Tesla is spitting on early customers

Tesla is spitting on early customers

As can be read on (in German), Tesla is treating some early customers really bad. Although it was promised to follow strictly the sequence of initial payment and finalisation of the order, I (reservation #41) realise that many customers here in Switzerland are already driving their cars. They carry sequence numbers like #672, #809 and even #1265. Some ordered only one year ago, while I made my downpayment in early 2010.

To be honest, I am very, very angry about the fact, that nobody at Tesla seems to care about that. Even worse, the Swiss delivery manager said that do not even look at the sequence number when deciding to whom they will deliver next.

Probably everyone in the waiting line should have a serious talk with his (or her) delivery experience manager (har, what a joke: rather a delivery nightmare manager!). If you miss this, they will probably also let you down.

Tesla, you may have a good car. Your staff is beyond everything I met till today and the last word in this case is not spoken yet!

soma | September 18, 2013

That's unfortunate to hear. Is it possible that there is a country-level restriction on how many cars can be delivered?

carlk | September 18, 2013

I wonder if that has anything to do with those early shipments are signature models.

ChristophErni | September 18, 2013

In Switzerland there is none. And even if there was I don't see why they mix up the sequence. I find only three explanations: Either it is ignorance, or incompetence, or preference of some customers. All these reasons I find unacceptable, especially since Tesla always was stressing that we early customers will be served first.

Shame on that company.

ChristophErni | September 18, 2013

Good point, carlk. I was only investigating in normal production cars, no Signatures.

Jewsh | September 18, 2013

I don't have all the details and so can't say for sure, but in some countries the certification for sale took longer than expected. In Canada there was a delay of several weeks, for example.

I also don't think it's too unreasonable that Tesla batches cars based on the orders. If the white paint is on tap today, they're going to pick the first ten (random number, but the point is there) orders with white paint selected and put less emphasis on the sequence code.

Hopefully I don't come off sounding rude but unfrotunately as a smaller manufacturer I'm sure there are concessions made.

Gizmotoy | September 18, 2013

Maybe they're shipping based on configuration. For example, here in the US I read that those who ordered early but wanted the standard suspension had to wait many months while air suspension orders (even if they were newer orders) were served first.

Perhaps there's something like that going on.

jbunn | September 18, 2013

There was a lot of complaining in the US, but everyone got their cars in the end.

There never was any credibility to the theory that it was ignorance, incompetence, or preference. If your car is late, (and this story seems to be primarily about you) it's more likely due to testing, batching of production models, or shipping.

If you want your car faster, you might want to rethink your scorched earth policy about trying to create extra work for the delivery experience managers.

Blueshift | September 18, 2013

Perhaps there was an "incident" during shipping and your car has to be re-shipped.

Sorry. Hope everything is straightened out soon.

ChristophErni | September 18, 2013

I appreciate very much that you all are trying to calm me down. But the point is that cars were delivered with exactly the same configuration (and btw changing paint in a fully robotized production is not an issue).

Even worse: From the homologation papers I can see that my car reached Switzerland on Sept. 4. It is just hanging around since then.

And to make sure: I am not complaining for waiting in patience, but for beeing overtaken. This was just not the deal.

Bighorn | September 18, 2013

I will remain neutral re: Switzerland.

Jewsh | September 18, 2013


Getting into nitpicking arguments with forum members certainly won't get the car delivered any faster. Have you contacted your delivery persons yet?

The fact that your vehicle has been in a warehouse for two weeks doesn't mean there is any issue. It could very well be that the EU is very short staffed right now and logistically they're delivering what they can with the people available.

In short, call your rep and take a deep breath... good luck.

GeirT | September 18, 2013

My sympathies indeed. Not a good situation and Swiss TM management is advised to get their to get their house in order ASAP. Communication is a good start, evidently an unknown in this case.

jackhub | September 18, 2013

I believe we had the same issue on early deliveries in the US.

JZ13 | September 18, 2013

The issue could be with the shipper or possibly customs.

ChristophErni | September 18, 2013

@Jewsh: Thank you for your advice. Of course, I did so long time ago.

@GeirT: You brought the problem to the point.
At least it is a perfect example and didactic play how easy it is to turn an ardent fan and supporter in a deeply disappointed critic.

@JC13: No customs problem at all. You can have it homologized here within 1 or 2 days here. They took their time and did it on Sep. 11. But obviously still others seem to have a higher priority to them.

And btw: I know meanwhile of at least one other case similar to mine here in CH. As GeirT said: Communication would be a start ...

AmpedRealtor | September 18, 2013

I find the subject line of this thread to be completely alarmist and out of proportion to the actual issue. OP doesn't even know if those other vehicles shipped are regular production or Signatures, which ship first. Can the OP please get his facts straight before claiming to be the recipient of Tesla's saliva? LOL

ChristophErni | September 18, 2013

@AmpedRealtor: Might be a language problem. I tried to say that I was comparing my case only with other P (as I have ordered one). Of course, I did not compare to the S deliveries.

JZ13 | September 18, 2013

I agree with Amped on this. To say Tesla is spitting on customers is to imply they are purposefully mistreating you and they don't care. This is obviuosly not the attitude of the company and you probably know that or you wouldn't have ordered one. Tesla is obviously inefficient in the early stages of its delivery program. If other non-sig cars were delivered before you its not because they are buddies with the delivery manager. Its because they made mistakes because their Swiss ops are in their infancy and they will correct as the go along.

jbunn | September 18, 2013

Changing paint is not a fully robotic process. The painting is. Color changes are batched for obvious reasons. I've had a walk through the plastics painting line before it came on line.

You have homologation papers? And you know that other cars with exactly the same configuration as yours with lower P numbers were already delivered? Wow. That's a lot of info that you claim you have.

So I guess Tesla must really hate you for delivering other peoples cars first. (I'm assuming you have a car on order, though that has not been established yet.) Your time is better spent with your DS, not lighting incendiary threads here.

ChristophErni | September 18, 2013

Well, jbunn, you can check all the information on the link of my initial post. It leads also to an Excel sheet with all that information in it, provided by other Tesla customers. Mine is #41.

The only thing I posted here is: I am very unhappy the things went with my car (that I had downpaid on June 15, 2010) and that other people should probably check their sequence. I hope this does not hurt your feelings.

AmpedRealtor | September 18, 2013

Can someone point out where Tesla said that you will receive your vehicle in the order you reserved your car? Basic common sense tells me that is not possible because every configuration is different. For instance, if your #41 had parking sensors but they were out of stock and on order, should that hold up #53 that is further down the line but doesn't need parking sensors and can proceed ahead of your order? Would you like Tesla to artificially delay #53 so that you can get your #41 sooner, even if that means making #53 wait until your backordered parts arrive?

This is obviously a hypothetical example, but that kind of stuff happens all the time. If your car is in a warehouse somewhere, go there and pick it up! LOL

GDH | September 18, 2013

I personally would not want a first production car, they seem to have a lot of issues.

Captain_Zap | September 18, 2013

I see that Volker.Berlin is at the website that you mention. He witnessed on this forum our frustration about our early first deliveries in the US that were out of order. You might ask him if the situation in Europe looks similar to what you are now experiencing.

Here in the US the priority was supposed to be:
Founder's cars, Roadster owner Signatures (we called them Special Signatures), Signatures, Roadster owners that ordered Production models, and finally, the general Production orders.

Due to logistics, licensing, new delivery vendors, new staff and production issues there was some overlap and some cars were way out of order in the beginning. We were baffled and frustrated. Tesla did their best to get them to customers in order without holding back other cars that were ready to go. Once they got the kinks worked out, the flood gates opened and so many cars were going out that we couldn't track them anymore.

It does get better!

Thomas N. | September 18, 2013

It is what it is. I have seen people get their cars earlier than me with VINs two-thousand places greater than mine.

I'll get mine when I get it.

"I want a golden goose and I want it NOW Daddy!"

Captain_Zap | September 18, 2013

P.S. Tell Volker.Berlin hello for us. We miss him here. :-)

justineet | September 18, 2013

It's none-sense to think all orders will be delivered strictly based on order of reservation. Other factors such as car configuration and specific delivery location play a factor. In fact, if the OP wants to look at Tesla website, the MS 85s will be delivered faster than the MS think otherwise is just spitting at commonsense.......

mrspaghetti | September 18, 2013

Any number of legitimate reasons can account for out-of-order delivery. What is your option list?

Patience. After waiting all this time does another couple weeks really matter? I'm sure Tesla is delivering as quickly and efficiently as they can. You are assuming the worst of the employees at Tesla, but I bet you would prefer people not assume the worst about you and your intentions whenever you do not perform absolutely to perfection.

bradslee | September 18, 2013


You do need to calm down and take a deep breath. From what you have described, I think that communication between you and your local TM service center did not go through well. However, if you claimed that "TM spit on you as an early customer", then that you spit back to TM would only result an uncivilized childish flight. It won't solve your problem.

I am just curious that first of all, how are you certain that customers in Switzerland like you received their MS that they reserved much later than that you did? Second, how are you certain that the delay of your MS delivery was not due to the configuration changes that you have requested after you ordered your MS.

That said, since there are many factors that could affect a MS delivery to its customer, you need to look the whole picture to draw a negative conclusion.

Finally I would like to say, wish you get your MS soon and once you have your MS, your anger will be replaced by a big Tesla grin.

diegoPasadena | September 18, 2013

"Either it is ignorance, or incompetence, or preference of some customers. "

Or perhaps just a mistake?
I know how terrible the anticipation is, and to have it prolonged without a clear reason must be torture. I feel for you. But to find all these harsh words and to lose your "Vorfreude" seems a bit extreme. I'm from Switzerland originally, and I know things work differently there from here in California, where things are a bit more laid back. And I agree the explanations you received are unacceptable. But cut them some slack! You're getting the car not much more than a year after it was first released over here, where they've had to work off a huge backlog. I'd say overall that's pretty damn good.

And for god's sake, don't let this sour you on a car that will *change your life*! In a few days, this thing will be nothing but a fading memory. And the company will have plenty of opportunity to make it up to you. Just don't keep barking at them.

AlMc | September 18, 2013

This is frustrating, no doubt. I had to wait 10 weeks from order date for my car and the OP has had to wait three years. He has been reading how wonderful the car is and now is frustrated because he is seeing cars arrive that were ordered after his. I would be frustrated also.
However, as others have said. I highly doubt this was intentional on TM's part. Talk to your delivery person as calmly as you can and while this is a tough experience you will forget it quickly once you are driving your S.

PS. As others have suggested I believe you should consider changing the title of your thread to something less inflammatory.

Suggestion: Frustrated with Delivery Sequence in Germany

Carefree | September 18, 2013

Calm down. We had the exact same issues in the US with the early deliveries. Trust me, Tesla does not do this on purpose - there is a reason behind it although we might not understand which one.

Talk to Tesla and find out what's going on. Once you get the car all this will be forgotten within the first two minutes of you driving it.

I know it's frustrating but it's all worth it in the end.

church70 | September 18, 2013

I know it's frustrating but it's all worth it in the end.


scottales | September 18, 2013

Get as mad as you want, it won't matter once you are driving your car! It will be all smiles along with anyone else in the car with you.

mclary | September 18, 2013

Please be patient and stop blaming Tesla for everything!

xradr | September 18, 2013

@ ChristophErni,

Dude, so sorry about this suboptimal experience. I can safely say we all sympathize with the anticipation you must be feeling.

We had a similar experience in US early on. In the 1st several thousand deliveries, things were quite a bit out of order depending on configurations, etc.

Sounds like this might not be exactly what is going on with your car. But, I suspect the ramp up for European deliveries will have few hiccups and this is not likely to be malicious.

I hope you have an expeditious resolution to your issues and your subsequent experience with the car erases all memory of your less than perfect delivery experience.

Happy and safe driving to you!

ChristophErni | September 19, 2013

Hi all,
Thank you so much for your comments and I am sure I will still like the car itself.

I understand that the production line can be mixed up in the early days. It just gave me the creeps when I realised only last weekend that the communication of the Swiss delivery center was not true and that they delayed the delivery of my car with no reason. Originally it was promised by end of August/ early Sep. And I told them that for business reasons it will be very difficult for me to catch and drive it after mid Sep. As I said, when I got the documents last weekend, I saw that the car is in CH since Sep. 4. Therefore I rellay feel kidded, because I had to change travel plans.

Concerning the title: It still reflects my feelings, and to me Tesla Switzerland is also part of Tesla.

So I suggest, I wait for the car being delivered and let you know by then how it works ...

Brian H | September 19, 2013

Once in a while a particular US customer got delayed well beyond any reasonable batching rationale's explanation. It generally turned out that it had failed Quality Control, and was scrapped. And a new one built.

Question: which car would you rather receive?

SunCoulombs | September 19, 2013

Another option could be, you take a flight to Tesla in California, talk with one of the officers of the upper management, and if you do not agree with his answers, then you tickle him until you get another car. :D

shawnieyang | September 19, 2013

First world problems...

Vall | September 19, 2013

And to make sure: I am not complaining for waiting in patience, but for beeing overtaken. This was just not the deal.

The deal?
Get the contract you signed with tesla, highlight the part where it is said that cars will be delivered in order, that no other cars of higher reservation number will be delivered before yours, go to your lawyer, and sue tesla for being dishonest and misleading. What's that? There is no such clause in your contract? Well, the only thing left to do is cancel your order and make damn sure the people in California know why you did it. After all, they turned you from a supporter to a disappointed critic. That will show those bastards who spit in your face and mouth how to treat a customer!

teddyg | September 19, 2013

Ughh..Tesla has just started deliveries in Europe. There are some things to be learned no doubt. They will improve. Take it easy.

SunCoulombs | September 20, 2013

It is true, you could cancel your order and save a lot of money. Europeans still have to wait a bit longer, maybe in some cases too long. If I were you I wouldn't cling too much on Tesla.

PorfirioR | September 20, 2013

Same thing we went through here in the US. This is not some kind of human rights violation. This can all be fixed with improved communications.

People should know that a reservation number is not like a ticket at the bakery.

Perhaps Tesla should give out a separate sequence or batch number that more closely matches production in order to manage expectations.

If I were to walk to a traditional car dealer and was told that the options I wanted in my car would require me to wait 6 weeks, I would not feel like the car dealer "spit on my face" because the customer after me got his car right away.

Kaboom | September 20, 2013

"I can see that my car reached Switzerland on Sept. 4. It is just hanging around since then.

Considering this was posted on september 18, you are already stating less than 2 weeks after your car arrived in SUI that TSLA is pissing on "early customers"

i don't know how you decide to qualify yourself as "early customers", and generously lump every other early customer into your own issue you are having.

TSLA is new, nothing is totally perfect, and sometimes new companies take some time to get kinks out of system. And since develieries to europe is still a very new thing, be patient.

And just because its in SUI doesnt mean that it can be in your driveway the next day. Maybe it still awaiting import clearance somewhere. Maybe it still needs to be transported cross country. Maybe its subject to some quality control inspection. Maybe its mandated that one out of every 15 cars must be subject to a quality inspection, and yours just happens to be that unlucky one, and it doesnt have anything to do with TSLA.

Maybe some of those other cars were from private sales and brought across border.

But regardless, 2 weeks is far to soon to be making statements like you did.

Comes off as a little bit spoiled and diva like.

You have waited for 3 years now, why would you turn so quickly mere days before it finally does get there.

The weird thing is you probably would be still happy if you didnt know about the others, but jealously made you mad.

jbunn | September 20, 2013


Well spoken.

Sudre_ | September 20, 2013

All it takes is a scratch and your car is delayed. Very similar to US deliveries. Tesla probably learned from US deliveries it is better to just fix the car like new than tell the customer. There were a few threads about how a whole new car was expected because of a scratch or dent for a part that could simple to replaced.

As others have said your contract never implied cars would be delivered in any order. You just assumed it. I actually read my contract before I signed it.

I will say that I feel your pain tho. I ordered a 60 and it came almost 2 months after the 85's started delivery. I knew it going into the purchase but I was still going nuts when people in St. Louis were getting their 85kW cars. I didn't blame Tesla tho.

Brian H | September 20, 2013


Status and priority is the #1 social motivation in humans. Envy wasn't designated a Mortal Sin for nothing.

ThomasK | September 24, 2013

3. Years. Placed my reservation money where my mouth was on the very first day they were taking reservations. I was P42. Waited 3 years. They gave the guys who paid $40k first dibs. Then they gave cars to the guys who owned roadsters. Then insiders. Then the 85kw orders got filled. Then red (mine's black). I changed the order from obeche wood to piano black. Got sent to the back of the line. I did not feel spat upon.