Customer has his Tesla order canceled by Elon Musk because he posted a 'rude' open letter

By midian182 ยท 55 replies
Feb 3, 2016
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  1. If you’re on the waiting list for a new Tesla vehicle, you may want to hold back on posting any unflattering comments regarding CEO Elon Musk - doing so may diminish your chances of ever receiving your order. Such is the case for Tesla customer Stewart Alsop, who had his electric car pre-order personally canceled by Musk after the blogger complained about him.

    It all started when Californian venture capitalist Alsop wrote an open letter to Musk called ‘You should be ashamed of yourself,’ which addressed the badly run (according to him) launch event for the Tesla Motors Model X.

    In the letter, Alsop complained about the overcrowding, the lack of food, and the fact that the event started two hours later than scheduled. But his biggest objection was that, despite placing a $5000 deposit on the car, he never got to test drive it at the event. Alsop concluded that it would be nice if Musk “showed some class and apologized to the people who believe in this product.”

    Musk, it seems, wasn’t too forthcoming with his apology; in a follow-up post called ‘Banned by Tesla,’ Alsop revealed that during a phone call with the CEO, Musk considered the original letter to be a personal attack and was therefore canceling Alsop’s order.

    “I also hear that you are not comfortable having me own a Tesla car and have canceled my order for a Tesla Model X,” Alsop wrote.

    I must also admit that I am a little taken aback to be banned by Tesla. When I wrote a blog post about my BMW X1 called ‘My Car Makes Me Feel Stoopid’, the CEO of BMW didn’t take the car back. And in the many articles and posts I have written criticizing products, companies and people, I have never been banned from doing business with any of the companies!

    Musk confirmed that he was denying service to Alsop in a tweet.

    The Model X was unveiled nearly two years later than originally scheduled. Musk has acknowledged that the "difficulty in engineering" some of the SUV's parts had been greater than he had originally expected.

    Permalink to story.

  2. His open-letter was not critical, it was an attack. This arse-wipe got what he wanted.
    DaveBG, dms96960, Uvindu and 2 others like this.
  3. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +761

    I can't imagine working for Musk. He sounds like a spoiled brat.
    bob333 and rondean2000 like this.
  4. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    Man, these first world problems.

    The struggle is real.
    bob333, Tanstar and cartera like this.
  5. Aleic

    Aleic TS Rookie

    I say BRAVO to Musk for protecting his brand from someone who seems to be overcompensating by complaining so much. They spend millions creating a brand and this a$$jack is complaining about lack of food and timing. Come on, we have become a world of COMPLAINERS about everything.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,343   +1,987

    "The Customer Is Always Right". The American industrial complex was built on this moto and any businessman worth his salt knows that you cannot satisfy everyone, every time, yet you must endeavor to take such critical comments in stride and continue to try to improve. Obviously there are people that are more critical than others, but if the man got his facts right, Mr. Musk owes him an apology. One thing is evident; if Mr. Musk is the face of electric cars in this country, they simply will not last because the American consumer will not tolerate or support such conduct in the market place.
  7. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,000   +1,319

    yes. who would want to work for a man that is revolutionizing space travel and automotive transportation, as well as creating a open project for public transit straight out of a sci fi movie?
    DaveBG, dms96960, Uvindu and 4 others like this.
  8. johnehoffman

    johnehoffman TS Enthusiast Posts: 27   +35

    It is a smart business move by Mr. Musk.

    As a lawyer, I always advise clients not to enter into a transaction with someone who is being difficult at the inception of a transaction because things are likely to get worse, not better, after entering into a transaction with that person.
  9. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    But, but I've done this before and nothing happened....
  10. Sith Lord

    Sith Lord TS Rookie

    Lawsuit coming.
    Robinson Ochoa likes this.
  11. Neojt

    Neojt TS Addict Posts: 223   +56

    Ferrari does it too btw, quebec singner crased his ferrari in a DUI and was banner from buying another
    bob333, Robinson Ochoa and DaveBG like this.
  12. "but mom the man said bad things about me,you know what I will be spiteful and cancel his order"

    Now I do agree that after reading his rant about the X1 that he is 'stoopid' and I've never heard of the
    Subaru STi 4dr coupe but to cancel a order because he said some bad things about an event that didn't run like it was supposed too.
    Robinson Ochoa likes this.
  13. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    Yes sometimes you need to forgo the sale. Glad Mr Musk has the leadership and strength to not be unreasonably bullied by customers waving the "customer is always right" flag.

    Hopefully that won't go far. See plenty of signs in stores saying service can be refused for any reason. Don't see why car sales are any different.
  14. risc32

    risc32 TS Addict Posts: 209   +96

    this advise has served me well. Works on eBay as well...
    . I'm not sure how I personally feel about musk, but I'm with him here. You didn't get food? You had to wait? You didn't get a test drive? Damn, you are a whinny sissy man. If you wanted a smooth transaction you should have gone to a Lexus dealer, not trying to get your hands on a cutting edge electric vehicle built by a startup. They make self landing rockets for gods sake, yet designing some elements of this vehicle caused problems. If you aren't going to cut these guys some serious slack, you should just be avoided.
    dms96960 likes this.
  15. This is a very interesting way of looking at transactions...I would have to agree and will try to remember this!
  16. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    Not much he can sue on unless there was an unbreakable guarantee between Tesla and the customer stating that the customer was assured a car with the deposit. At most, I can only see this self entitled complainer getting his deposit held by Elon's extended middle finger.
  17. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,407

    The letter was meant to provoke a response, and it did.
    DaveBG likes this.
  18. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    Just not the response Alsop was hoping for ha ha ha...
    DaveBG and Darth Shiv like this.
  19. rcj22001

    rcj22001 TS Rookie

    My boss does this. I work for a very small business, with only a handful of employees, and every once in a great while some customer goes off the rails for whatever reason. All of our parts are made in the USA and by hand, and when a customer's complaints about perfection go too far, the owners will tell them that they simply refuse to do business with them. We offer life time warranties on our product too, so we are generally easy to deal with as a company, but some people you just can't reach...
  20. Do you guy's realize that Alsop was complaining about an event that wasn't planned properly?
    He didn't write anything bad about the product,all he wanted was an apology from Musk
    when Musk stood up 2 hours late to start the event.

    He said in his 'open letter' that all the people invited were Tesla customers.
    Now considering that most if not all of Tesla's cars are over $80k you would think that he should
    at least apologies about the event been 2 hours late.
  21. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,407

    No, he's just mad he didn't get to drive the Model X at the event and is using all of the other things second to make tesla look bad.
    DaveBG, Darth Shiv and ikesmasher like this.
  22. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,343   +1,987

    BRAVO! Well Said!
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  23. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +761

    Perhaps, however, Bezos is having better success at reusable rockets right now.

    You might imagine yourself working for a pioneer, but like Uncle Al said, the customer is always right attitude provides an opportunity for improvement and growth. Working for a pioneer in hell is not my idea of being in on the action. I would rather work for NASA than Musk. If he is so willing to piss on customers who he thinks are being "bad," just imagine how much piss you would get if you were an employee of his and fell out of his favor.

    Like I said, I see Musk as a spoiled brat. I bet he will soon have a reputation similar to Jobs.
  24. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +761

    Musk's time is not the only time that is valuable. Waiting two hours would piss of most people especially when you have $80K in your back pocket that you are willing to plunk down. If Musk does not like complainers, then maybe he is in the wrong business.
    Apogee777 and cliffordcooley like this.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    I think any business Musk is in is the "wrong business".
    damnthereaper likes this.

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