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Menlo Park Service - Not a good start

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by sgblank, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. sgblank

    sgblank Member

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    Location:
    pescadero, ca
    My pano roof was making cracking noises when I closed it. I noticed pieces of plastic broken in both rails the roof rides in. I called the Menlo Park service center and they said, "just drop by and we'll take a quick look at it." By the time I brought it in it would no longer open when the service rep looked at it. "We have to order a new roof. Come back in two weeks when we get the parts." They took a list of other other issues I had with the car.

    Came in this morning and the experience is not making me feel comfortable.

    The service rep started taking information down like this was the first time I had ever shown up. "Don't you have me in your system?" she gave me a blank stare in return. I've paid for the "4-Year Anywhere Plan Service, does that mean anything?" She gave me another blank stare. I went through the list of other issues I gave them two weeks earlier.

    Oh well, at least I'll get a Tesla loaner and be on my way. "Am I going to get a Model S or a Roadster?" I asked. The service rep just laughed, "Oh no, our sales guys sell all our loaners as fast as we get them. We'll get you an Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Oh... "You have to go with the Enterprise rep to their facility across town, they don't have the paperwork here." Oh... No Telsa loaners, no loaners on site...?

    Now across town, we're filling out the loaner paperwork when the phone rings at the rent-a-car company. It's Tesla service calling. I had left with my Tesla key in my pocket. My fault I guess. (But you would think "ask for the keys" would be on a service reps checklist.)
    Finalizing the rental paperwork the reps says, "Tesla covers the car rental but you pay for the gas." Say what? That's not how my other car dealers handled loaners. Probably just a mistake since I'm dropping of my key, I'll ask my rep.
    Back to Tesla in my Nissan Altima loaner to drop off the key.

    Since this experience wasn't making me feel like anyone actually had ordered parts for my car, now that I'm back at service I asked them to check to see if they had the roof parts they had said they needed. A few minutes later, "Oh we have roof deflectors and roof cables." Hmm, that doesn't sound like the parts I pointed out were broken two weeks ago that you said you ordered. The service rep who originally looked at the car two weeks ago pretended he wasn't in the room. Well Ok, I guess you guys know what you're doing, what time should I pick up the car today? "Oh, it's not going to be done today, it may be done by next Monday or Tuesday." Today is Thursday. Yet another surprise.

    Oh by the way, "Enterprise thinks I'm paying for the gas - that's a mistake isn't it?" The rep said, "Oh we're not allowed to pay for gas." When I said "say that again" she then backtracked and said, "Well I can ask my service manager if we can waive that for you." That's when I just said thank you and left. I really don't care about paying for gas, it's a rounding error.

    But the entire experience made me feel like what I imagine service feels like in a Chevy dealership. "I have to ask my manager" is a phrase I thought left behind. In the last 20 years I've had Porsche, Jaguars and Lexus and none of their service experiences felt like this.

    Couple of conclusions- 1) Tesla is a startup and acts like one. 2) They're selling as many cars as they can (great) but they will do it at the expense of existing customers. 3) Service and support will suffer until it starts to impact their sales (same experience I had being an early Solar City customer.) 4) The CEO makes claims that are great for the stock price (and he actually might believe) but which really don't show up on the ground now or potentially ever.

    p.s. like everyone else who owns the car I love it and will never go back to an ICE car. Just disappointed they haven't made the service experience in one of their larger markets feel as good as the car.
     
  2. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

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    BMW (mountain view and stevens creek) makes you pay for gas on rentals that aren't BMWs.

    Sorry to hear you're having terrible, I've had good experiences at Menlo Park, hopefully it's just a new person that helped you out.
     
  3. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    Menlo Park is, putting it kindly, a disaster. My car has been in three times already, with appointments made 3 weeks in advance, and each time it has sat for 1-2 days without being looked at.
    Granted, they are probably the highest volume service center in the country right now, but a lot of their problems boil down to poor communication and organization.
     
  4. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    SF Bay Area
    I took my car into San Rafael for service last week and it seems like they are still figuring a few things out. There were some hiccups when I dropped the car off (valet didn't show up at the appointed time, I drove the car there myself and then no loaner plus a long wait for a ride back to work- which ended up being in my own car). But they did fix the problem when they said they would, the valet picked me up from work in a beautiful red P85 loaner, and my car was fixed, washed, and detailed when I got there.

    I get the feeling that they have the right idea and they are trying, but they are currently a bit understaffed and woefully short on loaner cars. They said San Rafael only had two loaner cars, but they are supposed to get a fleet of eight loaners once they become available. So I'm optimistic that things will improve in the near future. Make sure you write down all the things they need to improve so you can give them a detailed report when they send you the survey after they return your car.
     
  5. BigBadNIN

    BigBadNIN Member

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    It's not just California. A tech at the Columbus, OH. service center gave me the same line about them selling the loaners as soon as they get them and I'd have to get a car at Enterprise.

    So I have to ask, are the cars at the service centers loaners or are they "stock" that is for sale? Could cause a problem fighting to sell them in North Carolina and Texas if they will sell them off the lot like that.
     
  6. anthony

    anthony Member

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    I've had a couple discussions with our service manager here on the east coast. They use Salesforce.com for sales and some other third party product else for their service data and don't have the two linked.

    I believe they are currently in the process of building their own system (silly), which will handle both sales and service, and I expect it to take pretty much forever, or at least twice as long as the Microsoft shop told them it would take.

    I opted for not getting the pano at the last minute as I was afraid of fit issues with them being so new to manufacturing, fit issues are almost inevitable. Still wouldn't have bought anything else.
     
  7. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    I've never received a survey.
     
  8. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Same in Portland. I've good experience with my individual service folks, but I'm really disappointed in Tesla on how they're handling service at a corporate level. They made this huge thing of saying they want world class service, Elon spoke saying service wasn't great and they were going to make it great. Multiple months later, it's still all just words. Complete lack of follow through.

    The message seems to be coming through loud and clear that existing customers are low priority.:mad:
     
  9. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #9 ChadS, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
    I certainly agree that "overpromise and then underdeliver" is not the best path to customer satisfaction. (Though it's not all bad; I just had a pretty good - though not perfect - service experience in Bellevue WA).

    But I don't see existing customers as a low priority for Tesla. If nothing else, the local employees seem to be trying (even though they don't always succeed) very hard to please, and I don't think they would try that hard if Elon insisted they focus elsewhere. I think it's just more of a case of Elon, as usual, promising something before everybody that works for him is ready and able to deliver it. I don't think it's malicious; I think Elon is just impatient. He wishes all this stuff could get done immediately, and is frustrated that it takes time. And we all feel the same.

    I do agree that existing customers don't seem to be the highest priority. Selling cars to new customers seems to be higher priority than making existing customers happy. It will be certainly be nice when they have the resources to do both well at the same time, but for now I think - even from my own perspective as an owner, just looking out a ways - their priorities are probably straight.

    I am not trying to make excuses for Tesla - they aren't delivering what was promised, so they should promise less. Underdelivering annoys early customers, and the customers' words may deter prospective customers. But I can't control Tesla, only my own reaction. I find myself much happier when I set my expectations that what they promise will come...some unpredictable day long after they promise it.
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I think one takeaway from this is that the loaner program is a disaster. As I expected, the sales people just sell them. Not to people who had them as loaners; they sell them to the general public. If Elon doesn't ban the practice the loaner program is DOA. The service centers will almost never have one to loan.
     
  11. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    This really speaks to the fact that there are buyers who are unwilling to / prefer not to wait. Shortly, Tesla will need to have inventory & loaner cars to keep both parties happy.
     
  12. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    That's my experience here in Denver, too: I was told by the tech who came out to the house with a flatbed instead of a loaner, that the loaners get sold to non-owners almost as soon as they arrive. But my service center does do the work they promise in a timely fashion and I've only had to drive to the SC myself once; the other times have been ranger visits or they've sent a flatbed to collect the car.

    Not getting a Model S loaner is disappointing to me as an owner, but understandable to me as a stockholder.
     
  13. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

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    Or they will just have to ship a higher volume of loaners to each location. Probably won't happen for a while though, until EU cars are done.
     
  14. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I think the Menlo Park service is inundated. They were great during my Roadster years.

    I do agree with the analogy of a startup. They should be careful what they are saying if they can't deliver even if they have the best of intentions. We were all excited about the loaners and I don't think they are possible to get. I have no idea why they aren't loaning out Roadsters.
     
  15. Jgdixon

    Jgdixon Member

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    Toronto service was supposed to get loaners but they haven't arrived yet.
    I was told they would have some roadsters as well but apparently they have offers on them so still no loaner cars available.
    I agree with everyone they have to stop selling the loaner cars to new customers and make then wait like we all did (although only about 2 months now) Most ICE dealerships who have loaners keep them on the road until a certain time and mileage before making them for sale. We have the best car in the world, there is some major improvements needed to get a matching service experience.
     
  16. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    They are loaning out roadsters, I had one while my car was being serviced. Call them beforehand to see if they have them available and get there early in the morning so you can grab it.
     
  17. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    FWIW, I've never owned a luxury-brand car so actually receiving a loaner at all is a rarity (w/Nissan and Toyota). There have only been a few cases where I've gotten one. And, no, they've never paid for gas. I was always supposed to bring it back w/the same amount of gas that I left with, regardless of whether it came from the dealer or external rental agency (rare).

    But, that is a bummer that they didn't have a Tesla at all as a loaner, considering the statements that Tesla's been making.
     
  18. vlsidude

    vlsidude Member

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    You should share your experience with "[email protected]". They are committed to improving the ownership experience but they need to be informed about problems to deal with them.
     
  19. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    I agree with vlsidude -- I would escalate until it gets to George Blankenship, at a minimum, and ideally to Elon directly.

    The practice of selling the loaners to random people is unacceptable. It's not fair to people who are in the queue, and it's not fair to owners.

    FWIW, Menlo worked on my car shortly after I got it, and it took several days (sunroof issue), but this was consistent with the estimate I was given up front. I drove my other car for the duration of that visit. That car has since been sold, and I will expect a Tesla loaner if/when I take the car for service next time.
     
  20. GlennAlanBerry

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    When I was an Acura owner for many years, I always got a decent, free, Acura loaner, but they never paid for gas (and I never expected them to). As a Tesla owner and a shareholder, I don't have a problem with them selling the "loaners" to any random person, even though that depletes their supply of loaners. I don't think there was ever any guarantee that there would always be enough Tesla loaners available to make sure that you could always get one if your Tesla needed service. The idea was to let you (or anyone else) buy the loaner, and not have the loaner fleet be more than two-three months old.

    Maybe Tesla should have a policy where they cannot sell all of the loaners at a SC, they need to have a minimum number at each SC, and then wait for some replacements to arrive before they can sell any more.

    I would rather that Tesla put their resources into hitting their plans for the Supercharger build-out, and to hiring more techs at the Service Centers rather than building up the loaner fleet.

    I have also had good experiences at the Denver Service Center, although they really do need to hire a receptionist. I think that it is a waste of resources to have the Service Manager and the Techs answering the phone.
     

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