I recently had a Tesla service visit. First of all, I have to say that I absolutely love Tesla’s mobile service option (previously called “Ranger” service). Most of the service work I’ve had done has been done in my driveway. Who would complain about that?
Unfortunately, though, there have been issues with the scheduling, and I’m not the only one who has faced such problems.
First of all, one obvious gripe is that you can’t call the Tesla service people. Everything is booked via the app. I understand that this forces a kind of efficiency on the process, but it’s a bit ridiculous. Sometimes a person wants to call about a matter. And you are the owner of a relatively expensive car or SUV. Not being able to call the service center is absurd. Of course, if the service center has an issue that they feel they need to talk about, they’ll call you. (Well, isn’t that nice? … It’s as if they understand that sometimes you need to talk to someone.)
The next issue is that they just offer service blocks of 4 hours (9am–1pm and 1pm–5pm). It doesn’t matter if you have a service matter that takes 5–10 minutes — you’ve got to block out 4 hours and make sure you’re ready whenever needed in that time. Furthermore, those are the only blocks. You have two windows, and you have to fit into one of them. Does it matter if you have an obligation every weekday from 12–2pm? Nope, it doesn’t matter, not to Tesla — pick 9am–1pm or 1pm–5pm.
Also, here’s a real kicker: that doesn’t mean Tesla will honor the time. You cannot cancel an appointment fewer than 24 hours from the appointment time — or else you’ll get charged for the late change — but they can cancel. And then you’re back to square one scheduling the service. As many have posed, if you have to pay Tesla for canceling an appointment within a day before the service, why doesn’t Tesla pay you for doing the same?
There are also problems with non-mobile service scheduling. Loaner cars is a big issue. Tesla used to provide loaner cars, even putting people in their best models and trims in order to try to stimulate an upgrade. No longer. Maybe Tesla does so in some markets, but all I see and hear is that they’ll give you Uber credits if you need to take the car into a service center and don’t want to sit there for hours while you wait. We are a one-car family, and I have to pick up the kids from school on weekdays (the days when service centers are open). The service center never seems to know how long it will take to do something — even something simple — because they line cars up rather than scheduling service more precisely and getting cars in and out quickly. One would think if the only options they gave you were sitting in a warehouse-style “lounge” for hours or getting an Uber to and from the service center that they would at least work a little harder to give you a precise schedule and get you in and out in a clear timeframe. I have had to explain this dilemma a few times, because the service options are never clearly within the school-day window — Tesla can’t be sure that if you bring your car in at 9am, it will be ready by 2pm. I once got a loaner because of this, but it was actually one of their own cars and had various pieces falling apart. I’d much rather have that than nothing at all! Unfortunately, it seems someone realized that wasn’t a great idea (I presume because of how some customers would respond) and I never got that option again.
We won’t even dive into the comfort of a service center. (We used to go to a BMW dealership a few minutes from the Tesla one and it was a very nice lounge with various goodies, comfy seats, big-screen TVs, good lighting, high ceilings, etc. — all things the nearby Tesla service center lacks, and I hear that’s not unusual.) But, seriously, not being able to call somebody at the service center, not being able to chose a more precise window of service (mobile or non-mobile), not being offered a loaner or at least a rental car if they can’t be sure to do the service within a reasonable number of hours, charging you if you cancel service too late but not offering the same (or anything else) as a consolation if they do so — it’s a mess.
I love my Tesla Model 3. I love the mobile service option, and the people who have provided mobile service have always been helpful and efficient. But the process of communications that has been set up around Tesla service, the Tesla service scheduling, and the lack of decent accommodation for Tesla owners getting service are more or less a sh**show.
I don’t like paywalls. You don’t like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don’t like paywalls, and so we’ve decided to ditch ours.
Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It’s a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So …