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Why it really takes so long to get a Tesla PV system turned on

Why it really takes so long to get a Tesla PV system turned on

Tesla Energy completely dropped the ball on my solar system install. I started back in January to get this system installed and Tesla Energy Customer Support Specialists have failed to properly manage this process, time and time again (I have had five different people assigned to my project). Any time I contacted my "assigned" Energy Customer Support Specialist to get an update I NEVER received an update - and it was from people in Las Vegas. I have had to do my own digging. I just called Austin Energy and was told Tesla just closed the installation contract - this week. The install was COMPLETED ON MAY 21, 2018. What the HELL. Tesla keeps saying it will take 6 to 8 weeks for Austin Energy to turn on the power. That was total BULL. That really meant it takes Tesla Energy Customer Support Specialists 4-6 weeks to check the "complete box." It will take Austin Energy 3-4 weeks now that Tesla checked the correct box with Austin Energy. I AM REALLY UPSET ABOUT THIS. THIS IS NO WAY TO TREAT CUSTOMERS. I have a system on my roof that has been sitting idle for 39 days. AE says it will take 1-2 weeks for the document review process, then there is a one week lead time for the inspection, then a one week lead time for the meter to be installed. By the time this system is turned on it will be sitting idle for 70 days.

And Tesla Energy Customer Support Specialists are useless. We need LOCAL support. The local Energy Consultants should have been given the proper tools to project manage their installation projects and not some distant phone jockies. Tesla should have laid off all those phone jockies in Las Vegas and not the local, on the ground, direct customer facing employees. What bozo at Tesla Energy thought this was a good business model?

neilhamrin | 2018年7月1日

I also was overpromised and underdelivered, but am happy with the system so far though I did just get an $85 bill, and was very hot in socal

Patrick | 2018年7月2日

@jchapman - FWIW I wholeheartedly agree with your points about limited TE customer service and meager local support knowledge and resources. Have run into this myself on the commercial side. Also share your questions about the strategy behind the current Tesla Energy business model.

Any business executive with meaningful experience launching and scaling-up support for a world-class technology portfolio like Tesla Energy solutions knows that a direct-only support model has major limitations unless a TON of money and people are allocated to the task for an extended period of time (basically forever).

I often wonder why Tesla has chosen a mostly-direct GTM strategy in the energy space, especially considering the rapidly growing market demand (which will only get bigger), their high-quality solution portfolio, and their large backlog of orders. Pissing off new or potential customers with poor service quality is a really bad idea, especially when they seem to be doing everything else right.

On top of that, the hockey stick effect for PW2s and commercial PP2s/inverters is just starting, so every day they fail to address the issue only puts then further behind the power curve. Puzzling for sure, especially considering the level of top-notch leadership talent in the organization.

At this point I'm assuming all these issues are ultimately related to current profitability challenges, margin pressure on the energy portfolio, and limited product supply, all of which one would expect to improve with time. Even if they were already profitable, with better product margins, and had established best-in-class sales and support channels (or massively-expanded direct support resources), they still could not ship enough products to meet current market demand.

With all that said, one would think they could arrive at a better interim customer/prospect support strategy to hold them over until 2019 or 2020 when they can (hopefully) start to bring supply levels more in line with demand.

As a huge fan planning to install PW2s and PP2s for multiple emerging projects I too am anxious to see some near-term improvement in the quality of both their pre-sales and post-sales customer support.

ripatriot | 2018年7月3日

seems like an industry issue tbh. when i had my solar installed two years ago i had a similar experience and tesla wasn't involved. my system was installed for over a month until i got a call from my installer and asked why they couldn't see my solar. no one ever told me i had received my permission to operate.

I know my utility (national grid) is extremely slow in processing pv applications. it's not like rhode island is a hot bed for installations and that may be part of the problem.

i'm awaiting two powerwalls to be installed. i've been generally happy with tesla's service thus far. it seems like whenever i get something to sign or review from national grid, i get a follow up from my tesla coordinator within a few hours. from the beginning, when i ordered in march, they told me my installation would happen in september or october and we're currently on track for installation in august.

brian | 2018年7月17日

I so wish that these types of complaints regarding Tesla/SolarCity incompetence weren't so prevalent. But having experienced the Tesla Solar purchase process myself I can only shake my head in a agreement with everything that's already been stated.

My experience has been one of total frustration having realized that there are major communication and resource accountability issues running rampant at Tesla. Their main issue is the fact that they are departmentalized and seldom does one Tesla team member know the other accept through their email address. Sales are driven from Las Vegas and then farmed out to the customers closest remote Tesla office. Accountability is non-existent.

My installation was going so badly that I personally had to get involved. I reached out to my local Electric provider (Glendale Water and Power) and insured that all the proper paperwork was being completed. Basically, I was walking Tesla through a process they should have been in control of. It's taken a lot of my personal time and effort. But to no avail.

I'm still not installed!! Started the process back in March 2018.

mcdonalk | 2018年7月17日

My experience was somewhat different. In our case, we finalized the plan in late 2017 with installation scheduled for Feb 2018. However, I (not Tesla) had to reschedule twice due various phases of a family emergency. The system (including Powerwalls) was installed per the twice-revised schedule.The only area where I think that Tesla could have improved was when they required final payment. I misunderstood, which resulted in a small delay for finally commissioning the system.

eatonlau | 2018年7月17日

same here. ordered dec 2017; PV plus Powerwalls; told to split my install in feb 2018 b/c they don't have PW's so the delay is additional 3 month for PW's - so i said okay. installed PV system on April 12th 2018; today is july 17 and still no PTO (permission to turn on). I'm told the PW's now is on hold and for another 6 months, so basically told to hold my d!ck for another 6 months.

tried escalating the issue but was told the "escalation team" will contact me "next week" - that was two weeks ago...followed up but still no response.

i'm a fan of the vision and i put my money where my mouth is; Tesla is coming up short, but i guess this is a 1st world problem. this is what happens when there are no other "real" viable competitors on the market for the technology; and we have other problems on Earth that Mr. Musk is focusing on (Puerto Rico and saving soccer kids from caves)....but okay, paying customers is what keeps the company going right? (to some degree)

Tesla-David | 2018年7月18日

I find it a bit unsettling to read about the problems being reported here, but I can report that our experience was overwhelmingly positive, and that Tesla-Energy (Nicholas) did a fantastic job of getting our installation done on time here in Edmonds, WA. I got our inspection in February, signed the contract and got our Utility approval by the end of May and our installation completed for two Powerwall-2's on 22 June 2018. Our solar provider (A&R Solar) did the installation as a Powerwall distributor for Tesla-Energy, and I have been exceptionally happy with the installation and the performance of our Powerwall's over past 26 days. For me it was worth the wait. Tesla-Energy came out to examine our installation and I had an opportunity to talk to Nicholas and Evan, who indicated that they were acutely aware of the PW2 availability shortfall, due in part to the M3 production effort to get to 5,000 cars/week, obligations in Australia regarding solar/PW2 installations (50,000), and ongoing efforts to help get Puerto Rico's electricity grid back in operation. Evan indicated that he had even worked on the M3 assembly line to help with that effort, as it was a critical Tesla-wide all hands on deck effort. That said, I also recognize that Tesla-Energy needs to work on the backlog of PW2 orders, that have been delayed. .

blake.lusenhop | 2018年7月29日

Jchap, I also am in Austin and was about to sign a contract with Tesla for a solar install. They told me they would not handle any of the Austin Energy rebate process. Was this the same for you? I'm wondering what hoops I will have to jump through to get the Austin Energy rebate, considering other installers here in town would have submitted everything on my behalf.