Tesla killed my electric car....

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by georgekessel, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    I ordered a Tesla Roadster sport just a few months ago. They no longer have a backlog and so they were able to build my custom car very quickly (they have many cars sitting at dealerships for immediate delivery). I had a very negative experience with Tesla.

    They kept promising things then they'd try to say no, and send long apologies. They'd promise me use of a loaner car for a week but then when it came time for the loaner "sorry, no we have appointments for it". They'd promise me they'd honor a special Amex car deal on the Tesla (free infotainment) but then they would say no and try to charge me for it, until I put my foot down and threatened to involve Amex in the problem.

    Then at the last possible moment when my car was slated for delivery they tried to make me super rush-sign paperwork (sign it NOW, the car is ready and a truck is waiting, sure we didn't tell you about this before but the truck is waiting!). This paperwork included a not previously disclosed $1000 delivery fee. Also included was a strange contract for $12,000 that guaranteed the battery would give 53kw of power for up to 7 years. It made me feel icky and I pushed back on the delivery charge, even offering to pay half.

    Nope, they really wanted that $1000 and then tried reverse psychology on me. I balked - now the deal is dead and they are stuck with my Roadster and I cancelled my model S reservation.

    Here is part of the chain of emails for your reading pleasure:


    From: George Blankenship
    Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 12:36 PM
    To: XXXXXX
    Subject: Re: Quick Tesla Update
    Hi
    I would normally do this in a much longer email, but will respect your request to be brief…
    1) My goal is to always have customers who love their Roadster and are happy with how they are treated by Tesla
    2) I acknowledge that we failed you in our initial communication about the AMEX discount
    3) I called and personally apologized and have tried very hard to make sure everything has gone smoothly since then
    4) My team has tried to do everything possible to achieve or exceed your delivery expectations
    It is very clear to me that I am not going to be able to make you happy for several reasons:
    - The shipping fee is $1,000, and if I don't discount that number, you will not be satisfied; I will not discount that number.
    - Based upon incomplete paperwork and payment we will now miss shipping your Roadster this afternoon
    - You will not be able to have Alex's Roadster as much as you desire, so that will be disappointing
    - The next delivery date we can hit if we ship your Roadster is the 28th, which I'm sure will be disappointing
    Given all the above, I think we should not proceed forward with your transaction.
    Our contract says that your original deposit is non-refundable; I will not enforce that provision and will give you all your money back
    The High Power Charger should be delivered to Nicki today. Please have her send it back to us at her earliest convenience.
    We will credit your AMEX, no questions asked, for the full amount of your deposit as soon as we receive the charger back. You have my word that we will do the full refund as soon as received. I can put that in writing if you prefer.
    I am sorry we have been unable to satisfy your needs…we have tried really hard, but are clearly not able to do so.
    I remain available to answer any and all questions about this decision. I will be communicating this decision to Alex, Jeremy and Doreen as soon as I hit "send" on this email.
    Sorry this email is so long, but I wanted to make sure you were fully comfortable with my commitment to refund your money and why.
    Thanks... George

    From: XXXXXX
    Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2010 10:37:52 -0800
    To: George Blankenship <[email protected]>
    Subject: RE: Quick Tesla Update
    George,

    Find a way to get it to me for $500.

    Even if I wire the money right now your bank will likely take a day to clear it so what do we do ?


    Thank You,


    ________________________________________
    From: George Blankenship [[email protected]]
    Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:22 AM
    To: XXXXXX
    Subject: FW: Quick Tesla Update
    FedEx Tracking update:

    The package is now at the Menlo Park FedEx distribution center. Estimated delivery of the package, per the FedEx’s website is 3PM. Packages usually show up before this committed time.

    I’ll keep you all posted.

    From: George Blankenship <[email protected]>
    Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2010 10:06:41 -0800
    To:
    Subject: Re: Quick Tesla Update
    Hi Per your request, here is the nutshell…
    1) Your car will be ready to ship this afternoon if all documents and final payment have been received
    2) $1,000 is a flat fee for all customers in your region and is not a profit center for us.
    3) I will not turn your Roadster over to a cheaper shipper unless you hire them and authorize me to do so
    4) We can structure the final invoice as you have requested
    5) IF ALL paperwork and payments are in place this morning, I need to know by noon if you want us to ship it
    6) If we don't ship it today, we can ship it on the 27th for a delivery in Phoenix on the 28th
    7) You can have a shipper of your choice pick up the car anytime after 1pm today at the Menlo store
    Please let me know how you would like to proceed.
    Your Roadster is beautiful.
    George
    From: XXXXXXX
    Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2010 09:51:16 -0800
    To: George Blankenship <[email protected]>
    Subject: RE: Quick Tesla Update
    George I don’t even have time to read that long email really. Please find a way to accommodate and thank you.



    Thank You,

    From: George Blankenship [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:42 AM
    To: XXXXXX
    Subject: Re: Quick Tesla Update

    Hi

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. It is appreciated.

    Our time this past week has been focused on several things:

    1) I was trying to address your request (from our conversation) that you have a Roadster to drive while your daughter was in town from the 19th thru the 30th. We typically have a lot of "test drive" activity during this week and next, and I was afraid Alex might not be able to release the car for a whole day or two as you requested. My goal was to deliver your Roadster as early in her visit as possible to achieve your request. Having your Roadster in your hands from the 23rd thru the 30th was far better than anything Alex would be able to do.

    2) To make sure your Roadster received full attention thru our final assembly, Pre-Delivery Inspection, and final detailing. I wanted to make sure it wasn't rushed in ANY WAY in order to get it out to you by the 29th (or 28th as we updated before).

    3) To make sure your Roadster is delivered in the same condition it leaves PDI and final detailing.

    4) To hopefully surprise you by getting your Roadster to you with a lot of time to enjoy with your daughter before the 30th.

    In a nutshell, that is what I have focused our team on trying to accomplish. I apologize if I missed the target. But it appears as though I am unfortunately going to miss your primary target.

    If the target is for me to find a delivery service who can send your Roadster to you for $500, that is a target I am unfortunately going to miss. I will not risk shipping your Roadster with a "cheaper" delivery service in order to meet your expectations. We have tried numerous shipping options over the past few years, and have developed a very successful, predictable approach to how we transport customer cars. While it may frustrate you, I apologize in advance for this response, but I will not risk sending your Roadster with a "cheaper" service. The outcome is predictable from past experience, and I'd rather have you upset with me for not doing it as you request than have you upset with me because of the condition of your Roadster when it arrives. To be completely transparent, the cost to ship your Roadster to Phoenix will cost us more than $1,000. We have a set fee of $1,000 for shipments from PDI to the region Phoenix falls in. Roadster shipping is not a profit center for us.
     
  2. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    my Leaf destination charge is like $800. granted its coming from farther away, but i am not aware of anyone who does not charge some sort of fee. also on my Leaf (i have not gotten it yet or finalized delivery so dont really know) i have no option to guarantee my battery pack performance as you have been offered.

    it does sound like an option you can decline and granted this does not address other miscommunications with the amex thing, but i am afraid i dont really see what the problem is. wasnt the delivery cost, final price, etc. discussed or mentioned?
     
  3. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    Nah, it wasn't disclosed until the last minute paperwork cram.

    Also they seemed shocked when I cancelled my model S order after these emails. George tried to change everything and played the game of how sad he was that I had made the decision not to purchase the Roadster.

    I had to read back to him his own quotes to remind him of what he had said. It was very two-headed behavior.
     
  4. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    well despite the fact that delivery charges are the standard it sucks that you were not informed especially when a private carrier could have done it for about half that cost. i always thought Tesla was waaay beyond reason. but then again sports cars usually are. get a Leaf!! as long as the range is workable for you, its the way to roll!

    i am guessing you are in the Phoenix area. the EV charging infrastructure depends on the success of EVs. dont let this get in the way of your quest. if Nissan is successful, everyone will follow and you will have a ton of options
     
  5. Swampy

    Swampy Junior Member

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    Just curious but how did you expect a $100,000 carbon fiber and bonded aluminum vehicle to make it from the SF Bay Area to Phoenix? $1,000 is cheap as far as "premium delivery" is concerned.

    You could always drive it back - oh wait, you cant. I'm not sure the Starbucks in Bakersfield will be too happy with you running the extension power chord through the front door for a day while you recharge, even if you do buy $25 of Venti Mocha Valencia's per hour... :p I guess you could always hit up the recharging stations available at the Kaiser hospitals enroute... The drive aint all that bad - picked up a car the other week and drove it back via Phoenix back towards SF. I-5 is "meh", LA is a dump but apart from that 10 is pretty nice as freeways go.

    Nice car though. It'd make an ace commute vehicle. I remember my times in a 90's Mk1 Elise... Great fun even with only ~110hp.
     
  6. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    From the emails it looks like Tesla is being more than reasonable.
    The delivery fee is very up front, being shown in both Tesla's web site and in the paperwork I saw. *edit* this doesn't appear to be in their 'public' section of their website anymore. However, it was in our brochure and our paperwork. I agree that all additional fees need to be very transparent.
    The 'rush to get you to sign the paperwork' seems to be in an effort to meet YOUR desire to have the car before the 30th.
    The fact that they are breaking their own rules to get you a full refund seems pretty darn considerate.
    If you want to pick up the car and have it transported on your own, I bet they would do it. Then you can risk a low cost transportation solution.
    Read the paperwork more carefully. The 12k is not to insure the battery is at a certain level after 7 years, it is for the purchase of a new battery at seven years. Basically the are giving you a steep discount if you pay up front as they expect the price to come down dramatically in 7 years.
    I am sorry you are disappointed, but I don't think the fault lies solely with Tesla.
     
  7. rpatterman

    rpatterman Thinking Progressive

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    I'll drive it from the Bay area to Phoenix for free!!!
     
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  8. Ricklin11

    Ricklin11 Junior Member

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    It appears to me the dealer is being reasonable and helpful.
    I also consider it bad form to post private e-mails in a public forum.
    Sorry you are not happy.
     
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  9. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I'm wondering if, during the purchase negotiation, you ever asked what the total delivered cost with all taxes, fees, and charges would be?

    I certainly understand your frustration over the delivery delay. The original buyers had to wait something like a year longer than originally promised. I waited seven months longer than promised for delivery of my electric Porsche conversion, and when it came the job was so botched that now, another year later, it's still being fixed (by a different shop).

    But I'm surprised that you canceled delivery on a $108,000 car just because they wouldn't lower the delivery charge from $1,000 to $500. (Though I'm also surprised that they would not lower the charge in order to make the sale.) So you missed driving your daughter around in the car over a weekend. If you can afford the car, you can afford to fly her in for another visit after you do have the car.

    But I think the real lesson here for other car buyers is, always ask what the full out-the-door (or delivered to your door) cost is going to be, and get it in writing. I think the way I put it when I was negotiating the price of a Leaf (which I may or may not buy, depending on whether or not the Porsche ever actually gets fixed) is "What's the full amount of the check I'm going to have to give you in order to drive away in the car?"

    I almost wish that someone would steal my Porsche out of the shop so that I could be done with it and buy one of those Roadsters you say are on dealer lots right now.

    And what's the "sport" model of a car that's already a sport car? I mean, with acceleration like a rocket and the handling to match, what's the "sport" version have different?
     
  10. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    You probably wouldn't get it there in time for his daughter's visit, what with charging stops and all. ;)
     
  11. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I'll bet the Starbucks would be happy to let him run an extension cord in the door if what he's charging is a Tesla Roadster and he buys $25 worth of coffee every hour the car is there. They'd probably do it for a flat $25 for the charge, just for the extra customers that would come by to look at it.

    They might even let him charge it for free if he agreed to let them put up a sign: "Buy a coffee and you can sit in the Tesla for a minute." :eek:
     
  12. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    OP - I did not carefully read all of the emails that you posted, but I did see that they were very decent in fully refunding your non-refundable deposit without any sort of fight. That is pretty darned decent in my book and really makes me wonder just what the other side of this story sounds like.
     
  13. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    +1
    I'm not in the market for a Tesla, but if I were, the OP's version would make me more likely to deal with the people he delt with, not less likely.
     
  14. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    If I was spending over $100,000 on a car I'd want it delivered for free - I don't care what it costs them in delivery costs. In fact, I'd also want them to provide a bunch of flowers for my girlfriend too. Maybe things are different in the UK, but I have worked for super rich employers previously and buying new cars at that sort of amount of money means the dealers bend over backwards to assist. In fact Christmas cards and flowers on the customers wifes birthday has also been known. I thought America was supposted to be renowned for its customer service.

    If they want the sale they should waive the fee as a goodwill gesture. If they won't, I'd blow them out and go to someone who will.
     
  15. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    Sorry you are mistaken - it is NOT for a new battery. It clearly says they will fix or replace the battery to get it back to 53kw. While they might want you to think it's for a new battery, with thousands of little cells its more likely they will just replace a few to get you to 53kw.
     
  16. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    First off it was a $136k deal after the Amex program.

    Second they broke several promises to me and did spring that $1k at the last moment.

    Third there was no possible way they could deliver the car on the day they said, it was a trick to try and make me sign the docs quickly without looking. Then I would have received another 2 page apology. When cornered is when they gave up. Note my last email to them where I asked that even if I wired them the money that very moment it would probably be the next day when it posted. That's when the jig was up and George threw in the towel.

    What you aren't understanding is that Tesla promised and promises a lot, but doesn't deliver on many of those promises.

    Did you know that you are required to get a $1000 service every year or they void your warranty?

    Did you know that to truly cover the battery you have to sign/pay a $12k deal?

    Did you know about the charger issues and that you have to buy each one separately at large expense?

    It was a signifcant learning experience for me and one that I wanted to share with you. I attempted to post information about this in their forum, but they moderate it and wouldn't let anything of the situation come out.
     
  17. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    It seems to me that most of what you are complaining about is costs that would have been disclosed if you had asked.
     
  18. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    You thought that, did you? :pound: :pound: You are a riot! Customer service??? :pound: :pound: There are two things we do really well at here in America: Greed, and spending more than we earn so that the grandkids can pay it off after we're dead. Customer service costs money. You're probably watching movies from the 1940's or 1950's if you thought that customer service was an American ideal. In the 1970's we were still supposed to think that helping others was a good thing, but in the 80's Ronald Reagan officially change the American national motto from "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask rather what you can do for your country," to "Everything and anything is justified if it makes you rich."

    But I am surprised that the dealer would not cut $500 off the price to make the deal. Maybe there's other stuff going on. There must be a couple thousand Roadsters on the roads by now, and most of the owners seem happy with them.
     
  19. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    doesnt matter what America is renowned for other than self-centered greed born of some sense of entitlement we all seemed to have gained from the sacrifice of sweat and blood of our forefathers demonstrating a work ethic and sense of duty that we have chosen to NOT carry on
     
  20. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    True, and I do think that Tesla never said anything mean or harsh. All of George's communications were relatively kind. The underlying problem is the failure to deliver on promises, and not disclosing everything up front.

    I think if they had disclosed everything to me up front it would have been no problem at all. They just behaved like you would expect from a classic used car dealer; making lots of promises and only turning over one card at a time, hoping you will be so invested that you couldn't possibly say no.

    They are truly experts at marketing and the appearance of customer service. You just have to be willing to drink their cool-aid and not ask any questions. Whenever I would question them about why it costs for maintenance or services they always throw out the word "supercar". "Compared to a 911 Turbo the service for this supercar is actually the same", "compared to a 911 Turbo the insurance for this supercar isn't that high" etc..

    Do you consider the Roadster a supercar?
     
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