TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Tesla Store Experience

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by clmason, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. clmason

    clmason Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    San Diego
    #1 clmason, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2012
    I'll cut to the chase. I am a Tesla shareholder and enthusiast. I want nothing more than to see Tesla succeed. Today I went to the new store at the UTC mall in San Diego. I sat in the floor car with my father (who drives a Panamera) and Mother (who drives a BMW 5). They both have heard me espouse Tesla for over a few years, yet this was their first experience seeing the car.

    They were impressed with the car... but... all four of us (3 mentioned + my wife) we appalled at the utter snobbery of the Tesla employee who "helped" us. When asked how we could test drive, he said we could "not have a test drive". He said test drives are "only for reservation holders". He did not explain, I had to pull info out of him. I tried to give him a chance to explain that (as i understand from my own research) Tesla was ramping up and that test drive cars were not available in large quantities and thus test trive capaicty was limited. He did not allude to this. He stuck with his explanation that to even get a test drive one needs a reservation, and with a collar pop we were not good enough for further discussion or explanation. His attitude was snobbish to say the least. I'm disappointed.

    My parents are in the buyer demographic but they were totally turned off and not impressed.

    End of rant... I hope Managment can change this snob culture ASAP.
     
  2. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    East Asia/Canada
    The part I quoted is funny.

    Rest of your post is sad.
     
  3. Sparky

    Sparky Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Glendale,CA
    Probably best to let the store manager know (unless he was the store manager). Snobbery is one thing but misinformation about the Model S is actually worse.
    Before I had a res# I called the local Tesla store a couple of times and went in once. The manager was always the most relaxed and up front. Plus he truly seemed to empathize with my wish to test drive, said he would call me when he had a slot (he estimated it would be about 3 months) and said he totally understood my desire to drive before the deposit. Made me feel like a king while telling me to "go to hell"; sales 101.
     
  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,487
    If he wasn't the store manager, definitely pass along the information to the store manager. In person is best, because people remember visuals from conversations better than a voice on the phone. If you'd prefer though, on the phone is useful too.

    If he was the store manager, I would contact one of the ownership advocates via e-mail to pass along this information. I can PM you some contacts if you need some addresses. (I've annoyed at least 4 Tesla folk so far. ;))

    Last point on both avenues:
    Without additional information (from customers), sometimes Tesla can only assume people are "doing fine" in their role as representatives in the stores. If we want to get the situation resolved, we need to speak up. If it was a company I didn't care about, I'd just say "screw 'em" and move along. But it sounds like you care about Tesla (though tempered recently), so help 'em get better by kicking the bad folk to the curb.
     
  5. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,703
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Yeah that totally sounds like a one off, bad day, or a mishire. Heck, I'd venture to say half the folks here on TMC will come down and pummel this person for you. ;)
     
  6. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,660
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I am sorry to hear you had such an experience. In 2 1/2 years of dealing with Tesla I have never once had a hint of this attitude.
    I agree with the others as far as letting the management know.
    That being said, while I think you getting that type of attitude is wrong, I also think it is even more wrong for you to claim the entire company as having a 'snob culture' based on one bad experience with one employee.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've never had an experience anything like that. Obviously Tesla made a hiring mistake, or at least a major training mistake. I'd complain to the store manager, and if that doesn't work go directly to George Blankenship. This is NOT what he wants the store experience to be like.
     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    14,241
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    Really a surprise to read about this - I've only heard of positive experiences. I have no doubt that someone from Tesla will read this thread and will follow up. That's not been my personal experience of how they do business.

    I'm sorry you and your family had such a negative experience.
     
  9. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    13,257
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    I agree with what others have said. In my experience there is no snob "culture" at Tesla but it sounds like you experienced a bad one-off situation. My wife had a few blood-boiling run-ins with the receptionist at our Doctors office until it got to the point she wanted us to change Doctors (although ours is great!). She finally told the Doc about his receptionist and he was appalled at how his staff had been working, promising to change it immediately. Moral of the story: one employee is often not a reflection of organizational culture but you gotta give feedback.
     
  10. ipdamages

    ipdamages Roadster Sports 835 & 972

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    308
    Location:
    Southern California
    I had two very negative experiences in my initial interactions with Tesla. The first was a salesperson who lied to me about the Roadster when I was in the market. He told me there were only 14 cars left and I had two days to buy one because they were all going to be shipped to Europe on Sept 30, 2011. In fact, there were over a dozen other cars available and none of the US cars are even legal for use in Europe. The second was what I would call snobbery in the service department.

    Happily, I was contacted about each of these by a Tesla customer advocate, and each of these situations was dealt with in a very effective way. PM me if you want more details, but suffice it to say that Tesla as a company cares very much about its reputation and customer service - for the exact reasons you describe. There will always be exceptions, but I encourage you to provide the feedback to help them improve and not hold it against the entire company. Sadly, first impressions are lasting, and I sure hope your experiences going forward are far better.
     
  11. clmason

    clmason Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    San Diego
    All,

    Thanks for the feedback and I appreciate the comments. I will say that I believe this is a "bad apple" situation and I'm not implying the entire company/all the stores have this problem. As far as emailing Tesla, I believe they read the forum and this will get some visibility.

    As a shareholder, I have vested interest in seeing that they execute well, and I believe they will. Growing pains exist beyond production, I hope my feedback on this forum will help them identify other areas for improvement make apple sauce of the bad apple, fix the snob culture, and pick up more of an Apple Store friendly culture. I would suggest Tesla/George B. work on a few scripts for the common questions so that Store employees don't have the opportunity to put their foot in their mouth, like we experienced. Of course, mystery shoppers will find all the faults, I'm sure they will get to this, the sooner the better IMO, as the stores are popping up like mushrooms.
     
  12. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    Apple is the LAST company that Tesla should be emulating for customer service. Apple HATES their customers. I would rather go to the dentist than an Apple store. Apple invented snob culture and act as if they're dong you a favor to help you. I had a broken trackpad on my MBP and made an appointment at the Apple store for a repair. I was literally 2 minutes late and he punk at the front said that I would have to reschedule. Yes, I should have been on time but Apple has never been on time when I've been there on time so it's not like I'm throwing them off. Anyway, I'm sorry you had a bad experience at a Tesla store. I have only had stunning interaction over the 2 years I've been involved with them. But please don't use Apple as a model for customer service!
     
  13. clmason

    clmason Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    San Diego
    All due respect, Apple did not become the most valuable company in America by having poor customer service. However, for the sake of discussion, which company, do you believe, provides exceptional customer service?
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,763
    Location:
    Texas
    Well, Apple's best customer service happens when you call in. I've never been too impressed with their store service. I am concerned about Apple now that the bean-counters have taken over--the problem is that there isn't really any other choice. Hopefully, they will overcome the bean-counter syndrome.

    The best customer service I've ever experienced was from SGI before they went C11. You actually got to talk to a knowledgeable person who tried to solve the problem rather than someone who could barely speak English (or your local language), reads from a script, tells you to reboot, and gets yelled at if they are on the phone with a customer more than three minutes.
     
  15. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    Apple has done well because of their great products, despite their poor customer service. Their stock valuation was also built on an expectation of continued perfect execution of great products. but to answer your question, I would say Tesla and also my bank, USAA. Whether I use e-mail or phone they answer quickly and the person I get can solve my problem.
     
  16. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    4,593
    Location:
    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    In case it hasn't been clearly said, an email to George Blankenship is in order here. He needs to now about these variances. Losing potential customers because a representative doesn't know how to politely deal with people that are potential buyers is not acceptable.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well, I think you're going to find your opinion of Apple in the minority. My experiences with them have, universally, been outstanding in every way. They've broken their own rules to make things good, they've been polite, quick, responsive and informative. I have innumerable friends who report similar satisfaction with multiple anecdotes to coincide such as "I dropped my iPhone, ran over it with the car, it was 2 weeks outside of warranty and I walked in and they handed me a brand new one." Those sorts of stories go on and on. While I'm sure there are anecdotes of bad experiences too, just like this thread with Tesla, I'm confident that those are exceptionally rare.
     
  17. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,442
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I was once in a store with the intent of dropping $3500 on a mac book pro. I was told to wait over in a corner and someone would be right there to help me. I waited 20 mins until it was clear that I had been forgotten, so I got someone's attention on my own and told them what I wanted. They returned with a box and as I stood in line I asked for a second time if this machine was definitely the glossy screen. "yes, absolutely".

    Later when I got home I was just about to cut the tape on the box when I noticed in tiny light gray text it said "anti-glare".

    So I got the store on the phone and told them they got me the wrong machine. The woman on the line told me to bring it back and she would fix it. I asked if she could check to make sure that they definitely had the configuration that I wanted, she checked and confirmed that they did. So I made the trip back to the Apple store and explained to yet another "Genius" the events of the day. They went into the back to get my machine. Surprise, they didn't have it.

    So, I settled for another cheaper configuration and went to do the exchange. Then the guy tells me that because I had financed my purchase, they might not be able to exchange them, but the could definitely give me a gift card.

    I wish I could say that this was an isolated event, but the truth is that in every Apple store I go to every single time, I find the same snobs spreading misinformation to the poor people that come in there looking for help and (as was said above) acting like they did you a favor.

    I too dread the days when I have to go into an Apple store for more than just to play with the latest toy.

    I do not understand how they became the most valuable company in the world, but it wasn't for their customer service. As best I can tell it was through a combination of making shiny things and a unique sort of brain washing.
     
  18. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,219
    Location:
    Schaumburg, IL
    I could not agree with you more! They are all design, and I loathe their stores, having to deal with the gauntlet.
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    14,241
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    In defense of Apple, I've never had a negative experience in the stores. I wish I could say the same for a Best Buy or other big box stores when shopping for computer hardware. Typically I'm ignored.

    Here's a story & you draw your own conclusions as to why: When I had my consulting business, I took a new employee (Andrew) to buy him a new computer, along with my son, into Best Buy. A salesperson came over immediately and began talking to Andrew, asking what he was looking for. Andrew looked at me, and I answered. The salesperson then asked him more questions, each time Andrew would look at me and I would answer. It was comical. Anyhoo, Andrew finally said to the salesperson, "Who do you think is paying for this purchase today?" The salesperson said, "You." ... nope, try again. And then he looked at my 17 year old son! Seriously. I started laughing & said "you just lost a sale".

    While that has not been an uncommon occurrence for me, it has never once happened in an Apple store.
     
  20. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,219
    Location:
    Schaumburg, IL
    In Apple's defense ... the only saving grace IMO is their laptop ... I use one ... ugh ... spent a ridiculous amount of money on it ($3,000?) ... only because ... it is lightweight ...

    Lightweight.

    As in, you look at all the other companies out there ... they are lightweight but their power supplies are bigger and heavier than the laptop.

    I travel a lot and need power and as little weight as possible. Only reason I went for theirs ... and should I add I use Windows on it!

    We are so off topic ... surprised I've not been admonished yet. :)
     

Share This Page