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Tesla Energy has the worst Customer Service. Regret getting Tesla

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
Don't want to give too much detail here, (I wrote about it another thread), but I've been waiting 4 months for Tesla to fix damage I incurred to my home while Tesla was installing the solar roof. Tesla's support and project people are friendly but they cannot make any decisions. Even the Tesla representative who came to review the damage a few weeks ago, (yes, it took that long), said he can only make a recommendation. This is the main problem, it’s impossible to reach a decision maker. Tesla has zero after sales local support—I don’t how they expect to succeed without it. You can fix bad service, you can’t fix no service.
 

acentre

Member
Jul 27, 2012
168
100
Tesla customer service is non-existent. Terrible experience from the start. I should of listen to my gut and NOT used them. I ordered the panels July 2020. They installed the equipment in December 2020. They installed the Powerwalls on the floor when I asked them to wall mount it. They didn't fix it. They just ignored my calls and emails. Finally had it online in March 2021. Now my inverter died 5 days ago. They sent a Tech to come and troubleshoot, and guess what? The inverter is dead and needs to be replaced. The kicker is that it will take 5-7 business days to get the equipment in and then they need to schedule another tech to install. So I will be out of Solar Generation for 3 weeks at a minimum while this is the season for the highest solar bills of the year here in AZ. We are already in the triple digits. I will be wasting around $300 this month on energy costs that I shouldn't be paying. And Tesla will not take ownership that it is their fault for installing defective equipment. Tesla is the WORST!! I'm more than PISSED. This is the worst experience with any company ever. After spending close to $40,000 and they treat you like an annoyance.
sorry you had a problem, I have had my PW and PV systems since 10/17 and never had a problem...
 

brian.c

Member
Apr 7, 2021
104
57
Rocklin, ca
sorry you had a problem, I have had my PW and PV systems since 10/17 and never had a problem...
It's the Tesla service lottery... My neighbor ordered his system a month after I did, had installation and PTO in about a month. I on the other hand, 2 doors down, am being told to wait another 4-5 months for PTO. I too am regretting, but how was I suppose to know their timelines are arbitrary and misleading. They clearly stated 1-5 weeks install, 1-6 weeks PTO... Install was about 8 weeks, according to advisor (after install and paid), PTO will be about 18 weeks.
 
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aswami

Member
Feb 12, 2021
82
75
Phoenix
It's the Tesla service lottery... My neighbor ordered his system a month after I did, had installation and PTO in about a month. I on the other hand, 2 doors down, am being told to wait another 4-5 months for PTO. I too am regretting, but how was I suppose to know their timelines are arbitrary and misleading. They clearly stated 1-5 weeks install, 1-6 weeks PTO... Install was about 8 weeks, according to advisor (after install and paid), PTO will be about 18 weeks.

We don't have the full story here. Critical details are missing such as - what stage is your install in, what reason they provided for the 4-5 months wait for PTO.
 

brian.c

Member
Apr 7, 2021
104
57
Rocklin, ca
We don't have the full story here. Critical details are missing such as - what stage is your install in, what reason they provided for the 4-5 months wait for PTO.
Install was completed 5/7 (PV only, no PW), inspection passed, paid in full. Since then absolutely nothing has happened. When I called to check status, first time said would be filed in 5-7 days... Called at about the 7th day, was then told it would be 7-10 days. After 10 days, called again, adviser said they were told from higher ups, their backlog is 90 days to file. PG&E backlog is another 45 days. My assigned advisor has never replied to a single email, or answered the phone. All I have been able to do is call the solar line and talk to whoever picks up.
 
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aswami

Member
Feb 12, 2021
82
75
Phoenix
90 days backlog to just file PTO? Something sounds ridiculously off there! I am sure there must be a PGE customer right in this thread who got PTO well within that time, in the last month or less.
 

brian.c

Member
Apr 7, 2021
104
57
Rocklin, ca
90 days backlog to just file PTO? Something sounds ridiculously off there! I am sure there must be a PGE customer right in this thread who got PTO well within that time, in the last month or less.
Yeah, some people did, other's did not. Who knows what makes a difference? All I know is what they told me, and that nothing in my account has changed since the inspection passed, and paid. There are other posts by people being told there is a backlog, so its not just me. Each time I specifically asked if anything else needed to be done on my end, each time they said no, it's in line to be completed. They said when its ready I will be notified to e-sign.
 
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scottysize

Member
Dec 27, 2017
111
81
Sanger, TX
Tesla customer service is non-existent. Terrible experience from the start. I should of listen to my gut and NOT used them. I ordered the panels July 2020. They installed the equipment in December 2020. They installed the Powerwalls on the floor when I asked them to wall mount it. They didn't fix it. They just ignored my calls and emails. Finally had it online in March 2021. Now my inverter died 5 days ago. They sent a Tech to come and troubleshoot, and guess what? The inverter is dead and needs to be replaced. The kicker is that it will take 5-7 business days to get the equipment in and then they need to schedule another tech to install. So I will be out of Solar Generation for 3 weeks at a minimum while this is the season for the highest solar bills of the year here in AZ. We are already in the triple digits. I will be wasting around $300 this month on energy costs that I shouldn't be paying. And Tesla will not take ownership that it is their fault for installing defective equipment. Tesla is the WORST!! I'm more than PISSED. This is the worst experience with any company ever. After spending close to $40,000 and they treat you like an annoyance.
Typical for any solar part that is defective. Any company that installs solar products has to wait for the part to arrive, then schedule tech to come install it. I had an inverter go out. Took 3 weeks for the part to arrive and then 2 more weeks for the tech to come install it. This is why I went with Enphase inverters. I have an inverter per panel, so if one goes out, only that panel doesn't produce. I specifically wanted this function and that is why I didn't go with Tesla. As stated previously, you paid 10s of thousands of dollars less than me. So, considering that you saved a ton of money, having a month or so of loss in production, should not upset you.

I got 3 powerwalls. 1 went out after a week. Took 2 months of troubleshooting, a month and a half to receive the replacement and then another 2 weeks to get it installed. All of which, I was aware and knew from the start. I was not shocked, nor was I upset at either part. I certainly didn't complain about Tesla, nor did I complain about my installer. I was just happy that they came out and kept trying until they found the actual bad PW. Anyone else wouldn't have just said I didn't order enough PWs.

You needed to do more research and you needed to have a better understanding of the tech.

Solar Facts:
Solar will not be fixed ASAP by anyone.
You will lose production when your system is down.

Any research will identify both of these facts. Be glad you didn't pay $100,000 for the system and have a 0 production month. You paid way less than that, so having to lose $300 or so, is a better savings than if you paid $100k. Calm down. Next time, do a little more research before spending your money. An informed buyer is a happy buyer.
 
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MCNE

Member
Mar 12, 2021
173
33
Texas
Tesla customer service is non-existent. Terrible experience from the start. I should of listen to my gut and NOT used them. I ordered the panels July 2020. They installed the equipment in December 2020. They installed the Powerwalls on the floor when I asked them to wall mount it. They didn't fix it. They just ignored my calls and emails. Finally had it online in March 2021. Now my inverter died 5 days ago. They sent a Tech to come and troubleshoot, and guess what? The inverter is dead and needs to be replaced. The kicker is that it will take 5-7 business days to get the equipment in and then they need to schedule another tech to install. So I will be out of Solar Generation for 3 weeks at a minimum while this is the season for the highest solar bills of the year here in AZ. We are already in the triple digits. I will be wasting around $300 this month on energy costs that I shouldn't be paying. And Tesla will not take ownership that it is their fault for installing defective equipment. Tesla is the WORST!! I'm more than PISSED. This is the worst experience with any company ever. After spending close to $40,000 and they treat you like an annoyance.
Hang in there with them. You are correct, their customer service needs a little work, but it’s not horrible in all areas. I’m not trying to defend them because I’ve had my issues as well (no warranty problems).

Look at it this way, they are still in business and probably will be for the life of your system. They are responding to your service requests and I’ve been reading (told) if you have a solar edge inverter expect a longer delay for replacements. Not sure what your hardware is but I would gladly take 3 weeks if that’s going to be the timeline. 3 months, no way!

This hardware is going to break sitting in the elements powered on 24x7. It’s just a matter of when not if service will be needed. Someone in my neighborhood had their vendor close their doors two yrs after the system install. Then the inverter died so 3 -4 months doing all the warranty work with the manufacture on their own, plus finding a tech to swap out the hardware ☹️.
 

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
It's the Tesla service lottery... My neighbor ordered his system a month after I did, had installation and PTO in about a month. I on the other hand, 2 doors down, am being told to wait another 4-5 months for PTO. I too am regretting, but how was I suppose to know their timelines are arbitrary and misleading. They clearly stated 1-5 weeks install, 1-6 weeks PTO... Install was about 8 weeks, according to advisor (after install and paid), PTO will be about 18 weeks.
I thought this was interesting:

"Prior to September 2020, Tesla had a reviews score on our site of less than 2 out of 5. However, since then, there has been a strong influx of positive reviews for the company and their overall reviews score has improved substantially. Almost all of these reviews have been from customers who had recently purchased a system, so it remains unclear if Tesla has only improved their sales and installation process, or whether their overall customer service to older customers has improved, as well."

"The difficulty that Tesla Energy faces with rolling out localized after-sales customer service over such a wide geographic area is significant. Perhaps not dissimilar to the same problem they will face with their iconic electric cars. Cars will get old and need servicing. Will Tesla be able to do this as well as brands with localized dealerships? It may very well be that Tesla can solve the localized customer service challenges in both the solar and the automotive sectors in the years to come. If they can, it will be a momentous achievement."

"However, at this time, our advice remains that you should look for a well-established local solar company when buying solar panels for your home. If you wish to use the market-leading Powerwall battery, then it may be wise to consider purchasing it through a local solar company rather than through Tesla directly. It may cost a little more, but could also give you better access to localized support for your entire system. Given the system will be up and running for 25-30 years, and the fact that some electrical problems can be hard to diagnose remotely, we feel a premium is justified for long-term access to responsive local service."

 
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BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
361
224
Bay Area
Hang in there with them. You are correct, their customer service needs a little work, but it’s not horrible in all areas. I’m not trying to defend them because I’ve had my issues as well (no warranty problems).

Look at it this way, they are still in business and probably will be for the life of your system. They are responding to your service requests and I’ve been reading (told) if you have a solar edge inverter expect a longer delay for replacements. Not sure what your hardware is but I would gladly take 3 weeks if that’s going to be the timeline. 3 months, no way!

This hardware is going to break sitting in the elements powered on 24x7. It’s just a matter of when not if service will be needed. Someone in my neighborhood had their vendor close their doors two yrs after the system install. Then the inverter died so 3 -4 months doing all the warranty work with the manufacture on their own, plus finding a tech to swap out the hardware ☹️.
I have to admit that reading their difficulties with the solar roof in the press, and their own statements about their installation and solar roof manufacturing issues in their 10-Q and 10-K, I am becoming much less sanguine about the longevity of the solar roof. Their comments about the mismatch between the scale of the factory and the actual number of their roof installations implies to me high fixed costs, and the installation process does not appear to be low cost either, given the manpower and time it appears to take and the project management issues that appear to plague some installs. So while scaling up solves the fixed costs issue, it makes the variable costs of roof installations worse. The recent dramatic repricing of solar roofs suggests that the one or both costs were way off, as does the reported profit margin drop.

I am not saying that roofing is an easy business; I don't think that it is. I do think that customer service gives a business a great way to track product (and installation) quality, because without feedback, and quality metrics, I have found that it is hard to improve.

I do wonder whether their business model might be better served by focusing on solar tile manufacturing and leaving the installation to experienced roofing contractors. Just a thought.

As @jimm01 posted above, the solar roof while solving an esthetic issue goes the other direction from a product that scales well for mass market roofs, which might be better served by, say, monolithic large panels that could be quickly placed by a small crane.

As much as I like Tesla's products, and I do, I don't think that they are out of the woods yet by a long shot, their stock price and market capitalization notwithstanding.

All the best,

BG
 

MCNE

Member
Mar 12, 2021
173
33
Texas
I have to admit that reading their difficulties with the solar roof in the press, and their own statements about their installation and solar roof manufacturing issues in their 10-Q and 10-K, I am becoming much less sanguine about the longevity of the solar roof. Their comments about the mismatch between the scale of the factory and the actual number of their roof installations implies to me high fixed costs, and the installation process does not appear to be low cost either, given the manpower and time it appears to take and the project management issues that appear to plague some installs. So while scaling up solves the fixed costs issue, it makes the variable costs of roof installations worse. The recent dramatic repricing of solar roofs suggests that the one or both costs were way off, as does the reported profit margin drop.

I am not saying that roofing is an easy business; I don't think that it is. I do think that customer service gives a business a great way to track product (and installation) quality, because without feedback, and quality metrics, I have found that it is hard to improve.

I do wonder whether their business model might be better served by focusing on solar tile manufacturing and leaving the installation to experienced roofing contractors. Just a thought.

As @jimm01 posted above, the solar roof while solving an esthetic issue goes the other direction from a product that scales well for mass market roofs, which might be better served by, say, monolithic large panels that could be quickly placed by a small crane.

As much as I like Tesla's products, and I do, I don't think that they are out of the woods yet by a long shot, their stock price and market capitalization notwithstanding.

All the best,

BG
They do have a long way to go but in time they will turn it. In my opinion it simply can’t get worse than this. I know the solar roof is another subject but the fact that some people glow about their support and service and others do not might be an indication that they are trying (fingers crossed).

There is something different between the solar roof and the panels with the PAs. I switch from the roof to panels due to generation and geez the support hit bottom. It was like working with a completely different company.
 

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
I do wonder whether their business model might be better served by focusing on solar tile manufacturing and leaving the installation to experienced roofing contractors. Just a thought.

I agree from the perspective of productivity and local after-sales customer service. Tesla's business modal does not fit the home repair remodeling business, (particularly roofing, which is a per square business). Aside from sales Tesla Energy is far too byzantine, and reaching a decision maker is impossible, (I doubt they even want to be reached). Something that should take a week or two can take three or four months (in my case it's already been 5 and still nothing but empty promises). They act like they have no skin in the game, (it certainly seems it's no skin off their nose to keep customers hanging). A house is not like a car--it's a much larger investment and if something goes wrong there are far great repercussions.

PS: Sanguine, a consummate choice. <3
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,104
1,486
East Bay NorCal
They're also the only ones that can reliably get Powerwalls. Kind of sucks for any customer excited for PV+ESS... since the other ESS options (battery + Gateway + software) don't seem as good in comparison.


My bad, some other companies not named Tesla can get Powerwalls... they're just hard to locate. Many small local installer and even big corporations have been supply chain challenges sourcing ESS from Tesla. But there are a few locals that continue to install Tesla Powerwalls.
 

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