PSA: Don't blindly trust the knowledge of Tesla representatives

garsh

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#1
It comes up on this board now and again. A member obtains some information from a Tesla representative that turns out to either be incorrect, or a guess, or maybe even what they themselves have been told. Keep in mind that the people who work in Tesla stores, service centers, and work the phones generally don't know more than we (as in, "us fanatics who spend hours on this forum") do. In fact, they often know *less* than we do.


Some examples:

I stopped by my local service/delivery center this week to take a look at the 3s on the lot. I talked to a couple of the sales associates. When I told them that I had ordered a Model 3 Performance, one of them talked about it having a larger rear motor compared to RWD (which we know not to be the case). He's probably thinking of the S P100D, which has a larger motor.


On the effect that changing your build will have on delivery time. Note that this one is not proven correct or not - and there's really no way to prove it one way or the other.
Changing my config at best added 2 days. This is according to a couple representatives I spoke with on the phone...
Yeah... in the past, we've found that most Tesla workers (phone or local) are more in the dark than we are. I wouldn't trust anything they say as being correct with regards to operations out of their control.

On the subject of whether the steering wheel is leather or not:
My purchasing agent said the steering wheel is leather, everything else is fake leather.
Over at TMC, someone sent an email to Tesla Sales asking about the steering wheel and got the following response:
Tesla Sales said:

My name is Chanel and I’m an Inside Sales Advisor here at Tesla. Thank you for your interest in our vehicles and products. Model 3’s are leather-free because unlike Model S/X, Model 3 does not have a leather steering wheel. Please be aware that our interiors are not 100% vegan due to various adhesives that may not be actually vegan; however, It is free of any animal hides. I hope this information helps
Ok, I got an official response from Tesla.
Sorry for those who prefer vegan - the steering wheel is leather.
To answer your question on this one, the steering wheel in Model 3 is wrapped in real leather. There is no available option from Tesla for a non-leather steering wheel in a Model 3 at this time.

You should be okay to share this information and validate it comes from Tesla. We will make sure our Customer Experience teams have this information as well.
And then at the 2018 Shareholders Meeting, this subject came up in the Q&A, and it was again confirmed that the Model 3 has a leather steering wheel (and that the S & X continue to have leather steering wheels as well). Additionally, we also learned at the shareholder's meeting that a customer could request a non-leather steering wheel, and Tesla has the capability to create one in their design center - they just can't make them at scale.
 
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garsh

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#2
Another case:

I called the support number today, while he told me that setting don't matter as the ISA is going to to ask about payment details.
however to my surprise he did mention these two new things
8 weeks from config a vin will be issued
1 month from vin car will be ready for delivery.

I was amazed, thanked him and hung up.
I configured my car 12 weeks ago and I still don't have a VIN.
 

garsh

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#3
Another example:

Customer service Honolulu says it's a problem of connectivity -- even if the phone and the car are communicating fine, the car must talk to the Tesla "mothership" in the cloud to verify the phone's token and it's that step that's failing.
Bernard, you were given bad information. It is not true that the "phone as key" feature requires connectivity to the Tesla "mothership" in the cloud.

This was demonstrated recently beyond any doubt when I spent 9 days at my ski cabin. There is zero cellular service for miles in any direction, regardless of who your cellular carrier is. Nada. Zilch. And I visited plenty of trailheads that had no Wi-Fi signal for miles around. And yet my Model 3 locked and unlocked itself every single time without failure or pause, just as it does when I'm in more urban areas.
 

garsh

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#5
at the end of the day tesla is just another seller of cars, does anyone really trust ANY car salesperson?
A car salesperson is someone trying to convince you to buy a car so they can make a commission. This is different. Tesla representatives don't work on commission, so they have no reason to purposefully lie. But even if they did, there's no reason to give incorrect information to somebody who has already bought the car. Most Tesla representatives (whether in store, or on the phone) are less knowledgeable than those of us who spent a lot of time on Tesla forums, learning everything we can about these cars.
 

kort677

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#6
while the reps are not compensated like salesmen in legacy dealerships they still are there to generate sales, albeit without the hard sell.
the reps in the stores are NOT always kept up to date on the cars by corporate, you can be as well or better informed than the reps by visiting forums like this one. during delivery on some facets of the car, I was showing the rep features.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#7
while the reps are not compensated like salesmen in legacy dealerships they still are there to generate sales, albeit without the hard sell.
the reps in the stores are NOT always kept up to date on the cars by corporate, you can be as well or better informed than the reps by visiting forums like this one. during delivery on some facets of the car, I was showing the rep features.
Important to note that Tesla Owner Advisors are commissioned for their sales, which makes it that much more impressive that it’s still not a dirty sales process like at a traditional dealership.
 

kort677

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#8
I don't know if their pay format is commissioned or if there are incentives in place for hitting goals, nonetheless my point was that a lot of info, like newer versions, interior or body upgrades and the like are not passed down to the reps in the tesla stores. so while the rep that someone might be working with is not acting deceitfully when they claim ignorance to some aspects they are really as in the dark as the clients are because the mother ship doesn't flow info down to the sales level.
 

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#11
it's not about fooling you, it's that they are not always well informed from the factory/executive suites about potential changes.
Oh, I fully expect that I will know more about the product I'm shopping than any salesperson (regardless of their job title). Salespersons are rarely well informed about their products and I think that's a tragedy.

That's why I specifically qualified my answer by saying I trust Tesla employees not to try to fool me. I've purchased five new cars in my life and I can only recall one sales experience besides Tesla that was not so full of BS I could barely contain myself. It's a very frustrating experience when they take you for a fool in order to increase their profits. I trust Tesla not to do that. I don't trust them to provide 100% accurate information. I don't trust anyone to do that.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#12
Oh, I fully expect that I will know more about the product I'm shopping than any salesperson (regardless of their job title). Salespersons are rarely well informed about their products and I think that's a tragedy.

That's why I specifically qualified my answer by saying I trust Tesla employees not to try to fool me. I've purchased five new cars in my life and I can only recall one sales experience besides Tesla that was not so full of BS I could barely contain myself. It's a very frustrating experience when they take you for a fool in order to increase their profits. I trust Tesla not to do that. I don't trust them to provide 100% accurate information. I don't trust anyone to do that.
Like when I bought a new Mercedes and it has halogen headlights and I asked for HIDs and the salesman said “Mercedes isn’t shipping the car with HIDs”. I would say no more than 1-2 weeks into ownership I saw one with HIDs. The salesman was motivated to sell a car that day and sure enough his lie worked. That just leaves a dirty taste in your mouth.
 

PNWmisty

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#13
The salesman was motivated to sell a car that day and sure enough his lie worked. That just leaves a dirty taste in your mouth.
I know! I am at that point in my life where I was finally becoming good at dealing with slimeball car salesmen and, out of self-preservation, have learned how to manipulate their own greed to get the right (final) price and get out of there ASAP. Even then the process is stressful and takes way longer than it should.

But now that I can never go back to ICE, it looks like that is a life skill I won't have to exercise anymore. Well, as long as Tesla maintains a technological lead in EV's. :D
 

garsh

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#14
Another example, at a delivery center. @karceo ordered white interior, and his car arrived with a wood dash instead of a white dash.

The same thing happened to me on my delivery this past Monday. I was shown by my delivery agent that day that the design center within the store had all the trims for Tesla and white clearly wasn't an option. After insisting that there is a white trim, the agent checked with another specialist and came back saying that wood is the only trim Tesla has for the Model 3.. I proceeded to walk to their showroom P3D and the agent was so confused... Even I was confused on how the delivery agent knew so little about the Model 3.
...
 

MelindaV

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#15
At my delivery, I noticed only the overhead roof glass had the colored coating while the rear glass just had the black gradient tint. I asked my delivery specialist about it (having to instruct him on looking for the slight purple tone to the glass) and if this is the new standard going forward, if the rear glass has a different type of IR coating, or just doesn’t have any. His reply was “Check some of those tesla forums. People there have all the answers”. I told him this topic has been discussed at length and there hasn’t been any confirmation one way or another from Tesla. He then replied “I don’t know then”.
So we are the employees’ go-to source for info...
 

SoFlaModel3

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#18
I have a fun story to share that should highlight the need to not take your Tesla representatives say as being fact.

So my father in law just came over to see us and check out my wife’s new Model 3. He came back in with the Tesla Grin, but some concern over the “emergency release”.

I said, “it’s just a manual release should the car lose power, what’s wrong with it?”

He then says “it’s not safe that it’s right there and the door pops off when you pull it”

“Woah... woah... what!?!?”

Now my wife chimes in and says at delivery the person going over the car with her said “Never pull the emergency release because it will pop off the door. If you drive into a canal pull on it really hard to pop off the door otherwise never touch it”.

So yeah apparently we have 2 ejector levers on our car :D

Anyway, watch out for bad information out there. I told my wife and father in law that it just opens the door manually without power and the only risk is damaging the window or scratching the chrome trim.