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Tesla Customer Service is a Black Hole

A sacrifice, when you own a Tesla, is that repair options are often limited to Tesla Service Centers only. "Not to worry" I was told; Tesla service is excellent... No. It isn't.

I made it 8 months before needing a repair to my Model 3, but now I've broken a side view mirror. I was surprised that if you call the local service center (Rockville, MD), there is absolutely no way to speak with someone. You are now required to schedule an appointment on the mobile app and it selects a date a few weeks in the future. You have to select a category of the repair (body damage, touchscreen, trim, etc.) and there is no clear category for cracked mirrors except, "other". So I'd like to ask if this is something that needs to be special ordered or if I'm even in the correct category in the mobile app; but, speaking with a person is something that is not possible in Tesla service. If you get a phone to ring, it dumps to voicemail and calls are not returned.

Luckily, my wife's car is NOT a Tesla, so between the two of us, we have something that we can get repaired quickly if needed. When my appointment comes a few weeks from now, I guess I'll go in with my fingers crossed. Maybe someone will call me as the service date approaches, but I'm not holding my breath.
 
A sacrifice, when you own a Tesla, is that repair options are often limited to Tesla Service Centers only. "Not to worry" I was told; Tesla service is excellent... No. It isn't.

I made it 8 months before needing a repair to my Model 3, but now I've broken a side view mirror. I was surprised that if you call the local service center (Rockville, MD), there is absolutely no way to speak with someone. You are now required to schedule an appointment on the mobile app and it selects a date a few weeks in the future. You have to select a category of the repair (body damage, touchscreen, trim, etc.) and there is no clear category for cracked mirrors except, "other". So I'd like to ask if this is something that needs to be special ordered or if I'm even in the correct category in the mobile app; but, speaking with a person is something that is not possible in Tesla service. If you get a phone to ring, it dumps to voicemail and calls are not returned.

Luckily, my wife's car is NOT a Tesla, so between the two of us, we have something that we can get repaired quickly if needed. When my appointment comes a few weeks from now, I guess I'll go in with my fingers crossed. Maybe someone will call me as the service date approaches, but I'm not holding my breath.
This is the only method I know for radically increasing your chances of talking to human being.
Call the service center. Choose 2 for service. Choose 3 for "get information on your car already in for service." Then....
How maybe to talk to a person at your service center 2.jpg
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
17,059
35,263
NC
A sacrifice, when you own a Tesla, is that repair options are often limited to Tesla Service Centers only. "Not to worry" I was told; Tesla service is excellent... No. It isn't.

I made it 8 months before needing a repair to my Model 3, but now I've broken a side view mirror. I was surprised that if you call the local service center (Rockville, MD), there is absolutely no way to speak with someone. You are now required to schedule an appointment on the mobile app and it selects a date a few weeks in the future.

FWIW this varies by service center.

When I needed my windshield replaced I used the app I think on Friday and was able to schedule the service for Wednesday of the following week- so just a few days out.


Luckily, my wife's car is NOT a Tesla, so between the two of us, we have something that we can get repaired quickly if needed. When my appointment comes a few weeks from now, I guess I'll go in with my fingers crossed. Maybe someone will call me as the service date approaches, but I'm not holding my breath.


Nobody called me, but I got both email and text messages ahead of time confirming the appointment time/date, the service to be done, and the fact the part was in stock. Also mentioning they'd added some "check your frunk alignment" service bulletin that applied to my VIN to the appointment- as well as a line item to install the Dual Motor badge I never got at delivery last year. (this last when I arrived to drop off the car I explicitly told them I did NOT want installed since I already had PPF- so instead the guy at the desk physically handed me the badge to take home).


They also gave me a loaner Model S (85D) for the ~22 hours it took till I picked my car back up.



So while I agree Teslas communication in general is horrifically poor the actual service was quite good in my case.
 
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Skipdd

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
1,087
3,817
Silver Spring, MD
As you noted, the new Service process is you must book an appt via the mobile app. My recollection is there is a comment box where you can write about a problem for which there is not a clear choice. Once you submit, they are usually pretty prompt in scheduling you. A day or so before you visit, they usually reach out to clarify things. Then they send you a pdf summarizing what the issue is and any estimated cost. You have to accept the form, and then you are set. I also use Rockville, and have found them to provide excellent service.

That said, as MANY others have said, Tesla’s communications is awful. It has gone from bad to worse. If I really need to talk to them, I drive there.

Good luck.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
17,059
35,263
NC
That said, as MANY others have said, Tesla’s communications is awful. It has gone from bad to worse. If I really need to talk to them, I drive there.

Good luck.


This BTW is why while I still highly recommend Teslas cars to those who ask- I make a point of insuring they are within reasonable driving distance of an SC before doing so... since if they do have a serious issue they need to discuss the best way will be driving there in person.
 

Skipdd

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
1,087
3,817
Silver Spring, MD
This BTW is why while I still highly recommend Teslas cars to those who ask- I make a point of insuring they are within reasonable driving distance of an SC before doing so... since if they do have a serious issue they need to discuss the best way will be driving there in person.

I recommend with caveats. Great car, fun experience unless you get stuck in service quagmire or product issue. Hopefully a rocky period they get through. Disagree strongly with those that say improving service shouldn’t be a priority. Don’t believe they will succeed unless they turn this around.
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
63,890
Ithaca, NY, USA
As you noted, the new Service process is you must book an appt via the mobile app.
With the wrong service center, in many cases. The two nearest service centers to me say "phone for appointment", which is literally impossible.

This is an unacceptable situation.

My recollection is there is a comment box where you can write about a problem for which there is not a clear choice. Once you submit, they are usually pretty prompt in scheduling you. A day or so before you visit, they usually reach out to clarify things. Then they send you a pdf summarizing what the issue is and any estimated cost. You have to accept the form, and then you are set. I also use Rockville, and have found them to provide excellent service.

That said, as MANY others have said, Tesla’s communications is awful. It has gone from bad to worse. If I really need to talk to them, I drive there.

Good luck.
Agreed, good luck. Tesla service communications are the worst in world history.
 
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Skipdd

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
1,087
3,817
Silver Spring, MD
With the wrong service center, in many cases. The two nearest service centers to me say "phone for appointment", which is literally impossible.

This is an unacceptable situation.


Agreed, good luck. Tesla service communications are the worst in world history.


We agree on principle, am just not as far up the passionate scale as you. My point to the OP with their post was to improve their odds with current service structure. The approach I recommended has worked for me at the SC he is using. Were I in your situation, I would probably be just as frustrated as you are.
 
Drive down to the service center and pull in, they will take care of you.

But customer service in general is trash.
Hey! I did what you said and drove to the TSC this morning. Just like you said - there were 3 people there behind the desk; all of them ready to speak with me immediately. I confirmed they have the parts, but all the bays are booked until next week; I've got my answer.

I ponder... with the density of telemarketing calls, maybe Tesla is moving away from voice calls because people tend not to answer calls that aren't in their contact list. In my case, no one ever returned my call.

I think the moral of the story is... to be less frustrated, you must pretend you live in a world where the telephone has not been invented yet... but there are apps, text messages, and in-person meetings. Definitely sucks if you don't live near a TSC because the app can be coarse and inflexible - and the app process leaves you unsure of your status. It would be nice if you got a ping back saying someone had reviewed your service request and everything was in order or - otherwise - more coordination was needed.
 

bro1999

Active Member
Apr 26, 2016
2,781
3,555
Maryland
With the wrong service center, in many cases. The two nearest service centers to me say "phone for appointment", which is literally impossible.

This is an unacceptable situation.


Agreed, good luck. Tesla service communications are the worst in world history.

It makes me wonder how anyone ever successfully orders a Tesla over the phone. If communication is this crappy for existing owners, I can only imagine how much worse it would be for a non-Tesla owner that's trying to order a base Model 3. Without tying down a Tesla rep at a Tesla store, that is.
 
When I'm confronted with those menu selections and find the "customer service" ones are non-responsive, I call back and select the one that involves NEW SERVICE or SALES. Those lines always get staffed.
I used to do that ... then they caught on and told me Service lines were all busy.
What I DID used to do was ... when I met their tow truck drivers, whom I knew on a first name basis (should not be), I got their mobile phone numbers (or they asked for mine) and I stored them.
I would call THEM and ask them to relay messages.
No one should have to do that!
I have no idea where Elon's head is (does he???) but unless he fixes this it'll be the end of Tesla.

Then again, I now believe Tesla should NOT make cars. Not after what I and so many here experience.

They should stick to making:

- long haul trucks
- power grid equipment
- superchargers (license them out)

and not deal with the public - US!
 
When I'm confronted with those menu selections and find the "customer service" ones are non-responsive, I call back and select the one that involves NEW SERVICE or SALES. Those lines always get staffed.
I tried that (that's a trick I use as well). In this case, however, it puts you through to a showroom elsewhere in the state. When you tell them you need service, they say you have to call the service center and the showroom has no involvement in service. At most, they will forward your call back to the service center.
 
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I think the moral of the story is... to be less frustrated, you must pretend you live in a world where the telephone has not been invented yet... but there are apps, text messages, and in-person meetings. Definitely sucks if you don't live near a TSC because the app can be coarse and inflexible - and the app process leaves you unsure of your status. It would be nice if you got a ping back saying someone had reviewed your service request and everything was in order or - otherwise - more coordination was needed.

Yes, the thousands of companies that have a significant CS footprint. How HOW do they handle those marketing calls??!!!

Tesla's service just sucks. No need to invent an alternate reality to rationalize it.
 
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I’m beginning to think it’s like Steve Jobs once famously said: You’re holding it wrong.

Tesla clearly doesn’t want to take in random phone calls. It’s generally inefficient to have to talk to a bunch of ‘old ladies’ who are trying to be reassured and/or explain something complicated that only the mechanic, not the service writer, needs to know.

I’m wondering for those that use the system as designed (e.g. app) if they feel it works better or even ok.
 

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