Model X

Dissatisfaction with Tesla Communications with Model X Reservation Holders

edited November -1 in Model X
Dear Elon,

I placed my reservation (Model X Reservation# 2,813) over 2 years ago. I am very excited about the Model X and the new advances that may have warranted the delay until Q3 2015. The topic that concerns me, however, is that communications from Tesla to the Model X reservation holders has been infrequent, inconsistent, and at best, spotty.

My initial impression with Tesla, after I placed my deposit, was that Tesla is a company that wants customers involved and seeks to keep them informed on developments in technology, EV legislation, and upcoming events. Unfortunately, a growing number of current and future owners are joining me in expressing their dissatisfaction with the level and inconsistency of communications that have been maintained between Tesla and Model X reservation holders.

Highly publicized events, such as the "D and something else" reveal, have left us speculating as to why some reservation holders get invites and/or notifications and others do not. We all believe in you, the Tesla Team, and most of all, our involvement in moving the planet toward sustainable transportation.

Unfortunately, of late, many of us have had to find out about events, legislation and/or announcements through articles published by industry analysts rather than from Tesla directly. More often than not, these analysts are not completely informed and their reports fall short or are inaccurate.

Perhaps it is an unrealistic expectation, but in my opinion, people that have placed their faith (and cash) in Tesla should be the first to know when new information is made available. Please take my comments as constructive criticism and if there is anything I can do to assist Tesla in keeping reservation holders better informed, just let me know. I am willing to volunteer as much time and effort as required.


Craig Yarbrough


  • edited November -1
    Your demands won't make the car appear any faster, work any better, or change anything about it.. At all.

    You're waiting in line to be a first adopter. Change your order to an S if you don't have the stomach for it, or get a refund and head to Toyota. I'm sure they'd love to placate your ego and take your money for a recall-addled death trap -- I'm unbelievably happy that Tesla isn't giving in to people like you, and will patiently await my car when it's ready.
  • edited November -1
    <b>@Puffer&lt;/b>: <i>@craig&lt;/i> makes a valid point and whether or not you agree with him, there is no need to belittle his opinion.

    His first and foremost request is for better communication, which most people on this forum will agree that Tesla has room for improvement in this area. He is not asking Tesla to change their direction or implementation (there are plenty of those requests in other threads like on Falcon Wing Doors and optional 3rd row seats), but only for more transparency, especially to those who have given Tesla an interest free loan. Tesla could certainly do that without affecting their bearings. They used to do that in the form of town-hall meetings, which they don't appear to do anymore.

    There are many excited reservations holders in this forum that are hanging on every scrape of information on the Model-X. Because there is so little information, reservation holders are sneaking pictures of the secret Tesla parking lot in Fremont, speculating on Elon's tweets regarding "...and something else" and debating what's happening inside Tesla headquarters in this forum. This is all because of lack of information on a hotly, anticipated vehicle. It's only human nature.

    Of course, if this lack of communication has displeased reservations holders, their best response is to request their deposits back or they can switch to another vehicle from Tesla or some other company. However, I suspect that most in this forum will wait it out for this truly unique vehicle.
  • edited November -1
    Completely agree, no one is forcing Tesla to rush the X out the door, but the least they could do is provide timely updates to their reservation holders.
  • edited November -1
    @craig - well written. I feel the same way.
  • edited November -1
    Very balanced letter. Reservation holders who have placed their money and faith in the fledgling company and product should be considered a sacred (brain) trust.

    Keeping in touch, surveying the group as to features and apologizing in an e-mail or letter as delays have happened, giving the reason for the delays, would go a long way toward making the Model X holders feel like not jumping ship.
  • edited November -1
    <b>Craig: +1 <i><u>UP</u>!</i></b>. Definitely a good post.
  • edited November -1
    With reservation 11,013, I appreciate and agree with Craig's comments. I have been looking forward to X delivery by next summer to replace a well-used vehicle, and only learned of the delay because my Model S driving husband follows Tesla news and forums. As emailed update directly from Tesla would still be much appreciated.
  • @Craig Well put Sir.
    Better communications with reservation holder would definitely compensate for the wait and keep us with current & actual news instead of "relying" on all the speculations and disinformation that litters the different media's (Forums, internet articles & blogs)
  • edited November -1
    @ <b>sbeggs</b> (November 8, 2014)

    << Keeping in touch, surveying the group as to features and apologizing in an e-mail or letter as delays have happened, giving the reason for the delays, would go a long way toward making the Model X holders feel like not jumping ship. >>

    Kudos, sbeggs! Neat idea. I'd call it, <b>Monthly Delay Bulletin to Our MX Reservation Holders</b>.

    We are more than some Tesla's reservation holders or a list of lay-away items, we are her creditors. We are family! Tesla should honor the fact that a good part of the life blood running through her veins is our reservation deposits!
  • edited November -1
    I'm not mad at Tesla at all. I want them to continue bringing the most innovative products in the world to market.

    However, as a stockholder and reservation holder for both Model X and Model S P85D, their communication and premium consumer involvement could be improved upon. I can completely sympathize with the original poster.
  • edited November -1
    @Craig: Thank You!

    Thanks for doing the checkout lane shuffle to us. Rather than advance existing reservation holders, you opened the new checkout line and let folks in back move to the front. Good for short-term financial gain but another ding in the Tesla bodywork. I'm disappointed.
  • edited November -1
    @myself. Can someone clarify- did Tesla sell Signature models to fill the slots which opened?

    I guess it doesn't really matter in the end, at 2,000 units per week the delay is insignificant. Just off to a bad start this a.m. and vented before thinking it all through.
    Carry on. :)
  • edited November -1
    @e-randy: I completely agree with your ding comment. I had talked to Tesla back in June or July and they said they had a standby list for the Signature models and I asked to be placed on that list. They confirmed that I was on the list but rather than contact the names on that list for the open Signature Reservations, they opened it up to the general public.

    Tesla in general is great at communications so the issues we are discussing are most likely internal procedural disconnects in which different divisions inside Tesla are not communicating optimally (or at all). I am the Chief Knowledge Officer for a large organization and I see these types of issues occasionally. They are easy to fix once they are identified. It is my hope that our comments are taken as constructive criticism and will help lead to better communication/coordination procedures inside Tesla.
  • edited November -1
    Craig, good post, frequent updates would definitely be more than welcome!
  • edited November -1
    X reservation holders have given Tesla a $5,000 deposit. So definitely agree for $5,000, customers deserve timely communication from Tesla. I personally wouldn't give Tesla a free multi-thousand dollar loan and zero communication. Invest that money instead, then get on the list closer to 2016.
  • edited November -1
    @craig and e-randy - Didn't the new Signature reservations end up being a mistake? I thought everyone just ended up with a bunch of hassle and a refund.

    I do agree it'd be nice to have a little more info. It's only been a couple months since I put a deposit in, so I haven't been worn down by an endless wait. It would be nice to get update emails pertaining to the X whenever there is public comment from Tesla, just to make sure we know where everything stands as a courtesy.
  • edited November -1
    sg021 - You are correct. The recent signature upgrade debacle was indeed the result of a website glitch or mistake in turning it back on. Those that sent them an extra $35k had it refunded.

    craig - Great post indeed. It would be much appreciated if Tesla would get their act together regarding the communication issues.

  • edited November -1
    I do not think this is a bad post, and while I would like more information, I do not really see the point. Perhaps an e-mail to Model X reservation holders the day before something is announced would be good. In his most recent comments, Elon did say that the 'Beta' is now being built. No word on when it is expected to be completed, but I would imagine that there will be many more than one. The good part is that I fully expect the first one to be ready in the next month or so.

    What can Tesla say anyway? Adam Jonas speculated about a delay in October, so I was expecting it anyway.

    What details about the car do wee really need? What size wheels, what brand tires? At this point it is not relevant, and it will not make a difference on my decision to get the car or not.

    I would be very surprised if there is not significantly more information available in the next 6 months. I have been waiting more than 2 years for my car already, and by the time I get it, it will be close to 3.
  • edited November -1
    <b>@LeonardD&lt;/b>, Things that would be nice to hear from Tesla:
    - Reveal date for Model-X beta
    - Reveal date for Model-X Design Studio
    - Official Release Date of Model-X
    - Model-X touring schedule (Tesla stores and Car shows)
    - Any updates on final design decisions (e.g. rear mirrors/cameras)
  • edited November -1
    Yes. Even though I am the Resident Certified Tesla Motors Apologist Fanboy, I am much more understanding of the plight before Model X reservation holders than I am of Model S order holders <i>(this side of Australia, anyway)</i>.

    I understand both sides. Tesla Motors wants to preserve some mystery in order to increase excitement upon the final reveal of Model X. Model X reservation holders feel they have waited more than long enough to have very basic questions answered:
    <ul><li>What will the towing capacity be?
    <li>What is the novel roof rack solution?
    <li>Can it be towed <i>'wheels down'</i> behind an RV?
    <li>Will there be bins and cupholders?
    <li>Can we get cptain's chairs all around?</ul>
    Tesla Motors can save the data on pricing, range, battery capacity, performance figures, rear view mirrors versus cameras for the official reveal. There is plenty else they can cover in a monthly newsletter to at least let Model X reservation holders know they haven't been forgotten.
  • edited November -1
    I own two model S cars and am about to replace one with a P85D. I also have two sig X and one regular X on order.

    I have to admit I have been surprised at the lack of communication and information being given to the thousands of X buyers with large order deposits. My Model S experience has been tremendous but so far the Model X experience is severely lacking in attention and status updates.
  • edited November -1
    2 observations;
    -Tesla has learned to be leery and cautious about conditional casual statements; they are received as commitments, and certain self-important persons start throwing the word "liars" around.
    -much of what vandacca asks is unknown or being left open for last-minute developments. Consider the 20 h/w changes per week for the <i>finished</i> existing product!
  • edited November -1
    Thank you, I feel the exact same way.
  • edited November -1
    Thanks for the comments everyone. Please don't take my criticism of communications with us as criticism of Tesla's corporate vision. That could not be further from the truth. In fact, people in my office call me the "Tesla Techvangelist". I am a big believer in what Tesla is doing with sustainable transportation and I would probably wait another two years for my Model X if I absolutely had to.

    My concern is that Tesla has, in the Model X Reservation Holder community, a huge pool of committed resources. These resources (all of us) represent a valuable asset to Tesla that can either appreciate through appropriate management or depreciate through neglect.

    I am not asking for advanced notice of anything, rather I am simply asking that Tesla let us know directly as soon as the information is made available to analysts. My complaint is that we all found out about the delay till Q3 2015 from the articles and posts that were generated from the release of the Q3 2014 financials and not from any communications directly from Tesla.

    As a former banking and software executive, I want any negative news that my impact my clients to come directly from me or my organization. I do not want them reading about it in the press or getting the news from their investment advisor before they hear it from me.

    If I were responsible for Tesla communications with Model X Reservation Holders, you could count on getting the facts and any relevant news, good or bad, from me first. It's simply the best business practice for maintaining the relationship (and investment) you have established with your customers.
  • edited November -1
    I also sympathize with the dilemma Tesla faces as a public company and market disrupter. Every action seems to get studied and reported.

    I am also a very vocal fan of the company and the Model S. I have given over 100 test drives and the associated explanations that go with them.

    All that said I am still a little surprised at how little time attention or information Tesla has invested in the Model X reservation holders.

    Under promise and over deliver is great plan and would help most businesses if they used it. The Model X is at the point of promise nothing and count on customer loyalty.

    I am 100% in favor of not shipping an X until they have it right. But at the same time let your customers with deposits know when you think you will have it right.
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