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Terrible service - huge decline from previously excellent standards

Terrible service - huge decline from previously excellent standards

Tesla service used to be great! Not anymore. Here is my recent experience.

I live in Seattle area. We had a big snowstorm in February, 1 1/2 to 2 feet snow. Long story short, snow banks everywhere, including our driveway, and I scraped the left rear part of the wheel one too many times against a snow bank, and the plastic trim around the wheel area, I think it is called quarter panel, broke. It's a plastic part, no damage to the metal, no big deal.

I went to the local service center in Bellevue WA, exactly two months ago. The problem is still unresolved and it's been one terrible experience after another. Here is what happened so far.

1. First of all, when I called the service center, nobody picked up the call. I called 2-3 times, same outcome, so I decided to go to the service center in person.
2. I was surprised that the local service center did not have such a small, cheap part in inventory (Bellevue / Seattle area has thousands of Teslas, you would think they would keep some parts in inventory.
3. They ordered the part and told me it would take a few weeks for it to be delivered to the service center and once delivered, someone would call me to schedule a service appointment.
4. Weeks went by and no one called.
5. I was busy at work, so finally when I had some time, I followed up. After a few tries, got the same service rep on call.
6. She said something to the effect "oops, the part was delivered a few weeks ago but I don't know why no one noticed it and called you"
7. She asked me if mobile service would be OK, to which I said OK. She said, a mobile technician will call me in a few days to schedule the service call.
8. You guessed it. No one called for about a week and a half (and mind you, if you call the service center, generally, no one picks up the phone).
9. Finally, someone called from an "Unavailable" number. I of course, don't pick up such calls.
10. I listened to the voicemail and called back and scheduled a service call.
11. The service call was scheduled for 3PM this afternoon. However, at around 2:45, the technician called me and said that he went to the service center to pick up the part but the part is not there, so he can't service the car. He couldn't give me any more information about when the car will be serviced.
12. I called the service center to find out. 4 times. Of course, no one picked up the phone. And the voicemail box was full and I couldn't leave a message.
13. Finally, I called the sales office and asked to talk to service manager. I was told that the manager was not in office today. The service rep was in the office but helping another customer and that she would give me call once she was done with that customer.
14. That was at 4 PM. The store closes at 6 PM. No one called.

So, first of all, Tesla is using a cheap plastic part on a 100K car, doesn't have a spare even in a large service center, can't deliver it for two months, doesn't know it's not there while scheduling a service appointment, and at the service center, very often no one picks up the call, voicemail box is full, and when you call and complain, no one returns the calls.

I will post an update after a few days. I am hoping that this thing gets resolved soon.

V.

bigroccrek | 15 April 2019

I have had the exact same experience with my "local" service center (70 miles away). It is starting to get old. Please Tesla, Service what you sell!!

tbogan | 17 April 2019

Tesla service used to be exceptional. I cannot understate how much it has deteriorated in the last year. Our most recent example is that we lost our ability to supercharge. Phone wait times to get assistance were over 45 minutes (two different calls). We subsequently took the car in and determined that the supercharging capability is compromised. Multiple weeks waiting for a part to come in - once it did - we received a text asking for our preferred appointment times. NO RESPONSE to our return text for three days - only to tell us that date wasn’t available. Tesla - this is a $120,000 car - get your act together. We have three Model S’s. There will not be another one unless you get this fixed. You used to be the best. Now you are unequivocally the worst.

CoreyM | 17 April 2019

I also live in the Seattle area and would echo the sentiment.

I had a 2013 Model S and just traded it in for a Model X a few weeks ago. For the first several years of owning my Model S, Tesla's service (both Seattle and Bellevue locations) was phenomenal. Truly some of the best service from a company in any industry. But over the last year or so, there's been a steep decline in service.

My guess it is largely due to the much higher volume of service appointments due to rapid growth of Model 3's in the market. Some of the same people who have provided great service over the years have become unresponsive, lack follow-up or simply miss things. I don't think these individuals have inherently changed, so my assumption is that it's the amount of cars coming through that they're trying to juggle that's the issue. But that's just my guess.

Not making any excuses or saying that it's okay, because I've certainly been frustrated with the level of service over the last year, but I do think that they have not been able to scale up their service department/locations to coincide with all the new Teslas on the road.

For those who are new to Tesla and have only experienced bad service, you should know that it used to be great and hopefully it will get there again--just keep providing feedback in the surveys post-service visit.

TeslaTap.com | 17 April 2019

I suspect some service centers are loaded more than others. Just because a couple of service centers have problems does not mean all service centers are the same. I've always had great service here in bay area - likely the highest density of Teslas too. Then again There are 5 service centers within 30 miles.

I've been able to get appointments online in less than a week, but I'm flexible time-wise. Those than can only go at a prime time could wait a lot longer. I hope they get your issue solved.

jjgunn | 17 April 2019

Bay Area SC's give all the love I guess. No issue here in the Bay

Sounds like the Seattle SC needs some help/training. Hang in there & try to have patience. Hope you get it resolved real soon.

benbfinell | 23 April 2019

I have had the exact same experiences with the Seattle service centers. They trashed my vehicle and are just a horrible place to take your car. I think I'm going to try driving down to Portland next time I need to take me car in.

officially4h | 23 April 2019

Nice. Tesla is awesome.

David Trushin | 25 April 2019

I agree that service has taken a nosedive over the past year. As a long time owner, I experienced the excellent service in the early years and now can't even communicate with anyone other than some human answering machine, if I'm lucky. Tesla has gone to great lengths to separate the owner from the service technician. Often in the past , problems could be identified and resolved over the phone. Now all you can do is make an anonymous appointment over the internet and arrive at the service center only to find out within the first 5 minutes that the part you knew you needed must be ordered on would take a week to arrive. Like that old jaguar joke, "2 weeks, but you have to leave the car".

chuckgrim | 25 April 2019

My driver side window would not close all the way so I drove to the service as soon as it happened and they had the part needed and I was there for less than 2 hours. Excellent service. No appointment needed. I'm lucky that I live less than 10 miles of the service center.

jsj_online | 7 May 2019

AGREED!! Service center near me used to be easy to communicate with and now I cannot even reach a human over the phone and service appointments through the app are at least a week out. This is a stupid model and I hope they make changes soon.

David Trushin | 7 May 2019

I drove to the service center to talk to them and they said that they hadn't diagnosed my problem yet and wouldn't until it was closer to the appointment. I yammered a little and they pulled the logs and said that they could do a mobile service. The call center person said that it wasn't eligible for mobile. Mobile sent me a text that they ordered the parts and would schedule service when they arrived. That was yesterday. Turns out the parts were mispackaged and they couldn't do the repair. Also still throwing up incorrect charging errors. It says unable to charge, but it is charging although at a lower amperage. I'm doing my own diagnosis on this. Contrast this with my wife's caddy,. It put up an error and I was able to take it in the next day and have it looked at. I understand that service is slammed, but they just closed a service center in my area.

lilbean | 7 May 2019

I scheduled ranger service and he had the nerve to be here on time! I was running five minutes late. How dare he!

David Trushin | 7 May 2019

They're coming tomorrow to fix the door. Looks like charging errors are from my electricity line. I typically do not believe in coincidence when it comes to electronic devices but it sure is suspicious that the errors started immediately after the update. Perhaps they put in some new checks on the current quality and my line was always marginal. Time for an electrician to look at it.

sschaem | 8 May 2019

I have been dealing with Tesla since last august. It started really well in the showroom, but about a month later I started to see how bad the company was managed and how terrible the customer service was.

I had to interact with Tesla in the past 2 weeks, and its not getting any better.

The funny thing is in late September I compiled a list a serious issues and wanted to discuss with management, and Tesla told me "We know, no need to explain" ... yet 2 month later. exact same series of problems.

Tesla got a massive communication problems. Its the worse I seen in the industry. Its its surprising from a company that is supposed to be high tech. My latest one are, nobody answer the phone... email can take 4+ days to get answered.. even their Investor relation communication page on their website was broken and I had to relay the problem by jumping hoops.

Only two thing possible 8 month of no improvement. Tesla knows of the debacle but can seem to hire people to manage their situation... Tesla doesn't realize how bad it is, and choose to ignore it.

Because for many cases its not rocket science.

And I have to say, even so the product is good. If I knew all that I know now about Tesla, I would have never bought a car from them, and just waited for them to get their act together.

awajr31 | 8 May 2019

My 2018 MX just enjoyed two visits to the Portland SC (during a two week period). My second visit was due to my adding requested work to my original list.
The SC staff was competent, professional and very patient in all respects handling my visits. The workmanship was outstanding!
The work requested could not be accomplished by a mobile technician. Portland SC has sent the Ranger Service to my home (300 miles from Portland) on two occasions. Both were accomplished properly, promptly, and professionally!
Thanks to the Portland crew!!

awajr31 | 8 May 2019

My 2018 MX just enjoyed two visits to the Portland SC (during a two week period). My second visit was due to my adding requested work to my original list.
The SC staff was competent, professional and very patient in all respects handling my visits. The workmanship was outstanding!
The work requested could not be accomplished by a mobile technician. Portland SC has sent the Ranger Service to my home (300 miles from Portland) on two occasions. Both were accomplished properly, promptly, and professionally!
Thanks to the Portland crew!!

david | 9 May 2019

I have a very similar experience. I have screen yellowing around my screen on my Model X. Reported it to the service center when I had my service done and they said as soon as there's a replacement available they will contact me. So two weeks ago Tesla contacts me set up an appointment for Thursday this week to replace the touchscreen. Great I think no more yellow border around my screen and I don't even have to drive 200 miles to get it done. Get a call a week later after having taken off work for Thursday and well they can't get to me till Friday so they confirm another appointment. Well I get a call the day before they're supposed to show up at 5:30 p.m. stating Tesla no longer replacing screens with the yellow band it's working on a fix that doesn't require replacing the screen. We're going to cancel your appointment. I hem and haw and talk about the other things I wanted to show the service tech and they begrudgingly schedule service. But are sure to inform me that they will not be replacing my touch screen even though it's broken. So now I've lost two days of work so that I can report other problems on my car that I guarantee you won't get fixed. $150,000 car with used car lot level service.

Battcar | 9 May 2019

Strange. I have had really no issues with my MX but the few I have had were attended to perfectly by a Ranger or at the Devon PA service center. Even had a weird issue where the Tesla Account Web site had issues where I could not purchase FSD before the price went up. My local service center got me the FSD at the $2K price weeks later.

I realize some folks may have an issue that does not get resolved quickly (like the screens that they are redesigning so the yellow does not reappear) but it is hardly a bad service experience.

I have had way worse service at Merc and Bimmer dealers.

david | 9 May 2019

FYI they were supposed to be installing one of the redesigned screens. Then gave me the line they are working on a fix that does bot require screen replacement. I am a tech guy and have never ever heard of a way to fix screen discoloration. Feel like I am being lied to.

TeslaTap.com | 10 May 2019

@david - The issue is not the LCD itself but it appears to be on the top layer, perhaps glue to adhere the top layer to the LCD panel. Perhaps they can strip off the layer and replace it, although I sort of doubt it too. Not sure why they would lie, and looking for a better solution is always smart. Also, talking with a tech may have zero real information from the engineering team of what is really being done.

My guess is it is a LG problem (maker of the LCD module), and they may be partly responsible. Then again LG may not have specified the display for the use in a car, which may move the responsibility to Tesla. Doubt we'll ever know.

dsocoloff | 10 May 2019

Yes. Service what a joke. Just bought used X. Now wish I did not. Screen issue and same bs line that it is normal. Also can’t get someone on the phone. Tesla: all other automakers are going to eat you alive when they launch their Electrics.

David Trushin | 10 May 2019

OK, door is fixed. The mobile service guys were great even with the screw-up on the ordered part. But that's the thing: The service techs and reps are great, professional, know what they're doing etc. Never had a complaint about them. It's the call center and the layers that they've put in-between you and the service techs that is really bringing service down. I think I would rather have the car do the diagnostics and schedule a service call than to have to deal with them again. I hear that's coming. Everyone I talk to gives me their number and says if I have a problem getting through, just give them a call.

Charging problem is getting resolved as well. It looks like a combination of things, including a dying charger in my car, noise on the electrical line and some changes in the firmware that made the car more sensitive to charging issues.

gagg370 | 14 May 2019

No response. Attempting to get an earlier appointment for my 8,000 miles model x with apparent water intrusion via the falcon doors, but nobody answers back my urgent messages. Afraid the carpet, leather seats and headliner will get ruined by the water intrusion as it is raining hard every day in Florida. Impossible to get a live person on the phone or nowhere to find the instant chat. This is my second Tesla and it may be my last if service is not corrected.

GranpaJohn | 17 May 2019

Columbus Ohio. 2nd Tesla, 2018 MX100D first SC visit at 13K miles.Scheduled visit via phone app; kept overnight; loaner provided; great service and they were fairly busy.

keiki | 18 May 2019

The Service, here on Long Island, was some of the best I have ever had. But of late, it has turned to Crap. I feel they are over worked and if the problem is not one that they see is "important" they will keep your car for a week or two and then say it is with in tolerance and have your car returned with out fixing it.

georgehawley.fl.us | 21 May 2019

Early this month Tesla opened up a Service Center in Sarasota, ending my need to make a 100 mile round trip to Brandon, FL for most purposes. It is estimated that there are over 700 Teslas in Sarasota now but when I took my MX in for a tire change and 3 year service, I wad treated as though the Service Center was there for me personally. It was estimated that the car would be ready to pick up at 3. At 3:25 I called the service number and the phone was picked up during the first ring. The polite young woman who answered queried the service center. She reported the car to be ready to pick up. While on the line, I received a text to that effect. When I picked up the car 30 minutes later, I was the only owner there. It was as though it was my personal service center. There was no snow.

I recommend moving from Seattle to Sarasota for better service and better weather. :-))

nwfan | 21 May 2019

Ah, but you get those lovely wind and rain monsters called Hurricanes.

What's your elevation? Gulf of Mexico come visiting yet?
I do miss your winters.

georgehawley.fl.us | 22 May 2019

20 feet above sea level so far. I'm so old that global warming won't get me.
Realtor told me that the Seminoles favored Sarasota because it never got hit by a hurricane.
Never is a long time. The Seminoles are now busy operating a casino near Tampa. Sarasota got slapped by Irma last year. Having Teslas was a treat. Power lost for 5 days but fully charged car was a comfortable, air conditioned haven with cell phone service and radio. Ample energy for the purpose. And we had a Model 3 for backup.
Next time we evacuate to Seattle :-))

nwfan | 23 May 2019

Glad the Gulf stayed out of your living room.
Interesting story. Bet the X was good for a nap
during those hot and humid days after Irma.

Did you invite your non-Tesla neighbors over for A/C breaks?