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Killing the brand with poor service

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,607
3,641
Colorado, USA
I mostly do updates in hopes that bugs get fixed. I am all in for a single stable software at time of purchase.
Maybe because I am AP1 and it was better years ago.
I do like the features I have gotten over the years but it is like 1 new interesting thing per year. I would trade that for no bugs and no downgrading in a heart beat.
From memory
- AP getting turned on and improving
- GPS enabled homelink (and air suspension - which I don't have)
- The ability to keep unlocked at home
- The personal key to user for seats etc (doesn't help me at all)
- Spotify (interface sucks);
- more voice commands (sucks with MCU1 - never use; don't really use with MCU2 either)
- Cute fart noises. Great for my kid - he doesn't drive the car - but worth 10 min of entertainment 1 time.

What got lost
- supercharging speed
- increased nag with AP
- better screen layout

Yep - I would have stopped in 2016 if that was an option in retrospect.
I would also add that they continually break Bluetooth connectivity on and off over the last two years. One update it's fixed and then the next it's goes right back. They keep introducing stupid useless things that only soak up valuable hardware resources (which are more and more difficult to come by on MCU1) and introduce bugs or outright break important and fundamental aspects of the vehicles. But hey, blogs can write about farts and dancing lights in a positive manner so all is well in the world!
 
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CapeOne

Member
Jun 14, 2016
955
640
New England
I’m a believer is Tesla’s mission and I drunk the Elon Kool-Aid a longtime ago. I also believe public airing of dissatisfaction has its place from time to time. The upcoming MB EQS looks really good and is likely to perform very well given MB’s prior capabilities. However, my disdain for the dealer model cannot be overcome by Tesla’s inadequacies at this time and so I’m likely to pick up another Model S later this year. So, to the Tesla fanboys (and I’m probably one) please hold your tongue on this one.

In a sense, Tesla does have a dealership model (arguably a poor one given the various customer service issues being discussed here) where the dealer/owner for all locations happens to be Tesla/Elon Musk. Unfortunately, Tesla chooses not to invest much in customer service and too often tries to cut corners while still paying Elon a huge compensation package.

Local dealer owners at least have more of an incentive to provide reasonable customer service, due to things like competition from other dealers, but hopefully Tesla will eventually be forced to change their tune in that regard as they face new competition in the EV market requiring them to make customer service a higher priorty.
 

DermMD

Member
Sep 15, 2015
45
23
Columbia. MD
This is an old thread but here goes:

My Model S has been in the shop for a month and I’m unhappy mostly because I miss driving the most fun car I have ever driven. Not so much because the Tesla shop chooses to communicate with cryptic messages via email and Tesla App, not so much because this malfunction happened the night before I was to leave on a vacation road trip having already taken time off from work but certainly because the performance by service seems quite incompetent. They have been ordering variations of the same part for weeks. What parts of the passenger seat assembly have to do with the problem I don’t know. But then again, what do I know about automobile electronics.

You see what happened is that as I was leaving work one night my car would not drive. It did come on and displayed multiple error messages on the dash. It would not accept a reboot sequence and did not accept a shutdown command either. Tried this multiple times with roadside assistance on the phone. They finally decided to tow it. That first night the car stayed on with the headlights illuminating the parking lot at the shop as it could not be shut off. To this day I do not know what the problem was in the first place.

Tesla needs to improve this and many other aspects of its service and communication thereof. This winter I waited three months without solar or Powerwall backup before Tesla Power service could come out to make a diagnosis. I’m further aggrieved by lack of a Model S loaner.

I’m a believer is Tesla’s mission and I drunk the Elon Kool-Aid a longtime ago. I also believe public airing of dissatisfaction has its place from time to time. The upcoming MB EQS looks really good and is likely to perform very well given MB’s prior capabilities. However, my disdain for the dealer model cannot be overcome by Tesla’s inadequacies at this time and so I’m likely to pick up another Model S later this year. So, to the Tesla fanboys (and I’m probably one) please hold your tongue on this one.

UPDATE:

It is clear to me that someone at Tesla reads these posts or at least read mine and that's encouraging. Although not intended it appears that I successfully communicated with Tesla through this forum much better than my efforts at direct contact.
I received a call about 4 hours after I posted this yesterday informing me that they were working on my car and that it would likely be ready by the end of the day. I HONESTLY DO NOT CONSIDER THIS A COINCIDENCE. The latest estimated delivery was for tomorrow pending latest ordered parts which were due today. Indeed the car was 'ready' at the end of the day but picking it up today as the charge had dropped to zero over the past month and they needed to charge it overnight. I had always believed that this had been a misdiagnosis because the local shop must have relied entirely on their diagnostic equipment. If only they had asked me what had happened, I believe they would have figured out the issue much earlier. I think when I described the issue here yesterday someone saw the light.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,705
8,049
Seattle area, WA
Now, it's all I can do when people bring it up to muster the mental strength to tell them not only how good the cars are (which is the easy part) but also temper that with how bad the service is.
I find the phase "Teslas are a dream to drive, a nightmare to own" is a very good summary with which I lead if anyone asks me about Tesla cars.

It's just sad that they didn't scale their customer service resources with their model sold. They rushed to get to a profitable quarter and it showed in the customer service department, sadly.
I'm more partial to the simple rationale that they simply couldn't scale the required service because service was the reason they were losing money. If you scale production of a product which is costing you more per car in service than your profit margin, you start losing more money (especially if the new, high volume car has even less profit margin built into the price). Lookup how much money Tesla kept on losing when only selling Models S and X. Then consider that Models 3 and Y don't have the same profit margin built in them, so sustaining the same level of service as Model S and X enjoyed before Model 3 flood is simply impossible. Who knew servicing perpetual-Beta cars would be so expensive, eh? Well, Elon knew, but just like he believed FSD would self drive coast to coast by end of 2017, and a million Tesla robo-taxis would be on the roads by end of 2020, he also believed that Model 3 and Model Y would be million mile service free cars by the time he made any significant number of them. Failure to achieve that goal resulted in the parts and service clusterfuck that we have today - they were never ever supposed to be needed, hence nobody bothered to plan to provide them. Notice that even though service didn't scale, Tesla is still not making actual profit on the cars - the thing which took them into the black is selling carbon credits. Once the incumbents have their own carbon credits, or in the case of large manufactures like the VW Group, credit to sell, Tesla may slip back into the red, more loses for every car sold.

All I can say is thank god the real players in the game have been jolted awake by Tesla's success in this segment. Now maybe we can get some decent cars from people who actually have a customer service budget worthy of a sustained existence.
Dealer model is not ideal, but after being a direct sales customer of Tesla, I will say it works much better. At the very least there is competition in service. Also, traditional auto-makers do plan for supporting their cars, making sure supply chains have parts, etc. When one of our Model S was in an accident. we had to wait 2 or 3 weeks to even get the a repair estimate. I heard from people at that shop that a month later the wait grew to 8 or 9 weeks. In the dealer model, such demands spawns shops which want to fix the cars, in Tesla model, the expansion is limited to the budget of a company desperate to show profit.
 

DermMD

Member
Sep 15, 2015
45
23
Columbia. MD
It's a coincidence. You're gonna have to trust me on this....
Yeah, I suspect you're probably right.
I'll keep going with this because now it has become amusing to me. When I went to pick up the car it now has new problems. First a headlight which needs replacement which they were aware of but waited to ask me if I wanted them to order one for replacement as I would have to pay for it as the car is 'out of warranty'. Well at 27,000 miles and 2.5 years old this car could not possibly be out of warranty which they confirmed after double checking. So they will be ordering the headlight for later replacement.
The second issue which they identified as they were handing the car to me was that the FOB seemed not to operate the doors. they suggested mobile service for the FOB so they can reprogram both at the same time as I did not have my spare. I thought this was reasonable and agreed. However as I drove home the car reported that there was no FOB present and that I would not be able to restart after that drive. That did not bother me as I knew I could use my App. What I have discovered since is that my car does not recognize both FOBs, does not lock and does not need a FOB or App to drive. This sounds incredulous to me but really I can get in my car and drive away without my phone on me or the FOB in the car. if I lock the car from the App it unlocks itself within moments. So I have enabled pin to drive and I will not sweat this as I can now get around in my Model S. Good thing is the door handles do retract so it may appear locked to the casual observer. Pushing on the door handle does present them as usual, again without FOB or App nearby.
 

krishna3812

Member
Jan 7, 2021
39
33
Newyork
I find the phase "Teslas are a dream to drive, a nightmare to own" is a very good summary with which I lead if anyone asks me about Tesla cars.


I'm more partial to the simple rationale that they simply couldn't scale the required service because service was the reason they were losing money. If you scale production of a product which is costing you more per car in service than your profit margin, you start losing more money (especially if the new, high volume car has even less profit margin built into the price). Lookup how much money Tesla kept on losing when only selling Models S and X. Then consider that Models 3 and Y don't have the same profit margin built in them, so sustaining the same level of service as Model S and X enjoyed before Model 3 flood is simply impossible. Who knew servicing perpetual-Beta cars would be so expensive, eh? Well, Elon knew, but just like he believed FSD would self drive coast to coast by end of 2017, and a million Tesla robo-taxis would be on the roads by end of 2020, he also believed that Model 3 and Model Y would be million mile service free cars by the time he made any significant number of them. Failure to achieve that goal resulted in the parts and service clusterfuck that we have today - they were never ever supposed to be needed, hence nobody bothered to plan to provide them. Notice that even though service didn't scale, Tesla is still not making actual profit on the cars - the thing which took them into the black is selling carbon credits. Once the incumbents have their own carbon credits, or in the case of large manufactures like the VW Group, credit to sell, Tesla may slip back into the red, more loses for every car sold.


Dealer model is not ideal, but after being a direct sales customer of Tesla, I will say it works much better. At the very least there is competition in service. Also, traditional auto-makers do plan for supporting their cars, making sure supply chains have parts, etc. When one of our Model S was in an accident. we had to wait 2 or 3 weeks to even get the a repair estimate. I heard from people at that shop that a month later the wait grew to 8 or 9 weeks. In the dealer model, such demands spawns shops which want to fix the cars, in Tesla model, the expansion is limited to the budget of a company desperate to show profit.
Agree with all of it. But is there any company not just car company that survived with "Bad Service"?
 

Big Toys

Member
Jan 19, 2019
608
507
Florida
Yeah, I suspect you're probably right.
I'll keep going with this because now it has become amusing to me. When I went to pick up the car it now has new problems. First a headlight which needs replacement which they were aware of but waited to ask me if I wanted them to order one for replacement as I would have to pay for it as the car is 'out of warranty'. Well at 27,000 miles and 2.5 years old this car could not possibly be out of warranty which they confirmed after double checking. So they will be ordering the headlight for later replacement.
The second issue which they identified as they were handing the car to me was that the FOB seemed not to operate the doors. they suggested mobile service for the FOB so they can reprogram both at the same time as I did not have my spare. I thought this was reasonable and agreed. However as I drove home the car reported that there was no FOB present and that I would not be able to restart after that drive. That did not bother me as I knew I could use my App. What I have discovered since is that my car does not recognize both FOBs, does not lock and does not need a FOB or App to drive. This sounds incredulous to me but really I can get in my car and drive away without my phone on me or the FOB in the car. if I lock the car from the App it unlocks itself within moments. So I have enabled pin to drive and I will not sweat this as I can now get around in my Model S. Good thing is the door handles do retract so it may appear locked to the casual observer. Pushing on the door handle does present them as usual, again without FOB or App nearby.
When the fob didn't operate the doors, that was not at time to leave it to the ranger. It should have gone right back into the bay for the fix. I'm surprised you took it. IO do hope it continues to behave, or you may find yourself taking an uber at an inconvenient time.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,705
8,049
Seattle area, WA
Agree with all of it. But is there any company not just car company that survived with "Bad Service"?
Cable companies consistently rate low on service, yet they continue to exist. Heck, some companies started offering a service to cancel your Comcast subscription on your behalf, for a fee of course. Perhaps some service will spawn to deal with Tesla for you. ;)
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,607
3,641
Colorado, USA
Agree with all of it. But is there any company not just car company that survived with "Bad Service"?
Monopolies comes to mind. Companies who don't HAVE to offer you good service. Tesla kind of fits this mold... for now. Just like our Comcrap service once our city finishes building out our new fiber network to our house.... buh bye Comcrap! It's actually a few bucks more but I don't care. Comcrap has screwed me for long enough. They're now beating down my door to make me all sorts of offers for "deals" so long as I sign a 2-year commitment. ROFL Nice try. Tesla is the same. It's been the only game in town for a while but that's all changing and the writing is on the wall. Too bad Tesla focused on building/selling units at razor thing margins of profit rather than building a real, sustainable brand model.

In related news, and I never thought I'd say this, Tesla officially has the WORST customer service I've ever dealt with and I was a kid when Colombia Music was still a thing and their business model was to avoid your attempts to contact at all costs. I'd deal with Comcrap, Colombia, the DMV or any other government entity in existence than have to deal with Tesla. Yes, it's really that bad. Hopefully your issue can be resolved by mobile service because it's their only redeeming quality.

It's just too bad that this "dealer-less" experiment ended in such tragic fashion because I was really rooting for Tesla to succeed to show us all it could be done. Instead all they did was make it so that people cling ot that model for generations to come. "Remember that time that spunky upstart said they could do away with the dealer model? Yeah, what a nightmare that was."
 

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