Trying to purchase a Powerwall from Tesla Energy has been the worst customer experience of anything I have ever ordered for my home.
First, I tried to call the call center about 7 months ago. No call back.
Second, I tried to get someone to call me from Telsa Energy from a shop in the Corte Madera, Ca mall. No luck.
Third, I called the call center again. No call back.
I had some legitimate questions where I really needed to speak to someone.
Finally, I just decided to just put down the $500 on the website just get someone to pay attention to me.
After multiple fumbled attempts I got a call from Josh in what sounded like a boiler room call center in Las Vegas. His sole job seemed to be to try to get me to buy more Powerwalls and schedule my site assessment. He failed miserably at both.
First he got me the standard order when after several attempts he couldn’t explain the benefit of ordering more than one.
My situation isn’t complicated, but he couldn’t answer the most basic questions about what I needed. Here is what I am trying to do.
• Sunpower is installing solar. They have agreed to run conduit (metal tubing to protect electrical wires) to my carport to where I want to put the Powerwall and a car charger. The mounts are in. We just need a Tesla assement so they can install their panels.
• I want Telsa to just mount the Powerwall in the carport and install a car charger at the same time.
• To run the conduit, I need Telsa to just tell me what wires they need in the conduit. They can seem to do this and no one that I have now interfaced with (5 different people) knows the answer. (The rest of the industry seems to use two gauge 3 wires and a guage 5 ground. This wire is available from Home Depot.)
After chasing Josh for 3 months to book the home evaluation, I almost gave up. For almost two months I couldn’t get the guy to call me back. When I finally got him to respond hunting him on text and voicemail, It took another few weeks to actually connect live. Of course, by then, the home assessment calendar was booked weeks in advance.
I take off work and meet the guy evaluating our home for install. Nice guy, but can’t answer even basic questions about my scenario. He doesn’t believe his group can install the car chargers, but he will make a note. I tell him Sunpower has already quoted on the conduit so I need this broken out. He agrees to make sure this is done.
The new invoice arrives about 2 weeks later and the conduit is not broken out and it shows a lump sum on install of $2,000. At this point I am just pissed. I have Sunpower breathing down my neck weekly to complete their install, and I can’t get a straight answer out of Telsa.
I call Josh. No answer. No call back for a week and a half. I call the call center for Telsa energy and I talked briefly with a guy who could not even understand what I was saying. I asked him to connect me to a supervisor. He said he would have someone call me. That was now two days ago.
I sent multiple e-mails on the topic requesting a callback.
This morning, with seemingly no knowledge of my outreach, Josh calls I to “answer the question in my voicemail.” He can’t explain the $2000 and says that only Telsa can install the conduit. I have a friend that had 2 Powerwalls installed for less than $1000 in a very remote part of the bay area, so I feel justified in asking for more detail. I also can’t do a second conduit run for the car charger so if only Telsa can do this and they won’t install the charger through Tesla Energy, then catch 22.
He e-mails this detail:
Here are the notes from our design team.
Recommended Option: Full Home Backup
Installation Pricing: Tier 3 (Load Relocation <10 Breakers, Conduit Run > 20 Feet, 2 - Sub-Panel Add/Replace <= 225A)
PW Qty: 1
Tie In: 100A MCB feeds Gateway. Gateway feeds (N) 125/100 LC and gen panel. Relocate sub panel breakers to LC. PW lands in gen panel.
Relocated Loads: Relocate 60A and 80A sub panel breakers to (N) LC
Explanation of A/C compatibility: N/A
Hidden Conduit: No
Is A/C in backup?: No
Description of Additional Charges: N/A
This means virtually nothing to me and doesn’t begin to solve the situation. I tell him over the phone how dissatisfied I am with this process and he basically says the Powerwall is so popular, that is why they are backed up, and I can decide to do business with them or not.
This whole process has been bungled from the start and even the most basic variant to an install, a slightly longer run and a car charger can’t be explained or accommodated.
The worst part for Tesla is that the car charger was anticipation of the day that I complete my remodel and replenish my savings enough to buy…..a Telsa.
I have never seen a company deploy less experienced people for a technical product and have no means to escalate or answer basic questions. It seems unfathomable that Tesla can’t get its act together for adding a car charger to an order and explaining a quote. Isn’t the synergy between cars and home power why Telsa bought out Solar City?
7 months in to what has been an awful purchase experience,I am at the verge of just giving up on my Powerwall – Telsa dream here and just shorting their stock to amass the funds to buy something else entirely. If my experience is any indication of the chaos behind the shiny brand, I don’t think it will take very long.