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Tesla (the company) killing itself slowly?

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,245
6,017
Merced, CA
My MCU, which was just replaced last year and already has a yellow border which my old 4 year old MCU did NOT have so it must be a refurb, has been getting into reboot loops more and more lately. When it happens, I wonder if this will be the time it doesn't recover. Usually it's 5 to 10 minutes of rebooting and then it comes back. Sometimes it comes back but then reboots a few more times.

I'm getting ready to go on a 2500 mile road trip and I'm super scared that it will leave us stranded many hundreds of miles away from the nearest dealer. Even if it we are near a dealer if it dies, it will still be the end of the vacation for the most part. Hotels, resorts, events, etc for entire trip already paid for in advance.

Thinking about maybe taking our 315K mile 2009 Prius on the trip instead.
 

RDoc

S85D
Aug 24, 2012
2,753
1,611
Boston North Shore
I'm not making excuses for Tesla or saying this is good.

However, they are in a unique position in the market. Their cars are unmatched, they have no real competition, and it looks like they won't for several years, so... they are making hay while the sun shines. They have to become actually profitable if they are going to survive, and without competition, they're able to cut a lot of corners when it comes to customer experience. So far they sell every car they can make.

Once they are profitable, and, if and when, they have real competitors, then they can go back to customer support. It's pretty likely people will forgive them since the cars are so fantastic.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,911
13,051
California
As much as I generally support Tesla’s “benevolent dictator” approach to sales and service, I will say that only works if they are in fact benevolent, which is less and less the case by the day.

This sort of shat service doesn’t survive in the dealership model because competition exists. It’s a debatable point whether or not all the other garbage that comes along with that model is ultimately an acceptable trade off.

Tesla has gone whole-hog on the Silicon Valley support model, where humans are a far too expensive inconvenience and everything should be driven through technology. It’s become abundantly clear that if you want the high touch model of yesteryear, you need to find another brand.

If you need immediate assistance in the current paradigm, your only real choice is to take the day off, drive to the mall, and stand around the Genius Bar until someone feels sorry for you.
 
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PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,776
897
US
So if they operate differently from other companies, that's somehow an excuse in this situation? Are we expecting too much by asking for reasonable repair times, loaners and decent treatment? You're stating pure nonsense to the point that I am amazed.

to the op: I gave up on buying a new Tesla because of similar service experiences I had. Saving money for the e-tron GT and hoping it won't be a screw up like their first e-tron.
If you read what I wrote you would see that I never said it was ok. I'm just gonna let this thread die out just like all the other threads that said Tesla was doomed and they would fail and go away. Let me know how that works out for ya......
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
425
523
boston ma
Does Elon want to play in the Audi, Mercedes, Lexus and Porsche neighborhood? If so he will eventually figure out that he needs to offer Audi level dealership experiences and Lexus customer service / product quality.

On the other hand, I suspect that he actually wants to play in the Chevrolet, Toyota, and Ford neighborhood.

Perhaps eventually he will spin off the volume from the "high-touch" marques. Anyone want to buy a "Maxwell" truck?
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,911
13,051
California
Does Elon want to play in the Audi, Mercedes, Lexus and Porsche neighborhood? If so he will eventually figure out that he needs to offer Audi level dealership experiences and Lexus customer service / product quality.

It seems pretty clear to me from the company mission that fluffing rich peoples’ egos was a necessary detour, not a primary objective.
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,725
2,846
It's easy to forget Tesla is still essentially a startup company - and hasn't completed the transition to a more mature business model, including customer support.

Not only is Tesla on the leading edge of introducing EV to the market, they are also implementing a more efficient model for customer support and vehicle service, that will allow them to support many more vehicles per employee than other manufacturers (especially when they are burdened with a dealer network).

Changes like reducing/eliminating stores and shifting to online sales, shifting as much customer interactions as possible to website/smartphone app, using mobile service for 80% of repairs, shifting from loaners to Uber vouchers, moving from service center deliveries to delivery directly to the customer, eliminating unnecessary recommended maintenance, … - these are all new for high volume vehicle manufacturers.

The rapidly increasing production rates of the Model 3 initially put Tesla through "production hell", and when that was resolved, they hit "delivery hell", and now they're going through "customer support/service hell" in 2019.

Transitions like this take time - and it's not surprising that some customers are frustrated with their support/service experiences right now.

As a long time Tesla customer, 2 S/1 X, since 2013, we've experienced Tesla's growing pains. Our first S was delivered to our front door by UPS, with the nearest Service Center over 1000 miles away, before there were any superchargers. Tesla has made a lot of progress since then, and overall we continue to have a great experience with our Tesla ownership.

Our most recent service experience was excellent. We scheduled the maintenance through our smartphone app. They provided us an Uber voucher instead of a loaner. And the Service Center was able to complete the maintenance within a few hours.

For Tesla to be successful, they not only need solid technology, they also need to provide a great customer ownership experience - they've done both in the past - and need to get through this year's changes and get back to the great support & service they've provided in the past, the reason why Tesla has continued to have such high customer loyalty.
 

alcibiades

Member
Apr 27, 2017
821
1,271
IL
It's easy to forget Tesla is still essentially a startup company - and hasn't completed the transition to a more mature business model, including customer support.

Not only is Tesla on the leading edge of introducing EV to the market, they are also implementing a more efficient model for customer support and vehicle service, that will allow them to support many more vehicles per employee than other manufacturers (especially when they are burdened with a dealer network).

Changes like reducing/eliminating stores and shifting to online sales, shifting as much customer interactions as possible to website/smartphone app, using mobile service for 80% of repairs, shifting from loaners to Uber vouchers, moving from service center deliveries to delivery directly to the customer, eliminating unnecessary recommended maintenance, … - these are all new for high volume vehicle manufacturers.

The rapidly increasing production rates of the Model 3 initially put Tesla through "production hell", and when that was resolved, they hit "delivery hell", and now they're going through "customer support/service hell" in 2019.

Transitions like this take time - and it's not surprising that some customers are frustrated with their support/service experiences right now.

As a long time Tesla customer, 2 S/1 X, since 2013, we've experienced Tesla's growing pains. Our first S was delivered to our front door by UPS, with the nearest Service Center over 1000 miles away, before there were any superchargers. Tesla has made a lot of progress since then, and overall we continue to have a great experience with our Tesla ownership.

Our most recent service experience was excellent. We scheduled the maintenance through our smartphone app. They provided us an Uber voucher instead of a loaner. And the Service Center was able to complete the maintenance within a few hours.

For Tesla to be successful, they not only need solid technology, they also need to provide a great customer ownership experience - they've done both in the past - and need to get through this year's changes and get back to the great support & service they've provided in the past, the reason why Tesla has continued to have such high customer loyalty.
That's a heartwarming story, and if my car came with TSLA stock I'd probably be more forgiving.

My X has been in service for over 4 weeks. If I had accepted Uber credit instead of fighting to get a loaner, I'd have been royally ****ed.

This "more efficient model for customer service and support" is not more efficient for the customer. This "efficiency" is not customer-focused. It is investor focused, and a gamble. They could have fixed my car in one day, but because of their broken, er more efficient, model, it has been at the SC for over 4 weeks, and I've been using a loaner for that long. Had they had a more coherent chain of service, with records and cases shared between mobile, SC, and "virtual service", then they would have had this done simply. Instead it has become a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Most startling -- and upsetting -- is the lack of empathy from the company. It's attitude toward owners is antagonistic. That is the "more efficient model": antagonism.

The service issues discussed at TMC have exploded this year. I LOVED this company when I bought my car. I was so excited. But now I'm wondering if the misery is worth it and maybe I should just get an ICE until someone else makes an electric car that holds 6 people. How ****ed up is that?
 

Ofarlig

Member
Mar 4, 2018
325
286
Sweden
I like my car and I like Tesla but you can see their resources are being spread thin these days since they want to do be involved in everything and do it all. They continue to to try and save money in the wrong areas for long term success while spending money on outright unnecessary things.

They skimp on service and now don’t want to properly fix or replace their yellowing screens, can’t be contacted through phones, be understaffed and so on. I am not impacted yet but eventually something will go wrong with my car. Good luck getting return customers once there are other options if you provide a poor customer experience.

The worst part is that if they just did it all more efficiently they wouldn’t need to skimp as much. They talk about this efficient company where you can just buy your car online but even the little insight we customers get show an increadibly ineffecient system.
 

cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,716
917
TX
I like my car and I like Tesla but you can see their resources are being spread thin these days since they want to do be involved in everything and do it all. They continue to to try and save money in the wrong areas for long term success while spending money on outright unnecessary things.

They skimp on service and now don’t want to properly fix or replace their yellowing screens, can’t be contacted through phones, be understaffed and so on. I am not impacted yet but eventually something will go wrong with my car. Good luck getting return customers once there are other options if you provide a poor customer experience.

The worst part is that if they just did it all more efficiently they wouldn’t need to skimp as much. They talk about this efficient company where you can just buy your car online but even the little insight we customers get show an increadibly ineffecient system.


All this won't last long. At most in a year or two there will be other good EV options and for Tesla it'll be either get their act together very fast or they will lose customers.

With all the crazy customer experience stories I run across and all the quality issues and design choices they made, if there was another alternative out there, I would gladly consider not looking at Tesla for one second. Trouble is that the other makes need to move faster, I don't know how they will overcome Tesla's supercharger network. Something like the Ionity network needs to start happening in the US too.
 

Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,012
4,621
McKinney, TX
I've made this analogy before in the context of poor customer service and the ability for companies to overcome and succeed but I'll do it again: How many people remember the early days of Apple? With their horrible 90-day warranty on extremely high priced items. The magazine Mac User had a graphic in each month's issue counting how long Apple's "insufficient warranty" had continued. After a great deal of shaming and customer complaints, Apple finally increased their factory warranty to one year.

And who remembers the arrogance of the Apple repair places in the mid 80's? The repair people at my local Apple dealer back then were typically snotty, impatient, and condescending. And they acted like they were doing us a supreme favor by just taking the time to work on our Apple products. On top of that there were a zillion Macintosh models, with very little to differentiate them in the market, not to mention the Apple clones that were cutting into Apple's sales. OS 7 was a joke it crashed so often. The OS roadmap was as chaotic as the model lineup.

It's easy to witness the culture of innovation and lofty goals that permeate Tesla and witness their disruptive technology that drives other automotive companies into a new direction and compare Tesla to Apple and those comparisons are justified, I believe. But let's remember that as successful as Apple is now, they had some really horrible periods that soured a lot of customers and put into serious doubt the ability of Apple to survive.

No, Tesla isn't Apple and all analogies fall short in some way; however, I think Tesla can, and will, learn, much the same way that Apple did, and we'll look back on the painful delivery and service experiences in the same way that people talk about how Apple used to be in their early days.
 

wemetzger

Member
Jul 16, 2018
71
53
San Carlos, CA
What is the major complaint here? That you couldn't speak to a person, or that you weren't immediately given priority over everyone else in queue? I have called a couple times this week... and after navigating the phone system, got in touch with people both times. Maybe it is different in a different country. As far as priority, no one here really knows where they put your car in the queue, we just know that you weren't immediately promised high priority. My parents have had similar experiences with their Lexus... in the shop now for 4 weeks because of a phantom battery drain. Anyways, totally in agreement the service needs to get better... but let's keep this in perspective... 2 years ago the service team was probably 10% of what it is now, and it still needs to grow fast... growing pains.
 

CarlK

Active Member
Mar 23, 2013
1,919
1,236
SF Bay Area
And how did it work out for the soup nazi?


Not well

No but that had nothing to do with the attitude. People would continue to buy the soup if he's still the only one who could provide it. It's George who suffered first.

Does Elon want to play in the Audi, Mercedes, Lexus and Porsche neighborhood? If so he will eventually figure out that he needs to offer Audi level dealership experiences and Lexus customer service / product quality.

On the other hand, I suspect that he actually wants to play in the Chevrolet, Toyota, and Ford neighborhood.

Perhaps eventually he will spin off the volume from the "high-touch" marques. Anyone want to buy a "Maxwell" truck?

Along the same line at least to me the first and highest priority is always the product. That's the hardest one to get too. Coming from Porsche and Lexus I know how to be pampered by dealers but I could get even better pampering by spending small fraction of money I've wasted there.
 
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M3BlueGeorgia

Active Member
Dec 10, 2018
1,395
1,095
Atlanta, GA
What is the major complaint here? That you couldn't speak to a person, or that you weren't immediately given priority over everyone else in queue? I have called a couple times this week... and after navigating the phone system, got in touch with people both times. Maybe it is different in a different country. As far as priority, no one here really knows where they put your car in the queue, we just know that you weren't immediately promised high priority. My parents have had similar experiences with their Lexus... in the shop now for 4 weeks because of a phantom battery drain. Anyways, totally in agreement the service needs to get better... but let's keep this in perspective... 2 years ago the service team was probably 10% of what it is now, and it still needs to grow fast... growing pains.

He did come across as someone without any perspective that BMW, Mercedes, Audi customers have far worse tales than his. I can understand his frustration without liking the one-sided whining.

Regardless, Tesla need to improve their customer service and their customer interaction. Though I always much rather deal with them than suffer through dealing with a legacy automobile dealership.

It looks like the third most popular question for today's Q2-19 earnings call is related to customer service and interactions:
"You stated on the Q4 2018 earnings call that customer service was a personal priority for 2019. Can you update us on what has been done to date to ensure all owners are receiving an industry-leading customer experience?"

Though no guarantee it'll get an answer.
10 things Tesla (TSLA) retail investors want to know from the Q2 2019 earnings call
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,601
4,159
Northern California
No but that had nothing to do with the attitude. People would continue to buy the soup if he's still the only one who could provide it. It's George who suffered first.
But Elaine printing his recipes for the competition to see is what drove him out.
Why would anyone purchase from him and his bad attitude when his competition is serving the same soup with better customer service

Same with tesla, once a true competitor emerges... yada yada yada... tesla will be in trouble
 

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