World Class Service... Hardly

World Class Service... Hardly

I am quickly loosing patience with Tesla and thier responsiveness to Model S owners. I took delivery on January 2nd. I am still waiting for due bill items - cargo cover, mats and leaky rear light (lighted vanity lights?). I called 2 months ago and asked to have the due bill items resolved. Of course no one ever called back. Last week the rear passenger door could not be opened from the outside - handle came out but that was it. OK, so another service request. Called Menlo Park, no answer and tranferred to Fremont? I think. Left a message, got an email the next day. Email said you have an appointment next Thursday, let us know if that does not work. Ok, I respond that day, where is the appt? Fremont or Menlo Park? How long does it take? Do you have a loaner car? (I do have a job that I need to keep to pay for this $100K vehicle). No respons..... 2 days later another email... no response... 2 days later call talked to someone in Palo Alto (customer advocate- sure). Tell them the whole story... get the same response "we will have someone call you". Here it is Thursday evening - oh the appointment was at 9 am this morning - of course I was a no show because I still do not know where the appointment was... nothing.... Good thing Tesla has you captive for service, because I would have been long gone by now. Oh yeah just bought the 4 year service plan.. Maybe someday I will actually get some service!

KOL2000 | May 2, 2013

This is terrible. I hope Elon is reading this. Hire some more people with all that profit for goodness sake!!

rchiang | May 2, 2013

I picked up my car like 2 1/2 week ago and I too have some stuff that needs to do on the service. Spoiler were missing the panel shelf. Truck not aligned, I hope I will not get this problem to get my little stuff done. my first impression of service center place when I picked up my car was little shady. I'll have to see how they perform..

GrnHotChiliEpper | May 2, 2013

If I paid 100k, I would not be sitting waiting. It sounds like you live in the area, so take your Tesla to Palo Alto or Fremont. Yes, I know the driving/locations etc from living in SillyCon. I am really sorry you're having difficulties!

rwang | May 2, 2013

Not acceptable. George should be doing more to change this customer experience. Go to Fremont, they have all the resources.

bjm | May 2, 2013

I have had a completely different experience with Tesla service. I have called the Ownership Experience number 4 times since I received my car a month ago for relatively minor problems and have spoken with a live person immediately on every occasion. They have been courteous and unfailingly helpful.

Additionally, I have taken my car into the Menlo Park service center, and the service personnel went out of their way to be helpful (including calling me back the next day to see if my issue was resolved). Moreover, they explained in great detail the known issues with the tire pressure sensor and the creaking of the support bar on the sunroof and the proposed fixes. This goes a long way to allaying concerns about purchasing an EV with cutting edge technology.

I view this purchase as something of an exciting adventure - there will be bumps along the road, but the coruscating marriage of technology with a truly unique driving experience is worth the ride. I would be hard pressed to think of a purchase that has given me as much satisfaction as the Model S.

herkimer | May 2, 2013

You didn't show up to either service center?
I would just go there, to the closest SC and talk to someone.

goelec1640 | May 3, 2013

I will try to go there next week. Just went out the garage this morning and noticed for some strange reason the rear passenger end of the car was stuck at a higher height than the rest of the car. Got in raised the car to high (air suspesion) then back to standard. Seems to be level now.... Frustrated... Love the car, not loving support or service...

goelec1640 | May 3, 2013

Oh and the rear door handle that did not work.. working now for no apparent reason. Maybe I have a floating bug, very concerning hope it does not just stop running for no reason....

Keith72 | May 3, 2013

I've had very good experiences with Tesla services for some very minor issues, but I've found that phone calls work much better than emails. Trying to get Tesla to respond to emails is very frustrating. Phone calls work much better. I've got an appointment next week for them to look at my drivers side rear door handle. Presents, but cannot open from the outside. Opens fine from the inside.
There have been some relatively minor issues with the car/Tesla, but overall I am thrilled with the car. After 6 weeks, I still get the same thrill every time I get behind the wheel, and every time I accelerate away from a light or stop sign and leave bewildered drivers next to me in the dust!!

David Trushin | May 3, 2013

Suggestion for you all that are having these frustrating experiences. First, if you don't already have one, make a list of the things that are wrong and detailed explanations of what you experience. Second, call service and make an appointment to bring the car there. Start by telling them when you would like to bring the car and then negotiate a date and time. Don't ask them what you should do. Then bring the car and the list to the service appointment. I would not expect that everything will be fixed the first time, but hopefully the most important ones will. Tell them in advance you want a loaner if the repairs are going to take more than (you fill in the blank) hours. That way they will be prepared for that. If you have problems with this technique, then I think you are justified in saying that Tesla service sucks and I would at that point write George and identify the service center and the first name of the person you dealt with. This method just worked for me at the Cadillac dealer, and I always use it for all cars. By the way, the Chicago service center is great, so please don't speak for me on this.

Also, for everyone here on this thread, there appears to be a bug with the door handles that I've noticed as well. Twice now in 4 months, I've locked the car and without walking away, unlocked with the fob. And then a door won't open. Reboooting cleared it.

jdb | May 3, 2013

Agree with @David Trushin. Now have almost 6K miles on sig performance vehicle and very satisfied with service experience. Have had personal visit by service rangers to my house to replace flat tire. My visit to Dania Beach SC to fix door handle problem and get system reboot was great, probably nicest visit ever to auto service center. Just call and make appointment and bring your vehicle with list of issues. I think that you will find Tesla is hiring very friendly and knowledgeable service staff.

portia | May 3, 2013

+1 David Trushin
I have had my car since Oct, almost 6000 miles, been to the service center in Menlo Park twice, great service, problems all fixed (door handle open or won't open, they ordered parts, and replaced them) had called in, got 2 call backs, same day. Also have GREAT support with email, and have talked to them on nights and weekends.
sorry your experience was not good, but, let them know for sure. Thye will come through.

rd2 | May 3, 2013

Sorry you had that experience.

I have had amazing service from the Menlo Park team. But I have kept my expectations a bit more realistic perhaps? You have to consider this is still a very rapidly growing and evolving young company. There are always growing pains, and Menlo Park is growing faster than any of their service centers. Yes, we paid a ton for this car, but we also did so with full knowledge that TM was in its infancy of mass production.

I also took delivery around the same time, 12/29/12, with several due bill items. I would send an email every 2-3 weeks to Johnny and he would respond in a day or two with an update. Got my parcel shelf a month ago in the mail. Got my rear-facing seats installed yesterday and they are awesome! I also took my car in once to make sure my charge cable connector was secure, and they replaced the connector for free.

The guys are working their tails off there (they are taking in over 30 cars for service there a day right now), and they are hiring and training to reach the capacity they need. I've cut them a little slack as we are technically 'early adopters'. It doesn't excuse a total lack of communication, though. So hopefully that will be shaped up quickly.

ginsbergr | May 3, 2013

To goelec1640, sorry you are having problems with service...this should not happen. You should call ownership experience as anytime I have called them, they have been very responsive. And by the way, so has the sc whenever I needed them. You will probably need to be more proactive with both to get your situation resolved. They really are there to help and have been very helpful with me.

tylerhen | May 3, 2013

I have called ownership experience and a couple service centers and always talked to a person right away. Still haven't had to take my car in for any service but have been extremely happy with support. I was trying to get a NEMA 14-30 adapter, they are sold out online and can't even backorder it. I called Seattle service center and they said they would order me one and let me know when it gets in. I then called the Fremont service center and they had one in stock and mailed it to me. It was on my doorstep 2 days later. It has been sold out online for the past 2 months.

bradslee | May 3, 2013

I totally agree with what David Trushin said in his comment. His comment in this thread should be a guide to all MS owners on how to handle any service related matters.

Tran2Tran | May 3, 2013

I agreed with goelec1640. When I first saw the picture of the Model S about 4 years ago. I put down $5000.00 deposit to order it. I just got my Model S delivered on December 7, 2012. I think the Tesla Model S is a great car but if Elon want to compare it to Mercedes and BMW then the customer service must improve. Mercedes and BMW customer services are one of the best in the business. Selling a Model S is one thing keeping the customer for life is another thing or two Tesla need to improved. Over the last 20 yrs I have bought over 20 Mercedes and BMW for my self or for my parents. Mercedes and BMW has alway provided me with great service. As of now Tesla service is just average. After 5 months and 8000 miles on my Model S I finally got all my due bills completed (third row seat, parcel cover). It is going to take a lot more to convince me to by another Tesla. Car is great just need better after sale services

Tran2Tran | May 3, 2013

Tesla just need to step up on their customer service and follow through with all of Elon promises to be the best car ever. After all if you want to be compare with BMW and Mercedes you have to show it in your customer service. We paid over $100k for the car. We didn't buy a Toyota or Nissan.

Bob W | May 3, 2013

@goelec1640: You said you are "quickly losing patience"; would you classify yourself as a "demanding person" or a "Type A"?

A polite friendly attitude, whether in voicemail or email, goes a long way in these situations, as does a little patience.

What made you think you were "transferred to Fremont" service?

Did you know that Fremont Service is open on Saturdays? I have had nothing but positive experiences there, and no trouble getting a Saturday appointment. Loaner cars (or an Enterprise rental) are only available when the service will take longer than 4 hours.

My due-bill items (standard mats and parcel shelf) where all received by mail, though I did have to be patient. Whenever I called, the Fremont service people always gave me their best estimate as to when each item would be shipped. Due-bill items are not really a "service" issue; they are a demand and supply issue, handled by the factory and delivery specialists, not the service department, though the service department does try to keep informed.

Note that the due-bill items are almost always mailed to the address listed on your bill of sale, unless you give them other instructions. Did you use an address that can accept FedEx packages, a home address, a business address, or a P.O. Box?

I took delivery Dec. 27th, and called Fremont several times in search of a scarce 10-30 adapter. They put me on a list. A month or two later they called me out of the blue, on a Saturday to say they had one in, and as luck would have it, I was just approaching Fremont on my way elsewhere when they called, so it was a really easy to just exit the freeway and pick it up!

I have also had late night call-backs from service, and they even provided me with cell phone numbers I could use after hours. Would anyone at BMW or Mercedes do that? I think these guys are working really hard to do a good job.

The one time I went in for service (when I thought the thermostat was bad, before the 4.3 software update mostly fixed the issue), Fremont service was excellent; they took me on to the service floor, showed me everything they were doing to check it out, and even let me peak at the electronic service manual they had used to figure out where the thermostat was located. A courtesy exterior wash was provided at no charge too, though I suppose BMW and Mercedes do the same.

In sum, be kind, have a bit of patience, and you should have a positive experience with Tesla service.

goelec1640 | May 3, 2013

@BobW, not demanding or Type A. I have been kind and patient. My voice mail and email's have been very pleasant. Just no response. I got the idea I was transferred to Fremont because the email came from someone with a Fremont address in the signature line. The message said you have a service appt on Thursday, with no confirmation of location. Seems simple enough to return 2 email messages or the actual message I left with the "customer advocate" who assured me that someone would call that day. This is not the first time I have sent messages or actually talked to a customer advocate and gotten no response. When I actually get to talk to someone they are always pleasant. I have visited the Santana Row location a couple of time and they are nice and helpful.

ravir_1 | May 3, 2013

I just walked in to the Fremont service center, explained the issues I had with my car at Delivery. They setup an appointment the very next day. Dropped off my car, got a loaner. Brian called me every day to let me know what was happening.

2 days later, everything is fixed (The problems were very minor to begin with).

This is just as good if not better than my experience with BMW or Toyota as far as I can tell.

Phone calls to the 877 number kept going to voicemail .. I didn't like that. But the service center did do their job.

xradr | May 4, 2013

@ goelec1640,

So sorry you had this experience. I had few minor items due at pickup. They told me would take 2-3 months (car delivered in dec). They were right on the money, everything was installed perfectly and people were quite responsive. Jacob (in fremont service center) has been outstanding, even following up with me to make sure things are good.

Generally speaking, when I've reached out to them, they have been exceptionally responsive and have gone out of their way to help me.

Dewittekoen | May 4, 2013

I've got a reservation for the Tesla S and, having spoken to other reservation holders in Belgium, that's exactly the sort of concerns we have; how is Tesla going to guarantee us the same high quality service that we get from other premium brands. Over here, Belgium, there is no dealership yet! it's planned for end of 2013, but what if we get our cars august-september time and minor or bigger problems occur?
sure, even premium brands have problems with new models but my experience with BMW and Mercedes is that they've got a solid structure in place doing all they can to satisfy customers.
I hope to get the car soonest but on the other hand I'm wondering whether it's not best to delay the delivery. getting same vibes from other reservation holders here.

dirk.saenen | May 4, 2013

Hi Koen,

Don't know your exact location, but I'm not too concerned - living in the Antwerp area.
Tilburg is nearby, Eindhoven is not that far.

I feel more convident about those locations than eventually a new service-center in Brussels or Antwerp.

However, it would be great that in Europe, we also get valet-service and loaners.

dr.jacks.tesla | May 4, 2013

Bob B: Not demanding or type A here, ok well maybe both lol! However I agree completely with this post. Customer service needs improvement! I had a broken pano roof, call over one week time several times a day and did not get through to my service center in Rockville. Finally left a message in Fremont and someone no one called me back. Than I finally got in touch they answered the phone I setup an appt on Wednesday for pickup, my wife waited and she called after no one showed up they stated it was for Thursday (not true!)
Finally they came to get my car, had it fixed on Saturday and several more phone calls not getting through I finally had someone answer who said since Saturday understaffed I would get my car on Monday. I had to call and tell them to please deliver my car.

They need to be responsive and answer calls. This is unacceptable.

steveray | May 4, 2013

My car was delivered with a faulty tire pressure sensor - I either get a "tire pressure low" warning or tire pressure monitoring system error on about 75% of my trips. Minor annoyance. I brought it to the West LA service center and they tried to recalibrate which didn't solve the problem. So the sensor system needs to be ordered and replaced. Since then I have emailed twice and my assistant has called 3 times and we have been unable to get an appointment scheduled. They tell her someone will call me back and the call never comes.

The location of the service center could not be worse - it is a parking lot daily from 3-6PM on Santa Monica Blvd with traffic trying to get on the 405, and there is very little space to park cars under repair. I think the main problem is that they don't have space for any more cars so they are just ignoring requests. There seem to be a LOT of cars being worked on there. I asked the tech who was recalibrating the system what the most common repair problem was - he said people with the large rims are running over curbs and damaging their autos.

Pretty discouraging for a car with such a high sticker price.