an amazing demonstration of people on a mission.

As I drove down the street I noticed that at the nearby service center they had a lineup of fresh new vehicles in front, that valets were bringing up one at a time to refresh each empty slot at the delivery station. There were other cars around back, also getting prepped for their customers. Never realized what a tremendous effort that it would take to get so many cars across the final line.

Kinda made me proud.
 

vkana

Member
Nov 15, 2018
54
13
San Antonio, TX
Walked into Buena Park dealership 2 weeks ago. 2 days later ordered online. My Model 3 is now ready- 6pm appt set. Got emails from 2 different Tesla employees with equally confusing titles (Inside Delivery Manager and Energy Manager (what's an 'Energy Manager??') trying to rush the delivery- said, 'Our delivery guy has no more deliveries and is trying to setup delivery right away!' I now realize this was a tactic to get me excited and to quickly sign the online contract (which is written poorly, devoid of important info and full of numbers that don't jibe, not to mention that the rate and figures don't match the 'estimate' the sales advisor gave me.) Then another 'manager' called me to say he was in charge of my delivery and wanted to come over with the contract and get my car to me asap. I've delayed them citing inconsistencies that need to be cleared up. More confusion and a new email with a better rate and a "Thank you for pointing this out. I've 'fixed' it, here's your new contract."

After pushing them several times to see the actual contract I got another email from yet another new title- "Senior Delivery Experience Specialist"- Lol, are they kidding? Who's who, what do these people do, why is the process (and the people involved) so unclear?

Now I'm even more suspicious.

Anyone else have a similar experience?

Any advice on what to do at this point? I'm becoming concerned.

Dad always taught me- "The worst time to make a deal is when you really want something badly. The more you want it the more vulnerable you'll be." I think Elon Musk tells his employees this as well- so that they can use it to take advantage of customers.

There are not too many combinations available to order. What was wrong with numbers? Can you explain?
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,524
8,655
Visalia, CA
...equally confusing titles...

Why does this matter? In a rush season, all hands on deck, workers from all divisions are needed whether from automotive division or former Solar City now called "Energy".

Just because the title doesn't say "sales" that doesn't mean they are ready to rip you off.

What is your concern?

Don't you know what you pay by going to the web?

Why it matters as long as what you expected to pay is what you actually do in person?
 

Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,278
1,897
The Woodlands, TX
How did your own delivery experience go? I have been wondering how it went, given the paperwork challenges you were going through.

Delivery experience was fine. I did feel a bit rushed but once I made it clear I was taking my time, the guy slowed up and answered all my questions.

Tesla called two days before asking to move it forward a day. I could not. The morning of delivery they asked if I could move it to that morning. Again, I could not. They were polite but understood.

The car itself was in decent shape. I counted 12 small imperfections in the paint. Fisheyes and nibs that will need sanding and polishing out. Otherwise trim was in good shape, panels aligned, no scrapes or scuffs and everything works.
 

Msjulie

Active Member
Jun 26, 2016
2,448
1,809
Monterey Peninsula
About a year ago we were looking into a used S - maybe 2 weeks ago I got an email from Tesla checking into my interest on a preowned Model S

I also got reminded to order my 3 soon to get full tax rebate. Yeah, had a 3 since Jan! :)
 
  • Informative
Reactions: David29

MXWing

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2016
7,547
21,776
USA
Op is attributing incompetence, disorganization, workload and deadlines to malice.

Don’t buy the car. Sleep on it over the week and then talk to Tesla next year when things settle down.

Op probably has dads intelligence but none of his wisdom and discernment.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,524
8,655
Visalia, CA
...Anyone else have a similar experience?...

I've gone through 3 sales with Tesla: Model S85 in 2012, Model X100D in 2017, and finally Model 3 in 2018 this year.

It is true that Tesla's communications can be very confusing but I have been very confident that I would get what I ordered.

It is true that Tesla customer service is not like other car dealerships'.

Others would try to pressure me to get options that I kept saying no. They would keep me there for hours to make sure I would have to change my mind or at least just to reach a middle ground and say yes to extended warranty, service plans, or rust proofing...

With Tesla, when I said no to an option such as onboard dual charger..., they would never try to change my mind at all.

Once you are able to deal with confusing Tesla's communications and frustrations, it's a well-rewarded great buy in the end (and in my case, it's a big smile from ear to ear not just for once but 3 times.)
 
Last edited:

omgwtfbyobbq

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,450
1,661
Southern California
Odds are they're just disorganized and/or poorly informed. My delivery specialist told me I couldn't plug into a 10-30 outlet because it had 220V instead of 240V, so.... yeah.

You can take as much time as you want going over the contract before you actually take delivery, although you should move the car and/or ask them to move the car out of the way if you need a significant amount of time to go over the contract.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dre78

Dre78

Member
Dec 16, 2018
307
301
Chicago, IL
Assuming that you have already ordered a Tesla, the pressure you're experiencing is to get delivery of your vehicle, not to get you to purchase. This pressure is likely for your benefit: to assure delivery before December 31st so you can take full advantage of the Federal Tax Credit. If that is not a concern of yours, communicate with those you're dealing with at Tesla and they will likely back off.

After pushing them several times to see the actual contract I got another email from yet another new title- "Senior Delivery Experience Specialist"- Lol, are they kidding?
The hierarchy and roles at Tesla stores alludes me, too. Nobody and no literature at Tesla makes it clear.

Who's who, what do these people do, why is the process (and the people involved) so unclear?
From my experience, there are various people and two main outposts: the physical Tesla Store or Service Center (SC) and the Tesla main offices you can call. At the Store/SC, you are immediately assigned an Owner Advisor (OA): they make themselves available to answer your questions. Once you place an order, you are assigned a Delivery Manager at the Tesla main offices. This Delivery Manager creates and manages the paperwork, then works with the stable of Delivery Managers at the SC/Tesla Store to arrange delivery.

What is unclear to me is the communication between Tesla main offices and its Stores/SCs. Who creates the pro forma and final Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreements: MVPAs? Who signs the final MVPA (Mine was signed by the "Senior Director, North American Sales")? Who do I schedule/change delivery with?

Any advice on what to do at this point? I'm becoming concerned.
Read more about Tesla employees in this article: https://jalopnik.com/why-teslas-sales-staff-say-theyre-behind-shortchanged-i-1826206999
Take time to learn about the process of buying a car, and be understanding. You're dealing with humans, not subservient employees under commission. There's definitely pressure from all sides to push out contracts before the December 31st deadline for the full Federal tax credit. Again, if that's not your situation, make it clear.

I've seen plenty of pictures of people taking delivery of their cars in a clean backroom. Taking pictures with their new car on a pedestal of sorts. The full Tesla buying experience is not the normal at this point. My car was driven from the SC to the outside parking lot, and I was given the keys and asked if I have any questions. This was for various reasons, most of which is that I communicated that I was under a time crunch. I bought a car from their inventory, then gave them just days to prep and add EAP, because I was leaving town on vacation and wanted to take delivery before the 12/31 deadline. I have multiple posts on my abbreviated process in a separate TMC thread here: When will the final purchase agreement appear?, and in the process of full write-up of the entire process. It was stressful to say the least.

Anyone else have a similar experience?
Yes. I called Tesla offices at least twice, talking on the phone for over 20 minutes with a Delivery Scheduling Team member who took the time to understand my specific problem/concerns, and even call me back to make sure I had everything squared away. I called/visited the Tesla Store several times speaking with various individuals to square away documentation. I called my Bank's Loan Officer nearly daily to transmit required information and documentation, slowly learning about the mechanisms of loans and auto buying.

Dad always taught me- "The worst time to make a deal is when you really want something badly. The more you want it the more vulnerable you'll be." I think Elon Musk tells his employees this as well- so that they can use it to take advantage of customers.
I (and many others it would appear) disagree that Elon Musk is using this as a tactic to take advantage of customers. Again, if you've already made your purchase, the pressure is to get you delivery of the car before 12/31 so you get the full tax credit. I suggest you voice your concerns with whomever you're speaking with at Tesla, let them know your specific situation, then work from there.

Also, welcome to the Tesla family!
 
  • Love
Reactions: jjrandorin

TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
3,028
The Americas
Much less scammy than the norm. Biggest problem is that a number of employees at SvCs are veterans from other manufacturers' stealerships, and some of those habits are hard to break.

By and large, however, the experience does not suck *nearly* as much.

One key optimizer is the quality of the service rep you get for any given service. Especially for the more dicey issues, an excellent service rep can make all the difference. Of course, then when you get a less stellar rep, the difference is all the more glaring, but it is what it is.

Secondary optimizer is the quality of the shop foreman and/or lead tech. At the smaller SvCs, this person may be one and the same, and are worth meeting at minimum.

Most of my interactions at SvCs, and I've had more than most, have been good to great. A couple have been exceptional, and a couple have been annoying or just plain disappointing.

All in all, there is no way on this earth that I would voluntarily subject myself to a traditional stealership business model *ever* again.

This is not to say that Tesla won't have competition soon. Porsche is chomping at the bit to see how their Taycan does head to head against the X, and the low end of the market is starting to get interesting.

However, from a pure service perspective, Tesla is head and shoulders above the rest - it's up to them to maintain (or perhaps extend) that lead, so we'll see how it goes these next 3-5 years.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: David29

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top