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Tesla - Lack of Communication and Continuity

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by jeffro01, Jan 16, 2017.

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  1. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Okay so the real purpose of this thread is to discuss what and why Tesla seems to have so many inconsistencies in the design studio, dropping and adding things without any rhyme or reason. The complete and total lack of communication as to why these random changes are made and the impact to potential orders and the like...

    While I have ground my gears about this for awhile now, it's the most recent update that dropped the ventilated seats with absolutely zero warning, explanation, anything... I'm not here to debate whether they work or not, that's for another thread, what I'm hear to discuss is why?

    Ventilated seats aren't the only recent change that has irked people... The Model X design studio change to remove a number of customization options in favor of pre-bundled trim options. If these are custom ordered cars, why the bundling? Why in the world what basic white dropped as a paint option? Why did the PUP price not go down in relation to the removal of the ventilated seats?

    While Tesla certainly isn't "required" to tell "us" anything or explain anything, making major changes to the design studio/options/packages without any explanation/reasoning/warning doesn't really seem to be the best customer focused approach...

    Thoughts?

    Jeff
     
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  2. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    Tesla doesn't care. If they did they would fix their communications problems. The fact that they don't indicates it is not a management priority. I suspect it isn't an Elon priority; I've never seen an indication to the contrary.

    So customers either have to be vigilant and proactive holding Tesla accountable or they should go elsewhere.

    I've been raising the communications issue for years in older threads. I still fear this is going to hurt Tesla big-time later this year as Model 3 comes out. A more affordable car means a more mainstream buying market--people who are not early adopters like S, X, and Roadster buyers. They will not tolerate Tesla's BS.
     
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  3. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Exactly. I've been called a fanboy here more times than I can count but, WRT Tesla's communication skills, I've been super critical for quite some time... Could you imagine a mainstream Model 3 buyer getting their heart set on a specific configuration, finally getting themselves in a position to order and just like that, Tesla has removed something that was important to them on a whim with no warning??? Yeah, that'll go over well...

    Part of this is reflective of my real world situation, I'm getting my ducks in a row to order a Model X to go with our Model S and was looking at a P100DL w/ the PUP but now that's on permanent hold... Why? Because I'm concerned about "countergate" and now that ventilated seats have been pulled, that's a complete full stop as that is a very important feature to me...

    Yeah yeah I know, Tesla is the only long range EV producer and all of that stuff, but what matters to me is what matters to me...

    Jeff
     
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  4. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I really don't think it is about communication ability anymore. Tesla may be poor at communication at times, but they also definitely decide against it often enough. That's a choice.

    Many cases of "if only Tesla communicated better" (a common enough complaint) are actually very likely Tesla choosing to remain silent or vague on a matter. That would be intent - and that makes all the difference.

    So, for whatever reason, a lot of the time it seems Tesla is actively choosing to avoid communicating about many kinds of matters.

    For example, the Pack Performance and Launch Mode Limits is certainly one significant example - as are other issues with Performance models in the past that were not readily disclosed...

    The seeming randomness and unpredictability of the Design Studio, as noted, is one more example where Tesla seems to be actively choosing to not communicate their reasoning for the changes. I agree it doesn't really help when there is very little apparent logic or predictability to it, from a user perspective.

    Elon once said that lacking model years, the best time to buy a Tesla is always "now". I guess one could also say it is "never" is really a best time. Beyond some really big ticket items, Tesla constantly surprised - and not as often positively as one might hope.
     
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  5. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I have an order about to go into production ... and really don't care a bit that they changed the Design Studio. They can raise or lower prices if they wish, delete or add features totally their call, and I don't feel a need for communication.

    I have an order spec sheet that calls out ventilated seats. If you are concerned that something is changing on your order, then call your sales person or delivery specialist to confirm it's as ordered. I'm not concerned that ventilated seats will disappear on me. And if I was, I'd check.

    There are plenty of things to talk about regarding communication - but this one? Nah. I have zero issues with Tesla not communicating a Design Studio change because I can't figure out just who it would impact. Companies change their websites, features, prices all the time.
     
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  6. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Sorry to pick on you, but this is a trend that I've seen a lot on TMC.

    Person #1 complains about something with offerings, pricing, or followthru; person #2 dismisses the issue in any number of ways; discussion goes back and forth about whether it matters, what Tesla might/should, do differently, etc. Time passes and then person #2 finds something wrong with Tesla's behavior and then the roles reverse (or at least shift somewhat). In this example, you're person #2 on a number of issues I've recalled in the past and definitely person #2 regarding the ventilated seats.

    So what's my point... Be cognizant that everybody has one or more things they care about and all of these issues (to varying degrees, arguably) and customers matter and we should be wary of being dismissive or patronizing about their concerns.

    Examples that come to mind:
    - sunshade
    - D motors
    - horsepower
    - counters
    - instrument and 17" UI redesign
    - vegan interior

    You've probably (collective, not Jeff) seen similar comments made in the various threads on these issues, and you'll notice a similar (positive) theme coming from Andy, for example, that we owners need to support and look out for each other.
     
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  7. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Hear, hear. That is IMO the greatest service a community can do. Any community.
     
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  8. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    Seems the question is: Does Tesla not communicate these sorts of things on purpose or is it benign neglect?

    One thing seems to be true, Tesla likes to be nimble and make sudden unannounced changes which, of course, makes us happy if we like them (AP2 for example) or unhappy if we don't like them (AP2 for example). Like all changes in life, some we like, some we don't.
     
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  9. Electric700

    Electric700 Active Member

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    You could send Tesla an e-mail about this at [email protected]. I am especially curious to know what they say about the removal of the ventilated seats. We need to let them know what we want. If you don't get a response in a few days, try contacting them at [email protected].
     
  10. OBX John

    OBX John Autonomous Driving Enthusiast

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    Young, fast moving company.

    Making lots of great things, and mistakes at the same time. When taking risks, you have to expect a fair percentage not to pay off.

    I'm sure finding quality people in the quantity needed is a challenge as well. One bad manager can do untold damage.
     
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  11. 182RG

    182RG Free The Service Manuals From Tyranny

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    ^This^. Tesla / EM are deliberately abstruse. The messaging around AP2 / HW2 is appalling, as just one example.
     
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  12. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    #12 Andyw2100, Jan 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
    I've been pretty critical of many aspects of Tesla's communication, or lack thereof. That being said, I think how they handled removing ventilated seats as an option was probably OK. I can't really see a way for them to have handled that much better. (Though perhaps a little better.)

    I think we have to assume that Tesla decided to remove the ventilated seat option for any or all of the following reasons:

    --they weren't selling well
    --there were quality issues with the production
    --there was concern about the seats' longevity

    There of course could have been other factors, and the above could all be wrong, but the bottom line is that for some reason Tesla decided to stop offering these seats. It certainly wasn't done on a whim.

    Now once Tesla makes the decision that they are going to stop selling the seats, they stop buying the seats. At that point they take orders for new vehicles until the seats that will be in inventory are spoken for, presumably setting aside some number for warranty issues, etc. But when they are out of seats, they are out of seats. At that point they remove the option to purchase a vehicle with those seats.

    I guess one thing Tesla might have done to make the situation just a hair better would have been to make an announcement as soon as they knew that they would be eliminating the option, and that when they were gone, they were gone. No date cutoff. Just let people rush to order, "while supplies last." Perhaps Tesla felt that would send the wrong message. Or perhaps there's just a policy to not announce changes of that nature ahead of time, because in many cases doing so could cannibalize sales. As an example, if Tesla announced today that the Model S 100D (no P, no Ludicrous) was going to be available to order in a month, there would be fewer sales of S 90Ds and P100DLs for the next month, as some customers of both of those models would prefer to wait for the S 100D. So as a general rule, it makes sense not to announce changes like that.

    It's certainly frustrating to see an option that you were planning on ordering disappear. I agree that Tesla needs to be more consistent when it comes to Model 3 options. But there are a whole lot of things Tesla needs to do a lot better when it comes to the Model 3 and the Model 3 customers. And a whole lot of things they need to do better for their existing customers, too.
     
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  13. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    What I'm getting sick and tired of is the use of Elon's Twitter as the primary means of communicating information. It's a little hard to extract what's going on from a few words in a tweet.

    There was zero information from Tesla on the previous AP1 update that added a couple of limitations that were later removed.

    Most of the AP2 owners have no real clue as to what's really going on with EAP. This is probably the most important end-customer thing going on right now, and the communication to these customers is pathetic.

    The lack of information on the release notes is causing all sorts of confusion. It's hard to even talk about "features" within an update if Tesla doesn't even bother communicating about them.

    They still use the blog to some degree, but they have to increase that usage to keep up with all the things that pop up. They know from this site what's being talked about, and what needs clarification.

    They have been clarifying things to a few people here, and there but that information might or might not spread out.
     
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  14. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    I guess the silver lining is we have direct communication with the CEO of the company that makes our cars, I doubt you would get that with GM.:D
     
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  15. skitch23

    skitch23 Member

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    I don't really have any problem with them adding features to the design studio unannounced.... but if I were on the fence about a certain feature, I think 7-10 days notice of it disappearing would help me decide one way or another.
     
  16. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    We also have a direct line to the POTUS through twitter.

    I'd rather not have that. :p
     
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  17. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    It would be great to have Elon - or even POTUS - actually having a conversation on Twitter, that would be a direct line. Even if it were limited in volume to happening just occasionally.

    But even in the case of Elon where there is an appearance of conversation (with the POTUS-elect there is none), in reality it is just select responses for marketing purposes. Elon routinely ignores topics that are not suited for that (e.g. Countergate questions).

    Not that I'm expecting this from any company (but there are a few such companies out there of course). Just saying that Elon's Twitter use is a marketing tool in the end... disguised as a direct line. Similar to Apple's CEO historically occasionally answering a customer email.
     
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  18. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    For me it's not about dreaming of chatting with Elon. Frankly that is the last thing I want to do.

    I dream of just getting things done across the company; when I connect with someone, they reply in a reasonable amount of time, things actually happen, or, if they hit a snag, there is ample sufficient communication managing the customer's expectations. Really that is all this is about. Managing expectations. And Tesla does not choose to do that or prioritize that. When it happens, it's a lucky happenstance, or perhaps you've run into a conscientious employee who understands how important managing expectations is.

    But the bottom line continues to be that the executive management, the VP management, the director management, and so on down the line, have not received a LOUD AND CLEAR MESSAGE that communications / managing expectations is a priority.

    I look forward to the day that it is, and I hope it comes before Model 3 comes out.
     
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  19. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Thank you everyone for your thoughts and perspectives. While I am not wanting to go down the path of "a car costing X amount of money should have X features", I just find it incredibly frustrating that something like ventilated seats were removed and the PUP price kept the same... I hold out hope that it's due to a redesign and the change is temporary as Tesla sources sufficient seat inventory for the new design as to not delay new orders, I am also cognizant of the fact that Tesla has had a few options over the years just disappear and stay that way...

    From a broader view, the countergate issue still baffles me in that now I'm convinced the lack of communication is deliberate and done so in hopes that the issue will take care of itself so to speak... I think that's a dangerous game their playing and whomever is making those decisions, from a communications perspective, needs to take a serious step back and really give this some thought...

    Sometimes Tesla is it's own worst enemy in that they make it very easy to love their product but very difficult to love the company itself... I never, EVER, want to buy a car from a traditional auto maker/dealership again but Tesla isn't making that decision easy, they keep making it harder...

    Jeff
     
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  20. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    I'm very tempted to go to this year's Annual Shareholders meeting, and find a seat RIGHT NEXT TO THE MICROPHONE so that I can get a question in to Elon regarding the issues that have been raised in this thread. Lord knows, asking a carefully-worded, serious question about a very serious issue that is likely to hurt the company in the coming Model 3 years if something isn't done, is worth the trip compared to the "Elon will you marry me" and "We love you Elon" nonsense that often clogs up the Q&A period at the meeting.
     
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