My 3 Buying Experience

My 3 Buying Experience

Disclosure: I have had a 85 when it was "oh, it's all electric?" and traded it last year for a 100D which was then "OH, it's that electric!". The buying experience for those was different between those two points in time. My 85 was delivered fine. My 100D had build issues that were taken care of in the first month and a couple delivery issues right out of the gate. Now I am getting a 3 AWD. The buying experience for my wife's 3 is yet again very different. I would say I am pro Tesla but not a Tesla fanatic despite thsi being the third vehicle. For those who know what a Net Promoter Score (NPS) is, I have slipped from an initial 9.5 to a 9 with the two S's and now to a 7.5 with this 3.

After ordering a 3 AWD LR no EAP in late August it seems my number has finally come up and this weekend I should be taking it home.

Sales/Ordering Experience: It has been a night and day experience between the S purchases and the 3. The process with the S had a lot more human interaction with Tesla chasing me for the sale. The process for the 3 has inverted. I get to chase Tesla around looking for who may be able to answer information beyond the website; commitments by Tesla personnel at the both the sales and delivery center have often broken from delivery date to simple phone callbacks; this has caused me to extend a current lease so it caused some extra unexpected expense. My best story is that a visit to the delivery center on a Saturday soliciting delivery information and news if a price reduction was available for my 3 order had me "handled" by a friendly enough guy who was later seen detailing the delivery room vehicles (he ultimately routed me to a Delivery Specialist). Yeah, I get Tesla is busy scaling business but the customer experience is suffering. In the aforementioned, a receptionist taking my name and queuing customer's would have been fine. I shudder to think how the end of year push will be handled based on the last end of quarter Q3 18 push was (mis)handled (IMHO). I would be hard pressed to recommend a 3 to a friend now as the my referral would be: Tesla vehicle/engineering/day 2 service center great, presales/ordering not so much.

Financing Experience: I used Tesla for this. I received an offer that was TD based and it was over 5% @ 72mo. I was a bit surprised as Chase was advertising at 4.56% for same term on their website over the weekend. My 100D was at 1.99% @72mo from Chase a year ago. I realize promotions change, I do have a excellent credit score with a history of luxury vehicles. I emailed into financing (could not locate a phone number which is vexing) and received an impersonal response - almost chatbot like. Upon review yesterday I see that this had changed to 3.85% @72mo. Weird. Even weirder is it happened with no notification. I took the 3.85% finance package. I think forum readers - the future owners should be able to reach out to a live person to make sure that financing questions are answered. Heck, even web chat would be better than email if secure.

Pre-Delivery Experience: After getting the end of Q3 test, then 3 duplicate texts delivered late at night twice last week and additional nagging texts since, only after I accepted financing did a VIN appear in the financing pull down. No emails. No website alerts. Nothing on my Tesla app. My vehicle appears to be simply waiting for dealership prep. This sounds very different from other reports on this forum.

Delivery Experience: I had my vehicle delivered to Westmont IL. We have had some snow recently but that snow wasn't removed from around where they "go over" the vehicle with the new owners. The weather during delivery was 35F and slightly rainy. I have never received a vehicle in these conditions. I was told this is the new normal for Tesla centers. Wow. I was upset that the Tesla resource had to be asked to move the vehicle away from the slush. Though he did as I asked he made it point to walk through the slush and enter the vehicle. Again, wow. Another resource, now inside, worked the contract/paperwork angle and was a delight to work with. Plus being warm was a plus.

Build quality: I have read several posts where build issues were identified upon delivery for 3s. Some even indicated they had refused the vehicle due to this. There are many more posts about no build issues and I hoped to be one as well. The stories if true are concerning. If these "build issues" are inventions of trolls they succeeded in upping my paranoia - I did check to see that hinges were all painted. So far I have only detected a stray thread coming from the roof liner and my music (.flac) USB from my S is not being read by my 3 which is weird. Due to the outside delivery and lots of rain I have not been able to inspect the paint well.

Two odd factoids: 1) I was told that the reason that my vehicle had 38 miles on it was that Tesla now uses porters to drive the vehicles over versus trucking them to get from the Fremont factory to shipping railyards, et cetera. 2) Service updates are only guaranteed during the warranty period. This is the first I ever heard of that.

I hope prospective buyers or recent owners find this information useful. All of my Teslas seem to be great vehicles. Getting one however, has become really strange and the experience is sub par compared to my experiences with BMW, Mercedes and Porsche for $50K+ priced vehicles. Thanks for answering and please do not feed the trolls.


Revelate | December 1, 2018

On the premise if you're writing an essay you're soliciting feedback:

Rate environment for financing is flatly different than last year, your prior experience and rate means not much (speaking as someone who works in financial services), Chase and USBank are not the same either as far as underwriting goes, TD bank or whoever is different from both.

I guess what I'm confused by is you seem to be picking apart a whole slew of little details which are ultimately basically irrelevant, and your post seems partly designed to further add to that paranoia (call Tesla, hound them for information!) as you suggest happened to you from reading the forum, or you could just let the communication foibles go, let the process sort it self out, and still get the same car in the end on the same timing.

Additionally what's strange to me is you have been through this before, I as a Tesla newbie with limited expectations as a result just let Tesla do their thing and frankly it went fine. I guess YMMV but it sounds like your expectations discolored your view of your Tesla experience for a process that basically worked: you got your car, apparently in good shape.

Ultimately it's about the car, not sure why everyone makes such a big deal about the buying experience and it's being subpar to brands which do a fraction of the volume as Tesla has recently, when it's the driving experience that matters. My opinion only, but I suspect in a month you probably wouldn't have cared enough to post a similar message on this forum.

AWDTesla | December 2, 2018

The buying experience is part of that whole "new car experience". Its always exciting to add a new toy to the stable.

Good dealerships understand this.

shank15217 | December 2, 2018

@AWDTesla That's true, but it's mostly smoke and mirrors. Dealers get you out the door but many times they will simply forget to send the license plates home, or something stupid like that. Once I left my garage door opener from my trade-in and asked them to ship it to me because the dealer was 50 miles away, they requested a prepaid envelope hahaha. Tesla doesn't pull crap like that, they want you to have a nice car, they do care about their products. My Model 3 deliveries have both been a bit rushed but really it didn't matter much, the cars are just amazing and that's the delivery experience I care about

markterr | December 2, 2018

I picked up my Model 3 from Mt Kisco NY yesterday. I was happy with the delivery. They were very busy. Everyone seemed rushed. I was happy to get in and out quickly. Tesla is growing very rapidly and they will continue to have some growing pains. They said that they are adding 20+ staff to that location soon. I am hopeful that they will address issues quickly.

ODWms | December 2, 2018

I’m one who couldn’t care less about “delivery experience.” The Tesla guy was going on, talking about this and that with the car, and I was polite and listened, but could not wait for him to stop talking and let me get in this car! No paté or crumpets for me, please. Just give me the car, and I’ll learn everything I need to know along the way! But that’s me.

ashleyjmullen | December 2, 2018

I'm puzzled about the "news of a price reduction." What news was that?

gballant4570 | December 2, 2018

If you want to get pumped up into feeling like a few million bucks just go to the Mercedes dealer. You'll pay and pay for it with the purchase price, and even more over the life of the car.... and put gas into it the entire time. If you don't want to deal with lenders, pay cash.

walnotr | December 2, 2018

I’m reminded of the time I took my Smart car to the Mercedes dealer for a 10K mile service. What it entailed was basically a oil change. $170 later I was ushered out the door with no explanation of what I got for the money other than the shaft. I did get a couple of cookies with a Mercedes logo on them.

ODWms | December 2, 2018

I’ve driven BMWs, Benzes, Jags, Lexus, you babe it other than Bentley/Rolls, I’ve probably owned it at some point. I thought it was real cool, even taking the car in for service. In particular Lexus and Jaguar dealership service, waiting rooms, etc., were awesome.

But now, looking back, as someone said here, it was all smoke and mirrors. I’m sure there are some people who are truly moved by all that fluff, and really do feel they’re getting some value out of it.

Not me. Now that I’m older and see things a little more differently, they can keep all that. Give me the car I want, with the features (and of course dependability, performance, etc.) I want and call it a day. All the crumpets and paté in the world is of no consequence.

gballant4570 | December 2, 2018

walnotr, my experience with the Mercedes dealer also came from buying a Smart....eventually I stopped taking it there, but not before I saw through all their shtick.....observing both the dealership and the well as getting a few shocking bills.

ReD eXiLe ms us | December 2, 2018



nickturbide | June 19, 2019

I wanted to touch on my test drive / purchase / delivery short it was incredible.

Test Drive -

I live in NYC, but am moving to Florida in July. I booked an appointment with Patrick B at the Chelsea location. Was confirmed via email and showed up a few minutes early. Checked out the showroom cars while I waited for another couple to come back from their test drive. It was 5pm, and the salesman I drove with took me to the West Side Highway, a parking lot at 5pm on a weekday. I was initially disappointed. This ended up being terrific, as I had the opportunity to test out autopilot, a dream in bumper to bumper. Luckily, he got me on the only deserted, albeit, cobblestone road in Manhattan. The trim was a standard range, and I was shocked at the acceleration. I was sold after we returned to the showroom, but knew I still had months to go before my move. Patrick followed up via email by end of day and reminded me that if I took delivery prior to 6/30 I would qualify for the $3750 rebate.

Reservation -

My fiancé and I talked it over, and as we were flying back and forth from between NY and FL monthly to continue the closing process on our house I realized we could save on a rental by purchasing the M3! I called Patrick on a Monday. Told him I wanted to reserve. I know I know...could have gone online, but something told me doing it with an employee made sense. So glad I did. Within 30 seconds Patrick told me the exact model car (LR AWD Pearl White, Aeros) was already en route to Tampa, FL and was unassigned...I gave him my CC and he said it would be there in 3 days. I wasn't due for another 10 days in FL and he said, "no problem, I will call the delivery center and request they hold." Soon after, my confirmation email came across and the delivery center reached out for next steps.

Delivery -

By far the most challenging aspect of this was financing - not Tesla issue. My credit union only approved me for $27,000 max as it was my first new vehicle purchase. Despite credit score of 780, and six figure income, they refused any financing beyond the $27K. So we made the diff up with cash. Friday morning we took the earliest flight from NY to Tampa and went straight to delivery center. We were the first customers of the day and waited a few for them to open their doors. We signed the multitude of paperwork, got the vehicle walkthrough and were told to hang back 15 while the cameras and sensors were calibrated. 75 minutes after walking in the doors we were off the lot.

Overall Impressions -

The hardest part of this process has been garaging the car in FL while we flew back to NY to finish up our move out process. We took delivery 5/24 and don't complete our move until 7/24. A few small issues - I cannot auto lane change (have FSD feature), a few headliner scuffs and note the rigid plastic side mirror wind noise at speeds above 50 mph or so. The car and entire process were overall, a dream. Before the M3, I was seriously considering a 2019 Tacoma and was going through the multi dealer haggling process. What a load off knowing I could connect with Tesla, get the exact model and trim I wanted and the leg work was 90% complete.

No regrets.