I never believed that old business adage, “The customer is always right,” especially when directly dealing with customers. I’m apparently in good company, as Tesla Motors just lowered the boom on a complaining customer.
Stewart Alsop, a venture capitalist who ordered a Tesla Model X SUV, was invited to the model’s September 2015 launch. After attending the event, Alsop complained on his online blog that the event started almost 2 hours late and did not provide food. In addition to his partnership in a venture capital firm, Mr. Alsop held several editorial positions at business and trade magazines and was an editor-in-chief and executive vice-president of “InfoWorld,” a magazine for Information Technology experts.
Despite Mr. Alsop’s impressive credentials, Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk, called Alsop, disagreed with at least some of Alsop’s remarks and canceled his Tesla Model X SUV order. Alsop was taken aback and said so on his blog, recounting the phone discussion, the event and the Tesla’s desirability. Alsop also remarked that his revelation of the phone discussion probably means he will never be allowed to buy a Tesla.
Elon Musk’s response to Alsop’s criticism is a benefit, I suppose, of offering one of the hottest products on the automotive market. So many customers are clamoring for your product that you will jettison a customer who just isn’t worth whatever trouble he’s creating.
Meanwhile, Tesla reports that Model X production is on track after some delays. During the fourth quarter of 2015, 507 Model X CUVs were produced and the remainder will be delivered early in the first quarter of 2016. The company stated, “We prioritize quality above all else…with the daily production rate in the last week of the year tracking to production of 238 Model X vehicles per week.”
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