I am finished with TESLA

I am finished with TESLA

I am finished with TESLA. I own a large business with 250+ employees. I own a roadster with all the options (hardtop, extended battery warranty, etc),which cost almost $150,000. I have a background in physics, although it is not related to my profession, but I understand technology. I have been following the company and the technology while the roadster was only a prototype. I believed in Musk and I believed in the technology and the concept. I believed in my sales representative, Graham. I did a big article in the local newspaper about electric vehicles and how I installed TESLA charging stations at my business because I so believed in this concept. I in fact, thought it would save america from the curse of oil dependance and auto emissions. I was wrong. I don't believe anymore.
I waited for almost a year for my model S. After Graham (the only one in this whole ordeal I can trust)moved away,I was handed off to many different people handling my car purchase (5 or 6),and none of them really knew very much. I was repeatedly lied-to by several about the delivery of my vehicle. In fact, Mike from California said "we just want to get this car off of our lot" and was going to drop-ship the car to me by UPS. Wait a minute, I paid for a "delivery specialist" to be there for me, and at least I was promised that the car would be wrapped and delivered in an enclosed truck to Wyoming. Another "delivery expert" took over and he (Cale) assured me that the car would arrive charged and would be wrapped and in a covered truck.
When the car arrived today, battery almost totally discharged, un-wrapped, un-covered, pulled on a cheap, open trailor behind a pick-up truck, it was covered with water which should have alerted me to a problem. But I believed in TESLA. I was wrong. The delivery driver quickly dumped the model S and drove off. The car, my beautiful model S was scratched in multiple places, the scratches had been attempted to be covered up by buffing, which scratched the car further. There was road dirt all over the vehicle and bits of some type of adhesive. The water on the vehicle in retrospect was a trick to cover-up all the blemishes.
I called Cale, my "delivery expert" and he stated that since the car was paid for and registered to me, it was my responsibility. I was later called back and informed that someone would pick the car up to re-paint it.
My beautiful Model S, for which I waited for a year. Now it needs to be re-painted, and somehow it has become my responsibility. Cale the "delivery expert" said "at least you got a tax break". Great... trash my $100,000 car and tell me I got a $7,500 tax break for buying an electric vehicle.

I was going to put a $40,000 deposit on a model X on Monday, Jan 7, 2013.
Not any more.
I am done with TESLA and the teenagers that they have empowered to handle customers paying $100,000 for a sedan, and who lie and behave like they are selling cheap chevy's.

I want the company to buy back my roadster, my charging stations, and my model S.

I don't believe any more.

I am finished with TESLA.


Cattledog | 5 January 2013

Tom - I am sorry this has gone so poorly for you. Tesla needs to be delivering both product and service, so if they are slipping in one or both that is worrisome. I hope someone up the ladder there grabs hold of your situation and makes it right for you, you clearly are a passionate EV advocate - the rest of us need you!

This recent delivery push has seemingly created great confusion, anxiety, and diminished the quality of some of the product and service. I hope for your and many people's sake this is corrected. Short of these types of experiences affecting reservations, they need to figure out how to appropriately deliver over 2,000 cars a month from here on out.

Tesla, we need your 'A' Game.

jk2014 | 5 January 2013

Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience. A mark of a great company is it's ability to make things right for wronged customers. I hope Elon and Blankenship make this right immediately.

tom | 5 January 2013

George Blankenship just called me on my cell phone. 6:00 pm Saturday night, Wyoming time. He was very nice and offered to build me another model S immediately. I suggested that we try to see if the paint can be fixed professionally first, before we build another vehicle. My origional sales rep Graham will fly in to look at the condition of the vehicle on Sunday morning and take it to a shop to make it right. In my line of work, there is no tolerance for error or carelessness, and I understand customer care.

George made it right by me, fast.

Maybe I was wrong. Perhaps the measure of success is not being perfect all of the time, but rather being willing to fix the things you can, with honor and integrity.

I will give TESLA the chance they deserve. It took extreme courage to start this whole EV concept in the first place.

Maybe I(we) can believe in TESLA, after all.

I am going to give them a chance.

Big Tex | 5 January 2013

Wow, Tom- quite the story. It sounds like a promising resolution- please keep us posted.

Cattledog | 5 January 2013

Tom - That's sounds Lincolnesque, 'Perhaps the measure of success is not being perfect all of the time, but rather being willing to fix the things you can, with honor and integrity.'

I am glad George was so responsive and that you have met them in a reasonable spot. hope you get an outcome that turns you into an even larger Tesla advocate. That would make us all happy, and happy for you.

Best wishes, please keep us informed.

jackhub | 5 January 2013


David70 | 5 January 2013


It's great that George B. got this resolved so quickly.

But I am curious.

Had you called Tesla to complain, or had Tesla seen your comments in this thread and gotten the information to George?

The Froq | 6 January 2013

Too much emotions. Get real.

Brian H | 6 January 2013

Don't croaq at him! The Model S inspires passion ...

bp | 6 January 2013

By requiring out-of-state customers to pre-pay before delivery, Tom's situation is what I have been concerned about when I finalized my order several weeks ago.

Before finalizing my order - and committing the $5K deposit, I was assured by the Tesla "finalize" rep I called I would not have to pay for my car before it had been delivered to me AND I had an opportunity to inspect the car - so that if there was anything seriously wrong, I'd have an option to refuse delivery. The paperwork they provided confirmed this "payment due upon delivery".

I signed the paperwork - and then after seeing multiple comments on the forms, called Tesla again - and this time, I was told "delivery" meant "delivery to transport company" - and that I would be required to pre-pay for the car, sight unseen.

BUT, I was assured the final paperwork would outline my rights to refuse delivery for the car - if it was in unacceptable condition - which doesn't appear to be what happened in Tom's case.

Why am I worrying about this? Because I had this happen to me when I ordered my last car - my 2007 LS 460. When my LS was delivered to the local Lexus dealer, it had been damaged in delivery. While the damage was minor enough that they could have fixed the problem, they refused to give me the option to take the car and let them fix the problems. Instead, Lexus and the transport company worked things out to re-route another car to me quickly (which turned out to be on my birthday - what a great birthday present!). Neither the dealer or Lexus would allow a repaired/damaged vehicle to be sold to me as a new vehicle.

So if the final delivery paperwork Tom signed covered this situation, then he should have been able to refuse delivery of the vehicle - if he found the damage severe enough.

But if the final paperwork doesn't cover this - then I've had a second instance where a Tesla rep (not a local sales rep - but someone at HQ) has misrepresented the delivery process - and I'll be considerably more concerned about sending them $100K for a car that I haven't seen, won't have an opportunity to inspect, and will be stuck with, even if there is major damage - at least from a contractual standpoint.

If Tesla doesn't have this situation covered in their purchase agreements, they really need to get this fixed - because it is inevitable cars will be damaged between the factory and customer delivery.

While Tesla appears to be handling Tom's situation well now - why put customers in the situation Tom faced? Clearly he's been a strong supporter of Tesla - and had a bad delivery experience - which could have been avoided, if there had been a clear process established for him to make the decision on whether he wanted the car repaired - or a replacement sent to him.

Even though Tesla is not a dealer (at least not here in Texas) - Tesla should provide customers the same rights we would have if we were purchasing other cars - from local dealers - where we have the right to inspect the cars (even drive them) before we are committed to keeping them...

We all want Tesla to be successful - and it would be unfortunate all they have accomplished so far could be put in jeopardy by mishandling the delivery process...

cprenzl | 6 January 2013

I think to solve this tesla needs its own trucks and drivers to deliver the vehicles. That would be the best, but costly move.

The Froq | 6 January 2013

I think there should be no war and food for everyone.
Come on, Tesla is a startup. And they are doing very, very fine.

Shit happens! You can see the quality of a company by the way they solves the problems.

( by the way, I'm a Signature res in EU and haven't seen nothing like a testride, deliverydate of whatever so far)
I had better aspectations about that also.

Mattski | 6 January 2013

Wow. Tom, make sure you update us. I don't care if the car will go to the moon, if Tesla treats its customers like crap, I ain't buyin'. This sounds like GM or Ford in the 1970's.

And you're a REPEAT customer, and potentially a THREEPEAT customer! My fear: since you have obviously been a strong customer and advocate for the company (and, it turns out, quite vocal), it's understandable that Mr. Blankenship would jump in to make this right for you. Would he, or Tesla, do that for just a regular Joe Shmoe like me? Regardless, I, too, will be very noisy if I get treated like this. Like you, I WANT Tesla and EV's in general to succeed. But I am not going to be treated like I should be honored that Tesla took my $85,000. I expect to be treated like royalty given the cost and risk I'm taking here.

C'mon Tesla! Really? Pre-paying the full amount for a car sight unseen (as bp says above)? We - your customers - need to be treated with trust and respect. Just like we're treating you. We'll be waiting for your final report, Tom. Good luck!

jk2014 | 6 January 2013

In the excitement of beating Q4 estimates, I think they've pushed a little beyond capacity. Another sign of a great company is being able to "adjust fire" and hit the expected quality standard at the pace of its growth. Going from 253 cars produced last quarter, to over 3000 this quarter, and 6400 a quater next year provides a substantial test. Again, my name is Yoda.

Sudre_ | 6 January 2013

WHAT a story. I am glad it appears to be working out for you. I think a lot of us waiting on our cars have similar fears. I am glad GB is making this right.... Tesla did the right thing offering you a new car and you were very gracious suggesting the re-paint.

cprenzl, in some states Tesla is not allowed. Wyoming may not be one of them but in some cases Tesla is stuck using third party delivery anyway. Tesla and the customer should also have avenues when the product arrives damage with a third party delivery. A claim can be made with the delivery company's insurance carrier and damages paid. It sounds to me like this delivery specialist is the one that messed things up. I would imagine a claim will be filed.

bp | 6 January 2013

At least from my experience, quality customer care is critical for startups - because it's hard enough for a startup to establish momentum and gain customers, without also having to overcome bad word-of-mouth. Tesla's done a great job on their technology - and building a community of early supporters - but that could be quickly undone by a few bad customer experiences.

As a first step, Tesla should review their training for the call center folks - and make sure they are much more careful about what they tell customers - particularly anything related to contract terms (my experience with getting conflicting feedback on "payment upon delivery" is really unacceptable).

They should also review the MVPA - and fix the wording so it reflects many customers will be required to pay BEFORE delivery - and then outline the customers rights to resolve issues if the vehicle they receive is unacceptable.

These are both easy steps to take - and could be done immediately - and avoid these issues - before the get bit by someone with a bad delivery experience.

NOTE that I'm not even bringing up the lack of "personal delivery" or that many of the cars being delivered appear to be short items - those are also important issues, but probably not as important as anything related to the contract terms and ensuring the customer gets the car they ordered - and that it is acceptable...

Mel. | 6 January 2013

Bp, you start your long complaint with "by requiring out-of-state customers to pre -pay before delivery............" I did not pre pay. I gave the ds a check when he delivered the car. You might have a problem with your state and not Tesla

bp | 6 January 2013

It appears only some out-of-state customers are being required to pre-pay. I'm in Texas - and that may be one of the states. The lack of a dealership license in Texas may also be why the Houston store can't provide any test drives.

But it is up to Tesla to figure out how to work with each state's laws, and provide reasonable support and service for their customers.

Looking forward to the details in how my delivery will be handled. Hopefully my concerns will be unfounded.

teddyg | 6 January 2013

Own trucks and delivery men would be costly for Tesla...maybe further on down the road when the company can afford it.
For now they should ensure cars are transported in an enclosed truck and covered. Elon is supposed to be pretty fanatic about the paint quality so I am surprised he is letting cars get damaged/dirty in the delivery process. Enclosed delivery trucks are a must, especially in winter.

Brian H | 6 January 2013

It has been already reported that TM is developing its own delivery fleet. A few cars seem to have been dropped off by Tesla trucks already. Here's hoping! It certainly fits with Elon's vertical integration philosophy.

rcc | 6 January 2013

Also, no one can be perfect all the time. What matters is what happens after the mistake is made. That's when customers find out if the company truly cares.

TV | 6 January 2013

I cannot believe all the garbage being spewed here. What states have outlawed the Tesla? I want to know ONE.

Tom: I find it almost UNBELIEVABLE that you would pay for a new Tesla, and then not "SCRUTIZIZE" how it was going to be shipped to you. Really? Tom, I wouldn't be SHOCKED at seeing my new Tesla arrive behind a "pickup truck", because I WOULD ARRANGE IT as to how it was coming. A pickup truck to Montana? Whose fault is that? If I lived in Montana, I'd arrange shipping myself, and buy insurance as well. It takes 3-4 days by Conway-fully insured. Batteries, damage, and pickup trucks are not part of the equation. I need an aspirin.

Boy, I am sure getting bugged reading things like "My car sat there for 5 dang weeks, and when I turned it on, HEY! it didn't operate yuh no?" Hello?!? Knock Knock! This is an ELECTRIC CAR. PLUG IT IN LIKE THEY TELL YOU. Have you read anything about Lithium Ion Batteries? Need a phone? Well, I'll tell you one thing, before I spend $150K on a car, I think I'll read up a little, maybe ask a question or two. You know? PLUG IT IN. HIRE A QUALITY SHIPPING SERVICE TO INSURE AND TRANSPORT YOUR CAR SAFELY. ok???? (really?)

Vawlkus | 7 January 2013

Tesla is staffed by people, and people aren't perfect. They will screw up, and/or accidents will happen. What matters most is this: can Tesla learn from this, and keep from making the same mistake again? GB getting in on this makes me think they can, but ultimately, only time will tell.

keithz | 7 January 2013

I find your story very disconcerting, if only because I am guessing that Tesla would not have reacted anywhere near as spectacularly, if you had not spoken out in a public forum and if you were not a high end customer.

They'll go down flames if stories like this become more common as thousands more vehicles are delivered.

keithz | 7 January 2013


They may not have to own their own trucks. They may just have to own a set of covered delivery trailers. And get a reliable company whose drivers will follow instructions for delivery.

keithz | 7 January 2013


Blame the customer is really not a good business strategy in the long run.

Jewsh | 7 January 2013

TV is a troll. Obviously. No one is required to handle delivery of any vehicle on their own unless they've modified it after the fact. I don't expect to handle shipping on my own; I expect to be a customer. (And a pampered one, for the ~$100,000.00 I am spending.)

Brian H | 7 January 2013

And having '000s of customers sending trucking co's in to the factory lot to pick up their cars is a logistical nonsense. Not happening.

jk2014 | 7 January 2013

Based on Tom's experience and a sample of the comments in the forum, I think the following sums up the past few weeks: the car rocks, the admin and delivery suck. Factory pick up does not apply. Always easier to fix the admin and delivery process then the car, so that's a huge plus. But, got to do it fast because there are going to be 20K+ cars out there by year end. Bigger spot light when problems compound. Only so many personal responses the top brass can make to customers like Tom. Roll up the sleeves and get to work on the team. I heard they are already retooling the "delivery experience" process, so a big good-for-you to Tesla if this is true. Now that rubber has met the road with sales, time to earn your pay George, et al...

jk2014 | 7 January 2013

To add, if Tesla's is going prevent more "Toms" and get to the GENIII scale of production over the next few years, they will have to spend just as much blood, sweat, and tears on leadership and management as they do engineering. The organizational requirements of large scale production will require extensive brainpower and artistry in itself. This goes well beyond the "start up" status they enjoy today. This actually gets to the heart of principle Tesla is based on: sustainability. If they want to create a sustainable future in energy consumption (and production), this is the part of the equation their brilliance will have to shine through as well. This might not require spending more money on hiring different management, but the leadership spending more time developing the people they already have. This is the long term commitment Tesla's executives have to be willing to make if they really want to disrupt the car market and lead to mass adoption. I predict Elon is going to have to do some soul searching in how committed he'll be in achieving his goals with Tesla. He won't be able to run both SpaceX and Tesla as CEO for long.

The Froq | 7 January 2013

If this is all so simple why is Tesla so special?I never have seen a company like Tesla or SpaceX.

They had the problems with engineering, they had the problems with production and they had the problems with distribution and I (and Tesla) know they will have the problems with maintanance. It's all first time lessons.

You don't need a kristal ball for that. Just all and learn!

jk2014 | 7 January 2013

Scale is a whole nutha ball of wax entirely... I'm rooting for them to break the mold here too!

jat | 7 January 2013

@bp - I think when they are scrambling to get cars out the door, not everybody has the whole story. When I first finalized my order, I was also told that I would pay on delivery and a personal check was fine. Later, when it was getting closer to time to pay, I was told that I had to wire them the money first.

Frankly, that was what I expected from the beginning -- since they told me otherwise, I did feel somewhat misled, but it didn't really bother me much. I don't think the first reps were lying to me, but rather either that they didn't know or it changed between then and now. For example, I know some states have laws that prevent delivery specialists (plus a shortage of them given the pace at the end of the year) and may require the ownership transfer to happen out of the state.

If Tesla had said they only sold the cars in CA, and you had to arrange getting it home yourself, would you have chosen not to buy it? When I was thinking about how expectations were changing, I just thought about if it was that way from the beginning, it wouldn't have changed my mind, so I should cut them some slack for figuring it out as they go along and not worry about it.

bp | 7 January 2013

The inconsistency in information provided by Tesla's phone support team is more likely a symptom of poor training or lack of information on some topics - than an effort to intentionally mislead customers. Everyone I've talked with or met from Tesla has always been very positive and tried to be helpful.

However, customers are still expected to make purchase decisions based on the information being provided by Tesla - online, in person and over the phone. And if that information isn't correct, and customers make decisions based on incorrect information, then eventually that's going to cause a bad customer experience - and harm Tesla's reputation.

Now that the end-of-year rush is over, hopefully they'll review how things went - and implement improvements in the purchase and delivery process - things which should be relatively easy to fix.

JackM | 8 January 2013

Glad to see George took quick action and made it right.

I took delivery on 12-12-12 and the experice was superb. Covered car carrier, wrapped car, superb delivery specialist, great truck driver (who let me drive it off the truck), and spotless car. They do know how to get it right.

And the car far exceeded my expectations on all accounts.

donaldmeacham1 | 8 January 2013

I had a similar experience with Lexus. The car I ordered ( LS 430) arrived with scratches in the clear coat resulting from the buffing that was done during dealer prep. They were only visible in certain light. I refused to accept the car and the ordered a new one with no question or extra charge and sold the original car as a used vehicle. That's the way service is supposed to be and It has been my experience with Lexus for more than 20 years.

Epley | 10 January 2013

Glad you reconsidered, Tom! Also glad that Tesla made this right. Vawlkus and others are correct: the measure of the company is how they respond to problems and what they do to improve.

tom | 10 January 2013

I had my car delivered back to me last night, and it was perfect. George called me personally several times over the past week and I feel he is genuinely sincere. I feel that he would be very concerned about ANY customer and not just a "high-end" customer. I talked to George a little on each call and got to know him and I think he is a real "down-to-earth" guy. I don't think he really needs the job at TESLA but he does the job and loves it because, like me, he is a believer in this technology and the future it can hold for us all. My friend Graham, who delivered and oversaw fixing the car is a great guy and representative of the standard the rest of the company sales/delivery guys should be held to. Graham is welcome in my home any time and is really part of my family at this point. TESLA warranted the repairs to the paint for the life of the car. Although the delivery was rocky and the new (very young) people involved with TESLA seem to be on a steep learning curve, I am very satisfied how I was treated and how quickly my problems were remedied.
As one businessman to another: I personally like George and I share his passion for what he does. I live in the middle of Wyoming and Graham sells TESLAs in Florida. I will put money down on a Model X and keep working with the company. I will however, only buy a vehicle from my sales guy Graham, regardless of the distance from Florida to Wyoming. The sales and delivery people in the western US need to take a lesson from this if the company and the technology is to succeed.
Thank you George and thank you Graham.

All my best,
Tom and Gina

jad322 | 11 January 2013

I also know of some people that have gone though to a similar experience with customer service and a final model s arrival shape.
All I know is that the level of service that you ask for will be the level of service that you receive.
If you present your problems and concerns TESLA has no problems with answering and address your concerns.

asblik | 15 January 2013


How about posting pictures of your Model S for us to see on Flickr or anywhere else we can access it?

I'm sure you would have taken multiple images being techie.

dan.pickerill | 15 January 2013

Tom, glad your problem was resolved and you are once again a satisfied Tesla owner. I am awaiting my MS and the delivery is something I worry about too. I am considering flying to the factory and bringing my car home under my control. On the other hand, it would be exciting to have it delivered all wrapped up and enclosed in a delivery truck. I too would be let down if I saw it on a trailer pulled by a pickup. But if I brought mine home from the factory to Eastern Nebraska that is how I would do it myself. I am president of an electronics research and development company and my concern is I have a group of engineers that are excited about seeing my MS when it gets here. They are threatening to disassemble it to see how it is built. Don't think that will happen but we are all excited for its arrival. What a beautiful car and the engineering behind it is fantastic. If I pick mine up at the factory maybe I can meet up with you on my drive back to Nebraska.

Brian H | 15 January 2013

terrific outcome. Give us some 'driving it at last' follow-up, OK?

louis.melancon | 16 January 2013

I'm getting very concerned about getting this new car.
A good portion of the purchasing process on Tesla's end seems to be vaporware.

-Early on, they asked if I plan on financing any of the car because they have options. "Oooh, well I always like to compare rates from a couple of places - whatcha got?" "Oh, we don't do financing. You need to handle that on your own." Alright, was already doing that - NP. Just seems weird you offered me a service you don't do.
-Then, they asked if I'd like to do a trade in. Seemed odd - not a regular dealership, why would they do trade ins? But, I've got three ICE/hybrid vehicles and one of them has to go to make room in the garage, so "When and where do I need to take my vehicle for valuation of trade?" "Oh, we don't do trade ins." Again, why did you offer it?
-When do I pay? When you pick up. Cool - I'd like to make sure the car isn't all messed up and is ready to rock (especially since I'm seeing about requested options not being installed - specifically the rumble seats which I too have ordered). Then - oh, you need to pay before we release it and ship it to you. They are a start up, they need liquid assets - I can dig that. Don't like purchasing site unseen, but ok, I'll bite. So wire a portion of the cost from my personal account, send them the paper work for dealer electronic check for the financed portion. This requires Tesla to write in their company name, teh date, and their ACH (vice BFT) account/routing numbers then fax the purchase agreement and title application back to the bank. Tesla rejects it - "We don't do that. You have to do that." Seriously? This is a basic car seller function and you "don't do that." Not asking you to put out on a first date or sacrifice a goat, just fill out four partial lines of text and walk to a fax machine. Fine - I'll do it myself, send me the title application. They email me the title application - it isn't filled out properly. I have to correct it for them, and then fax it off to my bank. They (Tesla) then asked if I could please send them the confirmation number when the transaction completes. The response - "No, you keep hitting refresh on your account and look for the numbers to go up."
For a luxury vehicle, a much higher level of administrative service and competency should be demonstrated. Hell, I expect it (and receive it) when buying a low end vehicle for dirty jobs.

And these are indicators that there is a wider / deeper problem here. I am very nervous about this vehicle.

bp | 16 January 2013

Louis, share some of your concerns - having finalized my delivery plans and sent them my final payment last weekend - before they would ship my car to Texas.

This is the first time I've paid full price for a car - before I have an opportunity to inspect it - so I am concerned. And my last car (a Lexus) was damaged in shipment - so I've had delivery problems before (my Lexus dealer and Lexus arranged for a replacement car to be delivered, so they worked it out - without having me involved).

However, I knew that ordering a car from Tesla right now is going to be less polished than from an established manufacturer or dealer. Even though this is Tesla's 2nd vehicle - they are still in 'startup' mode - going into higher volume production for the first time - which is stretching their staff capabilities and logistics to the limit.

Many of the problems we are dealing with in the delivery process are due to the lack of local dealership status in states like Texas. And Tesla has to be careful not to do anything that would violate the dealership laws - so they have to get payment before the car leaves their factory - and they can't have anyone present when the car is delivered.

This is clearly unacceptable in the long run - and I expect Tesla will figure out how to get dealerships in every state where they are selling cars in volume - and many of these issues would then go away - and getting a car delivered from Tesla would be like from any other dealership...

Just heard that my car is in transit - and could be delivered as early as this weekend - so I'll soon have firsthand experience in how all of this works out...

But, so far, everyone I've dealt with at Tesla has been very helpful - and, if I do have problems, I've been assured by my delivery rep that they'll take care of everything.

Brian H | 17 January 2013

Try and stay with the program! Tesla has no dealerships, anywhere. Just stores and Service Centers. It's better to use those terms, too, so you don't create confusion about what a store can/does do. It is much different from a dealership, beginning with inventorying cars and fixing them (obviously that is dealt with at Service Centers).

Mel. | 17 January 2013

Bp, we really do not want Tesla to have dealerships. We like Tesla. We want to work with Tesla. We do not need a middleman to jack up the price.

Brian H | 17 January 2013

Oops, 'bp', not 'hp'.

Cattledog | 18 January 2013

louis and bp - I had the experience you're having. I now have my car and it's a distant memory, however it wasn't a great delivery experience. It is inconsistent with their product, showroom, website, design, engineering, etc. Needs fixin'

PS - I am in San Antonio, donde estas?

bp | 18 January 2013

Early adopters will be more forgiving of challenges during the delivery process - committing to $5K before the car is built and paying the remaining amount before the car is shipped - with no opportunity to inspect the car before payment - and only a verbal promise that Tesla will take care of any problems encountered upon delivery.

At some point, Tesla will exhaust the early adopter pool - and will need customers who will not be willing to pay for cars - before they can be inspected.

Those customers may also not be as willing to deal with the awkward process of submitting multiple rounds of paperwork (both electronic and via FedEx), in advance of the car.

There are also the issues of license registration and trade-ins - areas where buying a Telsa not only requires more effort by customers, but also prevents them from taking advantage of the cost benefits of trading in one vehicle for another.

If Tesla can solve these problems without establishing dealerships - then they need to do so.

But if a dealership is required, they really need to be working to get this in place before it starts impacting their sales.

I'm an early adopter - and willing to take the leap of faith that this will all work out - but I doubt many of my friends, family or colleagues would do the same...

It would be unfortunate for all of Tesla's efforts in building a great car - with great technology - were undone by having a poor delivery process.

louis.melancon | 18 January 2013

Not to beat a dead horse, but...
So I now have a scheduled delivery time as apparently my car was loaded onto a transporter earlier this week (Individual to individual email).

And yet, I keep getting automated emails saying that my car is almost finished and I should be contacted soon to finalize paperwork and my estimated delivery time is over a month ago.

AND, my status within the My Tesla site simply says that the factory is still building it with a TBD completion date.

Yes, they are a start up. Yes this is all new(ish). But the fact is, it is a relatively easy fix to ensure the information flow processes are smooth and accurate in this last part of the early stages. It's a small enough operation that a little "shoe leather" goes a long way to fixing these things - because if they aren't fixed early, then when the tyranny of scale hits, everyone will be overwhelmed.