It’s now been four months since I sent in my $5,000 deposit on a Tesla S all-electric four-door sedan. I still think it’s a cool car, but so far I’m very disappointed in Tesla’s communications with us S owners. After an initial flurry of messages confirming the order, assigning me a production number, and inviting me to the opening of the New York Tesla store, I’ve heard exactly zilch from the factory.
Perhaps naïvely, I’d assumed that as a paid-up member of the Tesla family, I’d be receiving a steady flow of updates on the car’s development. How’s the testing going? Any big design changes? What’s up with the new S factory? I haven’t a clue. I was also expecting some customer surveys, asking us about our preferences for cost-vs-range, or electronic gizmos in the cockpit. Again, zilch.
There is an “Owners Only” section of the Tesla website, which requires a user ID and password. But it’s also a disappointment: a few tired old press releases and some desultory owner comments, mostly related to the Roadster. Under the discussion category “Model S development progress” I found mostly other S owners crowing about their sequence numbers. The last “owner update” on the owners-only section of the website is dated June 23.
With 1500 S customers putting down at least $7.5 million in deposits, you’d think Tesla could afford to hire somebody to send out a monthly update on the car. But apparently Tesla doesn’t put much stock in such mundane stuff. The company’s general on-line newsletter—-available to anyone—has made only one appearance since April. There was only one newsletter for the entire year of 2008. I sure hope their customer service on the car is better than this.