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New owner of model 3 - purchase experience

UUrs1

Member
Aug 13, 2019
8
30
Oxford
On Saturday, 10 August 2019, we stood still in front of our new high-tech gadget with a sigh of relief. This came after much contemplation regarding my ability to afford the car, given the pittance in pay that early career academics like me are bestowed with. After working out the sums, my dear husband (DH) decided to shoulder the financial burden.

However, this has not been that simple for the Tesla systems - the car's VIN is registered in my name but the registered keeper is DH. And, I have not adopted his last name. So, getting on a phone to Tesla, assuming that you get through the line, is not at all easy. Lesson #1: Names matter!

We opted for the most basic aka least expensive option when we reserved the car on April 7, 2019. After a few weeks we got an email asking for another £2K deposit. Then, came multiple order acknowledgements and text messages saying our pricing has changed and so on. They indeed had changed the pricing and had charged us for the colour choice which was free at the time of ordering! Frantically we got on the phone, chat and email to get some answer. "Is it really how customers are treated when they are paying in excess of £40K?" DH and I went over this discussion endlessly as we never managed to get anyone from Tesla to help us. This continued for a week or so, when we managed to get someone from somewhere to answer the phone who then said, "I have raised a ticket." The following week, the order acknowledgment finally reflected the original pricing. Six years ago, Skoda folks in Oxford were brilliant when I bought my first car. Don't expect any of that at Tesla. Lesson #2: There is no such thing as customer service.

We then had to arrange finance. We looked at financing options and applied online for Blackhorse financing. It was straight forward. However, there was no confirmation email if it had been approved or not. Dreading another phone call again, we called Blackhorse directly after nearly 3 weeks. They confirmed the approval and Tesla was supposed to update our account. However, no response from Tesla at all. Lesson #3: Mortal souls who go through financing have to be patient!

Then came deluge of text messages and emails about the delivery schedule. One day it said Aug 15- Aug xx and then another day it said Aug xy - Sept xx... and so on. We were not even remotely excited. Lesson #4: Lesser the expectations you have, better that final experience will be.

The last bomb was dropped on August 6, 2019 - "Your delivery appointment is scheduled for 9 August 2019 at 10 AM.” The email said little about the payment and so on but asked us to update everything on the Tesla account. However, on the Tesla account, I could see only the appointment date and place and no other option and not even the final invoice. Phone again? Lesson #5: Reading similar rants on twitter and other forums may calm you down a bit.

DH couldn't contain his frustration though and went on the phone marathon. Somebody took mercy after a long wait, then changed the delivery date to the following day, sent an email with a final invoice and so on. We had to make additional payments and then we will be sent the registration number with which we were supposed to get our insurance. Lesson #6: Insurance is always complicated. Do your research ahead of time.

Payment was made. However, registration number was not sent even by mid-day Friday and without that there is no insurance. Lesson #7: You can always pick up your new Tesla without insurance, at your own risk you see.

Frustrated, I fired an email to the delivery team saying how can they expect us to pick up the next day without giving us the registration details for the insurance. An email then arrived, rather quickly, with the registration number. Bingo. Lesson #7: Park your politeness aside to get things done.

DH called our existing insurers - 1) You can only have NCD on two cars and 2) While we wait to sell our existing car, it may work out cheaper to take a month by month insurance for the car to be sold. Anyway, we sorted out an insurance and hoped they would email us the insurance document. As usual, that document never arrived in time for our pick up. Lesson #8: Get all these sorted ahead of time before you pick up the car.

With a super excited 9-year-old, who had watched all the videos on Tesla ahead of us, we picked up the car at West Drayton. Handover was a breeze. They were keen to get the car off their bucket and get the funds in instead. The battery indicated that it had ~137 miles worth of charge. We rolled into the Tesla car park and our little man showed us how to pull the charger plug out and charge the car. In about 20 minutes, the car was fully charged. With our little man by the side, it was a breeze to figure out the settings. Drove home with a mega sigh of relief. Lesson #8: There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Home charger is needed. We contacted EV Charging Solutions. They sent us a whole list of documentation, one of which needs Blackhorse approval as they have financed the vehicle (This is to claim OLEV subsidy). Bring on the phone again! This time Blackhorse said their T&C do not allow for any such approval for home charging solutions. Phone to Tesla again! Good lord! didn't have to wait for too long. "We will get back to you" - That has not happened. Cannot be bothered to chase them. Instead, rang 20 other providers and finally found Pod Point who have agreed to install next week. Lesson #9: There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, but, that tunnel is way too long!

Rubber mat! Search the forums. What is on the twitter? There is one on Amazon! Hurray. Email next day said, "Please cancel your order as we are still doing R&D on mats for right hand drive cars". Argos mat for £10 is not at all bad. Lesson #10: Sometimes, you just have to believe in ordinary things.

Little man loves the gadgetry in the car, big man’s BMW loyalty and belief has faded, and the lady cannot stop gazing at the skylight. We wish the buying experience was as delightful as the car itself.
 

Dapimp

Member
Jan 29, 2019
12
6
Preston
Can’t wait to buy one privately in a few years ;)
A red P+ to replace my 85MS when I no longer need the space.

Enjoy the car, they look awesome.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,432
2,395
Bath, UK
Congratulations!

The Tesla experience is definitely "disruptive" but I doubt many would argue that there aren't some real ongoing isuses that ought not to exist for cars at this sort of price point. I'm reticent to call them growing pains because Tesla have had years to get to grips with this stuff, and basic customer service is not some impossible dream.

I bet many of their customers in similar positions to you just want to talk to someone, just want to be reassured. Not being able to talk to people, waiting on hold for hours, emails that go unanswered, leaves people to deal with their own feelings of dread which doesn't help anyone.

Anyway, glad you've finally got the car, and thanks for the informative post. You've highlighted a few things I wouldn't have thought would be a problem.
 

Lawtq

Member
Feb 8, 2016
178
59
London
On Saturday, 10 August 2019, we stood still in front of our new high-tech gadget with a sigh of relief. This came after much contemplation regarding my ability to afford the car, given the pittance in pay that early career academics like me are bestowed with. After working out the sums, my dear husband (DH) decided to shoulder the financial burden.

However, this has not been that simple for the Tesla systems - the car's VIN is registered in my name but the registered keeper is DH. And, I have not adopted his last name. So, getting on a phone to Tesla, assuming that you get through the line, is not at all easy. Lesson #1: Names matter!

We opted for the most basic aka least expensive option when we reserved the car on April 7, 2019. After a few weeks we got an email asking for another £2K deposit. Then, came multiple order acknowledgements and text messages saying our pricing has changed and so on. They indeed had changed the pricing and had charged us for the colour choice which was free at the time of ordering! Frantically we got on the phone, chat and email to get some answer. "Is it really how customers are treated when they are paying in excess of £40K?" DH and I went over this discussion endlessly as we never managed to get anyone from Tesla to help us. This continued for a week or so, when we managed to get someone from somewhere to answer the phone who then said, "I have raised a ticket." The following week, the order acknowledgment finally reflected the original pricing. Six years ago, Skoda folks in Oxford were brilliant when I bought my first car. Don't expect any of that at Tesla. Lesson #2: There is no such thing as customer service.

We then had to arrange finance. We looked at financing options and applied online for Blackhorse financing. It was straight forward. However, there was no confirmation email if it had been approved or not. Dreading another phone call again, we called Blackhorse directly after nearly 3 weeks. They confirmed the approval and Tesla was supposed to update our account. However, no response from Tesla at all. Lesson #3: Mortal souls who go through financing have to be patient!

Then came deluge of text messages and emails about the delivery schedule. One day it said Aug 15- Aug xx and then another day it said Aug xy - Sept xx... and so on. We were not even remotely excited. Lesson #4: Lesser the expectations you have, better that final experience will be.

The last bomb was dropped on August 6, 2019 - "Your delivery appointment is scheduled for 9 August 2019 at 10 AM.” The email said little about the payment and so on but asked us to update everything on the Tesla account. However, on the Tesla account, I could see only the appointment date and place and no other option and not even the final invoice. Phone again? Lesson #5: Reading similar rants on twitter and other forums may calm you down a bit.

DH couldn't contain his frustration though and went on the phone marathon. Somebody took mercy after a long wait, then changed the delivery date to the following day, sent an email with a final invoice and so on. We had to make additional payments and then we will be sent the registration number with which we were supposed to get our insurance. Lesson #6: Insurance is always complicated. Do your research ahead of time.

Payment was made. However, registration number was not sent even by mid-day Friday and without that there is no insurance. Lesson #7: You can always pick up your new Tesla without insurance, at your own risk you see.

Frustrated, I fired an email to the delivery team saying how can they expect us to pick up the next day without giving us the registration details for the insurance. An email then arrived, rather quickly, with the registration number. Bingo. Lesson #7: Park your politeness aside to get things done.

DH called our existing insurers - 1) You can only have NCD on two cars and 2) While we wait to sell our existing car, it may work out cheaper to take a month by month insurance for the car to be sold. Anyway, we sorted out an insurance and hoped they would email us the insurance document. As usual, that document never arrived in time for our pick up. Lesson #8: Get all these sorted ahead of time before you pick up the car.

With a super excited 9-year-old, who had watched all the videos on Tesla ahead of us, we picked up the car at West Drayton. Handover was a breeze. They were keen to get the car off their bucket and get the funds in instead. The battery indicated that it had ~137 miles worth of charge. We rolled into the Tesla car park and our little man showed us how to pull the charger plug out and charge the car. In about 20 minutes, the car was fully charged. With our little man by the side, it was a breeze to figure out the settings. Drove home with a mega sigh of relief. Lesson #8: There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Home charger is needed. We contacted EV Charging Solutions. They sent us a whole list of documentation, one of which needs Blackhorse approval as they have financed the vehicle (This is to claim OLEV subsidy). Bring on the phone again! This time Blackhorse said their T&C do not allow for any such approval for home charging solutions. Phone to Tesla again! Good lord! didn't have to wait for too long. "We will get back to you" - That has not happened. Cannot be bothered to chase them. Instead, rang 20 other providers and finally found Pod Point who have agreed to install next week. Lesson #9: There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, but, that tunnel is way too long!

Rubber mat! Search the forums. What is on the twitter? There is one on Amazon! Hurray. Email next day said, "Please cancel your order as we are still doing R&D on mats for right hand drive cars". Argos mat for £10 is not at all bad. Lesson #10: Sometimes, you just have to believe in ordinary things.

Little man loves the gadgetry in the car, big man’s BMW loyalty and belief has faded, and the lady cannot stop gazing at the skylight. We wish the buying experience was as delightful as the car itself.

Excellent post lol

All this effort in the post yet ..... No pics. At all !
 

UUrs1

Member
Aug 13, 2019
8
30
Oxford
I forgot to include the pic! Thank you Lawtq.
IMG_7845.jpg
 

UUrs1

Member
Aug 13, 2019
8
30
Oxford
Congratulations!

The Tesla experience is definitely "disruptive" but I doubt many would argue that there aren't some real ongoing isuses that ought not to exist for cars at this sort of price point. I'm reticent to call them growing pains because Tesla have had years to get to grips with this stuff, and basic customer service is not some impossible dream.

I bet many of their customers in similar positions to you just want to talk to someone, just want to be reassured. Not being able to talk to people, waiting on hold for hours, emails that go unanswered, leaves people to deal with their own feelings of dread which doesn't help anyone.

Anyway, glad you've finally got the car, and thanks for the informative post. You've highlighted a few things I wouldn't have thought would be a problem.

No denying in the brilliance of the car. Hopefully, they will iron out the customer front-end.
 

cliffski

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
1,043
12,938
UK
I strongly recommend people get home charging sorted (if possible) before delivery. I'm so glad i did that for my S, even though I had stupidly thought the cable would be longer and thus didn't get the charger in entirely the ideal place but meh...
 
  • Like
Reactions: CMc1

Leo UK

Member
Mar 13, 2018
129
12
Devon UK
I haven't seen a photo of Aero wheels that looks good, but in the flesh I think they look fine. And worthwhile for range too of course ... handover guy said "put them back on when you have long trips" ... but haven't felt the need to take them off yet :)
We switched from sport to aero wheels, for the range and we saved £3.5k with Tesla price changes.. I guess we were aware of other drainage from sentry mode, air con , wind, etc etc so every little helps not least the 3.5k to put towards the bits and bobs inside and ceramic covering.. only one problem no car yet !! Despite 18m reservation holder and May 1 buyer..
 

navt

Member
May 21, 2019
359
213
London, U.K.
I strongly recommend people get home charging sorted (if possible) before delivery. I'm so glad i did that for my S, even though I had stupidly thought the cable would be longer and thus didn't get the charger in entirely the ideal place but meh...
I did. Two months ago. Still waiting on delivery.
 

UUrs1

Member
Aug 13, 2019
8
30
Oxford
Thank you Even looks good with those awful wheels..what a lovely car. You happy with the colour??

Didn't really think of colour while reserving as black was the only inclusive colour! While picking up the car, I noticed that grey looked so different and red was indeed punchy.
Again, no choice for wheels considering the price and the miles. I did go for FSD. Given the ambiguity of Tesla pricing and their weird penchant to go against the basics of supply demand pricing, I thought it is best to fork out now for the future tech.
I am looking forward to testing out the car in peak hour Oxford traffic.
 

UUrs1

Member
Aug 13, 2019
8
30
Oxford
I'm finding the waiting game too much to handle, hope I don't have to go through the same experience as you, but thanks for the warnings and the lessons. Your car looks ace, glad you are enjoying the skylight!

We were told at least 30 cars were due for delivery on Saturday last week. This apparently is their lowest delivery number. Good luck. It is worth the wait.

I won't be surprised if Tesla does a fully transparent supply chain using blockchain very soon.
 

Leo UK

Member
Mar 13, 2018
129
12
Devon UK
Just had a thought we are trading in my car with tesla- will that put us to the back of the queue? has anyone else done the same?
 

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