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Tesla using old time dealer dirty tactics to make money on service

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,961
8,889
Seattle area, WA
As much as Elon would like the world to believe that Service Centers are not for profit, and better than the dealers, my recent experience further convinced me they are no different, worse actually, as they try to keep customers locked-in to only using Tesla for service, for which they charge premium.

So I booked an appointment, specifically requesting a recall work plus cabin air filter replacement, HEPA filter replacement and AC desiccant replacement. I get a quote back - they added a $138 of stuff I didn't ask for like tire rotation and new wipers. Nobody asked me, they just tacked it onto the quote, I guess "for my convenience". If you don't read the quote line by line, you miss it. Oldest dealer trick in the book. But ok, so I get them to take it off, drop the car off. After they start working on the car, they call me to ask if I wanted HEPA filter replaced. I said, of course, that is what I asked for in the first place. They tell me that the HEPA filter replacement will be another $258+tax, raising the bill by ~71% over the original estimate. Better than dealer my ass. Quote a customer for work, get their car in the shop, then call them and tell them it will be 171% of the original quote, even though nothing was added to the requested service! Another dealer trick "we forgot to include almost half the price in the original estimate", though Tesla is not even using it competently, they are supposed be saying they found something new that needs to be done in order to accomplish what was quotes. I guess hard to pull that trick properly when customer asks for specific services. It reminded me of some dealers which I dealt with in the past, to whom I usually never returned, but with Tesla you have little choice. And even though they charge premium prices for their services, no loners of course. Given their prices, I suspect the only reason service doesn't make money is because they eat all the warranty repairs, which there must be a whole lot to eat through all the profit they make on paid services.

Bottom line, don't believe Elon, he is just another sly car salesman who is really good at what he does, but innovating on the old tricks bringing them into the 21st century.

PS> Funny thing, I always used to get surveys after every service with Tesla (which I've had many), but not this time - don't want to screw up survey number with customers who were underquoted I guess.
 
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wooter

Nou ik heb niet te klagen over Tesla support
Moderator
May 3, 2017
8,763
8,257
Belgium
but with Tesla you have little choice
Other Service Centers.

Also, after every visit you'll get a customer satisfaction survey. Anything below 9 is a problem for the service center, anything below 6 a big problem. It would be very shortsighted of a Tesla Service Center to have their customers score them at 6 and below all the time, since customers scoring 6 and below are customers who want to take their business somewhere else are actively telling their friends and family to take their business somewhere else.

1648285781580.png

1648285829300.png


no loners of course
Is your car under warranty and was it warranty work? Loaners are a favor for cars under warranty.

Bottom line, don't believe Elon, he is just another sly car salesman who is really good at what he does, but using 21st century methods.
The fact that I give my service center 9's and sometimes a 10 is proof of the contrary.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,961
8,889
Seattle area, WA
Other Service Centers.

Also, after every visit you'll get a customer satisfaction survey. Anything below 9 is a problem for the service center, anything below 6 a big problem. It would be very shortsighted of a Tesla Service Center to have their customers score them at 6 and below all the time, since customers scoring 6 and below are customers who want to take their business somewhere else are actively telling their friends and family to take their business somewhere else.

View attachment 786088
View attachment 786089


Is your car under warranty and was it warranty work? Loaners are a favor for cars under warranty.


The fact that I give my service center 9's and sometimes a 10 is proof of the contrary.
All service centers are Tesla owned, same policies, same prices. Yes there are some differences in people, but most good people I got to know over the years who worked there have left.
Also, after every visit you'll get a customer satisfaction survey. Anything below 9 is a problem for the service center, anything below 6 a big problem.
I did not receive a survey this time (I have in the past), probably not to screw up the survey stats, since most customers who had to pay 171% of the quote for the exact requested work are not likely to give them 9 or 10.
Is your car under warranty and was it warranty work? Loaners are a favor for cars under warranty.
The car is under warranty, still no loaners offered at all.
The fact that I give my service center 9's and sometimes a 10 is proof of the contrary.
Tesla service used to be stellar, before Model 3/Y floods, then Elon decided to laser focus of profit and it's been going downhill fast. That was the primary reason I bought 4 brand new Model S between 2013 and 2018, but none since. I used to tell anyone who'd listen to buy a Tesla too, until I spent an hour in the service waiting room listening to other customers' issues in 2019, only for Tesla to tell me yellow screens on a 1 year old Model S is not covered by Tesla. I was actually supposed to test drive a new Model S during the same visit, but canceled it after listening to poor customers dealing with Tesla policies. At least Elon stuck to his stalkless, touch only controls yoke, so I am not even the least tempted, even though I am way overdue for a new car (COVID + Ukraine war is delaying my switch to Porsche - yea some of their dealers will try to pull same *sugar* as Tesla, but with independent dealers you can find ones which don't bullshit you and provide great service with loaners).
 
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whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,961
8,889
Seattle area, WA
Nothing to see here people, just $258 + tax for a Hepa filter.

Premium pricing for the mission

just $80 on Amazon
I don't think you understood my problem. It is not how much they charge for the HEPA filter, but rather the fact that I asked for it specifically in the service request, they quoted me for a total job, but "conveniently" forgot to include this in the quote and didn't tell me about it until the car was already there. It would be like asking for a quote for a synthetic oil change for a car, dealer telling you it's $40, then charging you $75 because they "forgot" to include the cost of the oil in the quote, but if you don't want to do it, your $40 gets you them draining the old oil and putting it back it - no refunds. Another example would be you pricing a plane ticket from LA to NYC, then after you board the plane they tell you about an additional 70% fuel fee, because you know, you can't get there without fuel. You can get off the airplane too if you don't want to pay, but no money back for the ticket.

Had they quoted me the actual price in advance, I would have considered the DYI option. With the price they originally quoted for the services I requested, it was not worth it to me to DYI. The way they did it, the price for cabin filter, HEPA, and few other things made sense to me. The same price without the HEPA was a ripoff, but I already agreed to pay it when I approved the quote when I thought it was for everything I specifically requested.
 
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jmaddr

Active Member
Mar 29, 2019
1,165
1,161
Florida
the fact that I asked for it specifically in the service request, they quoted me for a total job, but "conveniently" forgot to include this in the quote and didn't tell me about it until the car was already there.
That is certainly an old sleazy tactic. However, one good thing with Tesla though is the pre-service invoice they ask you to sign. It details everything they are going to do. In your case it sounds like they didn’t have the cabin filters on the invoice at all? Usually they quote line for line what was entered in the app in that preliminary invoice…was this done and that line item which included cabin air filters was zero $?
 
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whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,961
8,889
Seattle area, WA
That is certainly an old sleazy tactic. However, one good thing with Tesla though is the pre-service invoice they ask you to sign. It details everything they are going to do. In your case it sounds like they didn’t have the cabin filters on the invoice at all? Usually they quote line for line what was entered in the app in that preliminary invoice…was this done and that line item which included cabin air filters was zero $?
Well, they had what I asked for in the quite, with a total like this:
1648293484254.png

under it was a bunch of items, some of which I did not even ask for. So, after I identified items I clearly did not ask for, they adjusted it. Btw, funny thing, tire rotation Tesla counts as "Parts", a $50 part called "TIRE ROTATION FEE(1671407-00-A) and $0 labor. So after removing stuff I didn't ask for:
1648293346800.png

under that was an itemization, which included different parts, none of them called "cabin air filter" or "HEPA filter". Could customers educate themselves on exactly what part codes need to go into any particular service and how many labor hours should be charged for each service, so that they can make sure Tesla doesn't rip them off? Possibly, though that would require a hundreds of dollars worth of subscription to Tesla service because Tesla does not make this information available for free, plus I am not even sure that subscription is even available outside of MA.

This is just another example of Elon's sleazy car salesmanship - you technically could invest the time and money to validate the quote given from Tesla Service, but is the average customer going to do that? Of course not. This is just a service side BS akin to Tesla's famous P85D spec of 691hp which Tesla later qualified only meant theoretical motor power if that motor was installed in a different car. In the car which Tesla sold it in, it would require a 50% power increase to meet the spec, but Elon felt smug he sold people a 700hp car and then weaseled out of delivering by conveniently "forgetting" to clarify what it meant until the car was no longer being produced. Tesla even had the "passing speeds power upgrade coming soon via OTA" in the design studio to justify why the power meter in the car was not showing the spec power being delivered. I'm telling you, a sleazy car salesman stereotype taken into 21st century by Elon.
 
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Plood

Plood, not Plaid?
Feb 12, 2022
126
82
Plano, TX
Never ascribe to malice what can be attributed to incompetence or indifference.

I’ve been an owner for a month and have wanted a number of upgrades and cosmetic trim fixes. It seems to take 2-4 visits to get anything done and I need to message them with a 5-point list of things I asked for but aren’t in the quote.

Or you take it in and don’t replace the scratched console doom but charge you anyway and weeks later after many messages they still have charged twice for the same service.

Or you ask for the dented metal door interior trim to be replaced and they quote $800 for a whole door panel until you do internet research and provide the $100 part number you really need?

Or you pay for the infotainment upgrade they suggest and then the driver display flickers unreadable and there’s a banging ticking noise every time the car wakes up and it’s weeks until they schedule a fix and the service isn’t on the order yet after days of reminding them. And you wonder why you have the same processor as before.
 
Same experience here, thankfully I caught the "extra" work early on and called them out on it. They removed it once I told them not to add services I did not ask for. I guess musk doesn't want to spend tons of money on services and just hope these high gas prices keep people coming. Like others I don't recommend tesla on many things, but the one I point out the most is servicing. I say you can go buy a tesla. It will be a decent car, but if you need service, good luck getting it in a timely manner or reasonable cost. That usually is enough to dissuade them buying a tesla. I have been having great servicing time with my id4. Granted there weren't many things to do, but currently I can get service when I want it.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
8,533
16,641
California
I came here to say what @Plood did.

I have seen no indicators of competence or coordination from any service center that leads me to believe they have the sophistication be acting on an order from the Technoking to pad service bills and bait/switch customers.

Rather they’re overworked, suffering from incompetence due to brain drain, and rudderless.
 
As much as Elon would like the world to believe that Service Centers are not for profit, and better than the dealers, my recent experience further convinced me they are no different, worse actually, as they try to keep customers locked-in to only using Tesla for service, for which they charge premium.

So I booked an appointment, specifically requesting a recall work plus cabin air filter replacement, HEPA filter replacement and AC desiccant replacement. I get a quote back - they added a $138 of stuff I didn't ask for like tire rotation and new wipers. Nobody asked me, they just tacked it onto the quote, I guess "for my convenience". If you don't read the quote line by line, you miss it. Oldest dealer trick in the book. But ok, so I get them to take it off, drop the car off. After they start working on the car, they call me to ask if I wanted HEPA filter replaced. I said, of course, that is what I asked for in the first place. They tell me that the HEPA filter replacement will be another $258+tax, raising the bill by ~71% over the original estimate. Better than dealer my ass. Quote a customer for work, get their car in the shop, then call them and tell them it will be 171% of the original quote, even though nothing was added to the requested service! Another dealer trick "we forgot to include almost half the price in the original estimate", though Tesla is not even using it competently, they are supposed be saying they found something new that needs to be done in order to accomplish what was quotes. I guess hard to pull that trick properly when customer asks for specific services. It reminded me of some dealers which I dealt with in the past, to whom I usually never returned, but with Tesla you have little choice. And even though they charge premium prices for their services, no loners of course. Given their prices, I suspect the only reason service doesn't make money is because they eat all the warranty repairs, which there must be a whole lot to eat through all the profit they make on paid services.

Bottom line, don't believe Elon, he is just another sly car salesman who is really good at what he does, but innovating on the old tricks bringing them into the 21st century.

PS> Funny thing, I always used to get surveys after every service with Tesla (which I've had many), but not this time - don't want to screw up survey number with customers who were underquoted I guess.
I’ve been a tesla owner for 6 years and I can tell you that they’ve really taken care of my needs. They’ve comped so much service, it’s really made me loyal to the brand.. BUT, they have also pulled fast ones on me too.. like changing my cars battery out, then putting a used one in that got significantly less range then tellling me go “deal with it” They ruined my car in the end. It’s pretty sad about how they handle their battery warranty
 

NoGasNoBrakes

Active Member
Curator
Aug 4, 2021
82
259
Los Angeles
Nothing to see here people, just $258 + tax for a Hepa filter.

Premium pricing for the mission

just $80 on Amazon
@SteelClouds mentioned in TMC’s most recent podcast episode that he bought the HEPA filters himself, and Tesla Remote Service came to his house and installed them, all for $25. So you don’t have to go with their “premium pricing.”

It’s at 56:25 in the video:

I definitely think in terms of remote service, Tesla is eons above any other car company, and if you were to go to any other dealership, these service complaints you mention are pretty much normal for most of them.

Keep in mind that Tesla hires a lot of their service people from other car dealerships, so the sleazy tactics can sometimes carry over. I think some service people are incompetent, but a lot are very excellent. I’m not excusing the many cases of Tesla service not knowing what they’re talking about, but I think these are also growing pains of a quickly expanding company.
 
Does anyone else hesitate to rank less than a 5 because you know the consequences? I did a 5 plus a comment about the muddy boot prints on my new floor mats.
What consequences?

They got a 2 from me recent service visit

-loaner reeked of cigarettes (in the air filters)
-car sat in the parking lot for 6 days doing nothing while I drive around in a loaner that smelled like cigarettes
-replacement piece that they were replacing because they broke it when I was in for my last service visit before that, was scratched. They replaced it anyway and scheduled an additional visit to replace again when new part arrives
-the other thing they "fixed" is worse than when I brought it in (my steering wheel was vibrating when moving. Now it won't move after $500 fix.

Waiting on shop supervisor to get back to me on resolving on this
 
and there’s a banging ticking noise every time the car wakes up
Isn't that normal? I believe that is the sound of the car waking from sleep mode. Something to do with the high voltage battery connection.

Try this... Put sentry mode on and leave the car for awhile like usual and then come back and see if it makes the sound. I expect it won't because the car is not asleep.
 
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I've never had any issues like what you describe at any of the service centers I've visited.

Also I'd love to see a pic of the original estimate where it says HEPA filter for less a price than they later told you because honestly I think you missed something. Perhaps they missed something but I don't believe it to be malicious. But the wipers yeah that's weird prob got the lines crossed with a different customer.
 

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