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Tesla buyers are asking for better communications over messy Model S deliveries

Tesla buyers who ordered the new Model S are circulating a letter to ask for better communications around Model S deliveries, which are currently quite messy, for a lack of a better word.

In January, Tesla stopped delivering Model S vehicles as it introduced a new version of the sedan with a new powertrain and updated interior.

The automaker was supposed to start deliveries of the new version in the coming weeks, but it was delayed on several occasions.

Tesla kept taking new orders for the Model S during that time, and finally Tesla started deliveries with a launch event on June 10.

Buyers who place orders during that time, many of whom were previous Tesla owners, knew to expect some delays and didn’t complain much to Tesla.

But once Tesla started deliveries, things started moving and Tesla started giving out delivery dates and even VIN numbers to those buyers, so they started taking care of financing, selling their previous vehicles, and all the other logistics you need to take care of based on that delivery date.

Over the last few weeks, Electrek has received several reports from Model S buyers stuck in a messy delivery process for the new Model S.

Those buyers are seeing their delivery dates jump around in a way that makes no sense.

In some more worrying cases, several Tesla Model S buyers received the VIN numbers of their new cars, which enabled them to get their insurance and financing and generally means that Tesla is almost done producing their vehicles, but the automaker then removed the VIN from their order tracking page without explanation and delayed the delivery again.

A Tesla buyer in New York who placed an order for a new Model S in February told Electrek last week:

“I’ve experienced having Estimated Delivery dates appear and disappear so many times already.  At one point I had a VIN and then that was taken away as well. For the past 2 weeks, I had an estimate of August and this week that disappeared too.”

Tesla advisors, who are supposed to guide buyers through the delivery process, often can’t offer any help to explain those situations as they are also kept in the dark.

One of those Model S buyers in this situation is Sam Gabbay who is participating in an effort started on Tesla Motors Club to ask Tesla for better communications around Model S deliveries.

They started a letter that now 15 Model S buyers have signed:

In the letter, the buyers explained the communication problem:

“We feel that the problem lies in the communication, and we can trace this beyond the confines of our local sales teams. Just like us, the local sales team does not know what to say or have any relevant information other than deliveries of Model S’s they make. In most cases they are as confused as we are. People who placed orders well after some of us are receiving their cars. This now leads to a problem of avoidance between the customer and the local sales team as the local sales team no longer has any new information to share and we are not talking over the course of days, but rather weeks and months.”

They explain that the process is resulting in more than just frustrating delays since the buyers are taking important actions based on Tesla’s communications of VIN numbers and delivery dates:

“As a result of the above actions, customers are left without any recourse. We have no access to our local sales teams and no access to Tesla Customer Support. Some of us even made life changing decisions based on the words of Tesla Executives and our Tesla Account Page. Applying for credit, having our credit pulled multiple times only to have the loan offer expire, selling or making commitments to sell our current vehicles.”

Again, the buyers, who are often are previous Tesla owners upgrading to the new version of the Model S, are simply asking for better communications.

They wrote at the end of the letter:

“We are not asking for anything other than communication. We feel, as a group, that the experience we receive before taking delivery should match the feeling of joy and delight that we experience after taking delivery. We titled this “Letter of Support” because this is both to the support of Tesla and ourselves. Tesla does not rely on traditional advertising and their biggest advocates are the customers they serve. We are just asking for normal, solid and consistent communication.”

Here you can read the letter in full.

Electrek‘s take

Communications have always been one of Tesla’s greatest weaknesses, and this is one of the best, or worst, examples, depending on how you look at it.

These people are buying $80,000+ vehicles from you. You should let them know what’s happening with their vehicles.

We know that Tesla is having some issues with the reproduction ramp-up of the Model S as it is plagued with supply chain issues, like most other automakers right now, but it doesn’t excuse giving someone a VIN number and removing it without explanation.

Tesla needs to do better here.

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