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Service and communication (out of main)

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
I've posted the following questions, which are currently under review (sorry @neroden, say.com has a 280 character limit so I had to significantly butcher your question):

Say

Many Tesla owners are finding it exceptionally difficult to communicate with Tesla service. Many wait 5 hours on hold or are caught in phone tree loops. Several service centers can only be scheduled by phone, which is nigh impossible. What is being done about Tesla service hell?

Say

Pearl white is now the base color for all vehicles. This paint would require multiple layers, significantly increasing the amount of time each base vehicle spends in the paint factory. Is there any possibility of causing significant paint delays due to this?

Thank you!
 
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neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
Well, I think I know what your responses to this survey will be then ;)

Tesla Service Survey

I created a survey as to what people's experience here with Tesla's service has been, and for how many people it matches the phrasing in that question. This is irrespective of the question of whether it's a good idea to phrase a question in a FUDdy manner to bbe read off during a very public business event - this is just to see if people agree with the claims being made therein.

This is only for Tesla owners, living in an area served by Tesla (eg. I imagine that most Tesla Iceland owners service is bad... because it doesn't exist here). Please take part. :)
Cut it out, Karen.

Bonnie Norman pulled this BS back in 2013 when I started warning about service communication problems. Basically saying "everything's great nothing to see here -- how about everyone report every time things went well!"

This, attempting to suppress the bad news, was a mistake. If Tesla had heard the problems early, they wouldn't have festered and turned into the service hell which they are now. I literally dread calling Tesla. Once the service tech shows up, it's great, but getting to that point is worse than waiting at the DMV -- a lot worse.

By the way? So far, your survey is showing 15% reporting "service hell" and 22% reporting "exceptionally difficult to communicate with Tesla Service". For any consumer-facing company, this is abysmal.

Frankly, the other 3/4 are probably people who are close enough that they can walk into their local service center.
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
The survey was designed to capture how much that Say question was FUDdy hyperbole. Based on the results so far, it clearly is. That's not that communications and service aren't areas Tesla should focus more on - of course they are. But by far most people don't have the hyperbolic extremes represented in that Say question. As things stand (25 responses), only 16% find it "exceptionally difficult" to communicate, 0% find it normal to have 5 hour waits stuck in phone loops, only 4% have ever had that happen (only one respondent), only 12% agree that it's nigh impossible to schedule service by phone, and only 8% have experienced "service hell".

Should Tesla do more to improve communications and service? No question. But no FUDdy hyperbole on the (very public, very widely reported on) ER calls, thanks. :) It doesn't take FUD and hyperbole to ask a question. Just something like:

"Most customers would probably agree that the two primary areas where Tesla could most use improvement would be communications and service times. You stated that this was a priority back in Q1. How have your efforts fared, and do you have any metrics that show progress in this regard?"


Karen, you don't get it. That question would NOT get Musk's attention. Something sharp enough to get his attention has to happen. You have 7 people out of 45 reporting 5 hours on hold. Think about what that means. It's insanely bad.

The service is abysmal, and your survey is clearly showing that it is abysmal.

You're now the one spreading disinformation. Cut it out.

It's pretty clear to me that Tesla's top management doesn't even realize how bad it's gotten. They need to wake up if they want to retain their order book, and this is critical for shareholders.
 

KSilver2000

Active Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,368
1,954
CA
Many Tesla owners are finding it exceptionally difficult to communicate with Tesla service. Many wait 5 hours on hold or are caught in phone tree loops. Several service centers can only be scheduled by phone, which is nigh impossible. What is being done about Tesla service hell?

Another example:
Just visited my service center to schedule service at the SC because of keyfob issues that multiple mobile techs couldn’t fix, which the mobile tech suggested I do. Actually, the mobile techs said they notified my SC to call me and schedule service. But, no one ever called. Of course, when I try to call the store myself in the middle of weekday afternoon when it should not be busy, no one ever picks up. So, I gave up and just went in.

The appointment guy asks me all these questions about the history of my problem and previous repair attempts. Not once did he bother to check the history of my vehicle. So, I got frustrated and asked him why he didn’t check, and he simply tells me, “I can’t see records of mobile tech visits.” WTF, is this for real? They need to either get rid of this kid or get their communications in order.

Waste of my time standing there waiting for him to type everything I said to him at a break neck typing speed of maybe at best 15-20 WPM.
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
Earnings calls are not complaint boxes. They're a place to ask professional questions. Want metrics to hold Tesla to account for service and communications improvement? Just ask for metrics to hold Tesla to account for service and communications improvement. It's not hard. You don't have to berate them and exaggerate to get it.

It's not an exaggeration, and you damn well have to berate them to get through their thick heads. Musk claimed that service improvements were well in hand last quarterly call -- this quarter, people are waiting 5 hours on hold. Management is clearly not on top of things yet.

If you want to see Tesla go down the tubes, keep downplaying Tesla's appalling customer service statistics. If you're an investor, you should be screaming bloody murder at management.
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
I don’t know the history for where this survey came from, but 5 hours is an awfully high threshold. I’ve waited 2 1/2 before giving up, but apparently that doesn’t count as “exceptionally difficult”?

Anyway, at this point, I don’t bother with phone calls(uniformly a waste of several hours) or emails(shouting into a hurricane). If I have an issue, I just make a service appointment. In their fervor to get rid of those, they absolutely will contact you back in a timely manner.

I can't make an appointment at the correct service center because it's "only by phone" -- what do you do, just make one at a random service center which you have absolutely no intention of going to? (This is even stupider)
 
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neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
Interestingly, Tesla seems to have recently changed their service appointment system. I just went through it yesterday and it seems to actually, really be impossible to schedule a service center visit by calling them now. Attempt to do so and you get an automated message saying to schedule via the Tesla app. Of course, if you go to the Tesla app, it automatically only gives mobile service options. If you want a service center appointment, that seems to only be possible now via your account on the website(which, bizarrely, doesn’t have an option for mobile service :confused:). I assume that at some point, that final loophole will be closed and there’ll just be no way to schedule for a service center.

Oh, they've already done that for the newly "opened" Henrietta, NY service cneter. If you go to the website, it says you can only schedule it on the phone!

So literally impossible to schedule an appointment.

EDIT: By the way, if anyone is wondering, I specifically need a service center because Mobile Service already tried and failed to fix my autopilot issue. After a few attempts to get an update, the mobile tech finally suggested I get a proper service center appointment(I don’t really blame him for that. He has to go around fixing people’s cars, it doesn’t make sense for him to endlessly follow up on larger issues).
 
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neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
They don't. It's just that you are far more likely to hear from someone who actually has an issue. Neither of our Model 3's have needed a single thing over the more than a year each (on average) we have owned them. I did rotate the tires on both of them but that's it. I think the complainers are loud but very much a minority. None of our other cars (all purchased new) were as easy to live with in the first year but I think much of the noise is mostly a few people trying to drum up Tesla discontent.

Please note that I am aware it's obvious Tesla needs to improve here, I just don't think the problem is as dire as many reports make it sound.

It's this dire.

My track record as a Tesla supporter speaks for itself and others here can testify to my integrity.

I don't have to go in for service often. But when I do, OMG. How the hell do I reach anyone? It's gone from bad to worse to impossible. If I somehow manage to actually get through to someone, it's usually fine (though when I needed a license plate bracket, I gave up and ordered a third party bracket).
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
What started as a discussion about how to phrase an ER question on service and communication has gone off the rails. Again. There are plenty of other threads to vent complaints or praise about personal service experiences. No more.
I'm going to disagree with the moderator here. Please change your mind.

This is one of the most important topics for Tesla's future financial success, as noted by mrmage:

Not good?! This is *horrible*. Because it means:

"Among Tesla customers who need support, 1 in 6 find service to be exceptionally poor, and 1 in 8 find it impossible to schedule an appointment on the phone. This doesn't even include the people who find service to be very poor, poor or subpar."

How is the question about many customers experiencing issues hyperbolic? 1 in 6 means thousands or tens of thousands of customers every quarter experience this. A happy customer tells 3 people. An unhappy one tells 10 people. Just counting the blue in the face, yelling, screaming desperate customers may dissuade more than half the buyers.

After the initial purchase and euphoria of owning the car, the long tail is all about customer service and support. The large base of customers becomes a liability if 50% of the people tell 10 other people how bad the service is.

I googled Tesla service and looked at what people were saying here.

Guide to Find the Best Car Brands | ConsumerAffairs

For the last year, Tesla is dead last. Looking at review chronologically since April, Tesla rates 1.6 stars vs the second worst auto OEM which is around 3 stars. This is despite very high satisfaction for Tesla cars, which means service is far below the 1.6.

The state of Tesla's service communications is critical to any investment analysis of Tesla at this point.
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
Many Tesla owners are finding it exceptionally difficult to communicate with Tesla service. Many wait 5 hours on hold or are caught in phone tree loops. Several service centers can only be scheduled by phone, which is nigh impossible. What is being done about Tesla service hell?

Another example:
Just visited my service center to schedule service at the SC because of keyfob issues that multiple mobile techs couldn’t fix, which the mobile tech suggested I do. Actually, the mobile techs said they notified my SC to call me and schedule service. But, no one ever called. Of course, when I try to call the store myself in the middle of weekday afternoon when it should not be busy, no one ever picks up. So, I gave up and just went in.

The appointment guy asks me all these questions about the history of my problem and previous repair attempts. Not once did he bother to check the history of my vehicle. So, I got frustrated and asked him why he didn’t check, and he simply tells me, “I can’t see records of mobile tech visits.” WTF, is this for real?

Yes, I have had that confirmed by both Devon and by Boston Mobile service -- Devon can't see Mobile service records, Mobile service can't see Devon records.

They need to either get rid of this kid or get their communications in order.

Waste of my time standing there waiting for him to type everything I said to him at a break neck typing speed of maybe at best 15-20 WPM.
 

MarcusMaximus

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
3,789
16,514
Los Gatos
Many Tesla owners are finding it exceptionally difficult to communicate with Tesla service. Many wait 5 hours on hold or are caught in phone tree loops. Several service centers can only be scheduled by phone, which is nigh impossible. What is being done about Tesla service hell?

Another example:
Just visited my service center to schedule service at the SC because of keyfob issues that multiple mobile techs couldn’t fix, which the mobile tech suggested I do. Actually, the mobile techs said they notified my SC to call me and schedule service. But, no one ever called. Of course, when I try to call the store myself in the middle of weekday afternoon when it should not be busy, no one ever picks up. So, I gave up and just went in.

The appointment guy asks me all these questions about the history of my problem and previous repair attempts. Not once did he bother to check the history of my vehicle. So, I got frustrated and asked him why he didn’t check, and he simply tells me, “I can’t see records of mobile tech visits.” WTF, is this for real? They need to either get rid of this kid or get their communications in order.

Waste of my time standing there waiting for him to type everything I said to him at a break neck typing speed of maybe at best 15-20 WPM.

huh. When I called into the SC today, the guy was able to pull up all the notes and everything from the mobile service appointment(oddly, it took him a while to think of doing so first). I’d lay the blame for this one on the kid you talked to. Or his training.
 
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Artful Dodger

"Ducimus, lit"
Aug 9, 2018
9,721
126,634
Canada
If you're an investor, you should be screaming bloody murder at management.
when I needed a license plate bracket, I gave up and ordered a third party bracket).
You're foaming at the mouth. Settle down. It'll be alright. Service is not the end of the company. You should take the weekend off. That's advice.
 

capster

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 11, 2018
1,028
8,092
An island planet
It's this dire.

My track record as a Tesla supporter speaks for itself and others here can testify to my integrity.

I don't have to go in for service often. But when I do, OMG. How the hell do I reach anyone? It's gone from bad to worse to impossible. If I somehow manage to actually get through to someone, it's usually fine (though when I needed a license plate bracket, I gave up and ordered a third party bracket).
Dude, get a grip.
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
huh. When I called into the SC today, the guy was able to pull up all the notes and everything from the mobile service appointment(oddly, it took him a while to think of doing so first). I’d lay the blame for this one on the kid you talked to. Or his training.
Recent change?

I literally had confirmation last year that they couldn't see each others' systems. Maybe this is new (and if it's new, it's good, certainly).

But wait: How the hell did you actually reach someone on the phone? Which service center did you call? Last time I called, I had to run through five service center numbers before I found one which picked up -- just before that, the main number NEVER got a human (just the looping phone tree from hell), and online chat didn't work, and email didn't work.

I'll give it a few more months, but if this continues to happen, I'm selling my 10K TSLA shares. I'd rather get Musk's attention and get the damn problem fixed.
 
Last edited:

KSilver2000

Active Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,368
1,954
CA
huh. When I called into the SC today, the guy was able to pull up all the notes and everything from the mobile service appointment(oddly, it took him a while to think of doing so first). I’d lay the blame for this one on the kid you talked to. Or his training.

This was at Dublin SC. Someone with tats, looked to appear in his 20’s. I’ve always disliked that place after my first encounter with the sales head there. Looks like their staff follows lead of the head boss. Really crappy attitude both times I spoke with him before. Made it sound like my family was going to die any day in my previous car if I didn’t buy a Tesla. So, I bought our Tesla’s with folks at Fremont. Just happened to go to Dublin SC as it’s closer and to try their service since it’s a simple (or, at least I hope it will be) keyfob/receiver issue.

Also, there was only one person at the service desk even with a line of people while there’s about a dozen sales staff just chatting about doing nothing. Do they really expect that many people to buy a car in the beginning of a quarter and on a weekday afternoon? They should at least cross train a few of them to help out at the service desk.
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
Mrmole mentioned this site.

Wow. Sort by "recent".

Top 130 Reviews about Tesla Motors

I know that such sites bias towards negative reviews... but 24 minutes on hold for ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE? That's from July 1 (Charles of Barrington).
And on June 24 (Nicole of Scottsdale): nobody can be reached on the phone. May 2 (Steve of Rockville): service center permanently fails to answer phone.

Read some of the others. People are declaring that they love the car, but they will never buy another Tesla.
 

capster

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 11, 2018
1,028
8,092
An island planet
Recent change?

I literally had confirmation last year that they couldn't see each others' systems. Maybe this is new (and if it's new, it's good, certainly).

But wait: How the hell did you actually reach someone on the phone? Which service center did you call? Last time I called, I had to run through five service center numbers before I found one which picked up -- before that, the main number NEVER got a human (just the looping phone tree from hell), and online chat didn't work, and email didn't work.

I'll give it a few more months, but if this continues to happen, I'm selling my 10K TSLA shares. I'd rather get Musk's attention and get the damn problem fixed.

A. Chill

B. Think

Most likely Musk thinks of things as a multi-dimensional optimization problem. Overall, I'd guess (and hope) he is trying to maximize thrust, as it were.

Service must, perforce, come after vehicle development, manufacturing, sales, and delivery.

Of course, service is something that can be measured, managed and improved. I don't personally doubt that it is on their radar to an appropriate degree; though not I expect to the level that you feel it should be.

Remember, Tesla is in a war for survival (theirs and ours). Don't let your experience color your analysis (That is to say: Breathe.)

I am sorry to be the one to tell you that no one, especially Musk, gives a rat's ass whether you hold or sell. Sry.
 

MarcusMaximus

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
3,789
16,514
Los Gatos
Recent change?

I literally had confirmation last year that they couldn't see each others' systems. Maybe this is new (and if it's new, it's good, certainly).

But wait: How the hell did you actually reach someone on the phone? Which service center did you call? Last time I called, I had to run through five service center numbers before I found one which picked up -- just before that, the main number NEVER got a human (just the looping phone tree from hell), and online chat didn't work, and email didn't work.

I'll give it a few more months, but if this continues to happen, I'm selling my 10K TSLA shares. I'd rather get Musk's attention and get the damn problem fixed.

I mentioned this previously but I think it might have gotten lost in my later joke: after making an appointment via the website at the service center(Sunnyvale, fwiw), new phone tree options were unlocked. One option was a worthless time/date reminder and the other suggested filling out the email thing on the site and then just connected me straight through.
 
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