Trying to purchase a Powerwall from Tesla Energy has been the worst customer experience of anything I have ever ordered for my home.

First, I tried to call the call center about 7 months ago. No call back.

Second, I tried to get someone to call me from Telsa Energy from a shop in the Corte Madera, Ca mall. No luck.

Third, I called the call center again. No call back.

I had some legitimate questions where I really needed to speak to someone.

Finally, I just decided to just put down the $500 on the website just get someone to pay attention to me.

After multiple fumbled attempts I got a call from Josh in what sounded like a boiler room call center in Las Vegas. His sole job seemed to be to try to get me to buy more Powerwalls and schedule my site assessment. He failed miserably at both.

First he got me the standard order when after several attempts he couldn’t explain the benefit of ordering more than one.

My situation isn’t complicated, but he couldn’t answer the most basic questions about what I needed. Here is what I am trying to do.

• Sunpower is installing solar. They have agreed to run conduit (metal tubing to protect electrical wires) to my carport to where I want to put the Powerwall and a car charger. The mounts are in. We just need a Tesla assement so they can install their panels.

• I want Telsa to just mount the Powerwall in the carport and install a car charger at the same time.

• To run the conduit, I need Telsa to just tell me what wires they need in the conduit. They can seem to do this and no one that I have now interfaced with (5 different people) knows the answer. (The rest of the industry seems to use two gauge 3 wires and a guage 5 ground. This wire is available from Home Depot.)

After chasing Josh for 3 months to book the home evaluation, I almost gave up. For almost two months I couldn’t get the guy to call me back. When I finally got him to respond hunting him on text and voicemail, It took another few weeks to actually connect live. Of course, by then, the home assessment calendar was booked weeks in advance.

I take off work and meet the guy evaluating our home for install. Nice guy, but can’t answer even basic questions about my scenario. He doesn’t believe his group can install the car chargers, but he will make a note. I tell him Sunpower has already quoted on the conduit so I need this broken out. He agrees to make sure this is done.

The new invoice arrives about 2 weeks later and the conduit is not broken out and it shows a lump sum on install of $2,000. At this point I am just pissed. I have Sunpower breathing down my neck weekly to complete their install, and I can’t get a straight answer out of Telsa.

I call Josh. No answer. No call back for a week and a half. I call the call center for Telsa energy and I talked briefly with a guy who could not even understand what I was saying. I asked him to connect me to a supervisor. He said he would have someone call me. That was now two days ago.

I sent multiple e-mails on the topic requesting a callback.

This morning, with seemingly no knowledge of my outreach, Josh calls I to “answer the question in my voicemail.” He can’t explain the $2000 and says that only Telsa can install the conduit. I have a friend that had 2 Powerwalls installed for less than $1000 in a very remote part of the bay area, so I feel justified in asking for more detail. I also can’t do a second conduit run for the car charger so if only Telsa can do this and they won’t install the charger through Tesla Energy, then catch 22.

He e-mails this detail:

Here are the notes from our design team.

Recommended Option: Full Home Backup
Installation Pricing: Tier 3 (Load Relocation <10 Breakers, Conduit Run > 20 Feet, 2 - Sub-Panel Add/Replace <= 225A)
PW Qty: 1
Tie In: 100A MCB feeds Gateway. Gateway feeds (N) 125/100 LC and gen panel. Relocate sub panel breakers to LC. PW lands in gen panel.
Relocated Loads: Relocate 60A and 80A sub panel breakers to (N) LC
Explanation of A/C compatibility: N/A
Hidden Conduit: No
Is A/C in backup?: No
Description of Additional Charges: N/A

This means virtually nothing to me and doesn’t begin to solve the situation. I tell him over the phone how dissatisfied I am with this process and he basically says the Powerwall is so popular, that is why they are backed up, and I can decide to do business with them or not.
This whole process has been bungled from the start and even the most basic variant to an install, a slightly longer run and a car charger can’t be explained or accommodated.
The worst part for Tesla is that the car charger was anticipation of the day that I complete my remodel and replenish my savings enough to buy…..a Telsa.
I have never seen a company deploy less experienced people for a technical product and have no means to escalate or answer basic questions. It seems unfathomable that Tesla can’t get its act together for adding a car charger to an order and explaining a quote. Isn’t the synergy between cars and home power why Telsa bought out Solar City?
7 months in to what has been an awful purchase experience,I am at the verge of just giving up on my Powerwall – Telsa dream here and just shorting their stock to amass the funds to buy something else entirely. If my experience is any indication of the chaos behind the shiny brand, I don’t think it will take very long.

lilbean | 25 aprile 2018

I heard crickets too.

Tesla-David | 27 aprile 2018

No need to use all CAPS in your rant header! I for one understand your frustration, as someone who has been trying to get a Powerwall installation for almost 3 years now, starting out with the now discontinued PW1. I believe that one of the reasons they are so disorganized is that it is taking them some time to reorganize after Tesla acquired Solar City, and the recent efforts to assist Puerto Rico and Australia with their energy problems.

I have also been dealing with Josh as my POC for past year or so, and agree that he has been less than forthcoming with answers to my questions. I finally requested that he have a manager contact me to discuss my situation, after my pleas for a response to my pleas went unanswered. I finally got a response from Josh's manager, who finally was able to move my installation along. I had my site assessment in February, and then was told they had no qualified installers in Washington State, and that they could not give my an installation date or prospective timeline. After vetting my frustrations with the manager, I was able to get some assurances of action to get my two-PW2 installation moving along. I signed my PW2 contract earlier this week, and hope to get an installation date within a couple of months. I am convinced that the PW2 is the best product/price out there to complement my existing 13.2 kWh solar system (installed in 2012). I would recommend that you have Josh refer you to his manager, who may be able to answer your questions, so that you can finalize your solar installation design.

acegreat1 | 27 aprile 2018

Join the club

Madatgascar | 27 aprile 2018

OP spells it “Telsa” ten times. Maybe they are calling the wrong company?

MJPOKEEFE | 2 maggio 2018

So, who do I phone about a $1,000.00 deposit more than a year ago and no contact since? I am putting on a new roof this year and had hoped to get a quote and time frame for a complete install. I will just go ahead and do a 20kw ground mount system and a new roof this summer/fall if Tesla cannot do it. How do I get my money refunded?

Tesla-David | 2 maggio 2018

@MJPOKEEFE, you need to call Tesla-Powerwall (650-681-5100, Option 2) and talk to someone there about your lack of response. If you read my post above, you can see that I have been at this ~3 years now, but finally got action, site visit, contract signed, and anticipated install date in June, pending approval by our electrical provider.,

rlandrigan | 22 agosto 2019

I have had a 9.88 kw Tesla solar system in place since August 2015, Order Number EN7104764, 22 Deacon Lane, Sudbury, MA. My solar system stopped producing electricity at the beginning of April 2019. As of late August 2019 it still is not functioning. The peak sun months of 2019 have been missed. Tesla has made several technician visits during the five months including installing a new inverter, having a few guys up on the roof checking the system. The system still doesn't work. Blame it on lack of sustained interest or incompetence, or both. Per the system lease contract, paragraph 4(c), I am not to be "...charged for Estimated Production when the System is not producing electricity due to Solar City's (Tesla) fault". I cut Tesla off from automatic debit billing from my bank account and refuse to pay their "Estimated Production" bills on the basis that it amounts to consumer fraud. They just billed me $237.42 for the month of July when no electricity was produced. In my estimation as an attorney their "Estimated Production" billing while a system is down due to Tesla's fault is fraudulent and is clearly subject to challenge, perhaps as a class action.

gregbrew | 22 agosto 2019

I placed an on-line reservation for two PWs in early October of 2018. I added them to a three year-old Solar City 5kW system. Installation was completed by early February 2019. The only hiccup was that it didn't pass inspection the first time, but that was resolved in two days.

I've got nothing but good things to say about Solar City and Tesla customer service, both back in 2015 and today.

Perhaps it's a location thing? I'm in So. CA.

DermMD | 18 settembre 2019

Josh may not have clearly explained the simple fact that for whole house backup you need at least 2 powerwalls. The schematics get more complicated when attempting partial back up by isolating circuits. Additionally just asking for circuit specifics before a system is designed is probably unrealistic because again a partial backup with a single powerwall is actually worth getting a site survey for, in particular.
I have done my fair share of Tesla bashing after two cars, solar panels and powerwall but really I think despite the growing pains they have done a really good job. But then again there are actually other options on the market and I think someone who's only considering a purchase is best served by walking with their money. If Tesla is so bad, you really do not want to be a customer anyway, do you?

DermMD | 18 settembre 2019

Oops this is an old thread. Sorry

jopalk | 25 settembre 2019

I had a PW installed in March, and I still do not have PTO. Has anyone else had this problem? There were lots of problems with installation and passing inspection (Tesla sent out two very nice young men who didn't know how to properly install, but a more experienced team came the next day and fixed it.) It passed city inspection in July. I am now told PG&E has to review my file, which will take a week, then it will be another 30 days until PTO.

Is this what you all have experienced from Tesla/PG&E? I love Tesla products, I have a Model 3, and their representatives are very nice. But no one seems to know what they're doing, and I get the impression they're sick of me asking. Every step of the way on this has been frustrating - filled with wrong information and missed actions. Oh, and they also said they have no idea when I will get the SGIP, that they'll submit the request when PG&E "opens" requests again. How do I know they'll remember to do it or know how?

sschaem | 30 settembre 2019

My PTO took about 4 month. It passed all inspection first time, super easy install actually and I was probably the last person on my street to get solar.
As I recall , I would have never gotten the PTO if I didn't get involved. Because its not guarantied that Tesla will not do it for you.

Here what is most likely happening . At least this what the case for me. PGE requested the design document , but never received them.
Once I was able to coordinate PGE and Tesla, PGE received the missing documents and it took about a month to have it done.

PGE, unlike Tesla do answer their phone and emails, and in my case where very knowledgeable and friendly.
They will give you all the info you need, for me it was email record of their request. to Tesla time stamped.

So yea. call PGE, you might be surprised at what you might discover.

dscoent | 3 ottobre 2019

I won a special edition red powerwall with backup gateway and install credit that I want to sell. Anyone interested?

rob | 11 ottobre 2019

@dscoent uh yeah?