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Upset with lack of communication

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by alexrov, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. alexrov

    alexrov Member

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    I posted angrily on the official forums about this last week, but since then, I've reached some sort of resolution with Tesla.

    From the beginning: I ordered a Model S in early June, with the order being placed on 6/6/15; I was given a July (not late July) delivery window. Initially, my delivery specialist said that it would be ready ahead of schedule, and that I could expect the car to arrive "probably before the long weekend" (referring to July 4th). Bear in mind, I'm picking up directly from the factory in Fremont.

    On June 26th, I got the notification that the 85D had reached "the testing phase of production" and that he would reach out soon to work out a delivery date. Then, however, the DES assigned to me left for vacation. That's fine, and I have no quarrel with him. What upsets me is that the Model S I ordered and already paid for has been "In Production" for the last 28 days with no updates from anyone. What upsets me further is that over many, numerous attempts to contact the delivery team, I've been brushed off the 2 times where I actually managed to get in touch with someone. I just want to know what's going on!

    Finally, after lodging a vociferous complaint through Tesla's website, I received a phone call from the delivery team manager. She was polite and sympathetic, and she promised to call me back with a more detailed update from the factory later in the day. Unlike her colleagues on the delivery team, the manager did follow through on her promise to call me back. The content of the update was that there was some nebulous firmware issue found in inspection that required additional testing. She promised to call me back again on Wednesday with more news and to try and get more progress updates from the factory.

    That takes us to today, and I still haven't heard back. :( I have had to cancel two appointments so far for lack of a car, and I'm going to be leaving the country on business on July 31st. I don't know what to do if I don't get it by then. Also, hilariously, my first car payment is due today for a vehicle that I have yet to lay eyes on. So there's that.

    I guess the point of this post is to share my experience and ask for feedback. Do you folks think I'm being unreasonable? Has anyone had similar experiences dealing with the Tesla delivery team? Does support and responsiveness increase in quality post-delivery?
     
  2. tstafford

    tstafford Member

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    Disappointing.

    I'm curious - why have you already paid for the car given it hasn't been delivered to you?
     
  3. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Curious as to why you'd pay for a car you haven't received yet. I paid the deposit, which became non-refundable at some point, but didn't make the final payment until I took delivery of the car.
     
  4. mspisars

    mspisars Member

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    I am more surprised that this is possible! How does this come about? since there is a payment, it means it is financed, how is the financing done? There is no title to back it up with.
     
  5. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Cars are sometimes delayed if they find an issue because they're trying to get it right. When cars were rushed out with issues to be fixed at the service center, people complained about that too. You'll likely have your car for a long time. Don't sweat a week or two delay.
     
  6. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    On the bright side, QC found the issue before you received your car and had to give it back to them to fix. :wink: My guess is that it's a 'toughie' and why it's taking so long. Have you explained your non-vehicle issue and requested a rental? And do they know you are leaving the country, and are making your first payment on a car you've yet to use? You could go over this manager's head if you're not happy with her performance.

    Guessing again, she hasn't contacted you because she's got nothing new to report. People look at communication differently. Those giving the information sometimes don't realize that the person waiting at the other end would be fine with just a quick 'sorry, I've got nothing new to report', and the longer they don't hear anything, the more their imagination (and emotions) can get away from them. From your end you could convey that to her, that even if it's bad news or no news you still want to know.

    Wednesday isn't over yet, so she may contact you. Give her that chance.
     
  7. DrumCoder

    DrumCoder Member

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    You can begin financing once you have the MVPA, which is generated during production. I had to do this because I applied for an auto loan, was approved, but the approval was only good for 30 days, and there was no guarantee I'd get the same deal if I reapplied closer to delivery. Most people don't apply for the loan until 2 weeks before delivery to be safe, but I needed to make sure I could run the numbers before putting down the deposit, which would have been non-refundable by the time I could see what my financing situation was.

    I technically started paying interest on my car two weeks before it was delivered. It was the only way to 100% guarantee I could make the numbers work.
     
  8. mspisars

    mspisars Member

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    DrumCoder, thanks for the clarification!
     
  9. alexrov

    alexrov Member

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    I was told that the car would be ready very quickly around early July. At the time, I wanted to guarantee that financing would be ready at the time of delivery, so I had the financial institution overnight the check to Tesla. I also have an issue where one of my financial institutions (where I keep the largest part of my assets) is located exclusively on the East Coast, and visiting a branch to pick up a cashier's check on the day of delivery is not an option. Seeing the general timeframe for production->delivery, I assumed (incorrectly) that I would have to wait a negligible amount of time prior to receiving the vehicle. That's my fault, of course, but it doesn't help me feel better. :tongue:

    All I needed for financing was a signed/countersigned purchase agreement and proof of insurance.

    I haven't requested a rental or explained the other mitigating factors. I can count the number of times that I've been able to get through to somebody in a position to help me on one hand. Next time I get a chance to talk to someone at Tesla, I'll do what you recommend.

    Wednesday is over... Today is Thursday. :/
     
  10. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    You are not the only one who is disappointed with Tesla's delivery process... That's why I simply waited till the car had already arrived at the SC before sending over the check... I don't believe the idea of paying before getting my thing.

    They can learn a lot from regular dealerships about making the delivery process better... really just stop with the wishy washy online stuff, and just produce the car, get it to SC, or in your case ready in factory. Call the buyer, go to the store, sign papers, and drive away with car. It's tried and tested, everyone does it, so there's a lot of merit in that process. I am a millennial, do all my stuff, buy many things online, so this is not because I am old fashioned... Just that on HUGE items that cost tens of thousands of dollars, the transaction should be smooth, open, and done with money and goods exchanged right then.
     
  11. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    +1 on this question. Was it to try to get it delivered by end of June? I like to write a check at the date of delivery for such a thing.
     
  12. alexrov

    alexrov Member

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    I responded to that question here. To add further detail, I was told that I had to pay by wire transfer or cashier's check. Since one of my financial institutions is on the other side of the country, I didn't have the option of obtaining/writing a check on the date of delivery. I opted for a preemptive approach so I wouldn't be stuck in a position where the car was ready but unable to be released due to lack of payment. Really, I didn't anticipate this becoming a big deal... but I guess I also didn't anticipate such a delay in production.
     
  13. Galve2000

    Galve2000 Member

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    I actually asked about financing right when I placed my model S order knowing full well that the quote was valid for 30 days only. I wanted to have the numbers down to see what I would be paying before I committed to buying the car.

    I got a decent deal in financing but decided I would pay cash instead. a few months laster when my Model S left the factory for delivery on the east coast I got cold feet and decided I wanted the Tesla buy back guarantee so I went with Tesla financing via TD bank. my old car lease had by this point been paid off in full so when I reached out to Tesla financing a second time they came back with a 0.3% improvement in the interest rate from their original quote which I was happy to receive.

    that said, I was not worried about financing so I did not need to lock in a rate at a very early date. YMMV but unless the OP was worried about financing and thats why he locked it in, I understand his pain, but would never have agreed to start payments coming if the car wasn't ready for delivery to me.

    I authorized Tesla to withdraw the 10% downpayment very late on a Thursday evening and my delivery date wasn't until the following Monday. The funds did not leave my account until Monday morning and I picked up my baby that afternoon.

    But my delivery experience was generally very positive, and the car itself flawless. :) which has not been the OPs experience so far. :(
     
  14. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    This sounds like 2012 all over again :frown: It's really not hard to communicate, even if it's just to say "I have nothing no to report, but I did reach out to XYZ". My biggest gripe with the company.
     
  15. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    Something simple. if the MyTesla page had a "notes from your DS" and if a DS has maybe 30 customers they oversee for a few weeks, they could put in a short note daily into each customer's online MyTesla communications page with any real updates, or none. Kind of like this type of forum - where you could even ask questions in a manner that could be picked up and answered as needed by the DS. I don't know how many customers a DS juggles at any one time but it seems doable. Right now, a lot of DS are being called out for "going on vacation without any communication" and so forth. Even if others could add notes to MyTesla, that would be helpful. A "customer management" consultant from Walt Disney Co. could help in making the experience a bit more smooth and even entertaining.
     
  16. DrumCoder

    DrumCoder Member

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    I think they would love to, but some states, like mine, make it insanely difficult for them to do so. (Well, mine until July 1st I guess.) I had to handle everything online because legally they could not sell me the car in Georgia. I had to buy it in California (online), it was registered in California, shipped to Georgia, I had to sign paperwork to tell California I did not take delivery in California, they then sent me the paperwork to take to the DMV here to transfer the title to Georgia, where I paid the tax, tag, and title fees directly to the government. Tesla was not allowed to handle those fees on my behalf like traditional dealers.

    Back on topic - this sucks, OP. I have nothing to offer but my sympathy.
     
  17. freelancer

    freelancer Member

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    I had a similar situation, but in my case i notified the credit union that I don't have a set delivery date and could potentially run up to or get close to the 30 days. The Loan officer simply said, Ok, I'll put a note in that we're finalizing towards the end of the month and there's a possibility we'll need to arrange an extension on the 30 days approval, shouldn't be a problem.
     
  18. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    As someone who also experienced a delay like yours I second Kruggerand's suggestion, which it looks like you plan to do. Tesla's growth has been at breakneck speed (no pun intended) in many respects and they do sometimes miss the old experience of hand-holding when problems crop up. Make sure they understand your situation fully and it'll come right in the end.
     
  19. DrumCoder

    DrumCoder Member

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    Considering the Sales side of Tesla is all run off of Salesforce, I'm surprised they haven't implemented Chatter for this very reason. It'd be perfect for this.

    (Granted, I think MyTesla is run off a Drupal site that just makes calls out to Salesforce, but still...The functionality exists in their pipeline...)
     
  20. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    I believe in many parts of Europe, in the premium segment factory orders are more common than in the U.S. where inventory purchases still account for a significant portion?

    Anyway, in my European perspective and experience (thus may not apply here) what happens here is nothing abnormal. The sales level is rarely informed of what happens on the factory floor beyond very generic information and some vague status codes on their computer system. Obviously there is some unforeseen delay that doesn't fit the parameters of what is usually communicated there, but probably nothing unique to your car in particular. Some small glitch in perhaps some upgraded parts and it will take some moments to rectify and perhaps affects some number of vehicles with certain options.

    Your specialist being on vacation (which you acknowledged was OK of course) is probably unrelated to this breakdown, other than maybe he/she would feel more committed to finding out - probably the situation wouldn't show on their computer either, so even if your specialist was available, I'm not sure if they'd know anything more - their initial optimism in the scheduling was probably fueled, not by specific information, but by an estimate based on the normal speed of the process once it gets to a certain status code. Thus subject to change when something abnormal happens.

    As for the comms mishap overall, it sounds about the same as with any larger company - communications breakdowns everywhere where a ticketing system doesn't exist, and OTOH where a ticketing system exists, it is usually used by such low-level personnel that they don't have access to any real information... so either way, communications tend to start breaking down whenever there is an unforeseen incident that doesn't quite fit the standardized parameters of the basic operation. I'm sure your car is fine, and will be fine, but I sympathize with your concern due to your own schedule. Even though I can see why this is happening, and that I don't think it is rare, I know it sucks big time for the person waiting for information. I'm sure there is something Tesla too can learn from this.

    Car manufacturers really should look at how logistics companies offer tracking information these days. Sometimes merely offering the customer access to updating data might keep them happy. Although I'm sure Tesla itself is already more advanced in this regard than some other companies, offering a bit more granularity in this particular customer's case would help them get a sense of things being done (and maybe of what and why) behind the scenes, which would help them plan and most importantly placate them.

    Good luck! And no, I don't think you are unreasonable.
     

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