Tesla support

Tesla support

Have had our S for a little over a week now and only have one issue with the heater. Called Tesla support and talked over my issue. I then revived a call back (less than 30 min's later) and was told that someone logged onto our car and found the issue. We are now waiting a good time to get the issue (it is hardware) fixed.

Last night I called Tesla support to request an adapter for a 6-50 outlet at 5:30pm. I talked to a representative and he said he would meet me at 7:30pm to give me one. Same day personal delivery!

I know that some people don’t like the $600/year maintenance charges, but remember Tesla is doing something different then all the other car manufactures. I know $600 sounds like a lot, but the examples I used saved me how much time / money? I didn’t have to take any time off from work to drive to a dealer and leave my car with them? Then to have a Tesla employee meet me to bring an adapter to me is incredible.

I also posted this in the $600/year maintenance charges topic, but know that a lot of people are not reading that one, so made a new post to talk about my incredible experiences with Tesla support.

timdorr | 23 October, 2012

Elon's stated they're trying to provide a concierge-style service for that $600/$475 per year. It sounds like you're getting exactly the experience he means.

DouglasR | 23 October, 2012

You make a really good point. Many people have focused on GB's comment about how failing to have an annual maintenance inspection will void the warranty. I seriously doubt that TM would (or could successfully) deny a warranty claim without showing that the inspection would have caught the problem. But if the service fee is essentially buying this kind of service, then it is providing an extraordinary value. And I can understand why TM wants everyone to have it. This kind of service creates a brand image that no other U.S. car maker can match. I do not think TM could provide such a service without the additional revenue stream generated by a service fee that is spread across all purchasers.

RobS | 23 October, 2012

Sue - thanks for sharing. I'm impressed. I'm fine with the $600 plan if they can continue to provide that kind of service.

sergiyz | 23 October, 2012

The service plan is not ready yet, you can't buy it since the paperwork is not ready on their end.
Once they define what's actually included I think people will be less concerned with the fee given the example of the excellent service above.

Volker.Berlin | 23 October, 2012

I'm all for it, but let's see how that works out when there are more than a few dozen Model Ses on the road...

mhargreaves | 23 October, 2012

I'm thinking about a new job that would require 130 miles commuting a day. I thought an electric vehicle would make sense, but at that mileage, I would need to have the car checked out every 4 months, and would be paying $1,800 / year on maintenance... Add the cost of electricity, and car payments, and I'm not sure it makes sense.

bsimoes | 23 October, 2012

It's kinda funny, but I will be attending a conference in Portland, Oregon in November, so I just called the store there to ask about a test drive; the funny part is that I'm from Vermont and have to fly clear across the contenent in order to get a convenient test drive! Anyway, I talked to Jared, who couldn't have been any more helpful. He said that if I let him know when I could do the test drive, he would block out a few hours, come pick me up at my hotel and take me for a test drive, and then, of course, drop me off. I had been stressing about how to get there, navigating public transportation in a city that is totally unfamiliar. Talk about service!
I then asked him about my concern over switching out winter tires twice a year, and having to drive to Boston in order to do so. He offered as a suggestion that I get the wheel package. That way, I would not have to have the tires aligned or balanced. The "icing" was that, then, Rangers could come and switch out the tires, saving me from the hassle of loading tires, driving to the tire place, waiting hours for them to do so, and then paying for the privilege! if we could only get the turbine style on the 19" wheels.

gagliardilou | 23 October, 2012


What is the wheel package? You mean just buying the winter tires would qualify for this service? It would be worth it then. I would not want to mess with getting my tires changed out every winter but if they do it - coming to you - well thats a whole different story.

Volker.Berlin | 23 October, 2012

I'm thinking about a new job that would require 130 miles commuting a day. [...] Add the cost of electricity, and car payments, and I'm not sure it makes sense. (mhargreaves)

130 miles isn't a short commute for sure, and it won't come cheap regardless of transportation mode. When you think the electric car is expensive, then sum it up for a gasoline car. Of course it depends on which model you choose, but I'm sure you're not going to do this kind of commute in a Yaris. I'd really like to see which numbers you get; a long commute just within the range of the battery should actually be a prime example for the economic advantage of an electric car!

kelly | 24 October, 2012

@ mhargreaves

As Volker pointed out, your 130 mile per day commute will be expensive no matter how you slice it. Doing some quick calculations (because I was curious) In an ICE you would spend about $5,000/yr for gas (assuming 30 MPG @ $4.50/gal) vs. about $1,100/yr for electricity (at $ 0.12/kW). Assuming you buy a new vehicle it would be out of warranty (50,000 miles?) within about 18 months so you're either paying for services or buying an extended warranty here as well.

I'd say the biggest financial issue is the depreciation factor of any car you buy. The cheaper the car you buy the less total depreciation loss, but with an EV you can offset some (or maybe even all) of the depreciation factor over the life of the vehicle because of the fuel savings (and maybe even maintenance costs savings over time too). Obviously there are many factors (some constantly changing) effecting this calculation, such as, length of time car is in service, gas & electric prices, ongoing service & maintenance costs, upfront cost, residual vehicle value, etc. and (most important for me) what vehicle you want to spend 2-4 hours a day driving in.

Best of luck to you in arriving at a decision that works for you...and with your new job!

Taking delivery in a little over an hour from now!!!! :-).

DouglasR | 24 October, 2012

I don't think we know yet what the maintenance costs would be for a car that exceeds 12,000 miles in a year. I'm not sure that we can say it is $600 x 3.

Volker.Berlin | 24 October, 2012

DouglasR, I do think we know:

In North America, a one-year (or 12,500-mile) service plan costs $600. This price covers your annual inspection and all wear and tear parts, excluding tires. This plan is paid for at the time of your annual (or 12,500-mile) inspection.
(from the blog post itself)

When you combine these two items together, some that are “mileage dependent” and some that are “time dependent”, hopefully you will understand why we need to see your car at regular intervals. So, to answer the question clearly about whether failure to do Annual or 12,500 mile Inspections voids your warranty, yes it does.
(from GB's comment below the blog post)

Both quotes from:

Timo | 25 October, 2012

So over 12,500 miles per year means that you pay more than $600 per year, because you need to get the maintenance at the point of reaching 12,500 and not wait for a year.

That's how I interpret that.

DouglasR | 25 October, 2012

Volker & Timo,

Yes, I understand that. But that doesn't necessarily mean that someone who drives 37,500 miles per year pays $1800. Many products and services, from magazine subscriptions to telephone service, charge at a lower rate when you purchase for a longer period or higher usage (rate=$/time period or usage). Has a high mileage price been announced?

Volker.Berlin | 25 October, 2012

DouglasR, got it, finally. I haven't heard of any high-mileage rebates, and I don't expect anything like that from Tesla (which is why I didn't understand what you were talking about). But of course, there's always room for nice surprises...!

DouglasR | 25 October, 2012


It's not so much a rebate I was thinking about. More like, "$600 for one year or 12,500 miles, whichever comes first; $1,000 for one year or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first."

After all, they have already said $1900 for four years or 50,000 miles ($475/year), so I don't think it is a stretch to think that high mileage drivers might get some break. The main point is that we just don't know (or I just don't know) how they will charge owners who drive over 12,500 per year.

TikiMan | 25 October, 2012

That's close to my commute (126 miles round trip). I have been use to spending an avarage of around $500.00 to $700.00 per year to own and maintain (under warrantee), most luxury vehicals I have either bought or leased, over the last decade.

I guess the main difference is, I never paid the fees up-front. However, when I add it up at the end of the year doing taxes, it doesn't cost any different than owing a luxury ICE vehical (i.e. Lexus, Infiniti, MB).

On the flip side... gasoline in my state is really killing me! $80.00 to $100.00 twice a week!

bsimoes | 25 October, 2012

@lgagliardi@worl... | October 23, 2012new
What is the wheel package? You mean just buying the winter tires would qualify for this service? It would be worth it then. I would not want to mess with getting my tires changed out every winter but if they do it - coming to you - well thats a whole different story.
It sounded to me like if I bought the 2nd set of wheels with the winter tires mounted, the Rangers could then switch out my summer and winter tires at no additional cost, and they would come to me at my house to do so. Apparently, the wheels/rims/tires would not then require balancing or alignment, as long as I have a mounted set of both winter and summer tires. I do want to look into this a bit more before assuming this to be the case, but it certainly seemed to solve many issues for me.

DouglasR | 25 October, 2012


It would be great if they could also store the wheels/tires for you.

jkirkebo | 29 October, 2012

bsimoes: I swapped my summer tires for winter tires two days ago. That took me a whole 45 minutes in my own driveway, using nothing more than an aluminium racing jack and a wrench&socket set. I see no reason to go elsewhere for this, unless one has no place to store the unused wheel set.

My 21 year old stepdaughter changed her wheels on her own the day after. Winter has arrived...

joepruitt | 29 October, 2012

Tesla support has been awesome so far. I've had 3 issues with the car since I go it 10 days ago. The first two were found during delivery. The drivers window was loose and there was a warning light on for the 12v battery. I dropped the car off over lunch one day and they fixed the window while I was eating. They told me to charge the car on max-range for a few days to see if that fixed it over the weekend but the issue was still there. On Monday when I got into work, they came to my office and picked up the car and took it back to fix the battery and returned it later in the day. What would have taken me a day from work turned into no lost work time at all.

This weekend the passenger door handle would extend but would not open the door. I called in to report it at 9:30 and they had guys here by 10:00 and did ran diagnostics on site (replacing fuses/rebooting the firmware/etc). They are ordering me a new handle mechanism and will valet the car again when it's in.

Hopefully my issues are indicative of what others are experiencing but for a brand new car, little things like this don't bother me too much - especially whey they provide the support they do.

All in all for the 3 issues, I've missed zero work time and got free parking on a lunch trip to top it off.

Hats off to the Seattle Tesla support staff!


nickjhowe | 29 October, 2012

@joepruitt - this is wonderful service, but a little worrying that Elon was examining every car himself before it left and was expecting the same level of dedication when he wasn't there. Seems like there are quite a few problems slipping through the cracks...

jbunn | 29 October, 2012

Elon strikes me as the kind of person that will tolerate a mistake. Same mistake twice? Not good to be on that list. Hard to get off, and short.

jerry3 | 3 November, 2012


I doubt Elon was looking for the kind of problems joepruitt posted. The loose window could have happened during transit as could the battery problem (which could have been a loose connection). From what I've read Elon has mostly been looking at fit and finish.

With brand new production and the push to get as many out as possible it's amazing that only a few problems have been reported.

mrporter6 | 22 October, 2015

I read the report yesterday about the Tesla consumer report and I have to say I totally disagree and think Tesla needs to contact all the owners and see what they really think of there vehicles. I am in the middle of a 10000 mile trip around the USA and I could not be happier. This is truly the best highway vehicle I have ever owned and I think we need to get this word out to the public. Reports like yesterday's are not good for the reputation of a great vehicle

Haggy | 22 October, 2015

Tesla has effectively done that, and nobody is disputing the 97% satisfaction rate. Unlike most cars where a substantial amount of out-of-warranty work gets done at independent shops, Tesla has excellent records of what goes wrong with the car. They know how many times I've had my car fixed. They know how many times the average person had a car in for service. They can figure out easily how often people needed to make special trips for repair unrelated to a planned visit such as a tire rotation. They know how far each customer lives from a service center. They know how many times the average car built in the past year needed to be serviced compared to cars built prior to that. They know the rate at which cars with over 30K miles need to be serviced compared to those with under 30K miles.

How much more could they find out by asking customers? As far as I know, they do contact each customer after a service visit. So all that leaves is the group of customers that never had a problem at all. Is there a reason to think they aren't among the 97% who would buy the car again?