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Why does Tesla SUCK on the administrative side?

martinsfsu

Member
May 27, 2019
47
26
Los Angeles
Bought a used MS from Tesla, paid in full, long story short, they lost the title, failed to notify me, then they ignored my calls (Burbank location), temp tags expired, had to go to DMV, had to contact a dozen people at corporate, it was a nightmare.
Bought a brand new MS, they forgot to stamp the pick-up date on the docs, so when I tried to apply for the CA rebate, it got rejected. Tesla wouldn't amend the delivery docs after delivery, another nightmare. It also took 4 months and dozens of emails to get my free supercharging via referral code.
The price you pay for the best car in the world is that Tesla will certainly screw things up on the administrative side, which is staffed exclusively by morons.
 
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Sbaimo

Member
Jan 26, 2021
56
75
Hancock Park Los Angeles
Currently, with lack of any reasonable competition, they can afford to treat customers this way. If Lucid or some other company offered a comparable alternative, Tesla would need to become more responsive to customer needs.
 
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CapeOne

Member
Jun 14, 2016
794
499
New England
BEV competition will be key. Everyone should be rooting for Lucid and other automakers getting into the BEV market as that will (should) make Tesla better for its current and future customers.
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,638
2,773
Tesla (Musk) is implementing a business model different from the dealership-driven model used by the established manufacturers.

The model Tesla is using is more similar to internet companies - that have relatively little (or no) customer support (have you tried getting someone from Google on the phone to get help with their technology?).

Tesla is trying to drive the support cost per vehicle down as low as possible, while the other manufacturers are stuck with a dealership model that introduces a lot of additional cost. By keeping per-vehicle support costs low plus other steps Tesla has taken (more vehicles components are built in-house), Tesla is making it very difficult for the other manufacturers to produce competitive products, without losing money on each sale.

Those of us who've owned Tesla vehicles since the Model S went into production were spoiled in those early days - when Tesla provided great telephone support - and support at their service centers (with Tesla loaners).

Today, the experience is quite different. Tesla should continue to evolve their support model - and areas where it isn't working well today should get fixed (over time).

And as more manufacturers bring competing EVs to the market - that should also increase pressure on Tesla to fix any areas where their support is lacking.
 
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AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,326
3,464
Northern California
Simple answer: they don’t care unless you’re writing them a check for a new car.
The administrative side staff is probably spread thinner than the service staff, and they have no incentive to care about solving your issue in a timely manner. After all what are you going to do? Not like there’s a true alternative out there.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,696
6,227
Austin, TX
If it makes you feel better my used Nissan purchase was a nightmare too.

they failed to get the title from the previous owner. Then failed to get it signed. Lied about the state of the battery (ended up with about 20 miles range).

Finally got the AG and the BBB involved and a released title showed up.

Funny thing - I had been in contact with the previous owner and they stopped by numerous times to provide signatures, etc. ultimately the dealer forged it.

I think they just hire from the same pool of low paid, overworked and undereducated people.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
2,793
8,641
MI
I keep reading “once the competition comes, Tesla will have to up their game.”

Uh huh. As if we all have had such wonderful experiences at the dealerships all these years and that’s why so many people LOVE dealerships. /s

Don’t get me wrong, I want Tesla to do better. But let’s not pretend that the “competition” is already better in this department. They’re not....on average.

Lucid and Rivian May start out good but they too will have more service issues as they grow.
 
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AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,326
3,464
Northern California
I keep reading “once the competition comes, Tesla will have to up their game.”

Uh huh. As if we all have had such wonderful experiences at the dealerships all these years and that’s why so many people LOVE dealerships. /s

Don’t get me wrong, I want Tesla to do better. But let’s not pretend that the “competition” is already better in this department. They’re not....on average.

Lucid and Rivian May start out good but they too will have more service issues as they grow.
The lexus and bmw dealerships ive dealt with have been fantastic. Everytime I bring my bmw in for an oil change everyone is extremely courteous and answers any questions I have. I can call the dealer and speak to a customer rep and set up an appointment that’s no more than 2 days out. And you know why? Because they want the money, and they know damn well I have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to servicing my vehicle.

Unfortunately with a Tesla you’re stuck with Tesla, you can’t really take it to an independent shop and have it worked on, nor do you have any as good alternatives to switch to, so they know they have you firmly by the balls and that’s that.
 
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Ofarlig

Member
Mar 4, 2018
263
231
Sweden
The lexus and bmw dealerships ive dealt with have been fantastic. Everytime I bring my bmw in for an oil change everyone is extremely courteous and answers any questions I have. I can call the dealer and speak to a customer rep and set up an appointment that’s no more than 2 days out. And you know why? Because they want the money, and they know damn well I have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to servicing my vehicle.

Unfortunately with a Tesla you’re stuck with Tesla, you can’t really take it to an independent shop and have it worked on, nor do you have any as good alternatives to switch to, so they know they have you firmly by the balls and that’s that.

That’s funny because my experience is BMW dealers are extremely poor to deal with. I’m guessing because they sell troves of poorly equipped 520D’s as company or employee cars so they don’t care about private people wanting to buy an M3 or something.

I’ve even had them whine about not wanting to let me test drive a used car they had because it was washed when I wanted to buy the same model but brand new that they didn’t have a semi car for. I ended up leaving and bough an Audi instead...
 
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SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
2,793
8,641
MI
The lexus and bmw dealerships ive dealt with have been fantastic. Everytime I bring my bmw in for an oil change everyone is extremely courteous and answers any questions I have. I can call the dealer and speak to a customer rep and set up an appointment that’s no more than 2 days out. And you know why? Because they want the money, and they know damn well I have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to servicing my vehicle.

Unfortunately with a Tesla you’re stuck with Tesla, you can’t really take it to an independent shop and have it worked on, nor do you have any as good alternatives to switch to, so they know they have you firmly by the balls and that’s that.
I haven’t had to take my Tesla in for an oil change. I’d rather it be zero visits than giving people that money. Especially when they find more things that somehow your car needs all of a sudden. No thanks. It’s funny how many people act as though none of us have any experience with dealerships. Peoples distaste for dealerships is widely known.

And communication via the app and texting is good for historical record. I guess some prefer the old school method of calling. Others don’t.

More shops will pop up like Gruber motors and electrified garage. I can even take my Tesla to a certified repair shop for mechanical related issues if needed. Wouldn’t use them if in warranty though.
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,326
3,464
Northern California
I haven’t had to take my Tesla in for an oil change. I’d rather it be zero visits than giving people that money. Especially when they find more things that somehow your car needs all of a sudden. No thanks. It’s funny how many people act as though none of us have any experience with dealerships. Peoples distaste for dealerships is widely known.

And communication via the app and texting is good for historical record. I guess some prefer the old school method of calling. Others don’t.

More shops will pop up like Gruber motors and electrified garage. I can even take my Tesla to a certified repair shop for mechanical related issues if needed. Wouldn’t use them if in warranty though.
Then why do you own a Tesla? Having zero issues with any car is a high task, having zero issues with a Tesla is impossible.

First you said dealerships weren’t a wonderful experience, so we can’t fault Tesla for not being good. Then you say you’d rather not have to visit a service center/dealership at all... keep moving goal posts, Elon Musk will surely personally thank you for being their online warrior.
 
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SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
2,793
8,641
MI
Then why do you own a Tesla? Having zero issues with any car is a high task, having zero issues with a Tesla is impossible.

First you said dealerships weren’t a wonderful experience, so we can’t fault Tesla for not being good. Then you say you’d rather not have to visit a service center/dealership at all... keep moving goal posts, Elon Musk will surely personally thank you for being their online warrior.

Because of going on 5 years of ownership and 57k miles, I have had to go to the service center just one time. And then it was to just replace a windshield. Goal posts are firmly planted.
 

TsRocket

Member
Nov 21, 2012
248
0
seattle
Just sold 2013 Model S with 66,000 miles, and 8 year bumper to bumper service (no longer available), boy was that a honey. Once year well-baby check and all covered. All service persons very responsible. Did not get the MCC recall notice til three weeks after sold, even though i took it in twice for a look-see. I,d like to say i,ll ever get the same service on my ReFresh S, but not holding out hope. Actually have stopped holding breath on my new car, i,d be dead by now. But that,s probably in a blog elsewhere.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,730
1,675
Houston
I worked for 7 years with a hypergrowth tech company in the silicon valley, and I feel like I have some insight on what's going on within Tesla.

When companies like that grow so fast, they find themselves way behind on the IT infrastructure to support the growth. They threw up a few non-scalable systems as quickly as possible to just get the job done while they were still in the early stages, and not sure they were even going to survive as a company. As they grow from there, most of the good IT resources are pulled away to work on the products they deliver, not the administrative side of the business.

That lack of planning and lack of focus on IT snowballs and creates a huge mess of bad data strewn across multiple IT systems that don't talk well to each other. As a result, they end up with multiple versions of the truth that creates chaos. The data quality get so bad, that the employees give up on helping maintain the integrity of the data and just do whatever it takes to get on with whatever gets them paid, and not what it takes to keep customers happy. So that makes the data even worse.

For new employees with great intentions of giving great service to customers, they quickly learn it's impossible to fix the issues with the resources they have at their disposal. Some of the data they need are in systems they don't even have access to. And if they ever find the right person within Tesla to call for help, that person is overwhelmed with those calls and stops answering their phone/email.

The end result is if you have an issue as a customer, you are a hot potato to them, and every employee you contact has learned for their own survival to do whatever it takes to get you off their phone and get away from your issue. They are generally not rewarded at the annual employee awards banquet for solving the tough customer problems, but other arbitrary business growth metrics that drive up the stock price, but don't tie to customer satisfaction.

It's really a broken record with many fast-growing tech companies, as I experienced it in several other fast growing companies that I worked for previously.
 
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bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,638
2,773
Startups typically use "just-in-time" strategies to implement rapid changes as their business evolves.

While Tesla is valued more than other manufacturers and is selling many vehicles, with multiple manufacturing plants, in multiple locations and many stores and service centers, compared to the other manufacturers, Tesla is still a "startup".

And that appears to be the way Musk is continuing to manage the company - keeping it as nimble as possible, so they can more rapidly adapt than their competition.

Also, Tesla is trying to implement a more scalable and efficient business model, without using dealerships - relying as much as possible on automated systems (website, apps, text messaging) and less on resource-intensive human interaction. While this is admirable - implementing a brand new business model for an industry has considerable risks, because customers aren't used to it - and there may not be a clear road map for how the business should operate.

We enjoyed the great personal experience we had in the early years after purchasing our first Tesla (2012 S P85) - and that experience has changed considerably since then, with very little human interaction today. Though while the interface to Tesla has changed, it (at least so far) has not had a huge impact on our ability to get service or support for our S and X.

And, for Tesla to survive, if they are having customer support issues with ordering, delivery, service or support - they will have to fix those, and because they aren't dragging around a huge network of independent dealerships - they are in a much better position to quickly implement changes than their competition.

Could Tesla be handling this better - absolutely!

Are some customers going to have a bad experience until Tesla gets this working smoothly - unfortunately, yes... [Which is also true for the other manufacturers, who rely entirely on dealerships, whose quality they cannot control.]

Can Tesla continue to make improvement to address these issues - yes, though it may take some time before Tesla gets the model tweaked enough to get back to the high quality experience from the early days for S support.
 
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