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Service center experience: trading my 3 in for a Mercedes

Gibbon1

Member
Sep 9, 2018
5
71
Ocala, FL
After my recent service center experience in Orlando, I have become convinced that owning a Tesla may become more and more problematic in the future. The car itself is wonderful, but the experience of owning a car and having it serviced is very important, and Tesla is failing miserably. The Orlando center is absolutely overwhelmed, and it shows. Most of the employees don't seem to care much and are trying just to get through the day. Getting the attention of a service person takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. Comparing my Tesla experience to my previous BMW and Mercedes ownership:
  • BMW: I have a problem. I pick up the phone. Brent, my service guy answers on the second ring and asks about my family. A guy drives a loaner over and takes my car.
  • Tesla: Can't call, even to ask a simple question. All service needs to be scheduled through the app. Service calls are usually at least a week out, sometimes two or three.
  • BMW: Brent calls and says they have to order a part. It will arrive overnight and be installed the next day.
  • Tesla: No calls. Service adviser texts that he needs to order a part. When will it arrive? No idea. I'm going on vacation for a week. Service adviser says no problem, it will definitely be ready by then. I return a week later and text my adviser to see if the car is ready. Nope. I live 90 minutes away. Is there anybody who can deliver the car when fixed? No, we're far too busy for that.
  • BMW: Fixed car is delivered, washed inside and out.
  • Tesla:
    • I drive 90 minutes, then wait the usual 30 minutes to talk to someone. Car is brought around. It is absolutely filthy. It is covered in leaves, sap, pollen and other tree debris. The debris is in the Frunk and the Trunk, and in the interior. What did they do, work on the car under a tree with every window and door open??
    • I drive home, then as I am washing it, I notice that the front end has extensive scraping damage to the paint, as if another vehicle or something had ground against it.
    • I try to text my service adviser. Case is closed and the text thread won't accept further messages.
    • I look for some phone number, any phone number, to call about this. Nothing on the website.
    • I email and I create a new service request. Four days so far......one return email saying they will forward the message, but otherwise, crickets.
I absolutely love my Model 3. But, I can't drive around dreading if something goes wrong and I have to subject myself and my car to further service. Service after the sale is key to satisfied customers. Traditional car companies get this, especially the ones that are competing at Tesla's price point (BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc). This is especially true now that it is becoming evident that Tesla's reliability may not be as stellar as hoped (I needed service because my whole drive unit failed after 12,000 miles). Tesla's service center in Orlando is overwhelmed already. Tesla aims to sell 500,000 more vehicles this year! I sense an impending disaster in Tesla's reputation if it doesn't get in front of this ASAP. I have an appointment to look at a Mercedes tomorrow and trade my M3 in. It is with reluctance. I hope that Tesla will grow to become a real car company with real service one day. Today is not that day.
 

sperkin

Member
Mar 23, 2017
948
1,080
Los Angeles, CA
My experience:

#1
I have a problem and use the app to schedule service center appointment
I get a text message to confirm.
I go to service center and drop off car.
I get a loaner Tesla and tell them to take their time.
I keep loaner Tesla for a month and take lots of road trips.

#2
I have a problem and use the app to schedule a Mobile Service appointment.
Tesla comes to my work.
They fix my car while I work.
They fix my car and leave.
I get into my car after work and it's fixed.

Best service ever.
 

Sherlo

Member
Feb 13, 2019
348
398
SF Bay Area
My experience:

#1
I have a problem and use the app to schedule service center appointment
I get a text message to confirm.
I go to service center and drop off car.
I get a loaner Tesla and tell them to take their time.
I keep loaner Tesla for a month and take lots of road trips.

#2
I have a problem and use the app to schedule a Mobile Service appointment.
Tesla comes to my work.
They fix my car while I work.
They fix my car and leave.
I get into my car after work and it's fixed.

Best service ever.


My three experiences were just as good. Coming from Toyota it’s certainly refreshing.
 

OCR1

Active Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,766
4,284
Southern California
Anybody can have a bad service experience, whether it be at Tesla, Mercedes, BMW or any other manufacturer. If I sold my car every time I had a bad experience with a service appointment I would not own any one car for very long.

Dealers make substantial profit on their service. My Lexus dealership was very professional and responsive, just like your BMW experience. They also looked to charge me thousands of dollars for worthless inspections that accomplished nothing. Even a minor oil change was $300. But they always answered the phone and responded to texts and emails promptly.

Tesla service is not a profit center, and at time this shows when you go in for an appointment. But outside of warranty issues there is so little service required on the Model 3 that your visits to a service center should be very rare.

There is no way I would go back to driving a dinosaur ICE mobile just to have a more pleasant service experience when they are so infrequent and yet I drive my car every day. I hope you think things through carefully. Driving a car you don’t really want to own just so you can have a better service experience on the occasion you need them does not sound like a sound decision to me.
 

Evbwcaer

Member
Jun 21, 2014
749
354
Minnesota
I think it is worth pointing out that the OP did not go to BMW for service, he/she went to a BMW dealer.

I say this because if Tesla made all/most of their parts available to third party shops, the problem largely becomes solved, at least for non-warranty work.

I do wonder if Tesla will ever pass off some of their service business to normal shops, especially for items that are not EV specific, like suspension and brakes, perhaps even franchising “Tesla” branded and approved service outlets.
 

Wennfred

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 4, 2019
3,052
2,122
San Diego
San Diego has 3 SC, so I’m glad for that, my only trip to the SC was to get the HomeLink installed, all went very well, even offered me a loaner a model “S” to take home.


Fred
 
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Reactions: Reborn and KerryOH

woedee

Member
Aug 10, 2019
39
24
Los Angeles
Based on my experiences, I find that Tesla vehicle service/support is severely lacking & ranks amongst the worst in my view.

I have found that service appointment availability is typically several weeks out; @ SC I went to, their policy was no loaners for repairs related to warranty covered issues if car is in for less than 2 days; vehicle returned from SC dirty and also with a new issue caused @ SC (quality control lacking); no answer when calling SC tel #; texts are not responded to timely (several hours or days later if it’s even responded to); email support channel responses come in several days later & with incorrect / inaccurate information. This is certainly not what I experience with other manufacturers (I’ve owned several new cars across various makes). SC rep acknowledged their service shortcomings & said that that they are going through “growing pains”. It is unfortunate that for me, it’s a great car that’s marred by terrible service.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,149
14,122
San Diego
needed service because my whole drive unit failed after 12,000 miles

Rear drive unit I assume? Can’t tell from your post history which vehicle you have...

Tell us more about what happened.

Have not heard about any failures lately (might have missed it) but your car was built in September 2018 or so, which seems like a common theme.
 

jay90011

Member
Dec 25, 2019
15
8
Los Angelea
I can relate with the original post when it comes to the whole experience. I had my M3P in for paint defect in January after delivery of my car in late december. I have never had a car in for service under warranty and never offered a loaner. Coming from a Lexus and Mercedes I can bring the car in for anything and will always know I have a loaner waiting for me. I had my M3P in service at the Torrance,CA service center only to know that they only offer Uber credit to get around while the car was serviced. Luckily I was able to reschedule my busy day to accommodate this issue with the car but I am just not used to the plain experience that tesla offers.
Love the car and do not regret the purchase but Tesla needs to make these cars 100% perfect or add a capable service experience that at least is on par with my local Toyota dealer where they offer a 25 dollar a day rental for a car in service. Not everyone enjoys riding in a stranger's car and being stuck without a vehicle to drive for a day.
 
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NoirMS

Member
Oct 21, 2018
199
142
Orlando
After my recent service center experience in Orlando, I have become convinced that owning a Tesla may become more and more problematic in the future. The car itself is wonderful, but the experience of owning a car and having it serviced is very important, and Tesla is failing miserably. The Orlando center is absolutely overwhelmed, and it shows. Most of the employees don't seem to care much and are trying just to get through the day. Getting the attention of a service person takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. Comparing my Tesla experience to my previous BMW and Mercedes ownership:
  • BMW: I have a problem. I pick up the phone. Brent, my service guy answers on the second ring and asks about my family. A guy drives a loaner over and takes my car.
  • Tesla: Can't call, even to ask a simple question. All service needs to be scheduled through the app. Service calls are usually at least a week out, sometimes two or three.
  • BMW: Brent calls and says they have to order a part. It will arrive overnight and be installed the next day.
  • Tesla: No calls. Service adviser texts that he needs to order a part. When will it arrive? No idea. I'm going on vacation for a week. Service adviser says no problem, it will definitely be ready by then. I return a week later and text my adviser to see if the car is ready. Nope. I live 90 minutes away. Is there anybody who can deliver the car when fixed? No, we're far too busy for that.
  • BMW: Fixed car is delivered, washed inside and out.
  • Tesla:
    • I drive 90 minutes, then wait the usual 30 minutes to talk to someone. Car is brought around. It is absolutely filthy. It is covered in leaves, sap, pollen and other tree debris. The debris is in the Frunk and the Trunk, and in the interior. What did they do, work on the car under a tree with every window and door open??
    • I drive home, then as I am washing it, I notice that the front end has extensive scraping damage to the paint, as if another vehicle or something had ground against it.
    • I try to text my service adviser. Case is closed and the text thread won't accept further messages.
    • I look for some phone number, any phone number, to call about this. Nothing on the website.
    • I email and I create a new service request. Four days so far......one return email saying they will forward the message, but otherwise, crickets.
I absolutely love my Model 3. But, I can't drive around dreading if something goes wrong and I have to subject myself and my car to further service. Service after the sale is key to satisfied customers. Traditional car companies get this, especially the ones that are competing at Tesla's price point (BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc). This is especially true now that it is becoming evident that Tesla's reliability may not be as stellar as hoped (I needed service because my whole drive unit failed after 12,000 miles). Tesla's service center in Orlando is overwhelmed already. Tesla aims to sell 500,000 more vehicles this year! I sense an impending disaster in Tesla's reputation if it doesn't get in front of this ASAP. I have an appointment to look at a Mercedes tomorrow and trade my M3 in. It is with reluctance. I hope that Tesla will grow to become a real car company with real service one day. Today is not that day.
 

Skymogul

Member
Dec 14, 2019
31
81
Indiana, US
My one experience:

  • Ordered Homelink from Tesla Shop
  • After a while, didn't get any contact from SC
  • Went ahead and scheduled a service appointment in the app to install
  • Mobile Service (3 1/2 years Tesla, 24 years Merc before that) came to my work, installed Homelink in about an hour.
  • He made sure to use microfiber rags and auto detailer to clean his handprints off the hood and bumper

I think there is a "haves versus have nots" gap. Those of us in smaller, less Tesla-saturated areas (I live near Indianapolis) seem to have much better experiences than those in large metro areas that have a lot more Teslas on the road.
 

jonquiljo

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Sep 26, 2019
1,066
527
SF Bay Area - Marin
My one experience:

  • Ordered Homelink from Tesla Shop
  • After a while, didn't get any contact from SC
  • Went ahead and scheduled a service appointment in the app to install
  • Mobile Service (3 1/2 years Tesla, 24 years Merc before that) came to my work, installed Homelink in about an hour.
  • He made sure to use microfiber rags and auto detailer to clean his handprints off the hood and bumper

I think there is a "haves versus have nots" gap. Those of us in smaller, less Tesla-saturated areas (I live near Indianapolis) seem to have much better experiences than those in large metro areas that have a lot more Teslas on the road.

Yes, good point. Tesla sold tons of new cars last year. How many service centers did they build/open? A good example would be in the Bay Area. How much SC expansion in the Bay Area in the last year - when Tesla put at least 50% more cars on the road (in one year!)?

I'm not complaining, but am concerned. I have a 3 month old Model 3 that "could" need service. In the Bay Area, with Teslas on every block - it's just going to get harder to get them fixed. Someone mentioned that service is not a profit center for Tesla. That's concerning. No money - then they won't grow that area of the business.

I'm just hoping I don't have a problem. I live in a Tesla saturated area. It's a reasonable concern.
 

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