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Tracking Tesla's ongoing communications failures + ways to improve

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by tinm, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    We have all experienced Tesla Motors' failed, sometimes ineptly failed communications. Company-to-customer, internal company, you name it, and they keep doing it.

    Here's the latest example of a pure #fail:

    summon-fail.png

    I got this email today. There is no reason I should have gotten this email. All this email does is piss me off. My Model S is from August 2013, before parking sensors, before autopilot, before D, and certainly before Summon.

    So why the heck is Tesla sending me this? Imagine all the customers who get this who are genuinely confused, and wind up calling up the company asking what are they supposed to do to enable Summon in their car, when in fact they don't even have AP or parking sensors in their car?

    This is a technical failure and a management failure. I have written at length about this elsewhere, and Tesla's continued doofusness when it comes to simple database-filtered communications concerns me because we are getting closer and closer to Model 3. An inept, poorly-communicating organization is not ideal when you aim to sell hundreds of thousands of Model 3s per year -- and Model 3 buyers will largely not be early adopters but more of a mainstream market, people with less tolerance for stupid, sloppy, mismanaged communications.

    I'm going to use this thread to capture other Tesla #fails when it comes to comms, and also suggest some ways that Tesla can improve. It has to start with Elon., himself not that great a communicator, and not a stickler for details. Certainly the new President of Worldwide Sales and Service has a lot of responsibility for these goofs and for fixing them.
     
  2. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Every person that owns a Tesla, clicked the subscribe link on their site or indicated an interest in Tesla's in general got that email. If it's going to upset you (and I can understand why it does) just click on the "Unsubscribe" link on the bottom of the email.
     
  3. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I received the same email as well. I too purchased my car before the D and all the bells and whistles that were added a little over a year ago. I was perplexed why I received it, and thanks to msnow's reminder, I am also on their mailing list.

    I do not know how difficult it is to sort the recipients by build date. Maybe this is a time-consuming task. One would think that this general email could be worded to include not only the owners of the autopilot and related software but also to the owners who have had their cars longer than this product has been available. Something along the lines of "For those of you who have our autopilot feature in your Model S, Tesla is pleased to announce the ability to summon your Model S!" And then go on to reveal the additional enhancements with the most recent firmware update, like the Supercharger outage icon, and the rest (I forgot what all was included.)

    This might be more of a marketing gimmick to get those of us who have older cars to crawl out from under our rocks and order a new Tesla with these features.

    But, I agree, it could have been handled better.
     
  4. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    I think you nailed it there at the end and I feel dumb for not thinking of it myself but a current Tesla pre AP owner is the perfect target audience for marketing emails.
     
    • Like x 2
  5. yak-55

    yak-55 Member

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    This is garden variety SPAM. Hardly registers with me on the long list of Tesla communication transgressions ... from unfilled promises to outright deceptions ... if you*really* expect to enumerate them, this will be a very long thread indeed. I have suggested a Wiki as an appropriate tool for such a compilation, but every time I think I'll start one, I get too depressed thinking about the content.


     
  6. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    When you sign up for it or agree to get it, it's not spam.
     
  7. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I got it today but also got the SW update today too. I thought I got it because I got the update and was impressed in their ability to do that.

    Guess I was wrong!
     
  8. Jeffgtx

    Jeffgtx Member

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    I think the issue is not getting the email. I would be fine getting an email with the new features I got on my non ap s. But this one is written as if I have ap. It's not written as a look what we've done. It's enjoy this, ignoring that I cannot.

    It's just sloppy.
     
  9. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    That's absolutely correct. I never read it until now. It ends with
    "We hope you enjoy these new Autopilot features."
     
  10. lucy

    lucy bluehair

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    Worse than this spam, IMHO, is the lack of specific directions on how the new features work.
    If not for the kind, helpful members of this site, I would be even more frustrated than I am now.

    for example, perhaps the Homelink intro info stated how to set up the auto-open and close feature, but only by reading threads here was I able to make it work. :smile: Thanks to you all!

    If this Summon Spam had a link to the specific info on the exact conditions in which the new feature works, suggested uses, cars in which it will work, etc, then I would be happy to get this sort of email. Probably Tesla figures why should they make explanatory videos when TMC/Teslarati will do it for them. We owners hate to unsubscribe for fear of missing out on some info that we really do want to know, so I perhaps this is the price we pay.
     
  11. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    I agree. Tesla should fire the employee they dedicated to monitor your account. Maybe they should have one employee to monitor the employee assigned to monitor your account. These mistakes are so severe to deserve a complete overhaul of the company
     
  12. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    ^^ "slight" exaggeration.
     
  13. Sdunnin

    Sdunnin Member

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    I personally wouldn't get to hung up on that communication faux pas. Large companies have those sorts of fails all the time. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten an email from a company with an offer for something I already own or for a feature I can't get or utilize (just like this thread). In other words it's not a problem unique to Tesla.
     
  14. Beckler

    Beckler Member

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    BTW I don't consider Elon a poor communicator. He says what he needs, is quite precise and appears fully honest & unrehearsed. Is a clown like Ted Cruz considered a master communicator? Yes, and that sort of slick debate-babble is useless. They're diametrically opposed types of people, especially on the IQ scale.
     
  15. valuationmatters

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    I don't think Tesla is a bad company. I applaud the lofty goals of changing the world. I love solar, and I think there will be a role for partial or fully electric vehicles in the future, since this is better for the environment that gasoline.

    I also like the model S and applaud a new US-based automobile company.
    Model S has a great exterior look and great performance. Although inside, I hate giant touch screens and prefer simple buttons and knobs. I also think the interior is somewhat unimpressive for the price.IMHO Model X is ugly like an inflated Prius. Falcon Wing Doors are a ridiculously complicated solution to a problem that did not exist.From an investment perspective, the current market valuation seems ludicrous. My valuation analysis shows the stock worth about $25 per share based on my discounted cash flow analysis, which assumes the following:

    1. Tesla actually sells 300,000 cars in 2020 (a huge increase from 50,000 in 2015). On any planet, 6x growth is a huge leap and less likely.

    2. Tesla and somehow actually makes 10% gross margins on the Model 3.

    3. Tesla achieves 25% gross margins on Model X.

    4. Tesla overall company operating margins of about 4% (even though F and GM have massive economies of scale and still manage only 4% margins on $100 billion in sales). This despite the massively negative overall margins today.

    I think all these assumptions are optimistic for Tesla, and still it says TSLA is worth $25 per share.
    I put my money where my mouth is and am short via owning long-dated puts and shorting the shares directly.

    The gigafactory seems like a terrible idea, since Tesla has zero experience manufacturing batteries, and others (LG Chem, Panasonic) have massive economies of scale and minimal margins.

    Nothing against the company. But basic impartial math suggests the stock is 8x overpriced.
     
  16. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    #16 tinm, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    The latest example (IF this account is true, and I will give the author the benefit of the doubt that it is) of Tesla's communication problem.

    https://www.atlantic.net/blog/how-elon-musk-ceo-of-telsa-motors-stole-my-car/

    If *I* were the sales rep who'd dealt with this customer, and I had found out that Elon Musk or one of his minions had hijacked this customer's car, a vehicle already secured with a downpayment, then I would have (in conjunction with my immediate boss and perhaps that boss's boss) called/emailed/faxed/Telexed/pony-expressed/telegraphed the Office of the CEO and demanded that Elon either RETURN the car to the customer with some further discount (since it had been used further after being secured with a downpayment), or, at the very least, I/we would have demanded that Elon call/email/fax/Telex/pony-express/telegraph the customer immediately and a) offer an sincere apology and explanation, AND b) offer a variety of solutions to make the customer happy again, including if necessary, meeting with the customer to regain their loyalty and trust.

    HAD Elon or the Office of Elon done this, I suspect the author of this blog post would have written a very different post, about how Elon Stole His Car But Then Made Good On It And All Is Forgiven.

    This would have reflected a customer-centric culture. But the article leads one to believe something I have suspected for a long time, that Tesla management is afraid of Elon, and nobody wanted to let him know that he had screwed up and disappointed a customer. (There is no worse thing than disappointing a customer in the age of social media.) Management seems to lack the autonomy to Do the Right Thing for the Customer. Or, if as I suspect is the case, internal communications are as bad as customer-facing communications, the people inside who could have done the right thing never heard about this situation and so didn't do anything because they didn't know it was happening.

    Elon, if he were a customer-oriented CEO, would have perhaps initially been pissed off and tempted to fume and gnash teeth and fire the employee and maybe their boss and maybe their boss's boss, for daring to tell him what to do, but he would have then realized oh wait, we are a customer-oriented company, and I am a customer-oriented CEO, and this team just did the right thing for the customer. He would have realized he is accountable. His behavior in this episode, again, if this is a true accounting, suggests he doesn't not feel he is accountable to the customer.

    Unfortunately this episode, if accurate, suggests that Elon isn't customer-oriented. He's product-oriented. Sure, he's driven, successful, maniacal about quality of product. But it shows he is not maniacal about quality of CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. And quality of customer experience always trumps quality of product.

    As @valuationmatters said in previous post, I too don't think Tesla is a bad company. I just think it does not have customer-centric executives who have power to do the right thing, because Elon has not yet granted that power to them. And as I have said many times in the past, this better change REALLY SOON because Model 3 is coming and the mainstream market is NOT going to put up with this crap. Early adopters always will, but the mainstream expects different.
     
  17. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    You might want to read this before so quickly condemning Elon. (And yes, I know you said 'if it's true' a few times. But the 'if' part didn't seem to make it into your conclusions.)

    Elon Musk didns car, but Tesla dropped the ball | Electrek Clearly there are issues. But I suspect your aim is off a little.
     
  18. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    Good to know.

    This is why I hedged so much in my post and put all the IFs in there.

    It does not appear that Tesla is denying that there was a communications trainwreck with this customer. Or so many other hundreds (thousands?) of customers who recount their delivery specialist interactions where all they got was silence, or busy signals, voicemail boxes that are full, unanswered emails, unanswered calls. Sheesh, just add more detail to the delivery process on My Tesla... no different than adding all the interstitial stages within the tracking report of FedEx, USPS, UPS, etc. Sure, this would make Tesla's internal logistics more visible to the outside world, but it would probably reduce a lot of new customer anxiety.

    Again, don't get me wrong, I love the company and the products and the vision. This thread is not about "bashing the company." It's about pointing out some correctable weaknesses that seriously impact many customers. I maintain that communication is a trainwreck at this company, and no amount of forgiving by early adopters will help the next wave of mainstream adopters. I still argue that communication, if successful and smooth, is the exception not the rule. I want to see successful and smooth communication become the rule.
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I don't think anyone is arguing that communication is not an issue. There are tons of threads/posts about it. I didn't post to argue with you, you're not the lone flag-bearer (nor anywhere near the first, for that matter) regarding communication - just wanted to point out that your somewhat harsh judgment of a single person was based on faulty speculation.
     
  20. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    And you've done so. :)

    And I still await abundant evidence that Telsa's communications problems are behind it. So far, the evidence shows that the problems have not gone away. I want the company to figure this crap out before Model 3 arrives. The reservation/status-updating/delivery workflow and communications updates for the Model 3 should reflect a Third Generation of Tesla Communications just as much as the car is supposed to reflect a Third Generation of Electric Vehicle. I'm not sure we're even in Second Generation of Tesla Communications yet.
     

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