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Updates [questions about tesla order process and lack of feedback]

Tlsmith936

New Member
Mar 2, 2021
4
3
Ocean Shores, WA
Hello, I have not noticed similar posts but with over 189 pages, maybe someone can educate me. I ordered my Model 3 1/28/2021, but have been amazed at the information vacuum from Tesla and dealership since ordering and noticed this is not an uncommon occurrence per postings. My prior experience in ordering a car was with BMW for a MiniCooper, I received regular updates (order accepted by Germany production, car in production, car on ship to US, car arrived in US, etc.). Does anyone know why Tesla does not use technology to keep us informed on the status of our orders? I had envisioned with such a technological company, not a "we'll get to you within the following 30 day window" to "at the time of your order there you are order XXX in our queue and given current production we expect the following one week window" with at least updates every two weeks.

My dealership in Renton Washington had also previously been unable to explain the incredibly low trade-in valuation ($2750 below what I received on a direct sale through a Kelly Blue Book program), nor did they explain the unique Washington sales tax process (a trade-in value is deducted from sale price to determine taxes, but sale of potential trade-in is not), which would have effected my decisions regarding my prior vehicle (am doing without car now and incurred $600 expense for one month rental). Just wondering if experience suggests dealerships can not be expected to act as advocate or know local laws? Tesla and dealership seems to operate as an order taker versus a value added partner in process, and wondering if that is a common experience.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,177
9,039
Riverside Co. CA
(personal opinion post only, not moderation content or representative of any opinion other than my own personal one).

Tesla doesnt have a dealership. They are a manufacturer selling you a car, with a process similar to ordering toilet paper or some other sundry from amazon. if you are picking up in your state, they will process the tax correctly. They dont care about your trade in because they are not going to sell it.

They are not going to "explain" a low trade in value because their computer tells them what it is, and they have no incentive to negotiate it with you because they are not going to mark up the car to compensate. Its a completely different model than buying from a "dealer", but with that being said, the front line salespeople tend to have as much knowledge around the brand as most "car dealers".

Tesla is NOT going to be a "value added partner" and if thats the experience you are looking for, then you likely are buying from the wrong brand. They make good cars, they are a decent company, but a "value added partner" they are not (and neither is any other car dealer for that matter).

I have 15+ years of BMW buying / leasing experience, so I am very familiar with how they operate, and BMW dealers are not "partners" either, if you negotiate well enough to get down to the bargain basement price that many people drive for these days.

TL ; DR, yes this is normal. No, they are not going to contact you very much or at all, any more than amazon does when someone buys a back ordered item.

I like a lot about Tesla, I have a model 3, tesla solar panels and tesla powerwalls in my garage. With that being said, I dont think of any place I am buying a car from as a value added partner. They are there to sell you a car, and facilitate that. Its a lot easier with tesla than most other car purchases, but the exchange for that is that they dont hire enough people to hand hold anyone through any of those processes.

=========================

(moderator note: edited thread title to add context on what was being asked)
 

Tlsmith936

New Member
Mar 2, 2021
4
3
Ocean Shores, WA
Appreciate your insight, just surprised that your experience is no dealership makes an effort to earn their commissions as that is contrary to my 40+ years of car buying experience and what I consider a reasonable expectation. You may be right that Musk has no interest in me as a long term customer and relies on technological supremecy to sell cars (which is short term reasoning since cars are a commodity) versus value and support from his process which does garner customer loyalty (loyal Mazda customer until deciding electric cars were the future). If this is truly Tesla's approach as an order taker it is short sighted and provides a real opportunity for competitors. It may explain the common perception of few Tesla's in Pacific NW and why my next car should be with a company with equal technology and respect for me as a customer.
 

JindoFuzz

Member
Feb 26, 2021
92
92
Portland, OR
Appreciate your insight, just surprised that your experience is no dealership makes an effort to earn their commissions as that is contrary to my 40+ years of car buying experience and what I consider a reasonable expectation. You may be right that Musk has no interest in me as a long term customer and relies on technological supremecy to sell cars (which is short term reasoning since cars are a commodity) versus value and support from his process which does garner customer loyalty (loyal Mazda customer until deciding electric cars were the future). If this is truly Tesla's approach as an order taker it is short sighted and provides a real opportunity for competitors. It may explain the common perception of few Tesla's in Pacific NW and why my next car should be with a company with equal technology and respect for me as a customer.

For a guy who’s so concerned about customer loyalty, you sure don’t seem to be staying very loyal.

A tiny, TINY percentage of car buyers are truly loyal to any one brand. A smaller portion of those are loyal based on dealership service rather than culture, features, etc. It just isn’t a common thing. Tesla sells a superior product, and they mostly sell it over the internet. Buy it or don’t.
 

Altarr

Member
Jan 17, 2021
19
13
Earth
Appreciate your insight, just surprised that your experience is no dealership makes an effort to earn their commissions as that is contrary to my 40+ years of car buying experience and what I consider a reasonable expectation. You may be right that Musk has no interest in me as a long term customer and relies on technological supremecy to sell cars (which is short term reasoning since cars are a commodity) versus value and support from his process which does garner customer loyalty (loyal Mazda customer until deciding electric cars were the future). If this is truly Tesla's approach as an order taker it is short sighted and provides a real opportunity for competitors. It may explain the common perception of few Tesla's in Pacific NW and why my next car should be with a company with equal technology and respect for me as a customer.
Tesla does not pay on commission. You seem to have a problem understanding a modern purchase experience. I mean, I know you liked the domino's pizza tracker but frankly, this adds a lot of stupid overhead for a fractional amount of value. You ordered something over the internet, they gave you a time estimate. When it's on the way to you, you will make a pickup appointment.

As far as buying cars for 40 years, how have you never understood how sales tax is calculated?
 

OCR1

Active Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,756
4,103
Southern California
Buying a Tesla is like ordering an Iphone from Apple. You place your order, you eventually get a shipping update, and then you get your product. Beyond that you don’t hear from anyone while you are waiting around for the order.

Everything about Tesla is just different. It drives completely different from an ICE vehicle and the order process is completely different. Neither Tesla nor the dealership franchise model is ideal and both have their pros and cons.
 

Tlsmith936

New Member
Mar 2, 2021
4
3
Ocean Shores, WA
Tesla does not pay on commission. You seem to have a problem understanding a modern purchase experience. I mean, I know you liked the domino's pizza tracker but frankly, this adds a lot of stupid overhead for a fractional amount of value. You ordered something over the internet, they gave you a time estimate. When it's on the way to you, you will make a pickup appointment.

As far as buying cars for 40 years, how have you never understood how sales tax is calculated?
 

Tlsmith936

New Member
Mar 2, 2021
4
3
Ocean Shores, WA
Sorry I posted, had no idea this community is so judgemental. Yes, I am probably ancient for thinking I should expect more when buying a $50,000 car from buying a $20 toaster, but even when buying the toaster on Amazon I get regular updates on status. As for the sales tax comment as someone living in various states and countries, sales tax laws differ and a savy dealership knows to educate customers and to not assume they lived their entire life in one state. Sorry this forum is more about religious zealots than providing help and understanding. Won't make that mistake in future.
 

JindoFuzz

Member
Feb 26, 2021
92
92
Portland, OR
Sorry I posted, had no idea this community is so judgemental. Yes, I am probably ancient for thinking I should expect more when buying a $50,000 car from buying a $20 toaster, but even when buying the toaster on Amazon I get regular updates on status. As for the sales tax comment as someone living in various states and countries, sales tax laws differ and a savy dealership knows to educate customers and to not assume they lived their entire life in one state. Sorry this forum is more about religious zealots than providing help and understanding. Won't make that mistake in future.

You said in your post you wanted to be educated. Mission accomplished!

Really though, without the snark: you came here to complain, and you’re still complaining. What were you expecting on an enthusiasts’ site? “Yeah, we hate it too”? You’d get the same response on a BMW forum.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,177
9,039
Riverside Co. CA
Sorry I posted, had no idea this community is so judgemental. Yes, I am probably ancient for thinking I should expect more when buying a $50,000 car from buying a $20 toaster, but even when buying the toaster on Amazon I get regular updates on status. As for the sales tax comment as someone living in various states and countries, sales tax laws differ and a savy dealership knows to educate customers and to not assume they lived their entire life in one state. Sorry this forum is more about religious zealots than providing help and understanding. Won't make that mistake in future.

As I believe I mentioned before, your expectations do not match up to the way tesla chooses to do business. There isnt anything wrong with what you want, no one is saying that (or at least thats not what I am reading). We are telling you that tesla doesnt really care about how "old people" like you and I want to do business.

(I said I had 15 years of experience buying BMWs, but I have been buying cars about as long as you. I have only been able to afford new BMWs for the last 15-16 years though).

The experience is not going to change after you get the car, if you choose to go through with it. I am a big (big) believer that there is no such thing as "one size fits all" and that every product is NOT right for every person. There is nothing wrong with what you want, but tesla is not going to match up to your expectations, either now, or likely in the future, because they dont do business that way.

Even for service... for my wifes current BMW, I have the phone number of a specific service advisor who I can text, who will setup an appointment for service (her car is only a couple years old so only needs yearly service/ oil changes). He makes sure she has a loaner, gives me a discount on things like tires etc. He has been my service advisor for like 9 years. I pass 3 BMW dealerships to get to him.

I understand fully the value of a relationship like that.

My model 3, I make an appointment in the app. You cant call anyone to make an appointment. In order to even talk to someone at service, you have to "game the system" by tricking your way through the answering system tree. They have uber credits, not loaners, most times. They are still nice (or were when I could actually go and talk to them after scheduling service for something). its a completely different experience and absolutely does not match up to what you say you are "expecting" or want.

Finally, you joined a big website to complain about a process that we are telling you is the way they do things, and because we tell you "thats the way they do things" you are calling us names, as if we are somehow insulting you.

Tesla does have its share of "zealots" but none of them have replied in this thread. You might enjoy the car when / if you get it, but just based on what you have posted here, you will HATE the company, any time you have to deal with them. You should choose whether to proceed or not with your purchase knowing that the company is not going to operate in a way you want, and deciding accordingly.

Good luck.
 

tophh

Member
Feb 10, 2021
5
5
California
Wow I must say just reading the responses it does seem like everyone is being a bit harsh on the OP. I think a lot of the prior comments could have been more directed at Tesla and the process than personally at the OP. Anyways, the general sentiment here does seem to be correct in my view. Tesla operates no differently than Amazon or what not. They have no interest in a personalized experience or making accommodations to win your business. Unfortunately they rely on their superior product and lack of competition. However, this will probably change in the future as other car companies catch up and they no longer have more demand than supply. I guess we will have to wait and see if they evolve...
 

Altarr

Member
Jan 17, 2021
19
13
Earth
Wow I must say just reading the responses it does seem like everyone is being a bit harsh on the OP. I think a lot of the prior comments could have been more directed at Tesla and the process than personally at the OP. Anyways, the general sentiment here does seem to be correct in my view. Tesla operates no differently than Amazon or what not. They have no interest in a personalized experience or making accommodations to win your business. Unfortunately they rely on their superior product and lack of competition. However, this will probably change in the future as other car companies catch up and they no longer have more demand than supply. I guess we will have to wait and see if they evolve...

Might be waiting for a while
 

frontrangeM3

Member
Mar 1, 2021
33
16
Greater Denver Area
First time post here. Have some of the same general concerns. The cars are interesting at one level (or even a couple, lol). Not sure it's a good fit though, which is to say, not sure if I'm willing to adjust my expectations to what Tesla is offering. I don't have a lot of patience for a car that becomes a headache. None of our cars do. I too have been riding the planet for a good long while, and have owned a bunch of vehicles from different manufacturers. On balance, I do value the business relationship, seek out the good people to do business with, and value that experience. So I think Tesla might just disappoint at some level. A lot.

Lots of interesting and useful info here. A mix of positives and negatives. Unsurprisingly. Thanks for the insights. Hope the OP finds happiness however things work out.
 

OCR1

Active Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,756
4,103
Southern California
I’m always surprised to hear when people compare their “positive” experiences with traditional car dealerships to Tesla. Personally I’ve never enjoyed the traditional car dealership experience. The haggling, the games, the four square boxes, it just always felt dirty to me.

I guess you have to pick your poison. Be ignored by Tesla or be negotiated to death by the local car dealership.
 

MadMax082

Member
Feb 25, 2021
126
132
Phoenix AZ
I’m always surprised to hear when people compare their “positive” experiences with traditional car dealerships to Tesla. Personally I’ve never enjoyed the traditional car dealership experience. The haggling, the games, the four square boxes, it just always felt dirty to me.

I guess you have to pick your poison. Be ignored by Tesla or be negotiated to death by the local car dealership.
Not to mention, you spend many hours at the dealership which I always hated.
 

frontrangeM3

Member
Mar 1, 2021
33
16
Greater Denver Area
Buying our Q5 was the good experience that makes all the others seem bad. We also had a good experience just a few weeks ago buying our son's xTerra. So it does happen.

We bought our Q from a genuine enthusiast, young guy who knew the car inside and out - the ONLY time I've ever run into a sales guy who knew more about the car in question than I did. We kind of made a game out of it. Exemplary service. Got a fair price too. $500 over invoice. Better than the non-negotiable price offered through my then employer's program with Audi. Got exactly what we wanted, how we wanted, and were kept well-informed throughout the process. Yes, they low-balled my trade, which I declined. And over quoted the clear bra, which I also declined. That said, still a great buying experience, frankly. All good.

The guy we bought the xTerra off of had handled a test drive a couple of weeks prior, but didn't have the car we wanted at a price our son could afford. But he called the moment he saw the right car come in at the right price, and we went over right away to look at it. Same night. This is why you can't find a good xTerra in Colorado - this car was never on their site. We bought it before it was ever marketed. This guy knew his Jeeps. The xTerra wasn't his brand, but he winged it well. I'd recommend him, and that's not something I say lightly.
 

TexasPete

New Member
Mar 11, 2021
2
0
Castorville
Sorry I posted, had no idea this community is so judgemental. Yes, I am probably ancient for thinking I should expect more when buying a $50,000 car from buying a $20 toaster, but even when buying the toaster on Amazon I get regular updates on status. As for the sales tax comment as someone living in various states and countries, sales tax laws differ and a savy dealership knows to educate customers and to not assume they lived their entire life in one state. Sorry this forum is more about religious zealots than providing help and understanding. Won't make that mistake in future.
I too am waiting on mine but I had heard the sales and initial build nightmares beforehand so I chose to dig in a bit more. I also chose to proceed anyway and learned through these great boards that Tesla is an internet transaction focused organization. They are not interested in any overhead which is why the Service and Test drive center person has provided single word answers to my questions...heck, it may even be a robot for all I know. You think these folks are rough you should try out some Linux Boards....those people would rather kill you than provide an answer. Good luck to us on delivery and quality! Cheers
 
Mar 25, 2013
622
557
Key West, FL
Wow I must say just reading the responses it does seem like everyone is being a bit harsh on the OP. I think a lot of the prior comments could have been more directed at Tesla and the process than personally at the OP. Anyways, the general sentiment here does seem to be correct in my view. Tesla operates no differently than Amazon or what not. They have no interest in a personalized experience or making accommodations to win your business. Unfortunately they rely on their superior product and lack of competition. However, this will probably change in the future as other car companies catch up and they no longer have more demand than supply. I guess we will have to wait and see if they evolve...

I disagree.
Amazon has excellent customer service.
Returns are easy and simple.
Returning a Tesla vehicle? good luck!
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,177
9,039
Riverside Co. CA
"Amazon has excellent customer service", yeah, right!! Off the subject bujt I couldn't resist!.

Filed under the "everyone has different experiences" bucket...

My customer service experiences with Amazon have been not only good, but great. I buy at least a couple thousand dollars a year worth of stuff from amazon, and have done so since 2012 or so. When I need to contact a human there regarding some issue with a delivery, I have no issue with getting a human on the phone.

My concern / issue is almost always addressed in the first phone call, usually with them shipping out a replacement product for something I ordered that was either defective on delivery, broken, etc (whatever I need to contact them about), and they normally send it out so that I receive the replacement in 1-2 days, before I have to send whatever it was back.

Sometimes, if its something like lightbulbs that were broken on delivery, or a bag of rice with a hole in it, they simply credit me and send me a replacement, no return shipping needed.

I only have 2-3 of these occurrences a year, but I do have 2-3 of these occurrences a year. Granted, I purchase "from amazon" and dont generally do "joes lightbulbs sold through amazon", so I am normally buying stuff from them.

Off topic? Maybe, but My own personal experience with Amazon customer service since 2012 has been excellent, so, Yes, to me " amazon has excellent customer service".
 

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