Improving Customer Service is Tesla's Advantage

Improving Customer Service is Tesla's Advantage

Service keeps getting better, makes me feel like I'm a $300K customer!

- Maintenance costs (which are optional) now cost about 1/4 what then did in 2017.

- Less maintenance means less trips to service. I estimate I require 1/10 the service visits than any ICE car with oil changes and other endless things that need replacing that don't exist on a Tesla.

- Setting up a service appointment trival via a phone or PC - and I can pick the day an time without having to waste time talking to someone

- Mobile service greatly expanded and now often done at home or work - talk about easy!

- Texts for status and job completion - no need to bother me in a meeting with a call.

So in all, even better service than before.

Now for those that hate Tesla and love to complain and whine - there is another thread just for you: Fair warning, it is filled lots of questionable complaints and FUDsters.

reed_lewis | 21 juli 2019

Tesla has automated many things which is good. But they have also made it harder to deal with the exceptions that always seem to occur.

- Getting any status for online orders for parts and accessories is impossible. The local service centers do not know anything, and the corporate office support line does not help either.

- Setting up service is quick, but the wait time in parts of the country is still very long to get an appointment. I recently had a issue with a brand new Model 3 that required immediate service because the car was not able to be driven in its current state.. I was told by roadside assistance that I would have had to pay for the tow, so I had to duct tape the piece that was dragging on the ground. When I got to the service center, a great person there helped me and got the issue quickly taken care of. Had I waited for an appointment, I would have waited 2.5 weeks for any appointment.

- Mobile service is great and has done a great job for me. But the earliest mobile service appointment available is 3.5 weeks out right now.

If you do not believe me, schedule an appointment for Dedham, MA and see how far out an available appointment is.

I do not hate Tesla at all. But even the local sales and service people I chat with complain about the corporate office's lack of availability and inability to get a simple answer.

When I can get a local person on the line (sales or service), they care and take great care of me. But any exception which involves corporate become a nightmare.

reed_lewis | 21 juli 2019

I just checked and service center service is one week out, but mobile service is a much longer wait time.

Tesla-David | 21 juli 2019

Thanks @Tesla totally agree with your assessment, as it is my experience as well. I have e always felt pampered by Tesla service, and the service has been exceptional. Mobile Ranger service for me has been timely and exceptional at our home.

dmm1240 | 21 juli 2019

I just made a mobile service appointment last Thursday. They're coming on the 29th, 13 day wait. Nothing serious so the wait is fine.

I think folks in California have it different than those of us in states where Teslas aren't as common.

greg | 21 juli 2019

If I had a choice between:

A car that breaks down a lot, but service (regular or unplanned) is available usually locally to me where ever I am (even if of variable quality, and soemtimes I need multiple service visits to fix the same problem) and with sometimes exorbitant fees attached for the convenience.

Or a car which is designed to seldom need any service, but which takes longer to get fixed when it does. For reasonable fees, or often, free of charge.

I'd take the car designed to have fewer servicing and breakdowns and put up with the inconvenience of some of the smaller issues taking longer to fix or needing a little more planning on my part.

I think the rest of the market will vote that way too, once they get a taste for it.

This doesn't excuse interminable wait times for parts and such but we know Tesla is tackling that issue.

SamO | 21 juli 2019


Tropopause | 22 juli 2019

How does one make a mobile service appointment as opposed to a Service Center appointment? I don't see an option to differentiate the two nor the availability time-frame of Mobile Service. | 22 juli 2019

@Tropopause - You make an appointment. From your description of the issue, if mobile service can do the work and is in your area, they will contact you see if you prefer mobile service and to set up a time. You can also request mobile service in the description text, and Tesla will let you know if it is an option - otherwise assume you'll need to bring it in at the appointed time. Obviously major items that need a lift have to be done in the shop.

Tropopause | 22 juli 2019

Thanks TT. That's what I thought and have been doing.

rxlawdude | 22 juli 2019

@reed " I recently had a issue with a brand new Model 3 that required immediate service because the car was not able to be driven in its current state.. I was told by roadside assistance that I would have had to pay for the tow..."

How is that congruent with the clear terms of "roadside assistance?" | 22 juli 2019

@reed_lewis - You're in the wrong thread. Complaints should go to the

My car went into service today - got an appointment 6 days before which is very reasonable. Also got a Model S loaner for a minor warranty issue, as they need the car for a couple of days. They did state for one day repairs, now it's Uber or Lift (which they pay for), which seems reasonable.

alanrogger007 | 6 augusti 2019

I want to set up a skype account in my car for that I have checked for information, but still Inned some authorization. Please help me to fix the problem.

phuchadekko2018 | 6 augusti 2019

Thanks for the useful information you shared with us.

jimglas | 6 augusti 2019

double spam flag

reed_lewis | 6 augusti 2019

First, Flagged SPAM.

And when people post things like "I had a great experience with a short lead time" what that implies is that everyone has a great experience which is simply not true. Not everyone experiences a perfect experience with no issues. I was just trying to point out that not all is perfect in Tesla land.

In computer terms it is called the 'happy path' where if everything works, then that is how things are supposed to work. Tesla has fixed the happy path. But the exceptions are becoming more and more of an issue.

And to dismiss me by implying that any negative issues are false because they belong in a thread that is dismissed as all false comments is ludicrous.

Even the local service center people (who do a great job), have issues with the inability to get anything done in regards to corporate.

As Tesla continues to grow they need to focus on the non happy path workflows to make sure that those do not become the way Tesla is thought of.

reed_lewis | 6 augusti 2019

Basically, Tesla is not perfect, and the negative things that happen will increase in quantity (even if they do not increase in relation to the total number of issues), and they will be related more and more among non fanatics.

reed_lewis | 6 augusti 2019

But I will say that the timeframe for getting service has gotten better in the Northeast area (see my previous comments about the local locations doing a great job). My local service center times for a appointment are now 8 days and 10 days away.

I also like that I can select Mobile service from the location, but the earliest date for that is 17 days out. Not bad.

bp | 7 augusti 2019

Shifting from the lower volume S/X sales to higher volume 3 (and soon Y) sales has created pressure on all of Tesla.

First there was "production hell" - as manufacturing shifted to adding more lines and dramatically increasing the number of vehicles produced.

Then there was "delivery hell" - putting in place more resources to transport and then deliver the increased number of vehicles.

And now we're in "support & service hell" - with this huge increase in new vehicles putting stress on Tesla's support and service resources, which are still being stressed for increased deliveries.

Just like with what Tesla has done for manufacturing, Tesla is implementing multiple strategies to more efficiently handle this increasing number of vehicles - shifting most communications to web/smartphone app, using Uber vouchers instead of loaners, eliminating unnecessary annual maintenance, rapidly adding mobile service vehicles that can handle around 80% of all service, …

This changes take time and until they settle in, there will be areas and instances where service/support quality will be less than what we've seen in the past and where Tesla wants it to be.

However, if they are successful in this transition, they will create a challenge for the other manufacturers who will have difficulty matching these strategies because they rely on a network of independent dealerships to provide customers support & service, which will be much harder to implement the types of changes Tesla is making this year.

Mike83 | 7 augusti 2019

Since Teslas require almost no service and most owners have no issue I consider this complaint a sham.

reed_lewis | 7 augusti 2019

@bp - I am sure that eventually the exception processing at Tesla will be handled successfully in the future. The interesting thing is that here in the Northeast, they still have loaners, and also have greatly increased mobile service (which benefits everyone).

The thing is that right now there are some issues that customers have with Tesla with the exceptions to the normal workflow. Just because @Mike83 dismisses it because 'most owners have no issue' does not make it go away.

I will add my personal issue. I ordered and paid for the Homelink upgrade for the Model 3 that I purchased in the middle of June. Here it is the beginning of August, and no one in the local store can find any information about the status of this item I paid for. I have emailed to appropriate email address (and someone from the local store has also),and have received no communication about this for over three weeks since I started attempting to find the item I paid for.

I paid for a homelink upgrade and have not gotten it yet.

So Tesla makes great cars. That much is true. But their current service quality in corporate is plainly failing right now.

Mike83 | 7 augusti 2019

"The thing is that right now there are some issues that customers have with Tesla with the exceptions to the normal workflow. Just because @Mike83 dismisses it because 'most owners have no issue' does not make it go away."

Since the fact that most owners know how to read the manual and have no issues there is nothing to go away. Such a small number of complaints suggest it is not an issue.

reed_lewis | 7 augusti 2019

@Mike83, you just proved my point that some people (like you) seem to dismiss any issues as customer caused and therefore they do not exist. Look, if you are a customer of Tesla and have a valid issue (which there are) on what is most likely the second most expensive purchase (behind a home) for a person, you want to have that issue resolved successfully.

....And what page in the manual would I find out when I am going to get the Homelink module that I paid for installed in my new Model 3? Please enlighten me. I would love to know.

Mike83 | 7 augusti 2019

Your problem reed is that you think everyone has your problems. Most owners like myself have had issues as with any car but Tesla bends over backwards to fix them. It has nothing to do with lack of Service. I feel you misinterpret what I say to promote your theory.

reed_lewis | 7 augusti 2019

I actually base what I say on chats I have with the local service center staff, unlike you who seems to base your theories on your own experience only. They tell me the issues that they have getting things done with the corporate office. I know that most people have no issues, and as a percentage is it probably quite low, but it still is an issue which needs to be dealt with.

And again, I would love to know what page in the manual I would find when I am going to get the homelink installed. You imply that issues are caused by not reading the manual. Please enlighten me.....

Mike83 | 7 augusti 2019

What local service staff do you use? My reference to the manual is that most complaints are due to lack of knowledge by not reading the instructions and not for your individual complaint which has nothing to do with your issue.
I give you an example. I had trouble with the homelink(Which is in Beta) not closing after leaving the garage. I called service which gave instructions for my garage door and they would send a Mobile unit if I couldn't figure it out.
Tesla Service beats dealers service by far.

reed_lewis | 7 augusti 2019

Hey, we agree that the local service centers are incredible. They do a great job and care about the customer. The issue I have (and have had before) is that corporate seems to be 'dropping the ball' when it comes to the basic job of customer service. Emails and messages have gone unanswered for weeks at a time. The online store 'customer service' is non-existent, and anything that the local stores cannot deal with results in a long delay before anything is done.

That is what I am referring to. Unlike many people I can differentiate between the local employees and the corporate office and the level of service that is available.

A good example of incredible service locally. My wife's 3 (the same one I am trying to get homelink install in), had the issue where the rear shield below the motor became unattached from the car. This is an issue that has happened in multiple 3's (verified with multiple Tesla employees) as being a known issue. I duct taped the panel to the car and took the car to the local service center and arrived what I thought was still during normal hours (about 1 PM on a Saturday, come to time out they now close at noon on weekends), but a few service employees were still there, and within 15 minutes they had a new panel installed on the car. The local employees went above and beyond the call of duty and I thanked them directly and also sent a kudos email to the service manager.

I have never had any issues with my local store's staff ever. They have always given me incredible service.

bp | 8 augusti 2019

Compared to pre-Model 3, the corporate level support has degraded. Before Model 3, wait times for phone support was short - and I would typically get responses on e-mail requests/comments within a day.

Now there are usually long waits to get phone support and it may take days to get any e-mail responses. Plus, it's more difficult to reach the local service center on the phone.

These are issues entirely dependent upon staffing - and Tesla appears to be limiting corporate support staff as much as possible, and instead is trying to get the customer community to shift to using web/smartphone for more interactions - which can be automated, and scales faster to support their expanding customer base.

Overall, Tesla still provides good customer support - we haven't had any bad experiences with service centers for our 3 Tesla vehicles since becoming an owner in early 2013.

It's easy to forget that Tesla is still an oversized "startup" in the transition from low volume to high volume sales - a transition that's complicated by how quickly they've increased sales volume - and that Tesla is approaching this with a fresh perspective, not following the same models used by other manufacturers (model years, dealerships, …).

Can they do better? YES!

Will support/service improve? Based on our Tesla experience since early 2013, it should - though it may take some time for them to make all of the adjustments to get back to the quality level we've seen in the past.

sosmerc | 8 augusti 2019 HAS to get better, and given time it WILL.