Service Plan Not Available - Bait & Switch?

Service Plan Not Available - Bait & Switch?

We ordered our car at the Washington, DC showroom in October. We talked to several of the staff there who told us about the Tesla Ranger Service - Four Year Anywhere Plan (where you pay $2400 up front for four annual inspections and unlimited Tesla Ranger Service). This was important to us since we live in Michigan about 150 miles from the nearest service center in Chicago. The plan has been visible on the website for the last six months, and we were planning to sign up when we got the car.

Our car arrived today! It's beautiful & amazing, but that is not the issue here. We called the Chicago Service Center to sign up for the service plan, but the manager there seemed unfamiliar with it. When we pressed him, he said it was not available. WTF? We called the people we had spoken with in DC. We spoke with two of them who assured us the plan IS available now. But one of them checked into it, and called us back later leaving this VM:

"There currently isn't anything available in the system for it". WTF???

So we called California and were told that the plan has never been available. The lawyers have been working on the wording of it for a long time, and it may be available at some point. WTF???

If Tesla isn't offering this plan, their salespeople shouldn't be touting it, and they shouldn't have it posted on their website for six months as though it is available.

We feel like we have been misled, and we feel very vulnerable knowing the nearest service center is 150 miles away, and if something goes wrong with our car, we will have to drive 900 miles to get it fixed (300 round-trip X 1.5 to drop it off & 300 round-trip X 1.5 to pick it up).

skulleyb | March 11, 2013

They will offer it as soon its legally ready i'm sure, in the mean time you have a year till you need service. Also they have not come up with the connectivity package price. While they figure that out its free, so enjoy the car.

nickjhowe | March 11, 2013

@ganzilois - feel your pain, but it might not be as bad as you think. There are plenty of people who've had free Ranger visits to fix problems. The most common ones are bad batteries, bad charge ports and bad door handles. In all cases the Ranger visits have been free.

So at this stage I wouldn't stress too much. If you have an actual problem with the car, then all the experience so far seems to be that although they'd prefer you to come to the service center if you are close enough, they'll still come to you for free - until such time as the service plan is available and you decide whether or not to purchase it.

jat | March 11, 2013

It isn't available yet. Until then, you are getting free service. Many people have had their cars for far longer than you, and haven't been able to buy service plans yet. When it is made available, you will have 30 days from that date to sign up for it.

markapeterman | March 11, 2013

If you do need service, any ranger charges will be credited against the cost of the plan when they announce it.
It's the lawyers bogging things down. No deception here.

Ron5 | March 11, 2013

I've heard that the annual service is not free at all, and that you must pay for it and will get the difference back when you sign up for the plan. I'll find out in the next couple of weeks, anyway, as mine is coming up.

Hills | March 11, 2013

My personal opinon only: WTF 3 times? Incendiary title before you even needed service?

Tesla is going through growing pains, many things are delayed. However, as far as service is concerned, for most people who are polite and work with Tesla, Tesla is essentially providing ranger service when possible. When possible means the service needs to be able to be serviced by a ranger, and the service may not happen as quickly as immediate. However, my personal experience is Tesla does try.

My car has been serviced 3 times, and Tesla helped with the "driving" on 3 out of the 6 individual one way trips. The issues would be minor to most people (bluetooth and AC motor). Every appointment required scheduling. In the Bay Area, I suspect we have among the most busy service centers, as we have large % of all Model S on the road. I see at least one Model S every driving hour, and have seen as many as 4 in one parking lot and no it is not a Tesla parking lot. They are very busy, but they gave me service as if I had the service plan. I think you are likely to receive similar service.

Hills | March 11, 2013

On 2 of the 6 one way legs Tesla gave me a rental car. On one leg my wife needed to be in that city anyway and Tesla drove her home. On the 3 remaining one way legs Tesla picked up or delivered the car to my house. In 2 out of the 3 service call work could have been performed at my house, but since I live only 30 min away, the service manager expressed the opinion that the work could be performed quicker with more control at the service center.

As I said, I was polite and patient. In 2 cases I needed to wait 3 weeks, but since the problems did not affect driving, I did not want to cram my car into a jammed schedule.

In all 3 service visits, there were more than a dozen cars there, equal number of Roadster and Model S. Again I suspect my service center may be the most busy in the country.

reitmanr | March 11, 2013

I also have found excellent service for the few items requiring it. I have never had such personal attention on any car I have owned. On the phone, on the net, or in person I am extremely satisfied. :-)

jat | March 11, 2013

@Ron5 - how do you need the annual service in a few weeks?

olanmills | March 11, 2013

How can you call it a "Bait & Switch"? What exactly are you talking about? That they "switched" it with FREE service until the plan becomes available?

I mean, yeah I assume that they're problaby not going to send a ranger to apply a badge on your car or something, but from what we've been hearing Tesla has been providing everyone the service they need for free if the issues are factory defects, etc.

Pungoteague_Dave | March 11, 2013

jat - the 'annual service is also mileage-based - must be done at 12,500 miles. SOme are already approaching this threshhold. The cost is $600.

Ron5 | March 11, 2013


Robert22 | March 11, 2013

I think the concern here for any of the "contractually conscious" among us, is that all service is currently provided at the sole discretion of Tesla. Although my personal service experience has been excellent, and the majority posting seem to agree, it's still unnerving to have details of the maintenance plan in flux months after delivery. As long as the service charges remain the same as those posted previously on the website, I don't see a reason to get too worked up about it.

nickjhowe | March 11, 2013

As of Jan 26, Daedalus already had c. 12,000 miles on his car. Must be well over 12,500 by now.

GeekEV | March 12, 2013

I asked questions about this and was assured by phone that any ranger visits I pay for now will be reimbursed when you purchase the plan. I would assume that any other service expenses would be similarly reimbursed, though I haven't asked about that yet.

olanmills | March 12, 2013

Yeah Geek EV, You must be right. On TMC, a couple people mentioned that they had to pay $600 for their 12,500 mile service, but that Tesla will give them a refund if and when they pruchase the service plan.

jackhub | March 12, 2013

Much of this discussion seems to be by people who have access to service locations. I am over 300 miles from the nearest service location and there are no superchargers scheduled for installation along the way. I am over 240 miles from the nearest planned service center. According to the battery warranty, my car must be serviced annually or every 12500 miles. The service plan was an important part of my decision to buy the Model S.

I don't believe my situation is unique. As Tesla's market penetration continues away from the innovators on the two coasts this issue will become more important. I am confident that Tesla will resolve the legal issues, but I would like for them to do it sooner rather than later.

lolachampcar | March 12, 2013

+1 on Hills.... You nailed it. Tesla is young and will get this sorted in the exact same way they have sorted most every ohter issue. I think we will like the end result.

jat | March 12, 2013

@jackhub - presumably in that case, you intended to use ranger visits for your service. I'm not sure what you were expecting more than what has been offered.

lajollan | March 12, 2013


Car serviced 3 times already? Why? Does not sound like a good thing.

weeandthewads | March 12, 2013

I don't believe they really know what is going to be part of this support plan. The original information release was only to get a pulse of how it was going to be received. Given their customers didn't scream and run they now know there is a market. In the end this service will be all about keeping the software current. That means a couple of major updates per year. They are not there yet, they need to evolve it something worth while. The final version of the software with the features like 4G, WIFI, disk storage, Nav system with onboard maps, music play lists where all part of the the original specifications I purchased and still haven't been delivered. Charge me another $2,400 to deliver? Unlimited ranger visits for a car that won't need service isn't value. I think for $2,400 over 4 years it should provide me one major software update per year, my 4G data plan and roadside assistance (onsite rangers). As far as I can see right now all you get is the ranger.

DouglasR | March 12, 2013


I don't think that anyone promised you 4G. As far as the software updates, you will get those whether or not you prepay the $2400.

David Trushin | March 12, 2013

I would bet that the reason the service plan hasn't been offered yet is the same as the reason the sales and delivery experience is different in different states. They probably have their lawyers working overtime trying to figure out each state's regulations and restrictions. It wouldn't be very good to have the service plan available in say California, New York and Illinois and not Texas, Arizona.

Captain_Zap | March 12, 2013

You can find plenty of background on these topics if you search the forums using

Also, there is a blog entry about the service plans that created plenty of questions.

Mr. Blankenship responded to some of the questions and concerns with a post on a thread at Tesla Motors Club.