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Love the car, customer service leaves something to be desired

Discussion in 'Model S' started by monkeydad, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. monkeydad

    monkeydad Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    USA
    As mentioned in the title, I love the Model S. I took delivery of my P85 over three months ago and I have logged 3000+ miles of driving bliss. I have nothing to add to the many extremely detailed descriptions of how the car performs. I do not regret the purchase in the very least.

    My issue is with the personnel that I have dealt with before and during my 3 months of ownership. Perhaps my experience is due to the young underexperienced staff, but if so, management needs to take control of the situation.

    My disappointment with the service starts around the time of delivery. I was overjoyed to receive the email to confirm my reservation and even more thrilled to learn that I would be getting my car before the New Year. Unfortunately, I had an overseas trip planned and would only arrive back in the States just in time for the scheduled delivery. Knowing that it would be difficult to synchronize time for phone calls, I called ahead to alert Tesla that I would be away and that the best way to communicate would be through email. The person that I spoke with advised me that that would be no problem and that my delivery specialist would email me. I left on my trip 3 wks prior to delivery slightly nervous, but reassured that I would be kept in the loop electronically. Unfortunately, my delivery specialist failed to respond to 3 out of 4 emails concerning questions I had about the purchase contract and only responded when I asked in my 4th and final email that my purchase be transferred to another delivery specialist who would respond to me. I finally had to call to have my questions answered (exactly what I had not wanted to do).

    I returned to the States and took delivery of my car from a delivery specialist whom I had never met or communicated with. I was disappointed because my understanding was that the whole "delivery specialist" design was to have a consistent contact through the process. My experience was fragmented and unsatisfactory. Also, I was told that my carbon fiber spoiler, floor mats and parcel shelf were on backorder and I would be contacted once they were received.

    3 months of driving the beautiful Model S almost erased the bad experience from my memory. I was tolerant of the back ordered items issue until a friend of mine who took delivery of his 60kwh Tesla told me that he had gotten his back ordered items already, and he had taken delivery a full 3 months after mine. To add insult to injury, I went to my garage and discovered the much dreaded windshield stress crack in the right lower corner of the windshield. The crack had appeared spontaneously overnight and there were no impact marks on the windshield. I was upset, but reassured by the many posts on this forum confirming the excellent service from Tesla regarding this issue. I promptly called Tesla and described my situation. I was told by the service representative that windshields were on back order and that it could be a couple weeks before they could replace it. I was told just to drive the car with the cracked windshield for now and they would call me once they were ready for me to bring it in. They would evaluate the car and determine if this was indeed a warranty issue. 1 week passed and there was no word from Tesla. Meanwhile, the crack had steadily extended down my windshield. I decided to call again. After expressing my disappointment with the whole experience, I was told to bring the car in the next day. They would replace the windshield and get me my spoiler, floor mats and parcel shelf.

    I should be happy that I'm going to get my issues resolved (hopefully), but I question what would have happened if I had just trusted Tesla to call me as instructed. Would I be waiting months as I had for the back ordered items? It seems that currently the system is based on the "squeaky wheel gets the grease" philosophy. This is definitely not the way I would hope Tesla deals with it's customers.

    I sincerely hope that someone who is a position to improve these customer interactions reads this post and uses it to improve the service. I own a beautiful car and I am a shareholder in the company. I want them to succeed. I don't want any other customers to have the same feelings of disappointment that I had.
     
  2. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
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    1,397
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Unfortunately in this day and age, if you want something done right, do it yourself. If you're stuck relying on someone else, you have to be proactive and persistent.... No matter if its Tesla or GM.

    Good quality customer service is the 1%, not the 99%.
     
  3. Banahogg

    Banahogg Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
    293
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I had a very similar experience. One of our door handles stopped responding, so I called the "one number to rule them all". The guy that answered the phone took my information and said that definitely sounded like something service should take a look at. I said that I could do either Menlo Park or Fremont but I had a slight preference for Fremont. He tried calling Fremont service, but there was no answer (it was 5:30pm or so), so he put my into the system and told me that someone would contact me in 24-48 hours.

    We left the next day for a weekend trip, so I didn't bother trying to actively follow up with them, but they definitely didn't contact me. After opening the door to put the baby in by reaching around from the front all weekend, the handle started working again the day after we got back, so I decided to just let it go until it breaks next time (I didn't really want to have to go wait around the service center anyway).

    I'm wondering when they'll see this residual service ticket left open - I'll probably get a call next February or something :)
     
  4. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    11,923
    Unfortunately I feel the same. I HATE being the squeaky wheel, but I think you're right monkey, in that that's the best way to get anything with Tesla. I've had to hound them for pretty much everything to date. My paint armor was put on well after I got the car (and dings), and that was only after I kept calling and emailing about it. I still don't have a HPWC, though other customers who were delivered after me do. It's even worse since I paid the sig tax, which I thought at the very least would warrant a higher level of service from Tesla.

    I think this comes down to the state the company is currently in (stretched thin), but there comes a time when you can't really continue to make excuses for them. Do love the car though (more as time goes on). It's my daily and I can't think of another car I'd want to buy over it (except maybe an X with double the range? ;) )
     
  5. Gator

    Gator Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    MD, USA
    :biggrin: No complaints from me. Tesla Customer Service has been excellent. I have received calls and emails to my questions from the Washington DC store and the Rockville Service center.
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,743
    Location:
    Texas
    My experience has been similar to Gator's. Emails have mostly been answered promptly (9/10), the one issue I have is that the map light on the driver's side won't turn on or off by pressing. I email ownership experience about that and have received three phone calls on it. (I'm not going to get it fixed until it's in for something else.)
     
  7. anpahwa

    anpahwa Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    United States
    I also had a very similar experience. I agree - the car is great, and I love driving it. Customer service has been abysmal. I was completely fine with delivery issues, back orders, etc, as I understand that we're early adopters and have to put up with some of that. Then I also developed "the crack," and I was given the exact same run around. It took 10 days before they suddenly told me to bring the car into the service center for inspecting. Then they told me that my windshield wasn't a warranty issue because there was evidence of minor impact damage. I escalated the claim up the corporate ladder via email (calling was of no use), and suddenly my windshield was replaced. Not only that, but when I picked up my car, I had the back-ordered floor mats and rear seats added.

    I hope this is still just part of the ironing out process for ramping up production so much. I really hate having to be the proverbial squeaky wheel just to get basic customer service. Especially when I threw down a lot of money for a car that advertises "concierge" style service.
     
  8. CarlE_P439

    CarlE_P439 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    I think Tesla customer service has been great (particular the "Ranger" service). Mat from Tesla drove 3 hours plus (one way) to our vacation home with a new UMC since mine had died; otherwise I would have been stranded 300+ miles away from home. Perhaps the Ranger customer service is better......
     
  9. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Joined:
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    Rangers and service center most likely. I've never really had "bad service" at either of the service centers I've gone to. It's always when I have to deal with corporate. My local SC recommended I call Tesla about my HPWC and when it might arrive. All I could get was "They're being shipped in the order they were ordered". WTF does that even mean?
     
  10. monkeydad

    monkeydad Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    USA
    A follow-up to my experience.

    I'm happy to say my windshield was replaced the day after my post here. Brought the car into the service center in the morning and picked it up at the end of the day. No hassle. no charge. Unfortunately, still no movement on the back ordered floor mats or the spoiler, but I did receive my parcel shelf in the mail.

    Since then, however, I had another incident. One evening, I discovered that my car had a low tire pressure warning. I was able to limp into a local tire shop hoping that they could repair the tire, but was told that they could not repair the tire and they did not have the tire size available. They told me I would have to leave the car there and wait for them to order the tire, or tow the car away. When I called AAA to have the car towed, I was informed that it would cost me approximately $300. I told them "no thank you" and called Tesla roadside assistance. The person I talked with on the phone from Tesla Service was very helpful and had a flatbed tow truck with a driver that was familiar with Tesla towing protocol at my car within 1/2 hour. They towed my car 25 miles to the Tesla Service center and the person I spoke with on the phone was there to greet me at 8pm on a friday night. My tire was repaired at the center and I picked it up the next day (Saturday). FREE OF CHARGE.

    TL;DR verision
    Tesla had someone available for me during off hours on Friday night, towed my car 25 miles, and fixed a flat tire that was no fault of theirs for free on a Saturday.

    I'm very happy with this experience and I hope that this most recent episode is more indicative of Tesla's customer service than my previous encounters.

    A big thank you to the people at the Fremont Service Center for going above and beyond and working extra hours most nights.
     
  11. akula

    akula Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
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    98
    Location:
    United States
    Is it just me or are we (Tesla owners) getting a disproportionate amount of punctured tires? This is a bit odd to me... I was at the Tesla center in Chicago yesterday and saw two more cars with a similar problem as me getting their tires fixed that Tesla claimed owners did themselves. Anyone else see many tire issues in their area? I'm talking punctures and general damage you wouldn't feel when it happened. (so not hitting a pothole or anything.)

     
  12. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    7,019
    21" wheels (more specifically, low-profile 245/35's) and cold weather just don't mix well. I've had 2 sidewall failures -- one due to me curbing the tire and creating a thin cut in it, and the other due to a pothole.
     
  13. Abi

    Abi New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    San diego
    I have a good experience with the car but I'm tire of waiting for the rear spoiler it has been more than 7 months that I bought the car and nothing I have call costumer service and they don't return my calls
     
  14. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

    Joined:
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    1,067
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    My only gripe is how long it takes to get an appointment at the Service Center. They told me it would be a month to get in. When I told him it was a brand new car (I want the alignment checked) he got me in in about 10 days (I'm going in tomorrow). I hope they are a little more available in the future if I need them. That's a concern. I'm also hearing that getting a loaner car rarely happens any more, which is something that I'd really need. So I have some small concerns, but hopefully the car will be reliable and I won't need them very often.
     
  15. Pollux

    Pollux Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Merry land / District of Confusion
    I understand and sympathize with the negative experiences reported in this thread.

    So far, I am seeing great service out of Tesla -- Watertown, MA service center, phone calls and email. I *do* think that service chain is running very lean, and that the staff are frequently stretched way beyond what they should be. That leanness is probably reflected in delayed email response and possibly in the need to schedule service visits farther out than one might prefer. Many other glitches strike me as symptomatic of startups. I offer these observations not to deny the reality of the negative experiences others have described but only so that they and others might see the positive posts and get a more holistic view.

    In some ways, I'd even argue that the negative posts are more valuable than the positive posts. The negative posts point out problems that need to be fixed. The positive posts may feel good, but probably don't result in substantive change. The only problem is that there is a posting bias, as positive posters are generally less inclined to take the trouble to post than folks who are currently feeling the pain.

    My biases: I love startups, and tend to be more forgiving of them than established firms; I tend to be sympathetic when I see that people are working hard AND smart; I love the car; I admire the Tesla business model and the major re-think of how a car company should behave; I support the increasing deployment of electric and zero emission vehicles. I own no Tesla stock.

    Alan
     
  16. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
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    4,445
    Location:
    WPB Florida
    From 2400 cars over five years to 19K cars in about a year.... I expect this and worse.

    The single most frustrating part for me is, just when I find a competent person to work with, they get poached for more responsibility further up the food chain. I understand why this is happening. The growth is unlike most anything most of us have ever had to deal with. I am afraid it is just going to be painful until the production ramp flattens.
     
  17. johnbr

    johnbr Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Fountain Valley
    I'm about 7 months and 13k miles, have had to replace (21") a rim twice to go along with damage to the tires in each case. I am in LA area and cold weather was definitely not a factor. Prior to owning the Model S, I had not so much as had a slow leak in some 20+ years. The roads I spend the vast majority of time on are excellent and I felt nothing in both instances. It's got me rather paranoid about where / what roads I drive on now as the rims themselves are $1200+ to replace.
     

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