Solar Panels

advice for super slow sales process?!

Very satisfied Model 3 owner. Solar panel order, on the other hand, has been the worst sales experience ever. Placed initial order online 3 months ago. Assigned an advisor one week later. Site survey two weeks later. Not particularly fast, but acceptable. Asked for a couple changes to their proposed layout. And then crickets. I emailed and called and finally was able to talk to the advisor 5 weeks after the site survey. They apologized for the delay and finally submitted an interconnection request. It had the wrong address and system size. I pointed this out the advisor. They apologized again, re-submitted within a few days, and corrected the system size but not the address. Now it's been 4 more weeks with no updates despite multiple emails and calls.

Has anyone had a similar exceedingly slow experience and was able to eventually get the install done who can pass along some advice? I can get an email response from my utility company, but I go a month without being able to get anything out of Tesla for a fairly straightforward configuration (8kW, 2 powerwalls). Bids from other companies for similar setup at least $10k more expensive, but this is getting ridiculous. Maybe will just try again next year and hope they take their solar business more seriously and staff appropriately.

Comments

  • I am scheduled for an install next week. I emailed and called my advisor a few times. Sometimes, I would talk to a different advisor and they would carry the ball to see that something was done. It seems like every time I contacted Tesla, progress to the next step occurred within a couple of days.

    I did a lot of research prior to selecting Tesla. I knew about the customer service issues in advance. I also took into consideration that it could take a couple of months to replace an inverter if I were to have a failure. However, like you, my savings over all other companies is in excess of $9,000. That will pay a lot of electric bills for any outages that could occur. And, I am sure Tesla will resolve their issues around customer service and be around 25 years from now.
  • Similar experience. Same as you I am a Model 3 owner and very loyal to Tesla. I signed up for solar panels in July and just got scheduled for a late November installation. I learned that you must be assertive and aggressive with Tesla. Do not wait for them. Reach out to your advisor. If you don’t get a response in a reasonable amount of time, then reach out again. They respond to the “squeaky wheel”. They are swamped with new business and if you are passive then you will hear “crickets”. It’s just how it is right now. Do not get frustrated and keep pushing.
  • It's imperative that you act as your own Project Manager. $10k in savings will pay for a LOT of your time in this regard.
  • There are multiple steps with their internal paperwork, and they screw it up at every step, in a way that it becomes a waiting circle. The customer has to call multiple times each step, and act like the manager of the advisor, interrogating them whether they did a specific part of their job. Their office manager needs to be fired.

    Required followups to prevent failed sale:
    1. Keep tracking whether the advisor was fired, the new one does not pick up the project automatically. Hi, are you the new advisor? could you check whether my file was transitioned to you without missing parts?
    2. do you have an updated quote, can you release it to me? Then accept it online.
    3. do you have an updated layout document, did you release it? Or can you look into the layout doc and tell me what you see, lets compare it with what i see on the webpage. Once new layout received, go online and click acknowledge.
    4. Once HOA approval letter received, send it to advisor by email, even if they dont ask. Then call them and tell them that you sent it.
    5. After a week or two call and ask whether the permit was submitted.
    6. After another week or two call and ask whether the work was scheduled and when.
    7. after inspection passed, contact prj advisor, ask notice of commencement removed from property. they have to give me a doc. take it to county recording office.
  • Yup. Be your own project manager. With a purchase that's several tens of thousands of dollars, it's a prudent (and expected) thing to do.
  • Patience is the toughest part but it’s the key to making it through the process. I started in August 2019 and was completed in March 2029. Gregbrew was super helpful with his advice when I was going through the process and he’s totally correct now. It took longer than any major purchase I’ve ever made but it’s also been one of the best purchases and investments.
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