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worst purchasing experience ever

fpjrd

New Member
Jun 13, 2021
3
2
israel
I live in Israel and collecting my Tesla from the port and getting it home was the worst purchasing experience I have ever had in my life.


I was all excited. I’d done my homework, read the manual 3 times, and made list of how I wanted to set up my Tesla. I had a list of all my outstanding questions. I made my way with my friend (who also had a list of things to check) to the port of Ashdod. We get to a parking lot with a tent and sign in and are told to wait. I asked if it would be alright if I went to start familiarizing/setting up the car. I was told I could, but to come back afterwards for tech support. I find the car, get in, get the AC going (at 10:30 it is starting to get hot out).


It takes me about 25 minutes to set up everything on my list. I notice the battery does not seem to be full but it is not clear to me yet that I have a problem. I go back to tent to get the technician. Within a few minutes one is available. Great. It looks like I’ll be home by 13:00. We start walking to the car. I mention that the battery seems a little low and is there some place on the lot to charge it. He vaguely points somewhere and says yes. We get to the car he starts messing with it and I stop him, saying I’ve already set up everything. The AC is working great. I ask him to check if he thinks I’ve missed anything important. He seemed impressed that I’d done all the set up and saw nothing needing to be done. I asked him to copy my preferences to the key cards. No problem. I asked him where to plug in my iPhone. He informs me I do not have the correct cable even though, according to the manual, I do. I can't charge my phone. (Chinese model 3 need usb-c cable) I’ve read the manual; the phone is important to operating the car. This doesn’t seem good. He asks my destination for the navigation system. I tell him Western Galilee. He put the destination in and that’s when it becomes obvious that I don’t have enough battery power to get home. That’s inconvenient, but he had said there was a place there where I could charge the car. I presumed it would be a supercharging point which was going to add maybe 20 minutes to my schedule.


Things were going quickly so not such a big deal. I asked him where I should move the car for charging and he said I should drive to Tel Aviv and charge the car there. I told him I did not want to drive to Tel Aviv (I don’t know Tel Aviv; I’m driving a new car that is totally different than any other car I’ve ever driven, I HAVE to use the new navigation system and not the navigation system on my phone since I can’t charge my phone.) I asked why I could not charge the car at the port, like he'd said. He said it would take 3-4 hours to have enough charge to get home. Are you serious! I asked how he could give me a car without enough charge. He agreed with me but that really doesn’t help. I seem to have no choice. Now I’m really under pressure. I’m also really pissed off but I don’t even have time to go complain to someone. I can see from the navigation system that if I don’t leave NOW I’m not even going to make it to Tel Aviv.


The car is brand new. The manual states you should not let the battery go below 20% and I am forced (because of inattention/disregard on the part of the Tesla team) to be running the battery down the very first time I drive the car. My friend and I get in the car and drive off as quickly as possible. I can see the battery is draining all the time. I’m trying to remember what to do to lower the battery consumption but I'm also concentrating on driving and I can’t remember everything I read.


We arrive at the shopping center parking lot in Tel Aviv (only Tesla charging station in the country at the time) and ask for the Tesla charging ports. They direct us to level -1. I drive there but there are no signs anywhere. I drive around until I see charging port machines. I have 13km left in the battery. Let me repeat that: I have 13 km left in the battery. I shut down the car as quickly as possible. Now we have to figure out how to work the charging port. We get the cable plugged in but the car does not start charging. This doesn’t look like the Tesla charging port I’ve seen in the papers. I leave my friend with the car while I go to find the official Tesla charging port. 10 minutes later I have found nothing and no one to ask. I go back to the car.


My friend tells me he’s read that I need to download an app. I start trying to download the app (glare from sun, can’t see phone). My friend goes to see if he can find someone to ask. My phone dies and I’m starting to feel desperate. My friend comes back without a solution. I’m starting to worry that if I can’t charge the car I’m stuck. We both go into the mall and at the service desk I ask the woman where the Tesla charging station is. She directs me to where I’m already parked. I explain that from my understanding there is supposed to be a special place for Tesla cars. She has no idea and sends me off to find the parking lot management. 7 minutes later I finally find who to ask and they direct me were to go. We walk back out to the parking garage and find it on foot. Then we drive over. All of the stations are occupied so we wait another 15 minutes until one is available. Now I have to wait another 40 minutes while the car charges.


I left Ashdod at 11:00 and I should have been home by 13:00. Instead, I spent the rest of the afternoon in traffic jams, arriving home at 17:30. If your Tesla “experts” had bothered to tell me about the low battery, I would have plugged the car in as soon as I got to the port, while I was waiting for the tech guy, and I wouldn’t have used the air conditioning. Because of Tesla’s inattentiveness and “oh well” attitude I was forced to operate the car incorrectly.


The whole experience was unbelievably intense and totally avoidable. Tesla should have supplied me with a car that had enough battery power to get home. Tesla should have told me that I should download an app for at least one other EV charging option so that I would not have had to run down the battery. Tesla should have told me that I must have a USB-C cable for my phone. According to the Tesla website, a full Tesla has a range of 448km. Ashdod to Western Galilee is about 140km. A 40% charge should have gotten me home. Ashdod to Tel Aviv is 44km. I arrived in Tel Aviv with 13km left on the battery, which means I left the port with less than a 15% charge. This is not customer service.


I paid 250,000 NIS for a brand new car that was delivered to me in a neglectful condition by the Tesla team who couldn’t be bothered. Tesla’s response is there sorry and there going to do things better but I have to show understanding since they are new in Israel. I hope this helps other when the go to collect their Tesla
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,185
9,913
SF Bay Area
I'm sorry that you had such a stressful day picking up your car. Being new to a new model car and an EV is understandably stressful in itself as a new experience. It's been awhile since our first EV, a Tesla, but it's not uncommon to have range anxiety starting out. It does go away as you get more comfortable with the car. BTW we now are a two Tesla family and love our cars and hopefully you'll be able to put the first day behind you and enjoy learning about your car and driving it.

From the sounds of it you didn't do anything wrong when you said you operated the car incorrectly. It's all new right now, but yes driving fast and using AC will drain your battery more quickly. It's one of those early "new to EV" lessons. It does sound like they gave your car enough range to get to a supercharger though. Charging it above 80% does take a longer time (explained below) so what he said could have been the case for you. I think most people try to stay above 20% range but it's okay if you do have to go below; you didn't damage anything with the car in case you are wondering.

From what I've heard of European deliveries to ports and actually what I've experienced even picking up my car here in 2018 at the Fremont delivery center, cars will not be fully charged. There are reasons for it. First off it's a time management thing especially when a lot of cars have just arrived for prep at the delivery area and all are scheduled close together. Your sharing your SOC (state of charge) issue on delivery will probably help alert others to check their SOC level on pickup. When I picked up my Model 3 I had enough range to stop at a supercharger before heading home. Secondly it's good to have that supercharger experience and know how it works and that everything operates as expected. I assume cars there also come with a mobile charging kit with adapters included. You should learn how to use them as well, at least the most common one/s for your area, so when you do slower charging while at a shopping center for example you feel comfortable knowing what to do. There's a lot to learn as a new EV driver and I applaud you for reading the manual! Not everyone does and there are important features to understand. Good to reread periodically especially as they will update it with new features added over time.

Unless you are going to immediately be driving your car if you do charge to 100%, like for a trip, it's not recommended to "top off" the battery. As you will find out, charging the car (any EV I believe) from 80% to 100% requires a longer charge time as the battery management system in the car will taper the power down slowing the process. This is to protect the battery's life, just something to remember with li-ion batteries in general. I charge my Model 3 at home overnight to 80-90% in general depending on what I have planned the next day. As time goes on you'll pick up a lot of owner tips. Reading the forums is helpful as well (do remember that many people post on forums to register complaints, kind of like what you felt the need to do, but the vast majority of owners are happy with their Tesla experience and car and will be helpful if you need advice. Most members will be kind to newbies especially).

How will you be charging at home and does your area have local third party charging you will use?

If you've never done regenerative braking, it can take a bit getting use to and you want to be comfortable braking that way instead of always using the brake pedal. Just don't be a newbie who depresses the accelerator accidentally when braking to come to a stop. If you've driven a manual transmission you will probably adapt to the feel of regen braking quicker and pick up the foot movement. I first got familiar with my car and then added the regen feature and love driving with it. I'd recommend turning it on and doing some test drives in an empty parking lot or quiet street so you get the feel of it before being in traffic.

Good luck and enjoy driving. Hope you'll post under happier circumstances in the future. Will be interested to hear your impressions as you spend more time with the car and would love to see a photo of it. I'm sure the Tesla staff there has a lot of learning of their own to do being such a new product for them.
 
Last edited:

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,185
9,913
SF Bay Area
Thought I'd add two articles from the English version of Globes news on deliveries of Teslas to Israel. I can see why the China factory numbers in country were down for April, quite a good number exported out.


@fpjrd you really are an early owner there. No doubt you will be getting lots of looks on the car being so new. And always fun being so new when you see another Tesla on the road.
 

fpjrd

New Member
Jun 13, 2021
3
2
israel
I'm sorry that you had such a stressful day picking up your car. Being new to a new model car and an EV is understandably stressful in itself as a new experience. It's been awhile since our first EV, a Tesla, but it's not uncommon to have range anxiety starting out. It does go away as you get more comfortable with the car. BTW we now are a two Tesla family and love our cars and hopefully you'll be able to put the first day behind you and enjoy learning about your car and driving it.

From the sounds of it you didn't do anything wrong when you said you operated the car incorrectly. It's all new right now, but yes driving fast and using AC will drain your battery more quickly. It's one of those early "new to EV" lessons. It does sound like they gave your car enough range to get to a supercharger though. Charging it above 80% does take a longer time (explained below) so what he said could have been the case for you. I think most people try to stay above 20% range but it's okay if you do have to go below; you didn't damage anything with the car in case you are wondering.

From what I've heard of European deliveries to ports and actually what I've experienced even picking up my car here in 2018 at the Fremont delivery center, cars will not be fully charged. There are reasons for it. First off it's a time management thing especially when a lot of cars have just arrived for prep at the delivery area and all are scheduled close together. Your sharing your SOC (state of charge) issue on delivery will probably help alert others to check their SOC level on pickup. When I picked up my Model 3 I had enough range to stop at a supercharger before heading home. Secondly it's good to have that supercharger experience and know how it works and that everything operates as expected. I assume cars there also come with a mobile charging kit with adapters included. You should learn how to use them as well, at least the most common one/s for your area, so when you do slower charging while at a shopping center for example you feel comfortable knowing what to do. There's a lot to learn as a new EV driver and I applaud you for reading the manual! Not everyone does and there are important features to understand. Good to reread periodically especially as they will update it with new features added over time.

Unless you are going to immediately be driving your car if you do charge to 100%, like for a trip, it's not recommended to "top off" the battery. As you will find out, charging the car (any EV I believe) from 80% to 100% requires a longer charge time as the battery management system in the car will taper the power down slowing the process. This is to protect the battery's life, just something to remember with li-ion batteries in general. I charge my Model 3 at home overnight to 80-90% in general depending on what I have planned the next day. As time goes on you'll pick up a lot of owner tips. Reading the forums is helpful as well (do remember that many people post on forums to register complaints, kind of like what you felt the need to do, but the vast majority of owners are happy with their Tesla experience and car and will be helpful if you need advice. Most members will be kind to newbies especially).

How will you be charging at home and does your area have local third party charging you will use?

If you've never done regenerative braking, it can take a bit getting use to and you want to be comfortable braking that way instead of always using the brake pedal. Just don't be a newbie who depresses the accelerator accidentally when braking to come to a stop. If you've driven a manual transmission you will probably adapt to the feel of regen braking quicker and pick up the foot movement. I first got familiar with my car and then added the regen feature and love driving with it. I'd recommend turning it on and doing some test drives in an empty parking lot or quiet street so you get the feel of it before being in traffic.

Good luck and enjoy driving. Hope you'll post under happier circumstances in the future. Will be interested to hear your impressions as you spend more time with the car and would love to see a photo of it. I'm sure the Tesla staff there has a lot of learning of their own to do being such a new product for them.
Thanks for your reply. You give some great advice. Let me start by saying I love the car! Easy to get in and out of. Rides great. Handles great.
Ashdod to Tel Aviv is about 27 miles I arrived in Tel Aviv with 8 miles left I think "range anxiety" was warranted if Tesla had suggested it I would of sign up with non Tesla charging services before I collected the car. (I've since signed up with 2)
I'm charging at home set to fill to 85% (will probably drop this down to 80% when I get more confident). I use standard house plug, car fills +/-22km an hour which is about 5% an hour. I used to filled my gasoline powered car on average once a month it had more range but the house plug seem to be plenty.
I setup the regenerative braking before I left the port it does take getting use (for the first 10 min. I felt almost sea sick and though "O no is the car going to alway feel like this" but very quickly I adjusted to having a "softer" foot. Since the first drive I seem to never need to break.
 
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