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Tesla Energy Support...or lack thereof

Tesla Energy Support...or lack thereof

I knew going in, that Tesla would be focusing their energies on developing and deploying their products and that the "customer support" end of things is immature.
My hope was that I wouldn't experience a failure until their customer support was in a more fully evolved state.

Alas, it was not to be.

My Powerwall appears to have eaten itself in mid-January. The Powerwall breaker opened in the morning. When I returned home from work, I reset the breaker and it opened again, so obviously I need a site visit. There is an internal fault in the Powerwall that is tripping the breaker.

First, finding the Customer Support number required digging and Googling.
Second, calling the number just kept routing me to Roadside Assistance no matter what options I pressed.
(I was later informed that their "phone tree" was broken.)
I attempted to use the chat window app. The person on chat directed me to call the same number that kept routing me to Roadside Assistance.

After repeated attempts, I finally reached a technician on the phone. We performed some simple troubleshooting and reviewing the online logs.
A trouble ticket was created and I was told that the Scheduling Department would call me to arrange a site visit.

Several days passed with no phone call. I called Tesla Support again, and requested to schedule a visit.
My ticket was reviewed again and I was told that the earliest a technician could be on site is March 5th. That's 1.5 MONTHS from the time of failure.

It is time for Tesla to get the back end of their processes squared away. All the renewable energy bling in the world isn't worth a farthing if it's just broken hardware mounted to the house.
These issues are rampant through Tesla from vehicles to energy. I have several co-workers who own Tesla cars and they pray daily that their cars don't develop a fault because they KNOW that their cars will be out of action for weeks or months.

- Make Customer Support numbers more prominent.
- If Tesla chooses to funnel customer issues through a chat window, get competent techs to man the chats.
- It's time to hire more technicians and open more service centers.

One way Tesla could reduce their Customer Support burden would be to create a self-ticketing web portal. Customers log in and create their own trouble ticket using drop-downs and of course there would be a catch-all "Other" drop down with a free text box. A ticket number is assigned and Tier I technicians work their way through the tickets, calling customers in a TIMELY FASHION and escalate to Tier II or III as necessary.

Come on Tesla, get it together. It's time to grow up, you're not a "scrappy little startup" any longer.
Customers have their ticket number to call and reference as needed.

bp | 3 febbraio 2020

Tesla should add to the app the ability to request assistance, just like with their vehicles, submitting a problem report or assistance request through the app and asking for a follow-up e-mail, phone call or service visit - just like it is now possible to schedule mobile service for vehicles.

jessecohen555 | 3 febbraio 2020

I couldn't agree more. We had solar panels installed and the support/training has been zero. Setting up the SREC's program has been a pain, again with no support from Tesla/Solar. Nobody calls back from the 800 number, nobody explains where to get the production data, how to get SRECS, or how to sell them. Customer support is really lacking.,

joemilbier | 3 febbraio 2020

I am very upset trying to get support from Tesla. I have called SEVERAL TIMES, been on hold for very long periods of time... When I do finally get a person I get different answers or no answers...

I have 2 solar systems (2 Inverters), one of them stopped working the end of September and I realized in November when I was not getting a bill. In December I was told there was an arc fault and you remotely shut down the system. No notification to me.. Then in January the other system stopped working.

I can not get any updates as to what is going on?????????

I want to talk with someone that can explain to me the lack of service and tell me what is going on and what you will do to correct......

joemilbier | 3 febbraio 2020

I am very upset trying to get support from Tesla. I have called SEVERAL TIMES, been on hold for very long periods of time... When I do finally get a person I get different answers or no answers...

I have 2 solar systems (2 Inverters), one of them stopped working the end of September and I realized in November when I was not getting a bill. In December I was told there was an arc fault and you remotely shut down the system. No notification to me.. Then in January the other system stopped working.

I can not get any updates as to what is going on?????????

I want to talk with someone that can explain to me the lack of service and tell me what is going on and what you will do to correct......

joemilbier | 3 febbraio 2020

I am very upset trying to get support from Tesla. I have called SEVERAL TIMES, been on hold for very long periods of time... When I do finally get a person I get different answers or no answers...

I have 2 solar systems (2 Inverters), one of them stopped working the end of September and I realized in November when I was not getting a bill. In December I was told there was an arc fault and you remotely shut down the system. No notification to me.. Then in January the other system stopped working.

I can not get any updates as to what is going on?????????

I want to talk with someone that can explain to me the lack of service and tell me what is going on and what you will do to correct......

kelly.logan.me | 5 febbraio 2020

Ditto here. I have had the Tesla PowerWall for several months now since the new version hit the US. Twice now it seems that my records have just disappeared - my Tesla app won't let me login and if I change my password it says that I have no products associated with my account anymore. Extremely frustrating with what otherwise seems like a decent product.

chucksound | 5 febbraio 2020

I leased solar panels from Tesla active April 2018. Things were great (too good to be true): my electric bill was $10-$20/month for months on end. Then, I stopped getting monthly bills and then, three days ago, got a Bill from Southern California Edison for over $1200! I wrote three emails to Tesla Support. The first, through the Tesla website. When I got no reply, I sent two more through my email, so I have a record. Tesla’s main number doesn’t even ring. It just says “User Busy” on my cell phone no matter what time of the day or night I call. I can’t reach anyone. No one answers or replies to specific troubles emailed. I’m pulling out my hair with this $1200+ bill from SCE with no explanation and no reply from Tesla.

salvage210 | 5 febbraio 2020

Well, it's only fair that I provide an update to my original post:

Tesla Scheduling contacted me on February 4th. A technician will be on-site with a new Powerwall on February 13th.
This is fewer than 30 days from the time of failure.

While not blazing fast, it seems to indicate an attempt to improve. This is great news for me, but after reading the replies to my original post, it appears that support is inconsistent.

Keep trying folks, keep searching for alternate phone numbers to call, keep trying to use the chat windows to reach a human being.

charlesj | 6 febbraio 2020

I am just curious if some areas customer service is better than in others.
I also wonder why there is not one phone number to call as they should have access to all records and internally direct
a call or ticket to the right repair station. Yes, Tesla didn't just open doors today with growing pains.
Unfortunate folks that a car that had the highest rating by Consumers Report, 99, has such issues today.

gregbrew | 7 febbraio 2020

chucksound, What you received was your annual "True-Up" bill from SCE. Your monthly bill from them is only taxes and fees for that month. Your actual energy usage from them (or to them) is carried forward month to month, for a full year. If you used more than you produced for the year, you get a bill. If you produced more than you used, you get a check (paid at wholesale rates).

Your carry-forward amount is clearly stated in your SCE bill every month, and the way your billing works was clearly stated in your Net Metering contract with SCE, which you signed. There should be no surprises.

Besides, a hundred bucks a month for power probably represent a huge savings compared to what you paid previous to solar. My True-Up bill for last year was ~$500, and I was happy to pay it, because my power bill used to be ~$3000 before solar.

jeff | 11 febbraio 2020

The real secret to support with a PW solar system is your installer. Ours did a great job putting it in exactly as I requested, but getting their office to send a tech out despite a direct request (3 of them) from Tesla Support has proved impossible. They are unaware of 3 emails from Tesla requesting an on-site tech to assist in some reconfiguration. Nobody there knows anything. Luckily we have a relatively trouble-free system but there are times when help is needed and that will really depend on who your installer is/was. We'd never buy another anything from them.

DermMD | 12 febbraio 2020

Kinda similar story here. I will have to wait 6 weeks before a technician can get to me. However, I managed to get through to a live person the three times I called before someone had the sense to agree there was a problem. I do accept the growing pains explanation for this. It's just annoying.
That said, just by luck I discovered that calling the 877 support number that appears at bottom of the page when to login into your account and choose to access your energy installation (assuming you also have a Tesla car), will get you to a live attendant in short order.
Additionally there is a support page with forms you can complete for service. Not easy to access but if you access the FAQ page while logged into your energy account you will eventually get to this page. It actually walks you through the steps to troubleshoot the installation before submitting the support form. It would be nice if the support page was prominently accessible on the website but its not.

chris_phillips99 | 12 febbraio 2020

What do you expect from a 135B+ company "startup" who no longer even has any mention of Power Wall on their website anymore including today when I searched for them.

I have 2 2nd gen in service and regret not going with an alternative. Elon and Tesla doesn't give a crap about Tesla energy customers.

My favorite is the inability to actually get email or messaging notifications when your Powerwall or other components of your system have failed and are no longer providing energy to your home or business. What is the point of monitoring software if you actually have to check it all the time? This is a key early feature of any embedded S/W (sorry, this now has to be called "IoT") but the team actually wants you checking through your phone app everyday whether your system is up?

Support for energy products is non existent, if you have not bought yet, I suggest you find alternatives including some of the deep cycle battery marine battery alternatives which are cheaper and have similar real world utility. Check out their forumns and talk to lots of installers about service, communication, and support.

bp | 13 febbraio 2020

The Tesla website still has information on the PowerWalls - and they can still be ordered. The change (hopefully temporary) is that the solar panels and PowerWalls are now ordered separately (the orders would likely be installed at the same time, since it wouldn't make sense to do two installations). Losing the ability to include PowerWalls with solar orders doesn't make sense - and suspect Tesla will add PowerWalls back to the orders (PowerWalls are shown in most of the website photos).

We recently had solar/PW installed by a 3rd party Tesla-approved installer, and when we had a problem with the Tesla Backup Gateway (it was setting the power to 65Hz when off-grid and the PowerWalls were fully charged), I called Tesla's energy support team, and they were able to get the problem resolved in a few days.

Tesla could make improvements to the Tesla app, notifications, and the Gateway's native web interface. But what we've seen so far is usable - and we survived two brief power outages last weekend without realizing the system had switched us off grid and onto the PowerWalls.

SteveWin1 | 13 febbraio 2020

Wow!

I placed my order (and $100 deposit) 2 days ago just to get an actual quote with my concrete tiles, which they wouldn't give me without the deposit. The very next day, the ability to add powewalls with solar vanished. My contract price includes a $9,500 credit for having them both installed together. One of the reps told me that the price was going to go up. I figured this might be misinformation, but I went ahead and risked the $100. Looks like she may have saved me almost 10 grand, assuming I end up using Tesla and assuming a better deal isn't offered in the mean time. This credit is actually the reason I'm even looking at getting this stuff directly from Tesla. My local guys can't even get close to Tesla's price on the powerwalls with that credit. Without the credit, they're close enough that I'd just go with them to avoid the notoriously-bad service that I'll get with Tesla. But... for $10K, I can put up with some pretty bad customer service.

aliceerrolridgway | 15 febbraio 2020

I am so disgusted from the lack of customer support. My solar panels stopped working on Dec 23, 2019. Got a text message the end of January scheduling maintenance upgrade for Feb 5, made no mention that my panels haven’t produced any energy. I was shocked to see my Jan bill was over $150. Came Feb 5, 30 minutes before the appointment, I was told that the technician can’t make it and that my next appointment would be March 5, a month later. I told them that we don’t need to be home for the maintenance as they can excess everything outside our home. Tesla support was no help. Now I have to pay another $150 for Feb. I have friends that are interested in leasing solar panels, because of the services and the total disregard of money I have spent, I no longer feel comfortable referring them to Tesla.

salvage210 | 16 febbraio 2020

A final update to close the loop as the original author of this thread:

The technicians arrived on time, were professional and courteous. There were actually a few glitches getting the new battery to work with the inverter but they stuck with it until everything was working perfectly. It's been 4 days and everything is working as it should.

Once you actually get support on-site, it's great. We just need to get Tesla to staff up and be more responsive when initially opening support cases.