We have had Tesla solar panels on our roof for around 5 years. In February our house burned down. We contacted Tesla and they sent out a representative to check out the system. He concluded that the system was a total loss. Tesla insures the system themselves and he told me Tesla would file the claim and be paid out by their insurance company.
As the months continued to go by, Tesla keeps on billing us for our lease on the system that no longer exists and Tesla has been paid out on. My wife has spent hours on the phone, many times on long holds and being switched from person to person. We had explained that we can no longer pay for a system that no longer exists. Their response was if you have plans for the new home rebuild, submit them. Only the design team can answer the inquiry about these continuing payments.
We submitted our blueprints to Tesla’s design team in mid June. A month later we heard from the design team. We expressed our concern about the recurring payments for the non existent system. The rep Adam Barron from the design team said he would reach out to the resolution team and also get a mock up plan to us. The house was completely torn down and the new build has totally different roof lines, so we didn’t even know if putting a solar system on it was feasible. Our original system was small as many of our roof lines did not face the right direction, so we could not maximize our roof space. A got back to me and said resolutions said there’s nothing they can do about the payments. I asked that someone from resolutions contact me and also to continue to get us a new design layout. Days and weeks went by, with me sending follow up emails with no response. Tesla’s customer service is horrible. I’m an early adopter of the Model S which I love and I am on my third one, but dealing with Tesla all these years has been absolutely horrible. I have referred a few people to Tesla who purchased their cars as well and have also had the same terrible customer support experience.
Finally someone from resolutions Sarah McCready (Specialist, Executive Resolutions) called me. We spoke and argued for almost an hour. She told me that Tesla was only reimbursed for the system, but my lease called for a certain dollar amount that our system would produce and the payments would have to stay the same and that Tesla’s investors (I’m an investor as well) needed to see that money. I explained that we might not have a system at all if our roofline doesn’t work for it. Are we supposed to pay that full lease price for the next 15 years? The answer was basically, yes.
So, not only are we paying for a system that doesn’t exist, Tesla is pushing us to put a new system on, but keeps failing to get us plans based on our blueprints. Bear in mind, when you sign on the dotted line, it takes around 9 months until a system is installed. I spoke to this Sarah on a Wednesday. She apologized for all the bad customer service, but now I was dealing with her and she claimed she does what she says. Multiple times she promised me I would have your mock up by Friday. When I say promised, she actually said “I promise”. Friday came and went. I left her a voicemail on Saturday morning. I called her again late Monday afternoon. When I asked why I had no mock up, she blamed it on other people. Exactly what she said she wouldn’t do “now that you have me and I’m not like other people”. When I asked why she didn’t contact me either Friday to say she couldn’t deliver, or call me back from my voicemail? Her response after many weird long pauses in the conversation 5-10 seconds where I repeatedly had to ask if she was still there, she had no answer for not calling me and said she didn’t get my message. When I asked how was it that she didn’t get it when I left a VM on Saturday and here it is Monday late afternoon, she said she has not listened to her voicemails. Wow, the horrible customer service continues!
A few days later I finally got one of the two mock up’s promised. One of the original size system (which they said they can’t modify and if I have more usable space that has to be treated as a different lease). The other mock up was to be a full system that maximizes what’s looking like a lot more usable roof space. I was told that was forthcoming. That was over a week ago and still nothing. Not only is Tesla trying to hold me to a system that doesn’t exist and they have been paid out on by their insurance company, they continue to drag their heels for months to get going on a new system. The house has been fully framed and roof installed. So if I were to continue to have to pay that lease, Tesla is costing me months and months of payments by not making an effort to move forward. I guess they can continue to stall for a year, maybe two and expect me to pay for a system that is not longer there!
Sorry for the long read, but someone considering a system should know these things.