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sales disagreement

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by georgekessel, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. georgekessel

    georgekessel Banned

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    I have a strange experience to share. The members of my club thought I should share the overall experience on a more public forum like this one in order for others to learn from my experience.

    I had a very negative dissapointing experience with Tesla motors. They consistently promised me things then refused to deliver them. There is a special promo for Amex Centurion members, but in order to get the promo I had to basically walk away from buying the car, then the sales manager of Tesla (George Blankenship) came back to me later and apologized, and finally agreed to give the Amex Centurion promo (free infotainment center basically).

    Then Tesla had promised to lend me a Roadster from around December 20-29 until my Roadster could be delivered. Three people at Tesla kept reassuring me that this would happen "except we might need it a day or two for appointments". Of course when it came to December 20 they renegged and said 100% no - no loaner at all. They justified this by saying they would try and get me my Roadster early.

    OK sounds good but that turned into last minute paperwork with a $1000 deliver fee thrown on, high pressure for me to agree to that (which I wouldn't), something about a $12,000 contract to keep the battery at 53kw for 7 years which I had never heard nor seen before and lots of other paperwork which I wasn't given enough time to review or digest.

    To me, I focused on the last minute $1000 delivery fee. It made me feel icky so I tried to split it with Tesla. That turned into George Blankenship getting so frustrated he killed my sale.

    Really, imagine a car company with no waiting list and many cars sitting at dealerships now, that has custom built a Roadster for a customer, and that customer was an easy no-finance sort of sale, then killing the sale b/c of frustration over not being able to cram a delivery fee down the guy's throat.

    I tried contacting Elon but have not had any response. I guess I was too difficult of a customer?

    If anyone wants more details or copies communications just let me know :) This really is as strange as it looks.

    From: George Blankenship
    Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 12:36 PM
    To: Joshua
    Subject: Re: Quick Tesla Update

    Hi

    I would normally do this in a much longer email, but will respect your request to be brief…

    1) My goal is to always have customers who love their Roadster and are happy with how they are treated by Tesla
    2) I acknowledge that we failed you in our initial communication about the AMEX discount
    3) I called and personally apologized and have tried very hard to make sure everything has gone smoothly since then
    4) My team has tried to do everything possible to achieve or exceed your delivery expectations

    It is very clear to me that I am not going to be able to make you happy for several reasons:
    - The shipping fee is $1,000, and if I don't discount that number, you will not be satisfied; I will not discount that number.
    - Based upon incomplete paperwork and payment we will now miss shipping your Roadster this afternoon
    - You will not be able to have Alex's Roadster as much as you desire, so that will be disappointing
    - The next delivery date we can hit if we ship your Roadster is the 28th, which I'm sure will be disappointing

    Given all the above, I think we should not proceed forward with your transaction.

    Our contract says that your original deposit is non-refundable; I will not enforce that provision and will give you all your money back

    The High Power Charger should be delivered to Nicki today. Please have her send it back to us at her earliest convenience.

    We will credit your AMEX, no questions asked, for the full amount of your deposit as soon as we receive the charger back. You have my word that we will do the full refund as soon as received. I can put that in writing if you prefer.

    I am sorry we have been unable to satisfy your needs…we have tried really hard, but are clearly not able to do so.

    I remain available to answer any and all questions about this decision. I will be communicating this decision to Alex, Jeremy and Doreen as soon as I hit "send" on this email.

    Sorry this email is so long, but I wanted to make sure you were fully comfortable with my commitment to refund your money and why.

    Thanks... George



    From: Joshua
    Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2010 10:37:52 -0800
    To: George Blankenship
    Subject: RE: Quick Tesla Update

    George,

    Find a way to get it to me for $500.

    Even if I wire the money right now your bank will likely take a day to clear it so what do we do ?



    Thank You,


    Joshua

    ________________________________________
    From: George Blankenship
    Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:22 AM
    To: Joshua
    Subject: FW: Quick Tesla Update
    FedEx Tracking update:

    The package is now at the Menlo Park FedEx distribution center. Estimated delivery of the package, per the FedEx’s website is 3PM. Packages usually show up before this committed time.

    I’ll keep you all posted.
     
  2. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    I’m sorry to hear that you won’t be ‘joining the club’. Unfortunately, we all paid the delivery charge; in the grand scheme of things it didn’t seem inappropriate; I paid more for my MINI!

    I’m confused about the $12k; that’s an option, I don’t know anyone who went with that.

    If you received your car in 2010 I believe that you’ll still be up for the $7,500 government incentive; that’d go to your 2010 tax; more than makes up for the difference no?

    My apologies if I sound a bit keen but, every Roadster owners’ another EV advocate.
     
  3. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    So you got caught up on the destination fee? I think that fee is standard. Was the problem that it felt like a last minute surprise?
     
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Moderator's note: I changed the thread title from "George Blankenship killed the electric car..." to something more accurate and less personal.
     
  5. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    After reading your story it seems to me that there are bits and pieces of the story you are leaving out.

    You are paying over 100k for a car and bitch about 1k for a delivery fee that everyone has to pay? What makes you so special?

    The 12k option sounds like a battery replacement in 7 years. Again an option.

    Tesla gave you your non-refundable deposit back, that to me sounds like they are trying on their part.

    Again it would be nice to hear both sides to the story, and not just a bashing because of standard fees and undelivered freebies.
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  7. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Ok, after reading that in the other forum, LOL.

    Do you realize that shipping a car (especially an exotic) costs more than 1k. If you are so worried about the money, why not go pick it up in Menlo Park to skip the fee.

    Also, it would be nice to see all of the e-mails in context, not only your selected ones.

    I call BS.
     
  8. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    As far as I know, Tesla does not discount, period... they shouldn't have to, and if they did even in one case it sets a precedent they lock themselves into. They are losing $50 million per quarter, should they really have to discount more??? The documentation and explanation regarding their costs and fees are also pretty clear -- when I ordered my car a couple months ago, I think I changed my mind 3 or 4 times on the color, options, etc., and every time the sales people busted their asses to make sure I was happy with what I was getting staying up all crazy hours of the night to make sure it got done (including lining up financing for me!) All the information including the destination charge is right there on the estimate they give you, no hidden fees of any kind charged.
     
  9. kgb

    kgb Member

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    I feel sorry for people like you. Never happy. Always the victim. People are always screwing you over. Hmm ever think that maybe the common denominator is you, and something you are doing?

    Somehow 1300 other people have successfully completed a transaction with TM, but you were the only one who couldn't seal the deal. Score: TM 1300, you 0.
     
  10. georgekessel

    georgekessel Banned

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    Sorry Doug, yes it was the surprise but it was more about how I got this sinking feeling that they were hitting me with another false promise. I don't see how they could have delivered the car as they promised. The high pressure of "there is a truck waiting pay now!" just doesn't bode well with me. I asked the right question - "Even if I wire the money right now your bank will likely take a day to clear it so what do we do ?", and got hit with the deal is dead.

    I am sure there is more to it than this. I'll probably never know what it was. In my mind I think maybe the car turned out to be misconfigured or someone else wanted it (who wasn't eligable for the Amex discount/freebee stuff so that Tesla would earn more profit). Or maybe I'll just have to face that I am too difficult of a customer. Nobody's ever told me that before, but who knows? I've done well with my other vehicles and usually form long relationships with the dealers I buy from. Next time I see one of them I'll ask the question "would you consider me a very difficult customer".
     
  11. georgekessel

    georgekessel Banned

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    I'm sure you're right. I'm sure I should have asked more questions and learned more about Tesla and how the Roadster is made before I placed my order. I'm sure that I could have handled it all better and thank you for reminding me of that.
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #12 dsm363, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
    georgekessel :
    Wow. I read the other forum too and everyone else seems to be on the same page (that Tesla was being more than fair).
    Before I did my paperwork, all the charges (including the $1,600 delivery charge) were clearly listed. How can I get mine discounted to $1,000? Seriously, this is a really expensive car and I'm not sure about all the complaints you have. In the other forum, you seemed disappointed about having to keep the Tesla plugged in while in the garage to keep the battery temp stable and costing $30 a month more in electricity. The possibly of having to replace the battery in 7 years also seems to be a major problem for you. These are Lithium Ion batteries and that is a know property of the technology so I don't think they were trying to pull one over on you. That $12,000 was clearly an option, not mandatory, to have the battery replaced in 7 years.

    It sounds to me like you just didn't have a clear understanding of the technology and steps with ownership involved with this car. I think if you take some time to cool off, you'll see they were quite reasonable and not trying to cheat you in any way. If they did promise you a loaner for an entire week, they probably shouldn't have done that as they need to have cars for potential clients to test drive and hopefully buy one. That should seem reasonable to you. Had you been reading this forum or other sources about electric cars before you made your purchase? Did your paperwork not include the destination charge before you had to put money down? Every other car I've ever bought had a destination charge so this was nothing new for me. Sure, I was hoping it was included in a car this expensive but I wasn't surprised.

    A more traditional car with a local dealer might suit you better but hopefully you'll reconsider. Menlo Park to Phoenix is less than 750 miles so you could have always driven the car back yourself to save the $1000. You'd have to recharge 3 or 4 times but it'd be possible.
     
  13. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like they stiffed you on the loaner. Probably favoring a person or group function that would sell them more cars. As has been said many times here the 12K "insurance" for a new battery in 5 years is an option and maybe they did not explain that in the best way.
    But since your car is $109,000 minimum (probably more if it's custom in any way) then you killed the deal for less than 1 half of one percent. Licences, taxes, registration and Charge station are each added to the price of the car and are all more than that one number.

    My wife loves telling the story of my stubbornness at a Honda dealer decades ago. We had haggled and haggled and were $50 apart on a $20K car. I was wanting to walk but they had taken all my paperwork to the back room. I was similarly p*ssed at them because I felt "hostage". An excruciating hour (for my wife) later they gave in. The difference here is, there was another Honda dealer down the road. Not so with Tesla.
     
  14. kgb

    kgb Member

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    dsm brings up a good point, and I'm sorry if I was a bit harsh. You might have struck a nerve with me, because I spend all day dealing with people like that. I am such a complete opposite. I put down my deposit almost a full year before I decided to purchase/lease. I requested all kinds of information which I analyzed before the transaction. One thing I've learned to ask regarding any big transaction is, "Are there any hidden/surprise fees I should know about?" In any case, that's all in the past. The other reason you struck a nerve is because you are going out of your way to advertise this "bad experience." I think you are being disingenuous when you say that you are posting to help others avoid your fate. I think you are doing it out of vengeance. The irony is that the facts that you post actually make the story sound like it was a "bad experience" for TM that they had to deal with you. The members of this forum, 99% of which are happy with their cars and satisfied with their experiences with TM have no sympathy for you (see thread on recent schwag in mail).

    I thought I was being difficult when I executed my transaction, and I thought I had a right to be because I was paying so much. I would never have been so ballsy as to demand what you were demanding. I don't fault you for asking, and I also believe that your strongest bargaining chip is your right to walk away from the deal. If TM didn't want to give you want you wanted, you could either acquiesce to their policies, or you could walk away. You got annoyed that TM walked away thereby robbing you of your power to do so. ("You can't fire me, because I quit!"..."You can't break up with me, because I'm breaking up with you")

    I suggest that you apologize to TM, and maybe they will reconsider and allow you to buy a car from them. :wink:
     
  15. georgekessel

    georgekessel Banned

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    #15 georgekessel, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
    That is very funny and I appreciate the humor. I wasn't going to walk away - really I wasn't. I didn't threaten to over this shipping charge issue. I wish I could explain further but I'm being censored on this forum and most of my posts are 'dissapearing' :(

    Anyway thank you for taking the time to write your responses and I wish you all the best of fun with your Teslas!

    (wierd that this one post made it through - woo hoo)
     
  16. kgb

    kgb Member

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    MPT, comment?

    I guess we'll have to take this up on that prius forum, where they don't censor people :wink:
     
  17. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...
     
  18. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    No soup for you!!
     
  19. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    As far as I know you are not being censored. As a new member you could just be getting caught up in the software and our anti-spam measures, but I don't see anything. There are some general things like post length limits, etc.

    You are free to post here as long as you are not trolling, spamming, or being abusive. Seems fine so far.
     
  20. kgb

    kgb Member

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    @doug - Oops sorry, I wasn't paying attention. I forgot we had a moderator already on this thread.
     

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