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Tesla's amateurish service lives up to its bad reputation

Had longstanding service appointment today -- with loaner -- to adjust misaligned panels flagged at delivery. It was a non starter! There was no loaner available, although the appointment was predicated upon a loaner. An advisor tried to BS his way out of it, which only peed me off. Unfortunately, Tesla's reputation for bad service proceeds itself. The Santa Monica Service Center is utterly disorganized, messy, and staffed by kids that act like they flunked out of kindergarten. When I asked to speak to a manager - none available - the advisor said Tesla can't reserve loaners. They use a catch as catch can approach calling when a loaner becomes available. An idiotic system IMO! But what choice do I have? So, I agreed. This has been going on for two months, since I took delivery. My MY should be in the body center the better part of a week. The advisor projected a loaner will be available next week. If not, I intend to escalate this aggressively. From my experience Tesla Service deserves the bad reputation it earned. A word to the wise, end of rant.
 
Had longstanding service appointment today -- with loaner -- to adjust misaligned panels flagged at delivery. It was a non starter! There was no loaner available, although the appointment was predicated upon a loaner. An advisor tried to BS his way out of it, which only peed me off. Unfortunately, Tesla's reputation for bad service proceeds itself. The Santa Monica Service Center is utterly disorganized, messy, and staffed by kids that act like they flunked out of kindergarten. When I asked to speak to a manager - none available - the advisor said Tesla can't reserve loaners. They use a catch as catch can approach calling when a loaner becomes available. An idiotic system IMO! But what choice do I have? So, I agreed. This has been going on for two months, since I took delivery. My MY should be in the body center the better part of a week. The advisor projected a loaner will be available next week. If not, I intend to escalate this aggressively. From my experience Tesla Service deserves the bad reputation it earned. A word to the wise, end of rant.
This is one of my biggest fears when it comes to Tesla, and I don't get why it's such a big deal for them to address.

Elon talks about production (and not design or development) being the biggest challenge - apparently its customer service and end-point quality assurance.
 
Loaners are an issue at every dealer. I know that Tesla does not have dealers but the other manufacturers only use dealers. Go to any forum, for any manufacturer, and you will find a ton of complaints about service times and loaner availability. I am not saying you are not correct to be annoyed if you received a actual reservation for a loaner. Tesla is not so much worse than any dealer to make the unique.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,232
17,967
Riverside Co. CA
Loaners are an issue at every dealer. I know that Tesla does not have dealers but the other manufacturers only use dealers. Go to any forum, for any manufacturer, and you will find a ton of complaints about service times and loaner availability. I am not saying you are not correct to be annoyed if you received a actual reservation for a loaner. Tesla is not so much worse than any dealer to make the unique.

The thing is, where this OP is coming from (BMW), they likely could schedule it so they could get a loaner, like they tried to do here.

Its something I have just gotten used to (not getting a loaner with tesla). My history with BMW, and the same service writer for over 10 years, means that when my wifes car goes for its yearly BMW maintenance checkup, she *always* gets a loaner, and normally a brand new one too. the service writer and I have become friends over the years.

Its not going to be that way with Tesla.

With that being said, for the OP, I can tell you that I have had very good experience with mobile service, and its amazing that it doesnt cost extra to get mobile service. Unlike other dealers, when you get mobile service, you get to actually talk to the repair technician themselves, not the service writer who is shielding you from them.,

Most things are done by mobile service, so unless your car has to go to a SC for something, mobile service works very well, and I find it to be an upgrade on what I was doing with BMW.

In your specific situation though, you are not getting mobile service for panel alignment, so you are just kind of stuck.
 
Loaners are an issue at every dealer. I know that Tesla does not have dealers but the other manufacturers only use dealers. Go to any forum, for any manufacturer, and you will find a ton of complaints about service times and loaner availability. I am not saying you are not correct to be annoyed if you received a actual reservation for a loaner. Tesla is not so much worse than any dealer to make the unique.
This. I've experienced loaner availability issues with my Audi dealership that I never have in the past. Not saying Tesla should get a pass as they've created the reputation they currently have, but I'm thinking lots of dealers cashed out some of their loaner fleet due to the shortages.
 
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I love my Tesla Y. I have my 3rd S on order now. The service does suck and will probably suck for the forseeable future. I almost bought a Ioniq 5 limited but their available charging network was a huge problem for me. The thing I love about Tesla is if I want to go a long distance (using major freeways) like I am this weekend I don't think about where I am going to charge I just go.
 
I never got a loaner from my VW dealership after my brand new ID.4 basically shutdown in the middle of road. They didn’t have any. Didn’t even offer Uber. Dealer didn’t even find error codes. Folks report weird intermittent problems with that car all the time so I’m no longer surprised at what happened to me.

What are your service appointments for? Minor panel alignment issues? I would gladly take those problems… I had them too for my Model Y but didn’t care.
 
I love my Tesla Y. I have my 3rd S on order now. The service does suck and will probably suck for the forseeable future. I almost bought a Ioniq 5 limited but their available charging network was a huge problem for me. The thing I love about Tesla is if I want to go a long distance (using major freeways) like I am this weekend I don't think about where I am going to charge I just go.

Yup. I’m buying an Ioniq5 Limited in two week but am never taking it on long trips. That’s for my RAV4 Prime. I know how bad the non-Tesla network is… especially where I am.
 

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
4,739
6,573
USA
Had longstanding service appointment today -- with loaner -- to adjust misaligned panels flagged at delivery. It was a non starter! There was no loaner available, although the appointment was predicated upon a loaner. An advisor tried to BS his way out of it, which only peed me off. Unfortunately, Tesla's reputation for bad service proceeds itself. The Santa Monica Service Center is utterly disorganized, messy, and staffed by kids that act like they flunked out of kindergarten. When I asked to speak to a manager - none available - the advisor said Tesla can't reserve loaners. They use a catch as catch can approach calling when a loaner becomes available. An idiotic system IMO! But what choice do I have? So, I agreed. This has been going on for two months, since I took delivery. My MY should be in the body center the better part of a week. The advisor projected a loaner will be available next week. If not, I intend to escalate this aggressively. From my experience Tesla Service deserves the bad reputation it earned. A word to the wise, end of rant.
Escalate aggressively? Lol!

I hope you have a substantial twitter following.
 
Loaners are an issue at every dealer. I know that Tesla does not have dealers but the other manufacturers only use dealers. Go to any forum, for any manufacturer, and you will find a ton of complaints about service times and loaner availability. I am not saying you are not correct to be annoyed if you received a actual reservation for a loaner. Tesla is not so much worse than any dealer to make the unique.
I love my Tesla, but I will say I never had an issue getting a loaner from Toyota service centers. I was actually just at the service center OP mentioned. I will say it did seem really chaotic. It also seemed TINY. I got uber credits to get back home which I didn't particularly mind because I was only getting minor issues fixed and they said they would finish up before end of day. Can't speak to their full service just yet, but so far everything's been ok
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,915
3,768
Seattle
This is one of my biggest fears when it comes to Tesla, and I don't get why it's such a big deal for them to address.

Elon talks about production (and not design or development) being the biggest challenge - apparently its customer service and end-point quality assurance.
While there is no doubt Tesla could be better, remember that people dont go out of their way to post "Had car serviced, all went well" type experiences, so you are looking at a somewhat biased sample here (and, as other have noted, you will find equally bad examples of service for most car brands in the appropriate forums).

For reference, I've had 3 service engagements with Tesla over the past 2.5 years:

1. Got an odd "GPS antenna failure" error. Booked an appt for next week to get it looked at. The error went away next day (probably a software glitch). Cancelled service appt. Got a text from service center asking if all was ok, I reassured them that the error had gone away, replay was "great, rebook if it comes back".

2. Decided to pre-actively replace my 12V battery after 2 years, booked a service appt (5 days ahead). Got a text asking if battery was causing problems, explained that I was being proactive, and was fine paying for it. Mobile service turned up on time, changed the battery, checked tire wear, topped up windshield fluid, and was gone in 30 mins. Paid on iPhone app, zero hassle.

3. Got "creaking suspension" issue. Booked service (6 days ahead). Dropped off car, guy said yep was a known issue they would replace ball-joint and re-seal others. Four hours later, care was ready, picked it up later (just got Uber, walked to car, jumped in, drove away). No charges, all under warranty.

Now, I've no doubt the horror stories posted here are true, and Tesla needs to get better, but certainly my experiences (so far) have all been fine. It's possible my service centesr (Lynnwood, WA and Bellevue, WA) are better managed of course.

For contrast, my Infiniti was broken into last year so needed to get front Windows replaced. Dealer insisted on detailing car (at my expense) "because we can't service it with glass shards in cabin", and then took 2 weeks to change out the glass, after the original estimate was 2-3 days (with zero fall-up until I called them and asked what was going on).
 
Loaners are an issue at every dealer. I know that Tesla does not have dealers but the other manufacturers only use dealers. Go to any forum, for any manufacturer, and you will find a ton of complaints about service times and loaner availability. I am not saying you are not correct to be annoyed if you received a actual reservation for a loaner. Tesla is not so much worse than any dealer to make the unique.
I have had the same issue at every dealership and every brand I have owned over the years. All have gotten a bit better and even the local Tesla SC now has a bunch of Hertz cars on the lot for when they run out of Teslas to loan out.

Several years back I had an issue with a new Genesis, cost more than my Y. They sent me over the the car rental place across the street where they loaned me a stripped down Chevy Cruz. I was informed in a distrusting manner that I needed to supply them with the gas receipt from a close by gas station after topping off the tank upon return. Wow, that was a really exciting car I had for over a week. :rolleyes:
 
Loaners are an issue at every dealer. I know that Tesla does not have dealers but the other manufacturers only use dealers. Go to any forum, for any manufacturer, and you will find a ton of complaints about service times and loaner availability. I am not saying you are not correct to be annoyed if you received a actual reservation for a loaner. Tesla is not so much worse than any dealer to make the unique.
I beg to differ. I drove two BMWs over a decade prior to this Tesla and 2 MBZs before that. In the past 20 years, I always got loaners when called for and it was never a problem.
 
I never got a loaner from my VW dealership after my brand new ID.4 basically shutdown in the middle of road. They didn’t have any. Didn’t even offer Uber. Dealer didn’t even find error codes. Folks report weird intermittent problems with that car all the time so I’m no longer surprised at what happened to me.

What are your service appointments for? Minor panel alignment issues? I would gladly take those problems… I had them too for my Model Y but didn’t care.
IMO these aren't minor. But should be no brainer for skilled craftsman to fix.
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2. Decided to pre-actively replace my 12V battery after 2 years, booked a service appt (5 days ahead). Got a text asking if battery was causing problems, explained that I was being proactive, and was fine paying for it. Mobile service turned up on time, changed the battery, checked tire wear, topped up windshield fluid, and was gone in 30 mins. Paid on iPhone app, zero hassle.

Oh wow mine is actually getting serviced for 12v issues. But my MYLR is brand new, maybe that's why they wanted me to take it in? But i would have rather had this taken care of with their mobile service. I originally surfaced the 12v issues in a chat related to a service appointment made to look at some panel gaps so I'm guessing that's why mobile wasn't initially an option.
 
I brought my 2018 M3 to the Sunnyvale Tesla service center on January 6. They said it would require two days, but it was done at the end of the first day. No complaints.

I did not get a loaner, but they gave me a generous Uber credit.

BTW, getting a loaner for when my previous car (BMW) went into service was hit or miss. Sometimes I got got a loaner, other times they sent me over to Enterprise rental car.
 

Dennisis

Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
868
838
Tucson
I just had my MY in for service last week. I had an 0930 appt. but needed a loaner so go there when they opened at 0800, got a red M3. Service was completed with no issues and it was fun to drive an M3 again for the day! Had forgotten just how low down they sit and why I sold mine but still, all good :).
 
Why the Tesla build quality is so bad ? I mean they have been building cars for over 10 years now and they still can’t get it right is beyond my understanding! And to make things worst, their sub-par customer service! I have very busy work schedule and I can’t deal with this. For me quality and service is more important! Almost thinking to cancle my MYLR order!
 

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