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Worst car purchase experience so far

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by zer0cool, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    #1 zer0cool, Jul 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
    So both my wife and I love Elon and Tesla. We had purchased a Model S back in 2015 and loved the car, even though the purchase experience was sub-par (I had posted back then). Overall there was just a lack of communications leading to many things becoming fire drills at the last minute.

    Now 3 years later, I got a Model 3. I thought things would have significantly improved, but I am totally wrong. I got a call at the end of June informing me that the car was en-route and should be ready for delivery on 7/11-12. I told my DS how about 7/14 so I don't have to take time off from work. The time was good and delivery was scheduled for early afternoon 7/14.

    Then on 7/14, literally 5 minutes before I was about the leave my home, I received a call from my local store, saying that they just discovered a hardware issue with the center screen and they needed to replace it... I was given no ETA at all. It appears nobody looked at the car for 3 days and didn't discover an issue with a key component of the car until less than 2 hours from delivery. WTF... just felt totally ridiculous.

    I called 3 times in the week of the 16th asking for ETA and nobody knew (both local store and my DS). Then by Friday the 20th, my DS called me saying they finally got an ETA and the car should be ready for pick up by today. So we scheduled for today at 5pm (Saturday was totally booked).

    So both my wife and I informed our bosses that we would take Friday afternoon off so we can head home and drive to the store together (since we are not trading in and need to both drive back). Then last night at 7pm ET, I got a call from my DS, informing me that they literally just realized that my local store is not legally allowed to receive payment (I have cashier's check in hand) and I have to mail it to someone else and they absolutely can't make delivery until payment is received.

    I was like WTF WTF. Why didn't you tell me way beforehand? And obviously no one told me that before 7/14 either. So if there were no hardware issues and I actually went to the store on 7/14, I would have had to come back home without the car?!? At this point, delivery has not been rescheduled because my DS works in NV, so when he called, my local store had already closed... He will attempt to reschedule today.

    This is by far my worse car purchase experience. With my other cars, I have generally had very pleasant experiences, with helpful salespeople and very smooth purchases. This is just ridiculous. There appears to be absolutely no coordination between different parts of the Tesla sales/delivery department. I am greatly disappointed. I have been pretty sure that I would want a next gen Model S. Now I am not so sure.
     
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  2. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    There are definitely some growing pains, I bet this will calm down dramatically by the middle of 2019 once they hit a steady rate of production and hopefully address their logistical issues.

    It seems that they track so much stuff during the manufacturing and collect a ton of data for each VIN, but when it comes to parts and repair, it's toss up.
     
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  3. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    Unfortunately, the old non-dealership system has some advantages.

    1) The laws are protectionist for them - including in North Carolina. I don't know why it took the Tesla store that long to realize you hadn't already paid and were planning to pay in person, but the issue never would have arisen at a dealership in the first place.

    2) With Tesla, cars arrive and go straight to you. With a dealership, they arrive and go to a lot. Both Tesla and other manufacturers use the same rail and truck shipping companies, and damage occurs to everyone's cars in transit, but with a dealership, they just don't put the car out for display until they've patched it up. Their business model lets them hide shipping damage from you more easily than Tesla's.

    Beyond #1 and #2, almost all of Tesla's delivery problems are due to production growing faster than delivery expansion. They don't have enough people answering calls and emails, they don't have enough people to do pre-delivery inspection immediately to look for damage, etc. And they are hiring and expanding their distribution network. But these things don't happen overnight.

    It's unfortunate you had a bad experience. Always frustrating to find out that there's still some more days or weeks wait when you thought you were about to get something you were so looking forward to. But said wait will be over soon enough. :)
     
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  4. d21mike

    d21mike Member

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    When I got my S I flu to Fremont from LA to pick it up and take a factory tour (on Sept 28, 2017). Partly to have a better chance to get the 1% financing that was ending on Sep 30, 2017. At one point I was told I could bring a personal check and felt that had to be wrong. So I did a followup and they said I would either need a cashiers check or wire transfer. I decided on a wire transfer well before my travel to make sure it was in my account records (ie. down payment). Most of that was me being proactive. However, if it was at a local SC not sure what I would have done.

    Seems like the OP was very pro-active as well and still had issues. I think the more the buyer is on top of things the better.
     
  5. chronopc

    chronopc Active Member

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    I never realized how common damages occurred in transit. I'm glad I live close to the factory so a Tesla rep just drove it to my house for delivery.
     
  6. Rsdavis9

    Rsdavis9 Member

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    I had a great delivery experience. Depends on your POV
    1. I had to drive 230 miles to pickup the car. NH to Mt. Kisco NY. Tesla rented a car one way for me so we didn't have to drive 2 vehicles.
    2. Was about 2 hours at store. Had to return rental. Got to drive in an X!
    3. Paperwork took a while. Had to get my wife to sign for NY state exemption on sales tax.
    4. Hit traffic jam going down to store in CT.
    5. Hit 2 traffic jams on the way back in MA. TACC and Autosteer are amazing in traffic jams!
    6. Had back and forth between Credit Union and Tesla on paperwork. CU needed title application so they knew they were getting the title. Tesla doesn't do title applications. Tesla provided a Letter of Guarantee which the CU accepted but said it wasn't normal. CU also needed numbers on a MVPA that listed CU for $33000 and me for $20000. Tesla provided a Pro Forma MVPA

    But I have a car now! WooHoo!
    1. When I got home with car CU had to make up title application so I could get it registered. Tesla doesn't do title applications!
    2. Still don't know how to get the car inspected because there is no service centers in NH and there is no OBDII ports on the model 3. Emissions requires a OBDII port.
     
  7. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    Does a dealer have to disclose car damage?

     
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  8. Barklikeadog

    Barklikeadog Active Member

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    I stopped here. Cmon man. :confused:
     
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  9. CUBldr97

    CUBldr97 Member

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    yeah you live in one of the states that doesn't allow TESLA to direct sell..you can thank the auto dealership cronies for that... TESLA should have caught that though for sure...
     
  10. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    "Growing pains" is not an excuse. Some of us were warning Tesla three, four, five years ago that they had to get their communications and customer-expectation management problems under control before the Model 3 came out or they would be facing serious problems with the mass market.

    And here we are, past the half-way point of 2018, and it is hard to find any improvement. All Tesla seems to have done is scale the trainwreck of "Delivery Specialist doesn't know anything" and "Tesla won't reply to phone calls or emails" and so on to a much larger size, rather than putting the management, systems, software, and training in place to nip these stupid issues in the bud before they scaled.

    I have to blame Elon for this: I do not see him appreciating this side of the customer experience at all, and he cannot seem to hire *and retain* the caliber of management necessary to turn Tesla into the most innovative customer-experience company in the auto world---something it still needs to do.

    You might have the world's most innovative electric vehicles, but without an equally innovative customer experience management organization, the vision of transitioning the world to a sustainable transport will only be attainable to early adopters, enthusiasts, investors, and those willing to forgive and excuse every screwup the company makes in the customer experience side of the business. Sure, it was cute and quaint when it happened in 2012 and 2013, but it is no longer cute or quaint. A company that repeatedly makes these kinds of mistakes causing this kind of nonsense to customers, after so many years, is a company that is not learning.
     
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  11. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    The alternate view is that a dealer makes money by fixing the manufacturer's problems. A dealer is motivated to find problems.

    I'm sure that Tesla has had many nasty meetings between senior service center management and manufacturing leadership. There is a lot of pain at this growth phase. But as Jeff said above, it will all smooth out with experience. They were probably pulling their hair out when they first ramped to 2000 MS per week.
     
  12. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Member

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    Funny, my worse car purchase experiences always ended with me having a crummy car...

    (FWIW, yes it sucks, but in my opinion once you have the car it will be worth it!)
     
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  13. diamond.g

    diamond.g Active Member

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    Charlotte is a gallery, not a store. So yeah the rules are different... To be honest I am kind of surprised they didn't offer home delivery.
     
  14. happyguy

    happyguy Member

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    @zer0cool - when you got the S in 2015 did you pay with a cashier check and also in NC? From what I read so far in different forums is that NC is like Texas that you have to pay in full and the showroom/store does not handle the money transaction. If you live in NC wouldn't you know this???

    I'm confused!
     
  15. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    So you're saying you would buy a different car, potentially inferior, just because of the delivery experience? You're going to have the car for probably 3 years or more. What's a couple of extra days of delay in delivery in the grand scheme? Plus, your situation here is a little abnormal in the fact that you had a hardware issue and they had to order a part. Granted, they should have caught that sooner, but my point is that delivery experience, while important, shouldn't influence your purchase decision. To each his own though.
     
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  16. Trevor B

    Trevor B Member

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    Me too ... and then goes on some rah rah rah kool aid
     
  17. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    I wish I lived closer to the factory

     
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  18. woodisgood

    woodisgood Member

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    We're dealing with the delivery process here in San Francisco getting ready for mid-week delivery next week. At the moment, there's plenty of confusion for both us and our CU, mostly because of the ambiguity as to when exactly we'll be getting a contract to sign.
     
  19. jamnmon66

    jamnmon66 Member

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    I wish I could say that this is a surprise. Overall, my delivery was a good experience but the communication about payment, etc. beforehand (financing was from my credit union) wasn't good.
     
  20. Barklikeadog

    Barklikeadog Active Member

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    Ive been here a couple years and still don't get it. Thank you sir may I have another?!? -Whack!-
    Would anyone choose to have a daycare or school that was 70miles away? Hell no, huge inconvenience.
    I'm not against direct selling, but I've always been a dealership defender in that the extra 2% you pay for the car, you get
    back in having a service center/sales/maintenance staff that you know personally, right around the corner. What is wrong
    with that? This misery was bound to happen as soon as volume cranks up... which it is. There are people literally waiting in
    lines that extend into the street, just to drop off their car, spouting: aww dealerships suck! Really??

    All these years the whole anti-Ice anti-Dealer thing was that these cars have less moving parts! Require little to no maintenance.
    No oil changes! Just press a button online and your car magically appears! Rainbows light up the sky. At least with the dealer,
    I can text or call the manager anytime I like. Not some random person at a call center that never calls you back. And now it seems like
    a daily occurrence of people getting frustrated, waiting in line, driving hundreds of miles, waiting months for parts. ICE cars have
    their litany of problems and scandals, but is anyone calling their dealership to say: My door won't open! or My windshield is cracked,
    how long to replace? 2 months? Ok, I'm a happy customer! It is unacceptable. The CEO is busy going to thailand, mars, into tunnels,
    building a roadster and two other vehicles, a plant in china, a semi oh and flamethrowers. All future items. But he doesn't take care of
    the past. TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS MR BILLIONAIRE! It is offensive that you don't have parts in stock outside of California.
    Make promises that you can keep, stop fighting with people on social media, and don't worry about hitting a number to satisfy Wall Street.
    If this is still going on in 3 years, I'm not buying a pickup!

    /rant
     
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