Treatment with Attempted Purchase

Treatment with Attempted Purchase

I reserved a vehicle on 10/11 and less than 1 day later was asked to release the reserved vehicle so someone else could buy it. Really??!!! Despite the boldness of the request, I agreed to accommodate Tesla Motors with the understanding that I would be afforded a replacement vehicle with the same equipment and at the same price. I felt I was being more than fair. Instead, I was offered 3 different cars, each at a higher price and 1 with less equipment. This is truly unacceptable behavior to confront a customer with. Also, what meaning is a 2 week refundable deposit if the Company requests you to release the car less than 24 hours later?

Tesla Motors offers an extraordinary product but is not the transparent business partner it professes to be.

tarsiacassina | 28. oktober 2013

If I were you I would write a letter directly to Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Motors. Explain what happened to you in detail, and then send it to him. I guarantee that he will respond, probably within a day or two of receipt of your letter. In every case, where I had a problem with my Model S, I was given the best possible response, at least within their ability to do so. At one point I did have a problem with my new Model S (because of my weak muscles) in that the horn seemed very hard to push, so I wrote a letter to Mr. Musk, and received a very prompt response the very next business day from the Tesla Service Center near where I live. Give it a try ... Tesla is trying to do its best, but sometimes someone may slip up. Good luck!

stephen | 28. oktober 2013

Thank you. In fact, I copied him on my email exchanges of today with management of the Company with the hope that, as a voice of reason, Mr. Musk would set this straight. As I pointed out in my emails, I believe the product is amazing but that the Company fell way short of Mr. Musk's mission to treat the business side of the process with the same level of integrity.

Roamer@AZ USA | 28. oktober 2013

This whole post sounds pretty bizarre. Would need much more info to figure out what you are talking about.

Why would they need to have you give up a reservation. All they have to do is say this is the delivery date for the car you specified. Something doesn't make sense.

Roamer@AZ USA | 28. oktober 2013

Tesla does not do anything with your order until you waive the two weeks or the two weeks pass. Never heard of a car assignment or delivery commitment while the reservation is cancelable. Something missing in this story. Were you trying to buy a used car ?

stephen | 28. oktober 2013

I had test driven a car at a Florida location and the salesperson advised there was a vehicle with the equipment I desired in colors that were acceptable to me in Georgia that was 2-3 months old and therefore had a slight discount. The next day someone appeared at the Georgia location and said he/she would like to purchase that very car. I then received an email from my salesperson advising of these facts and, further, that the Regional Sales Manager was asking if I would release my reservation.

So much for a 2 week, refundable, deposit that allows you to consider the purchase.

I tried to accommodate Tesla as indicated in my first posting. I was trying to go out of my way to be considerate to the Georgia prospective purchaser and to Tesla allowing them to make the sale that day. I just didn't think it should cost me additional amounts. I was wrong.

They ultimately kept the car under my name but that was after 3 emails the next day with 3 optional vehicles at added cost and when I said "no" they immediately sent me the contract.

jackdavidmartin | 28. oktober 2013

They are trying to sell cars and I don't blame them for that. If they've got a customer ready to pull the trigger on a used car, they need to get the deal done. They are a public company trying to meet huge revenue expectations. I don't really blame them for trying to close this deal.

stephen | 28. oktober 2013


Your logic fails as there is to be a reason to allow for a refundable deposit to reserve a vehicle. If not, simply do away with it. However, as long as it's offered, it needs to have meaning. I tried to allow them to sell the car to someone else and they would not offer me a similarly equipped car at the same price

Peter_M | 28. oktober 2013

Sounds like you made an unfortunate mistake, Stephen. They asked you if you were willing to release the original vehicle, so you should have asked what other vehicles were available for you before agreeing to give it up. Used Model S's are in short supply, so it's not surprising that there wasn't another one like you wanted. You could have said no.

Roamer@AZ USA | 28. oktober 2013

Just go online and order what you want. One thing I love about Tesla is you can go online and get whatever you want.

Sounds like you were buying a car the old fashioned, "what ya got on the lot way". Unfortunate that someone bought the car off the lot but you agreed to the deal.

This is not hard. Fire up your computer and buy whatever you want. You can have it your way.

I have not met or talked to a single person that bought a new off the lot at Tesla. You can buy demo or loaners but new cars are an order process.

Sounds like you are buying or trying to buy like the old dealer system where they order what they think you might want then when you show up they try to sell what's on the lot.

So happy that with Tesla you order what you want not get sold what a dealer ordered on spec.

ian | 28. oktober 2013

I'm confused too. I thought the two week reservation system was for new cars ordered online.

Brian H | 28. oktober 2013

It was a car with miles on it, at a discount he found attractive. Not the same as a custom new car at all. Your comment is irrelevant.

However, stephen had not bought, just reserved. Actually seems like an odd thing for TM to do or offer on a discounted used vehicle.

Roamer@AZ USA | 29. oktober 2013


I agree, he was buying a used car but describing the new car reservation system.

May well be that a hapless employee at the Tesla store had him go thru the new car system that created a two week refundable deposit confusion. Would be pretty bizarre to sell used cars off the lot with a refundable two week reservation. Something in this story does not make sense.

If Tesla is going to ramp up their ability to do resells and used cars they clearly need to learn how to do it.

I am hoping by X deliveries they have a functional trade in system. I don't mind taking a hit on the trade if I don't have to deal with the public selling a used car. The sales tax benefit tends to offset some of the trade in discount.

Roamer@AZ USA | 29. oktober 2013

The true irony of this story is that under the traditional ICE dealership sales model the dealer with the car on the lot would have just said pound sand. I only have a few cars and I can get a premium price, why would I ship to your dealership. If he wants this car he can come to my dealership and negotiate a deal.

At least with Tesla they are not competing with each other.