Terrible customer service

Terrible customer service

This is a sad day for me. I've been a Tesla Bull and supporter since I bought my first Model S in 2013. Since then I've invested half my retirement in the company, and purchased 6 Tesla vehicles. I've defended Tesla when people were critical of Tesla's customer service, and laughed at NADA when they said franchise dealerships protect customers. Well, I'm now on the bad end of a Tesla service issue. My order for my 6th Tesla, a Raven Model S with Ludicrous, kept getting delayed because of errors. Frustrated, I went to the store only to see the car I had ordered on the lot. I was told it was a new test drive vehicle. I eventually learned that the VIN had been assigned to me, but then somehow it ended up as a store vehicle, and I had been assigned a new VIN, which unfortunately had the wrong interior, so I was going to be delayed again. To avoid further delays, I agreed to take delivery of the test drive vehicle since it still had low miles (I was not given any discount because it had low miles). I noticed a few scratches and other things and sent the punch list to the Delivery specialist, who made notes and said it would be taken care of. I also noticed the right rear tire pressure was low on the drive home, but did not mention that in the first 24 hours because I assumed it was just inflated less than the other tires. I added air and thought it was fine. A week later, I had to add a little more air - not a lot, but some. Another week later, the same thing. At this point, I started thinking there must be a nail in the tire, even though the car had low miles, and with difficulty, found a well hidden nail deep in the tread. This obviously explains why the tire was low on the drive home - the car picked up a nail on the test drives before I purchased the car. This is the most logical explanation. Tesla is telling me that because of the location of the nail, the tire needs to be replaced, and I have to pay for it. I explained that the nail must have been there from the beginning because that tire was low when I drove home. But they say that since there was no mention of it immediately, they can't take my word for it. In other words, I, a physician who saves people for a living, and has spent over half a million dollars on Tesla vehicles, is potentially LYING about a nail in my $300 tire. Therefore, they cannot replace it for free. This is in contrast to my experience with my local Porsche franchised dealer, who in 2012 replaced all the rotors and pads on my 6-month-old 911S that I had tracked 4 times and burned up the brakes, because they wanted to make sure I was a happy customer. My mind is BLOWN. I took this to the highest level at the Salt Lake Store, and got nowhere. I asked for a number for a supervisor in California, and I was told to send an email to I am disappointed and angry. If I performed my job the way the manager at the Salt Lake City store performs his, I wouldn’t last 5 minutes. I hope to get a phone call from someone at Tesla that answers directly to Elon.

P.S. - The email keeps getting bounced back. I don't know if I have the correct email address. Anyone know how to escalate an email? Thanks.

Middledawg | 07. august 2019

Have you tried snail mail? Go back to the store and tell them you want to escalate to the next level and demand contact info beyond an email address. Send Elon a private tweet. Call Tesla 24 hour line and ask them who to get in touch with. Call Tesla’s main number in Fremont and demand to speak to someone in charge of delivery issues. Pick a director on the board and send them a registered letter. If all else fails, call the consumer advocate and tell them your story; I’m sure he/she would be thrilled to have a chance to tweak Tesla’s nose. Complain to your state government, the agency that handles consumer complaints concerning new auto purchases.

You’re a Physician and don’t know how to get these things handled?

Middledawg | 07. august 2019

Consumer advocate for your local TV stations that is. Most have one. If they don’t, then call a business reporter at your local paper.

johncrab | 07. august 2019

The company suffers from a lack of leadership. With so many departures, the company is being run based on Elon's whim of the moment, carried out by groups of people who don't know if they will have jobs at the end of the week. I too was a cheerleader at one time but have really soured on the company this summer because of service issues, communications problems, hidden information and outright lies. The company has gone off the rails and needs someone in charge. They needed dreamers to build the company but they now need car industry people to run the company. Every day a new gimmick, a pricing adjustment, an incentive that may or may not happen. I just no longer trust them. I don't think they are trying to be deceitful. I think they are just a bunch of one-armed paper hangers at this point.

sosmerc | 07. august 2019

@johncrab....I think you summed up the current status of Tesla for many of us. I invested early in Tesla and have been a big fan and supporter, yet I must admit there is much work left to be done at Tesla to instill confidence. The potential is AWESOME. But to be fully realized they must get service after the sale nailed down. Communication in all areas with the company must be improved. Hiring the right person for the various jobs is critical. I still own stock and will be a "long" with regards to ownership.....but I don't yet own a Tesla. I am still waiting for Tesla to build the right vehicle for me....the Y may be just that vehicle.

NKYTA | 07. august 2019

I think sosmerc and johncrab have summed it up nicely.
They are against the Mission.

Go away. I’m tired of your BS.

rhj | 07. august 2019

$300 of procrastination

Orthopod | 08. august 2019

I understand how the OP feels about how he was treated.

The problem with Tesla employees is the attitude on how they manage problems. They tend to either disregard on how the problem could be serious for the customer and refer to an email address. When I took my delivery of my Model 3 and the screen didn’t turn on the day after I took delivery I instantly scheduled an appointment for service on the app, because I knew it would be problematic if I only reported it couple weeks ago after multiple updates.

They tend to act like robot-interface with no judgment capability for complex cases out of the norm.

As a physician, you’re trained over 10 years to use that judgment for every patient who has health out of the norm. Unfortunately, they were not trained for diseased cases, only for healthy cases delivery.

SCCRENDO | 08. august 2019

@maxxer. I guess they are like HMO physicians. They treat patients by algorithm. The healthy do well under HMO. But if you have an unusual or challenging disease you are on your own. Perhaps they have learnt from HMO physicians

BillPlanoTexas | 08. august 2019

I just posted a similar horrible experience on my recent purchase of my 5th Tesla in this forum ! Customer service is going down the toilet at Tesla because they can't scale their operations, especially with these ridiculous quarter end sales pushes ! I got pulled over due to improperly displayed temp tag to also find out that the temp tag was assigned to a different VIN of Tesla and not my car. Well, that's another ticket there as well !!

NKYTA | 08. august 2019

"The healthy do well under HMO." Except that doesn't match the experience when I've been on the road and had issues like a cracked windshield, a failing HVJB, a soaked traction battery, etc. Tesla shone in that they got me back on the road in a very short period of time.

I'm not saying no one is having poor customer service, but I have yet to see it.

geo.teepe | 08. august 2019

Trying to invalidate someones bad experience with your good plain nonsense.

SamO | 08. august 2019

Trying to extrapolate from a bad one is equal nonsense.

geo.teepe | 08. august 2019

Extrapolate or not. The bad experiences are valid and should not be put down.
I actually had as many good ones as bad ones.
The bad ones are still bad.
The good ones are as it should be. As it was promised.

rdalcanto | 08. august 2019

Tesla doesn't pay for advertising. Tesla owners are the sales force. I was one of the first Tesla owners in Salt Lake City. Not only have I personally spend over half a million dollars on Tesla vehicles in the last 6 years, but I'm probably responsible for several million dollars in sales. They should have looked at my record and said, "I'm sorry that you feel that you were sold a car with a slow leak in your tire. Even though it is past the normal 24 hour reporting period, we value your support over the years and will gladly take care of this for you as an act of good will." Instead, I'm mad, and now I will happily give my money to Porsche again if they come out with a good product. They know how to treat their customers well.

Tesla-David | 08. august 2019

7 years of Tesla ownership, 3 cars so far (2-MS's, M3) and never a negative experience from Tesla on any issue period. Nothing but exceptional service over this entire period. I would say with the Mobile Service Rangers now doing most of the service on our vehicles, that it has even gotten better, up here in Seattle WA.

reed_lewis | 08. august 2019

Again as geo.teepe says, posting that you have a great experience does not mean that others have not had bad experiences. You may have won the lottery, but I never have so therefore nobody has won the lottery based on my experience.

geo.teepe | 08. august 2019

All this does not cancel out what people have to say about THEIR experiences.
You have to face it, at some locations the service really stinks.
On June 17 I was at the Seattle service center, I was on a long trip, I just dropped in, I had excellent and prompt service.A month before I had the same treatment at Calgary.
Some centers are completely overwhelmed, hence the bad service.
Excellent service does not cancel out the bad. Come to southern California and find out

NKYTA | 08. august 2019

@geo.t, I was specifically responding to @SCC indicating that Tesla, in my experience, service is not "treating by algorithm". I have great service experiences for just an annual, as well as some great help while far from home.

I was not in any way minimizing the OPs current issue with service.

What I have a problem with (in this particular thread) are the blanket bullshit statements by @johncrab "The company suffers from a lack of leadership." "With so many departures" "lies" and @sosmerc for the agreement with the blanket statements and bullshit.

Does bad service happen with Tesla? I'm sure it does.
Is it systemic, clearly not. It seems to be at particular Service Centers. | 09. august 2019

@NKYTA - sosmerc admittedly doesn’t even own or lease a Tesla. S/he is hardly one to discuss service either good or bad.

Madatgascar | 09. august 2019

OP is suggesting the company should just fix any damage to the car that may or may not have occurred prior to the sale, with no proof, based only on the customer’s insistence weeks later.

Tesla, please don’t do this, the success of your mission is more important, and such a policy will lead to abuse.

Or maybe the OP is suggesting they make an exception for Physicians? Or prior owners? Come on.

Madatgascar | 09. august 2019

BTW I was in the same position a few weeks ago, when we took delivery of our 5th Tesla my wife noticed the tail light was cracked while we were taking delivery. I said “that’s not a crack, it’s just the way the sun is hitting it,” thinking it was too parallel to the lines on the tail light. Our detailer pointed it out a few days later and recommended we get it fixed to prevent condensation problems.

We’ll get it fixed, but I’ll pay for it. I had my chance on the lot, and in the first 24 hours. I’m not going to go back in weeks later with “don’t you know who I am?!”

sosmerc | 09. august 2019 own shares of Tesla, I have friends that own Teslas, I have test driven Teslas....and yet I have NO right to express any opinions here? What is the purpose of a Forum? If I didn't believe in Elon's mission I would not continue to own shares or closely follow Tesla in the media and on message boards. | 09. august 2019

@sosmerc - you are merely parroting what you have heard. Not saying you cannot have an opinion. You just do not have any personal experience with service.

lilbean | 09. august 2019

Bighorn is right.

jimglas | 09. august 2019


andy.connor.e | 09. august 2019

I wonder if people get paid to write such elaborate piles of trash like this.

sosmerc | 09. august 2019

What "piles of trash" are you referring to? (just curious)

andy.connor.e | 09. august 2019

I'd say its a combination of the OP and comments that follow, that result in a heaping pile of rubbish. Collectively that is.

sosmerc | 09. august 2019

Ok. Thanks for clearing that up.

andy.connor.e | 09. august 2019


geo.teepe | 10. august 2019

I need to point out again your good experience does not count here.
Heaping praise on what should be simply normal is without a point.
Bad mouthing people that had a bad experience is somewhat out of line.
Remember the object of your love can have flaws.
I am a Tesla devotee will remain one,that does not Tesla perfect.

geo.teepe | 10. august 2019


MitchP85D | 10. august 2019

Got my P85D back from the Houston Service Center yesterday. My experience was good with a few goofy flaws. I had my rear drive unit replaced because it was making a noise - parts wearing out per the Tesla rep. I drove my Model-S to the Service Center, but no loaner was available. They had me use Uber instead and sent me a voucher. I never have used Uber before, and the nice lady at the Houston SC helped me set up my Uber account. Got a ride home on WED 07 AUG. All was OK. On THU 08 AUG, I checked my Tesla app, and a message came up that the estimated time of completion was WED 14 AUG when I was told it would only take a day to complete repairs. I called and sent an email to Tesla to put me on a loaner car list please. Going without my Tesla for a week was just too much pain for my wife and I to endure (hyperbole of course). No answer. Well, yesterday while I was at work, I get a text message from the Houston SC "ready to pickup!" I sent a text back that once I get home, I will Uber over to the SC and pick up my P85D. And I did just that. All is well, especially because my invoice read $0.00. Where the 14 AUG estimate came from is unknown. I guess the rear drive unit is under the factory warranty because there was no $200 deductible I had to pay for the extended warranty, Funny thing today is that my Tesla app has a message, "ready for pickup" while I got it yesterday. I sent the Houston SC a text message to update my app because I already picked up my car yesterday.

So, my overall assessment of my Tesla service experience yesterday is Good to Excellent. The $0.00 bill is what impressed me most. So that should confirm Tesla is good on their factory warranty.

I think many of you here in the Tesla Forum are just plain wrong about Tesla Service. My viewpoint is that TESLA IS OVERWHELMED RIGHT NOW. They have many many more cars to service nowadays, and they are understaffed to handle all of the service requests. Tesla will sort this out. In addition to their service cuts of yesteryear, they need to hire more people.

I have faith. Tesla will catch up. And they will improve over the next few years.

rxlawdude | 11. august 2019

Be aware that the Tesla vouchers are very limited in how long they stay active. I could see @Mitch finding out, had it actually taken till 8/14, that his return ride to Tesla might not be on Tesla's dime.

When they give you a $100 voucher, it does NOT mean that stays on your account. Tesla is only billed the actual used amount, so they could give you a ONE MILLION DOLLARS voucher. But if it expires in a few days...

(Not bitching about Tesla's Uber approach, just noting that some owners my get a surprise if the repairs take longer than expected.)

richa65 | 19. august 2019

I had a mobile appointment scheduled for today between 8:30 and 10:30. Waited 4 weeks for the appointment. No call, no show. Now, I cannot get a HUMAN BEING on the phone and despite the automated voice telling me to go online and "chat live", that option has been removed -- as best I can tell.

So we have arrived at a place where we are buying $50k to $150k "luxury" cars, but we cannot speak to a human being. Hey, the car is an engineering marvel, but if Elon really thinks he's playing a long game with ZERO customer service, I have news for him. The technology gap will close and if you don't fix your service rather than constantly threatening that you will fix it, you will find yourself as a footnote in history.

I'm beginning to think that he is putting all of his eggs in the autonomous driving basket and that the individual car buyer is simply a pain in his rear end. It's the only way I can make sense of what they are doing right now. And if that is his play, based on what I've seen this car do on a daily basis in autopilot mode, I wish him a lot of luck.


tomsandys | 19. august 2019

Tesla does not monitor this thread obviously. We had our panels removed to get a new roof installed. I was just informed from Tesla that they will not re-install until next year. No responses to e-mails, and you have to wait over one hour to get hung up on by phone.

DerekS | 19. august 2019

Huh, But just posted about how bad the service has become in Vancouver then found this thread. I guess they are allowing their service quality to become horrendous everywhere.

DerekS | 19. august 2019

Huh, But just posted about how bad the service has become in Vancouver then found this thread. I guess they are allowing their service quality to become horrendous everywhere.

jimglas | 19. august 2019


johncrab | 19. august 2019

@richa65 - Agreed. The lead in tech is starting to close and as it does, even a conventional dealer experience will seem better than the total silence from Tesla. I saw the first Jaguar i-Pace today and got to ask the owner some questions. While there is no long range driving (supercharger) support, it's a hell of a nice car and leaps and bounds ahead of GM, Nissan and others. Inside it has a more conventional car feel to it which I think Jaguar wanted to deliver rather than pushing customers into total new and having to support the learning curve. It does have a large screen in front of the driver, and a large centre screen which I liked. At $10k below a Model S, it is certainly a contender in the EV market with the no-supercharging caveat. It even has retracting door handles. We will have to see how it works out but it is clear they are looking at Tesla for ideas.

Tesla seems to be taking the GM approach of sacking its way to profitability and how can you run a car company without workers? Not even being able to book a service appointment by phone puts Tesla at the bottom of the heap and unless they fix this and very soon, I think the dream may be over.

kellydoitall | 27. august 2019

I guess I may be fortunate to date as I am still trying to get signed on to the app so I can even schedule an appointment. The day I bought it from the Mercedes dealer I went to the Tesla service center and they seemed nice enough but didn't really act they dealt with 3rd party buyers. They said they couldn't do anything until the title was established which I have now. Granted there isn't much maintenance but I want to be sure not to miss anything vital. I agree with the gentleman that said visionaries built the company but now you need automotive industry people to run it. From latest reports I heard they are even closing a lot of the service centers which will only add fuel to the fire as I don't know that there is anyone other than Tesla techs that know how to work on them. My Wife loves the car and I am considering a Roadster when they become available but I want to make sure that they are going to be around to work on them. Does anyone have any idea how I can get to the app as I have tried more than one to log in.

Orthopod | 05. april 2020

Please let us know if you had any resolve of your issues. We’d like to know if the Tesla service quality has improved.

WW_spb | 05. april 2020

Please flag away Fake Doc