In the past, Tesla has often been criticized by owners about their communications and while it looked like the criticisms have subsided over the last year, it was brought back into the spotlight with a new lawsuit going public.
Now in an attempt to improve communications, Tesla is streamlining its support contacts and even letting owners directly escalate issues to Tesla executives.
Tesla’s communication vows were highlighted earlier this week by longtime Tesla owner Alain Cohen who sued the company after he claims that they stopped responding to his inquiries to repair his vehicle.
A Tesla spokesperson sent us the following statement about the lawsuit:
“Tesla consistently achieves the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any auto manufacturer because we do everything we can to ensure owners have the best possible experience. Our philosophy is to work closely with a customer to resolve issues if they are encountered, however we will also strongly defend ourselves against claims that are unjust or lack merit. We have this same philosophy for every customer because we believe that all customers should be treated equally well. This is a matter of basic fairness.
All of the issues mentioned by this customer have long ago been fixed under warranty, at no expense to the customer, to the extent that repairs have been requested and are appropriate. The only exceptions are the seat, which we have been trying to install for many months, but the customer has chosen not to bring in the car to have it replaced, and the Bluetooth, which we have confirmed is operating correctly. Even though there are no remaining issues with his car, the customer has demanded a new vehicle, plus an additional cash payment. These demands are simply unreasonable.”
Nonetheless, the story resonated with several other Tesla owners on forums who also had difficulties with Tesla’s sales and service communications.
Coincidently (or not), Tesla President of Sales and Service, Jon McNeill, took to the Tesla Motors Club forum yesterday to announce a “streamlining” of their support contacts:
The most interesting new feature is the ability to escalate issues directly to Tesla executives.
McNeill himself has been known to address customers directly on social media and forums, but now owners have an official way to reach decision makers at Tesla when issues are getting out of control.
You need to be a Tesla owner to access the feature and go through your ‘MyTesla’ account. The section appears between the referral program section and the contact section:
Tesla has now more than 200,000 vehicles on the road and that means there are a lot of Tesla owners out there. It can certainly complicates communications.
While Elon Musk has often put emphasis on the importance of customer service, the cases that slip through the cracks get a lot of attention and often especially look bad even if they don’t represent the average Tesla customer experience.
But now that Tesla owners have a relatively easy way to reach execs, and as long as they know about it, it should reduce the number of those cases.
Of course, it should probably only be used as a last resort when the usual channels don’t work. Otherwise, it sounds like a feature that could easily go away if abused by a few.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.