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TM - Your Buying Experience?

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by RGB, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. RGB

    RGB eRaca

    May 14, 2009
    I’m a few months into my Roadster-wait now and have had the opportunity to be an early adopter for a product that is said to be the future of individual transportation.
    Apart from the vehicle itself, which I had only laid my hands on once before I decided to plunk down more than 100 grand, I was wondering how the overall buying experience went for you guys.

    I’m asking myself how idealistic you’d have to be in order to buy a car like this. I’d say very much so, no matter if you are excited about technology or if you are more or less part of the treehugger fraction (no offence!). Nevertheless, what ties us all together is the fact that we pay 100.000 (in whatever currency) or more upfront for a car that some of us have never even driven once before.
    I’m excited about getting my roadster in a few weeks and I have no problem paying that much for a car that – if you compare it to other cars in that category – has a hard time keeping up with the overall “look & feel” you usually get for that kind of money. We all knew that and we all went for it anyways, for various reasons.
    What I was wondering though is what makes Tesla a “different kind of car company” (I believe that is what Elon once said) when it comes to sales & service. I for my part have purchased one or the other expensive car before and I have to say you do expect a certain level of service and professionalism on the other end especially when the amount you pay for a product surpasses a certain level. Something I have not had the pleasure to experience with Tesla Motors yet. Just a short (and incomplete) history of my “shopping experience” so far:

    - you have one (!) person you can contact who is swamped with all kinds of things all the time but has hardly time to answer questions or e-mails
    - many questions and e-mails simply get “ignored”
    - countersigned reservation agreement or contract: nope.
    - received the confirmation e-mail that my reservation fee got there after a month
    - official confirmation that my balance payment was received: nope
    - info on how the whole procedure (configuration, timeline, etc.) was going to be: none
    - swatches & color samples: yes, after I asked for them. Because “no one else usually needs them” (huh?)

    Just some of the things I can come up with off the top of my head. Again, I understand that it is not easy to get a company off the ground and to set up offices in all kinds of different places, get PR and daily business taken care of and on top of it all deal with customers. BUT once this first wave of early adopters is done with they will have to deal with “real” customers. I doubt that they will just plunk down whatever amount it might be and then just sit and wait until a truck drops off their vehicle just because they are among the chosen to drive the future.

    This is not meant to be a rant and I’m not trying to denigrate my sales rep (who’s actually a nice guy). However, I would like to know how your experience has been so far with Tesla Motors in sales & service.
  2. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

    Oct 23, 2007
    Cupertino, CA

    Yeah, some variation of that. Not so big on the communicating - you have to ask, often times more than once. I still haven't gotten a call on the rear hub bolt issue - mine may have been tightened when it was in for service, may not have been.

    Surprised on the color swatches thing, because I lived with the swatches for a couple of days and in fact changed my mind on the interior based on that (and I'm happy I did). But then, they can't represent texture accurately with the samples, and some people were coming into the store to see the colors anyway, so maybe they've decided it's not worth it?

    Yes, at some point... soon... they will need to start communicating more effectively with current owners and depositors.

    My timeline:
    Sat in the black engineering prototype in September 06.
    Put in my deposit that November.
    Got to ride in one in Feb. 07, got to drive in one in Sept. (with the 2-speed!).
    And finally got it this May 1st.

    So yeah, a bit of the blind faith in there ;-). Tickled pink with the car though. While the exterior fit is just slightly off of the quality I think it should be, I love the '08 interior, and find it an improvement on the - just as plastic-y, far too busy - 911 interior that the Roadster replaced. The 911, like the Roadster, was about the driving bits, and was really darned great at those... for an ICE car. The Roadster just outshines it.
  3. Alpine Driver

    Alpine Driver Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    after waiting in total for one and a half year now (since FEB 2008), I ran through 3 to 4 (including Darryl) Tesla Reps who were responsible for serving me.
    I can understand your points, and partly, I have experienced the same.
    It always depended on the Rep how issues were handled, in which timeframe.
    When you got good contact, and could discuss things, all was fine. But reality then was often a little behind.
  4. RGB

    RGB eRaca

    May 14, 2009
    I've kind of given in by now. There's not really anything you can do anyways unless you want to either make a big fuss (and keep people from what they are really supposed to work on) or cancel the reservation. Well, I'm not quite there yet so I'll just sit back and wait - and complain here every once in a while.
  5. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

    Oct 15, 2008
    Warren, New Jersey, United States
    I’d anticipated that buying a $120K car would include all the pomp and circumstance of a top restaurant or hotel but no, not at all. The experience included deposits left with no response and a sales team that were unclear about most of the basic details of the car.

    At first, back on early ‘08 I was a little disappointed. I stuck with it though and, in the last few months it all started to make sense.

    I realized that in 2008 the company had really only just begun and that the reason no one fully understood the details of the car was because... well, it didn’t really exist!

    As time has continued, Tesla Motors looks to have climbed up from nothing and still has some way to go but, with some breathing space afforded by stability and a stable product to trade I’m starting to see the service come together; the invitations to launch events, drive events and openings are really making up for the early showing.

    What interests me most is where it goes next... Apple or Lexus? I have my fingers crossed for Apple. Not perfect but I think that Tesla Motors, with its Silicon Valley roots and web 2.0 ideas has a shot at the thinking man’s car choice rather than the ‘buy this because I’m telling you it’s a superior brand’ approach. I’m hoping that it will remain fresh and up-to-date and not become obsequious and ‘landed’.

    I realised during the ride that I didn’t actually want the pomp and circumstance of a traditional company such as Jaguar, Porsche, etc., instead, I’m wooed by the idea of not taking my car for service, having ‘it’ report any issues to Tesla Motors and them calling me to ask when they can take a look at it. In many respect I hope not to talk to them anymore, to not have sales and service except for when I reach out to them for a Model S. A bit like owning an iPod... from Apple.

    I realized that my current yardstick for good service was as old and outdated as the technology they purvey.
  6. Cobos

    Cobos S60 Owner since 2013 - sold, S85D owner since 2017

    Jun 22, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    I suppose I agree with you MPT in that Tesla is trying to be a different car company, but still there are something you should do regardless. I've had experience with salespeople for Think that simply stood me up for a promised drive and then never bothered to answer my emails about what happened. If that's their sales performance I surely don't want to even thing about how their service/support performance is.

    Similarily except for a few exceptions getting ANY email reply from Tesla is painfully slow if it happens at all. It might just be me but when you are talking deposits at the $5000 range and above the least they could do is at least answer emails. And this goes doubly for people putting down $100 000. Getting someone to handle basic information flow can't be that hard. Creating an email only sales force can be that expensive when they are talking big ticket items as cars.

    I must say I feel rather strongly about this but I guess simple questions like have you received the deposit isn't that hard to answer.

  7. johnr

    johnr Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Central California
    I've only asked a couple questions of them, but each time my emails were answered the same day. Maybe my experience isn't typical...

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