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New Tesla Model 3 extended range locked me out, Tesla refused to help

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Yesterday I had one of the worst experiences of my life. I have a Tesla model 3 extended range that is almost new(purchased a month ago) I had gone with some family members to a beach near half moon bay/El Granada yesterday evening. The car had 80% charge when we reached. I parked my Tesla on nearby street and walked along beach for about 45 minutes. When we returned, to my surprise, the car refused to open using the iphone app. I had never used the Tesla key until that point because Tesla told me that iphone is good enough to operate the car. The Tesla app on iphone would show the car is unlocked but car won't open. On the car screen, I could see the car was displaying that "Sentry mode" was turned ON for some reason. I had not turned it ON when I left the vehicle so I was very surprised. The app for some reason did not show that sentry mode is ON. I used my Tesla app to request roadside assistance. To my complete surprise, Tesla just closed down my request for roadside assistance in about 30 to 40 minutes while I was standing next to it. I was worried about my car so I didn't want tol leave it like that but soon it got dark there and highway one was shutdown due to wind and natural hazards so my relatives and friends couldn't come from that direction to help us. Somehow a bus coming from El Granada village saw us stranded and stopped for us and we got home. After coming home, I called Tesla and asked them why did my car refused to open? Why did they close my roadside assistance request without any reason? What are my options now that my car is left on the road? Can Tesla tow it? etc. To my surprise the Tesla roadside assistance lady on the phone told me that she doesn't know why my request for roadside assistance got closed!. She also told me that I have to be standing next to my car for Tesla to send any tow truck!!! I asked her if that is the policy then why didn't Tesla help me when I was standing next to Tesla vehicle? Why they didn't send a tow truck or tried to unlock my car remotely by verifying my identity? She refused to answer any of those question. All she would say is if you want help then go back to your vehicle. I was not willing to go back there as it was almost 11 PM in the night and I was not sure how long it will take the tow truck to arrive if my Tesla card can't open the door just like Tesla app. No matter how much I tried to convince them, they refused to help!. Tesla told me that it is their policy not to send a tow truck unless customer is next to the car and they will not comment on why my request for help got closed when I was next to the car. The lady refused to let me speak to her supervisor and told me that her supervisor will call me when he is "available" which he never did!!
Why is Tesla so arrogant and careless about the plight of its customers? I paid so much money and waited for several months to get Tesla thinking it is a reputable company but now I feel that they don't care about us and they are hiding the problems with their cars.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,657
18,774
Riverside Co. CA
This is very hard to read, but I left it the way you posted it, without adding spacing.

I read through it, and what it seems to me is:

1. You went someplace in your tesla, and for some reason only took the phone as a key
2. Your phone as key didnt work, and you were unable to get into the vehicle.
3. You contacted roadside assistance and they closed your request without assisting you in getting into the vehicle
4. You went home and requested tesla to tow the vehicle, and they told you that you need to be with the vehicle for roadside assistance.

That sound about right?
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,031
10,040
Visalia, CA
...why...
It's a learning experience: Technology doesn't work reliably all the time.

That's why I appreciate a redundancy system:

If the phone fails, I could use the fob.

If the fob fails, I could use the card.

If the card fails, I could use the app for Roadside Assistance.

If the app for Roadside Assistance fails, I could use the voice phone for it.

Of course, "redundancy" also means spending more money for it (the fob) and some effort but it's well worth the price.
 
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LoudMusic

Active Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,459
1,729
Arkansas
I agree that Tesla are not good with their customers.

I think you should go back to your car and call Tesla from there. I think you should always carry the keycard with you - it fits in a wallet or purse just like your driver's license and credit cards.

I think you should then sell your car - you will probably make a significant profit. You will likely never trust the car or the company again and will have an unpleasant experience owning the car.

I am no longer surprised by people making a new account here and immediately complaining about their Tesla experience.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,540
7,175
Austin, TX
Are you sure you were standing next to the correct Tesla?

I only ask because my wife got in the wrong one at the grocery store and figured it out when it wouldn’t go into drive.

We’re you attempting as a Bluetooth key (where walk up unlock works)

Or opening the app to hit the unlock button? This requires the car to have good cellular connection as the request goes through the servers.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,657
18,774
Riverside Co. CA
I am no longer surprised by people making a new account here and immediately complaining about their Tesla experience.

A lot of people simply find TMC from googling for tesla websites, because they are trying to shame tesla on social media or something, and this is the largest place they can find. Meaning, many people make an account here specifically to complain.

I have seen it enough to know that this is the case (that many people make an account here with the sole purpose of getting a complaint started because they dont have anyplace else to make it).

With that being said, many of these stories are like this one, where they gloss over the personal responsibility the person had, to make the point of "what tesla didnt do". In this case, the "glossed over" (but mentioned) point is that for some reason the OP did not have the keycard with them. There is zero reason to not carry it. If one can carry their drivers license, they can carry the keycard. It takes up the same amount of room.

But, the OP here didnt have it, which caused this other chain of events.
 
You said you tried to open the car using the app. Did you ever set up your phone as a phone key? The phone key feature uses Bluetooth, but the app requires an internet connection to your car, which means both your phone and the car require internet access. As you’ve learned, you should always carry your key card in case the phone doesn’t work.

If your car had internet access, Tesla Roadside Assistance would have been able to unlock the car remotely, so I’m guessing you parked somewhere without cellular coverage (which would also impact your phone if you use AT&T).

Sentry Mode turns on automatically when you put the car in park.
 
I agree that Tesla are not good with their customers.

I think you should go back to your car and call Tesla from there. I think you should always carry the keycard with you - it fits in a wallet or purse just like your driver's license and credit cards.

I think you should then sell your car - you will probably make a significant profit. You will likely never trust the car or the company again and will have an unpleasant experience owning the car.

I am no longer surprised by people making a new account here and immediately complaining about their Tesla experience.
Do you think it might be a fake, troll account. You’re 100% right about the new user complainer thing.
 

LoudMusic

Active Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,459
1,729
Arkansas
A lot of people simply find TMC from googling for tesla websites, because they are trying to shame tesla on social media or something, and this is the largest place they can find. Meaning, many people make an account here specifically to complain.

I have seen it enough to know that this is the case (that many people make an account here with the sole purpose of getting a complaint started because they dont have anyplace else to make it).

With that being said, many of these stories are like this one, where they gloss over the personal responsibility the person had, to make the point of "what tesla didnt do". In this case, the "glossed over" (but mentioned) point is that for some reason the OP did not have the keycard with them. There is zero reason to not carry it. If one can carry their drivers license, they can carry the keycard. It takes up the same amount of room.

But, the OP here didnt have it, which caused this other chain of events.

I'm curious about the statistics for these accounts. Do you think this person will every come back to follow up? How many others have there been that make one complaint post and never use the forum for anything else?
 

LoudMusic

Active Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,459
1,729
Arkansas
Do you think it might be a fake, troll account. You’re 100% right about the new user complainer thing.

Oh I think they're mostly real people who have bought the car without doing any research. I know a lot of people like this. Not necessarily Tesla customers, but just other forms of technology. They see one advertisement or article, get an idea in their head of what the thing is, which is generally NOT what the thing actually is, do no research to educate themselves, and buy it. Then they're wildly disappointed in the results. Hell, I'm guilty of that. But it's been a long time since I've done anything that stupid. And never at the tens of thousands of dollars range.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,657
18,774
Riverside Co. CA
Do you think it might be a fake, troll account. You’re 100% right about the new user complainer thing.
This doesnt read that way to me. I dont know, and I am using my intuition here vs some statistics, but there are some characteristics that tend to stand out to me in those type posts, and this doesnt feel like that to me.
 
It seems this could be summed up even further as "I couldn't unlock my car, and Tesla won't tow a car without the owner being there".

Although I've never needed the key card, I've carried it since day one because... as @jjrandorin said, personal responsibility.

Sometimes my phone as key takes a few seconds to unlock the door, but I've never been completely unable to open the door with the phone. Please note that the phone can unlock the car in 2 different ways... via Bluetooth phone key OR by opening the app and hitting "unlock".

So it sounds like in the OPs case, they couldn't open it with the Bluetooth phone key (maybe Bluetooth was off?), AND didn't have a cellular connection (or the car didn't) in order to open it with the app. Furthermore, no key card.

Their solution to this problem was... put the car on a flatbed (seems extreme). The issues with roadside assistance are hard to understand... I haven't experienced being locked out, but imagine that roadside assistance could unlock your car with proof of ownership. Perhaps the OP accidentally cancelled their own roadside assistance request?

I'm not saying that this post is a fake rant, but I do think some people will be inclined to think that due to some parts of the story, as well as the writing style.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,657
18,774
Riverside Co. CA
It seems this could be summed up even further as "I couldn't unlock my car, and Tesla won't tow a car without the owner being there".

Although I've never needed the key card, I've carried it since day one because... as @jjrandorin said, personal responsibility.

Sometimes my phone as key takes a few seconds to unlock the door, but I've never been completely unable to open the door with the phone. Please note that the phone can unlock the car in 2 different ways... via Bluetooth phone key OR by opening the app and hitting "unlock".

So it sounds like in the OPs case, they couldn't open it with the Bluetooth phone key (maybe Bluetooth was off?), AND didn't have a cellular connection (or the car didn't) in order to open it with the app. Furthermore, no key card.

Their solution to this problem was... put the car on a flatbed (seems extreme). The issues with roadside assistance are hard to understand... I haven't experienced being locked out, but imagine that roadside assistance could unlock your car with proof of ownership. Perhaps the OP accidentally cancelled their own roadside assistance request?

I'm not saying that this post is a fake rant, but I do think some people will be inclined to think that due to some parts of the story, as well as the writing style.

I have (unfortunately) had to use roadside assistance with my model 3 on 3 separate occasions, all because of pothole / rim / tire issues. Never have they canceled my request, and they always responded to me very quickly. On 2 of those three occasions, the actual towtruck driver who was bringing the loaner wheel took longer than promised, but I was updated via text message when they were 30 minutes late (they ended up being about an hour and 15 minutes late).

I am certainly not saying "auto canceling the request couldnt happen" but I have not read a single instance other than this one where the accusation was "they canceled my request without notice". I also think that if the car was in a situation where roadside could remotely access the car to unlock it, the OP could too, since they had their phone per their description and they were logged into the tesla app. I say they were logged into the tesla app because they stated:

When we returned, to my surprise, the car refused to open using the iphone app. I had never used the Tesla key until that point because Tesla told me that iphone is good enough to operate the car. The Tesla app on iphone would show the car is unlocked but car won't open. On the car screen, I could see the car was displaying that "Sentry mode" was turned ON for some reason. I had not turned it ON when I left the vehicle so I was very surprised. The app for some reason did not show that sentry mode is ON. I used my Tesla app to request roadside assistance.

All of the above requires being logged into the tesla app itself.

Actually, the thing that makes the most sense in an "occams razor" type of way, is what @brkaus said.... (that the OP was not at the right car).
 
Are you sure you were standing next to the correct Tesla?

I only ask because my wife got in the wrong one at the grocery store and figured it out when it wouldn’t go into drive.

We’re you attempting as a Bluetooth key (where walk up unlock works)

Or opening the app to hit the unlock button? This requires the car to have good cellular connection as the request goes through the servers.


That's what came to mind.

OP if you come back, paragraphs are your friend.
 
OP
I am sorry for your troubles, no matter whose fault it is, it is tough not getting into your car.
Lesson Learned: ALWAYS carry the key card. The phone connects via bluetooth to the car and sometimes bluetooth fails. When I picked up my car for the first time, the person going over the delivery info told me to always carry the card.
 

LoudMusic

Active Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,459
1,729
Arkansas
OP stated that the app showed the car unlocked, while Sentry Mode was visible in the car.
Clearly they were standing next to the wrong car.
No need for further discussion till the OP posts more information.

Well, I wouldn't say clearly they were next to the wrong car. There could have been other software bugs happening. But definitely done with this until OP provides more info.
 
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